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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter II

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Text Commentary

A Psalm. Of Solomon. Concerning Jerusalem.

1

When the sinner became proud he cast down fortified walls with a battering-ram,  And thou didst not restrain him. 2 Foreign nations went up to thine altar,  In pride they trampled it with their sandals; 3 Because the sons of Jerusalem had defiled the sanctuary 1 Lit. ‘holy things’. of the Lord,  Had profaned the offerings to God with lawless deeds. 4 Wherefore he said, Cast them far from me, I take no pleasure in them. 2 Following Hilgenfeld's emendation (οὐκ εὐδοκω̂ ἐν αὐτοι̂ς for οὐκ εὐώδωκεν αὐτοι̂ς in the MSS). If the reading (and punctuation) of the MSS be followed, verses 4–5 will run: ‘Wherefore he said, Cast them far from me. Her glorious beauty did not prosper them, It was held of no account before God, It was utterly dishonoured’. 5 Her 3 i.e. Jerusalem's (cp. verse 20). So M: others ‘his’. glorious beauty was held of no account before God,  It was utterly dishonoured. 6 Her sons and her daughters were in grievous captivity,  Their neck bears a seal-ring, a mark 4 Lit. ‘Their neck in (with) a seal, in (with) a mark …’. Prisoners had a thong or rope around their necks, fastened with a seal. among the nations: 7 He dealt with them in accordance with their sins;  For he abandoned them into the hands of those who prevail. 8 He turned away his face from pitying them,  Young and old and their children together; 9For they did evil together in not listening. (10) 9And heaven abhorred them and the earth detested them, (11) For no man upon it had done what they did. (12) 10And the earth shall recognise all thy righteous judgements, O God. (13) 11They set the sons of Jerusalem to be mocked because of the harlots in her:  Every passer by entered in in the full light of day. (14) 12They used to make mock with their lawless deeds, as they themselves used to do:  In the full light of day they paraded their iniquities. 13 And the daughters of Jerusalem were profane according to thy judgement, (15) Because they had defiled themselves in unnatural intercourse. 14I am pained in my bowels and my inward parts at these things. (16) 15I will justify thee, O God, in uprightness of heart,  For in thy judgements lies thy righteousness, O God. (17) 16For thou hast rendered to the sinners according to their deeds,  And according to their sins, which were very wicked. (18) 17Thou hast uncovered their sins, that thy judgement might be manifest: (19) Thou hast blotted out the memory of them from the earth. 18 God is a righteous judge, and will respect no one. (20) 19For the nations reviled Jerusalem, trampling it down:  Her beauty was dragged down from the throne of glory. (21) 20She girded on sackcloth instead of fine raiment,  A rope about her head in place of a crown. (22) 21She removed the diadem of glory which God had set upon her: (23) In dishonour was her beauty cast upon the ground. (24) 22And I saw, and entreated the Lord and said,  Long enough, Lord, hath thy hand been heavy on Jerusalem with the onset of the nations. (25) 23For they have mocked, and spared not, in wrath and implacable anger; (26) For they 5 i.e. the people of Jerusalem. The passive in the Gk. may, however, rest on a mistranslation. will be utterly destroyed, unless thou, Lord, rebuke them in thy wrath. (27) 24For it was not out of zeal that they acted, but in lust of soul, (28) So as to pour out their wrath upon us in plunder. (29) 25Delay not, O God, to bring recompense upon their heads,  To change 6 Gk. ‘say’, due to a misinterpretation of an underlying Heb. lmr (for lhmr), taken as l'mr. the pride of the dragon into dishonour. (30) 26And I did not wait long before God showed me his body, 7 Gk. ‘his insolence’, due to a misinterpretation of an underlying Heb. gwtw (for gwytw), taken as g'wtw. The allusion is in all probability to the details of the assassination of Pompey in the neighbourhood of Mount Cassius, near Pelusium in Egypt, in 48 BC.  Stabbed, on the mountains of Egypt,  Esteemed of less account than the least on land and sea – (31) 27His body, carried about on the waves in great ignominy,  With none to bury him, because he 8 i.e. God. had rejected him in dishonour. 28 He did not consider that he was man, (32) Nor did he consider the end. (33) 29He said, I will be lord of land and sea;  And he did not recognise that God is great,  Mighty in his great strength. (34) 30He is king in the heavens,  And judges kings and dominions. (35) 31It is he who raises me up to glory,  And lays low the proud in eternal destruction, in dishonour,  Because they knew him not. (36) 32And now behold, princes of the earth, the judgement of the Lord,  For he is a great king, and righteous, judging the earth that is under heaven. (37) 33Bless God, you who fear the Lord with understanding,  For the mercy of the Lord is on those who fear him, in judgement; (38) 34So as to distinguish between righteous and sinner,  To recompense sinners for ever according to their deeds; (39) 35And to have mercy on the righteous, delivering him from the affliction of the sinner,  And to recompense the sinner for what he has done to the righteous. (40) 36For the Lord is good to those who call on him in patience,  Acting according to his mercy towards his holy ones,  Setting them continuously before him in strength. (41) 37Blessed be the Lord for ever before his servants.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘holy things’.

2 Following Hilgenfeld's emendation (οὐκ εὐδοκω̂ ἐν αὐτοι̂ς for οὐκ εὐώδωκεν αὐτοι̂ς in the MSS). If the reading (and punctuation) of the MSS be followed, verses 4–5 will run:

‘Wherefore he said, Cast them far from me. Her glorious beauty did not prosper them, It was held of no account before God, It was utterly dishonoured’.

3 i.e. Jerusalem's (cp. verse 20). So M: others ‘his’.

4 Lit. ‘Their neck in (with) a seal, in (with) a mark …’. Prisoners had a thong or rope around their necks, fastened with a seal.

5 i.e. the people of Jerusalem. The passive in the Gk. may, however, rest on a mistranslation.

6 Gk. ‘say’, due to a misinterpretation of an underlying Heb. lmr (for lhmr), taken as l'mr.

7 Gk. ‘his insolence’, due to a misinterpretation of an underlying Heb. gwtw (for gwytw), taken as g'wtw. The allusion is in all probability to the details of the assassination of Pompey in the neighbourhood of Mount Cassius, near Pelusium in Egypt, in 48 BC.

8 i.e. God.

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