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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 3

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1“LORDAlmighty, God of Israel, afflicted souls and dismayed spirits call to you. 2Hear, O LORD, for you are a God of mercy; and have mercy on us, who have sinned against you: 3for you are enthroned forever, while we are perishing forever. e Pss 29, 10; 102, 12f . 4 LORDAlmighty, God of Israel, hear the prayer of Israel's few, the sons of those who sinned against you; they did not heed the voice of the LORD, their God, and the evils cling to us. 5Remember at this time not the misdeeds of our fathers, but your own hand and name: 6for you are the LORD our God; and you, O LORD, we will praise! 7For this, you put into our hearts the fear of you: that we may call upon your name, and praise you in our captivity, when we have removed from our hearts all the wickedness of our fathers who sinned against you. f Jer 31, 33 . 8Behold us today in our captivity, where you scattered us, a reproach, a curse, and a requital for all the misdeeds of our fathers, who withdrew from the LORD, our God.”

9Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life: listen, and know prudence! g Prv 4, 20ff . 10How is it, Israel, that you are in the land of your foes, grown old in a foreign land, Defiled with the dead, 11accounted with those destined for the nether world? h Ps 88, 5 . 12You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom! i Jer 2, 13; Jn 4, 10. 14 . 13Had you walked in the way of God, you would have dwelt in enduring peace. j Is 48, 18 . 14Learn where prudence is, where strength, where understanding; That you may know also where are length of days, and life, where light of the eyes, and peace. k Prv 3, 2; 8, 14 .

15Who has found the place of wisdom, l 15ff: Jb 28, 1–28 . who has entered into her treasuries? 16Where are the rulers of the nations, they who lorded it over the wild beasts of the earth, m Jer 27, 6 . 17and made sport of the birds of the heavens: They who heaped up the silver and the gold in which men trust; of whose possessions there was no end? 18They schemed anxiously for money, but there is no trace of their work: 19They have vanished down into the nether world, and others have risen up in their stead.

20Later generations have seen the light, have dwelt in the land, But the way to understanding they have not known, 21they have not perceived her paths, or reached her; their offspring were far from the way to her. 22She has not been heard of in Canaan,* nor seen in Teman. n Jer 49, 7; Ez 28, 4–5; Zec 9, 2; Jb 2, 11 . 23The sons of Hagar who seek knowledge on earth, the merchants of Midian and Teman, the phrasemakers seeking knowledge, These have not known the way to wisdom, nor have they her paths in mind.

24O Israel, how vast is the house of God,* how broad the scope of his dominion: 25Vast and endless, high and immeasurable! 26In it were born the giants, renowned at the first, stalwarts, skilled in war. o Gn 6, 4; Wis 14, 6 . 27Not these did God choose, nor did he give them the way of understanding; p 1 Sm 16, 7–10 . 28They perished for lack of prudence, perished through their folly. q Sir 10, 8 . 29Who has gone up to the heavens and taken her, or brought her down from the clouds? r Dt 30, 12f; Sir 24, 4; Rom 10, 6f . 30Who has crossed the sea and found her, bearing her away rather than choice gold? 31None knows the way to her, nor has any understood her paths.

32Yet he who knows all things knows her; he has probed her by his knowledge— He who established the earth for all time, and filled it with four‐footed beasts; 33He who dismisses the light, and it departs, calls it, and it obeys him trembling; 34Before whom the stars at their posts shine and rejoice; 35When he calls them, they answer, “Here we are!” shining with joy for their Maker. s Jb 38, 7; Ps 147, 4; Is 40, 26 . 36Such is our God; no other is to be compared to him: 37He has traced out all the way of understanding, and has given her to Jacob, his servant, to Israel, his beloved son. t Ps 147, 19; Sir 24, 8–12 .

38Since then she has appeared on earth, and moved among men. u Wis 9, 18; Jn 1, 14 .

Notes:

e: Pss 29, 10; 102, 12f .

f: Jer 31, 33 .

g: Prv 4, 20ff .

h: Ps 88, 5 .

i: Jer 2, 13; Jn 4, 10. 14 .

j: Is 48, 18 .

k: Prv 3, 2; 8, 14 .

l: 15ff: Jb 28, 1–28 .

m: Jer 27, 6 .

n: Jer 49, 7; Ez 28, 4–5; Zec 9, 2; Jb 2, 11 .

o: Gn 6, 4; Wis 14, 6 .

p: 1 Sm 16, 7–10 .

q: Sir 10, 8 .

r: Dt 30, 12f; Sir 24, 4; Rom 10, 6f .

s: Jb 38, 7; Ps 147, 4; Is 40, 26 .

t: Ps 147, 19; Sir 24, 8–12 .

u: Wis 9, 18; Jn 1, 14 .

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