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“‘O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, the soul in anguish and the wearied spirit cry out to thee. Hear, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned before thee. For thou art enthroned for ever, and we are perishing for ever. O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, hear now the prayer of the dead of Israel and of the sons of those who sinned before thee, who did not heed the voice of the Lord their God, so that calamities have clung to us. Remember not the iniquities of our fathers, but in this crisis remember thy power and thy name. For thou art the Lord our God, and thee, O Lord, will we praise. For thou hast put the fear of thee in our hearts in order that we should call upon thy name; and we will praise thee in our exile, for we have put away from our hearts all the iniquity of our fathers who sinned before thee. Behold, we are today in our exile where thou hast scattered us, to be reproached and cursed and punished for all the iniquities of our fathers who forsook the Lord our God.’”

In Praise of Wisdom

Hear the commandments of life, O Israel;
    give ear, and learn wisdom!
10 Why is it, O Israel, why is it that you are in the land of your enemies,
    that you are growing old in a foreign country,
that you are defiled with the dead,
11     that you are counted among those in Hades?
12 You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom.
13 If you had walked in the way of God,
    you would be dwelling in peace for ever.
14 Learn where there is wisdom,
    where there is strength,
    where there is understanding,
that you may at the same time discern
    where there is length of days, and life,
    where there is light for the eyes, and peace.

15 Who has found her place?
    And who has entered her storehouses?
16 Where are the princes of the nations,
    and those who rule over the beasts on earth;
17 those who have sport with the birds of the air,
    and who hoard up silver and gold,
in which men trust,
    and there is no end to their getting;
18 those who scheme to get silver, and are anxious,
    whose labors are beyond measure?
19 They have vanished and gone down to Hades,
    and others have arisen in their place.

20 Young men have seen the light of day,
    and have dwelt upon the earth;
but they have not learned the way to knowledge,
    nor understood her paths,
    nor laid hold of her.
21 Their sons have strayed far from her[a] way.
22 She has not been heard of in Canaan,
    nor seen in Teman;
23 the sons of Hagar, who seek for understanding on the earth,
    the merchants of Merran and Teman,
    the story-tellers and the seekers for understanding,
have not learned the way to wisdom,
    nor given thought to her paths.

24 O Israel, how great is the house of God!
    And how vast the territory that he possesses!
25 It is great and has no bounds;
    it is high and immeasurable.
26 The giants were born there, who were famous of old,
    great in stature, expert in war.
27 God did not choose them,
    nor give them the way to knowledge;
28 so they perished because they had no wisdom,
    they perished through their folly.

29 Who has gone up into heaven, and taken her,
    and brought her down from the clouds?
30 Who has gone over the sea, and found her,
    and will buy her for pure gold?
31 No one knows the way to her,
    or is concerned about the path to her.
32 But he who knows all things knows her,
    he found her by his understanding.
He who prepared the earth for all time
    filled it with four-footed creatures;
33 he who sends forth the light, and it goes,
    called it, and it obeyed him in fear;
34 the stars shone in their watches, and were glad;
    he called them, and they said, “Here we are!”
    They shone with gladness for him who made them.
35 This is our God;
    no other can be compared to him!
36 He found the whole way to knowledge,
    and gave her to Jacob his servant
    and to Israel whom he loved.
37 Afterward she appeared upon earth
    and lived among men.


  1. Baruch 3:21 Other authorities read their

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