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

Chapter XII

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Text Commentary

Of Solomon. Against the tongue of lawless men.

1

O Lord, deliver my soul from the lawless and wicked man,  From the tongue that is lawless and slanderous,  And which utters lies and deceit. 2 Infinitely agile are the words of the tongue of the wicked man,  Like fire burning up stubble on a threshing-floor. 1 So one MS (H), though this may be a secondary conjecture to make sense of the difficult reading of the other MSS and Syr. (‘like fire among the people burning up its beauty’). 3 The purpose of his sojourn is to fill households with a lying tongue,  To cut down the trees of the joy that sets the lawless on fire, 2 Both text and interpretation of this verse are very uncertain. ‘The trees of joy’ are probably the righteous: ‘on fire’ – sc. with envy? (4) 3To confound households 3 Text, ‘lawless households’; but the adjective is probably by dittography from the preceding line. in warfare by means of slanderous lips. 4 May God remove far from the innocent the lips of the lawless by bringing them to want;  And may the bones of slanderers be scattered far from those who fear the Lord: (5) May the slanderous tongue perish in flaming fire far from the holy. (6) 5May the Lord preserve the quiet soul that hates the unjust;  And may the Lord guide the man who makes peace in the home. (7) 6The salvation of the Lord be upon Israel his servant for ever;  And may sinners perish altogether at the presence of the Lord;  And may the holy ones of the Lord inherit the promises of the Lord.

Notes:

1 So one MS (H), though this may be a secondary conjecture to make sense of the difficult reading of the other MSS and Syr. (‘like fire among the people burning up its beauty’).

2 Both text and interpretation of this verse are very uncertain. ‘The trees of joy’ are probably the righteous: ‘on fire’ – sc. with envy?

3 Text, ‘lawless households’; but the adjective is probably by dittography from the preceding line.

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