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

Chapter VIII

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Text Commentary

Of Solomon. For victory.

1

Distress and the sound of war has my ear heard,  The noise of the trumpet sounding out slaughter and destruction, 2 The sound of much people as of a great and howling wind, 1 Lit. ‘of an exceedingly great wind’.  As a hurricane with mighty fire sweeping through the wilderness. 3 And I said in my heart, Where, then, will God's judgement be? 2 Lit. ‘Where, then, will God judge him?’ –i.e. Israel. It is possible, however, that through a simple misunderstanding on the part of the Gk. translator, two pronouns have been confused – hence the suggested emendation, ‘Where, then, will God judge us?’ 4 I heard the sound at Jerusalem, the holy city: (5) 4My loins were broken at hearing it, (6) 5My knees tottered, my heart was afraid,  My bones were shaken like flax. (7) 6I said, They establish their ways in righteousness. 7 I considered the judgements of God since the creation of heaven and earth:  I held God righteous in his judgements which have been from of old. (8) 8God laid open their sins to the sun,  All the earth came to know the righteous judgements of God. (9) 9In hidden places beneath the earth were their iniquities performed in provocation: (10) They committed incest, son with mother, and father with daughter; (11) 10They committed adultery, every man with his neighbour's wife.  They made agreements under oath with one another concerning these things. (12) 11They plundered the sanctuary 3 Lit. ‘the holy things’. of God,  As though there was no heir to redeem. 4 i.e. to recover what had been taken away. (13) 12They trampled the altar of the Lord, coming straight from all kinds of uncleanness,  And with menstrual blood they defiled the sacrifices as though they were common flesh. (14) 13They left no sin undone, wherein they did not surpass the heathen. (15) 14Therefore God mixed for them a spirit to mislead them,  And gave them to drink a cup of undiluted wine to make them drunk. (16) 15He brought the man that is from the end of the earth, the man whose lash is ruthless: 5 Lit. ‘him who smites mightily’. (17) He determined upon war against Jerusalem and her land. (18) 16The rulers of the land went to meet him with joy,  They said to him, Welcome is your journey! Come, enter in with peace. (19) 17They levelled out the rough ways before his entering in,  They opened the gates to Jerusalem, they crowned its walls. (20) 18He entered, as a father enters his sons' house, in peace:  He set down his feet with great assurance. (21) 19He took possession of her fortified towers, and of the wall of Jerusalem; (22) For God led him on in assurance, while they went astray. (23) 20He put to death their rulers, and every man wise in counsel:  He poured out the blood of the inhabitants of Jerusalem like unclean water: (24) 21He led away their sons and daughters, whom they had begotten in defilement. (25) 22They did according to their uncleanness, as their fathers had done: (26) They defiled Jerusalem and the things consecrated to the name of God. (27) 23God is shown righteous in his judgements among the nations of the earth; (28) And the holy ones of God are like lambs innocent in their midst. (29) 24Worthy to be praised is the Lord who judges the whole earth in his righteousness. (30) 25Behold now, O God, thou hast shown us thy judgment in thy righteousness: (31) Our eyes have seen thy judgements, O God. 26 We have justified thy name that is honoured for ever; (32) For thou art the God of righteousness, who judges Israel with discipline. (33) 27Turn, O God, thy mercy upon us,  And have pity on us: (34) 28Gather together the dispersion of Israel with mercy and goodness, (35) For thy faithfulness is with us. 29 And we stiffened our neck;  And thou art our chastener. (36) 30Disregard us not, O our God,  Lest the nations swallow us up, as though there were none to deliver. (37) 31But thou art our God from the beginning;  And upon thee is our hope, O Lord. (38) 32And we shall not be distant from thee,  For thy judgements upon us are good. (39) 33Upon us and our children is thy good will for ever:  O Lord our Saviour, we shall never more be moved. (40) 34Worthy of praise for his judgements is the Lord by the mouth of his holy ones;  And Israel is blessed by the Lord for ever.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘of an exceedingly great wind’.

2 Lit. ‘Where, then, will God judge him?’ –i.e. Israel. It is possible, however, that through a simple misunderstanding on the part of the Gk. translator, two pronouns have been confused – hence the suggested emendation, ‘Where, then, will God judge us?’

3 Lit. ‘the holy things’.

4 i.e. to recover what had been taken away.

5 Lit. ‘him who smites mightily’.

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