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scripture

 

CHAPTER 35*

1To keep the law is to make many offerings;a

2whoever observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering.

3By works of charity one offers fine flour,*

4and one who gives alms presents a sacrifice of praise.

5To refrain from evil pleases the Lord,

and to avoid injustice is atonement.

6Do not appear before the Lord empty-handed,

7for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts.b

8The offering of the just enriches the altar:

a sweet odor before the Most High.

9The sacrifice of the just is accepted,

never to be forgotten.

10With a generous spirit pay homage to the Lord,

and do not spare your freewill gifts.c

11With each contribution show a cheerful countenance,

and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.d

12Give to the Most High as he has given to you,

generously, according to your means.

13For he is a God who always repays

and will give back to you sevenfold.e

14But offer no bribes; these he does not accept!

15Do not trust in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion,f

For he is a God of justice,

who shows no partiality.g

16He shows no partiality to the weak

but hears the grievance of the oppressed.*

17He does not forsake the cry of the orphan,h

nor the widow when she pours out her complaint.

18Do not the tears that stream down her cheek

19cry out against the one that causes them to fall?

20Those who serve God to please him are accepted;

their petition reaches the clouds.

21The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds;

it does not rest till it reaches its goal;

Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds,

22judges justly and affirms the right.i

God indeed will not delay,

and like a warrior, will not be stillj

Till he breaks the backs of the merciless

23and wreaks vengeance upon the nations;

Till he destroys the scepter of the proud,

and cuts off the staff of the wicked;

24Till he requites everyone according to their deeds,

and repays them according to their thoughts;

25Till he defends the cause of his people,

and makes them glad by his salvation.

26Welcome is his mercy in time of distress

as rain clouds in time of drought.

* [35:126] Keeping the commandments of the law and avoiding injustice constitute sacrifice pleasing and acceptable to God (vv. 15). Offerings also should be made to him, cheerfully and generously; these he repays sevenfold (vv. 613). Extortion from widows and orphans is injustice, and God will hear their cries (vv. 1422a). Punishing the proud and the merciless and coming to the aid of the distressed, he requites everyone according to their deeds (vv. 22b26).

* [35:3] Fine flour, together with oil and frankincense, was a prescribed offering to God; cf. Lv 2:13.

* [35:16] Cf. Lv 19:15; Dt 1:17. The divine impartiality is paradoxical, for it is tilted toward the poor.

a. [35:15] 1 Sm 15:22; Ps 51:1819; Is 1:1118; Hos 6:6; Am 5:2124.

b. [35:7] Ex 23:15; 34:20; Dt 16:16.

c. [35:10] Sir 7:31.

d. [35:11] Dt 14:22; 2 Cor 9:7.

e. [35:13] Prv 19:17; Mt 25:3440.

f. [35:15] Sir 34:2123; Prv 15:8; 21:27.

g. [35:15] Dt 10:17; 2 Chr 19:7; Jb 34:19; Wis 6:7; Acts 10:34; Rom 2:11; Gal 2:6; 1 Pt 1:17.

h. [35:1719] Ex 22:22.

i. [35:22] Lk 18:7.

j. [35:22] Is 42:1316; 2 Pt 3:9.




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