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C HAPTER 10: W ISDOM AND W IT S EEKING THE W AYS OF G OD (T EXTBOOK PAGES 235-256) Mrs. Kenny Religion 9 April/May 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "C HAPTER 10: W ISDOM AND W IT S EEKING THE W AYS OF G OD (T EXTBOOK PAGES 235-256) Mrs. Kenny Religion 9 April/May 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 C HAPTER 10: W ISDOM AND W IT S EEKING THE W AYS OF G OD (T EXTBOOK PAGES ) Mrs. Kenny Religion 9 April/May 2013

2 I NTRODUCTION Judah (older name)/Judea (newer name) Babylon – Persia – Greek – Roman control Dispersion resulted from scattering of Jews

3 BookSection of BibleSupposedly Written ByKey Ideas/Theme/Message Proverbs WisdomSolomon + scribes How to live a good life. No afterlife. Job Wisdom Unknown Jewish sage after the Babylonian exile Problem with evil; even in our darkest moments, God is in charge loving and caring for us through it all. No afterlife. Ecclesiastes Wisdom Sage during Greek rule (about 250 B.C.) Life is a mystery you cannot solve. The sensible thing is to accept life from the hand of God and enjoy it as well as you can. No afterlife. Wisdom Solomon + scribes What are we made for? What is beyond this life for our souls? Our destiny is life forever with God. Only faithful get afterlife. Sirach a.k.a. Ecclesiasticus WisdomJesus ben Sirach All wisdom comes from God, not the Greeks; can easily be applied to our lives today Song of Songs/Solomon Wisdom Unknown Authors, used to be attributed to Solomon Allegory = bride and groom’s love is symbolic of God/Christ’s love; Love can overcome death. Tobit (Apocrypha) Historical/ story book Unknown, about 200 B.C. during Greek rule, who is familiar with folk tales Faithful elder who remains steadfast in the face of personal disaster. Faithful goodness and trust in God are rewarded with blessings, Judith (Apocrypha) Historical/ story book Probably Palestinian Jew after 150 B.C. Courageous woman who defies all stereotypes of how women are “supposed to be.” Saves her people from Assyrians. Esther Historical/ story book Unknown Timid woman and queen who risks her life to save her people from a wicked schemer who plans to slay them. A model for those who are not brave. Jonah Prophetic /story book Unknown, written around 5 th century B.C. Humorous portrayal of a fictitious prophet. God’s love and mercy reach far and wide across cultural and religious boundaries.

4 L IFE A CCORDING TO P ROVERBS, J OB, AND E CCLESIASTES : W HAT ’ S I T A LL A BOUT ? ( P.236) Proverbs: What’s a Good Life? Concerned with how to live a good life Topics include: parenting, communication, attitudes, manners at court, work, conducting business, reputation, leadership, gossip, learning, relationships with neighbors, etc. According to proverbs, success and prosperity, rightly gained, are the reward for virtuous life

5 P ROVERBS : W HAT ’ S A G OOD L IFE ? Honor, dignity, and a good name are a person’s memorial There is no hint of an afterlife most Jews of the time did not believe in an afterlife where good could be rewarded and evil punished instead, they believed that rewards/punishments had to be given out in this life, or not at all Important to live prudently, honestly, generously, and diligently Most sayings do not mention God, but it doesn’t have to explicitly – true wisdom comes from God, no matter where we find it

6 W ISDOM ’ S F EMININE V OICE ? Proverbs 8&9: Wisdom is a woman who came forth from God before the world was created. She was the “master worker” with God while the heavens and earth were made. Lady Sophia = from Greek word for wisdom = Proverbs’ image of God’s wisdom as a woman God is neither a man or woman. God is personal but transcends the human categories of gender. The biblical writers used male and female images to describe God because that was what people can relate to. As Catholics, we sometimes refer to Mary as the Seat of Wisdom.

7 J OB : W HY D O THE G OOD S UFFER ? Habbakuk started asking “why?” and we still do this to this day. Problem of evil = dilemma of why the good suffer and the wicked prosper in this life

8 J OB struggles with this dilemma of the problem of evil is a virtuous and prosperous man who loses everything – wealth, family, and health has humility in the face of mystery for the most part, bears his suffering patiently by trusting in, not questioning, God. In his suffering finally calls out “Why?” and curses the day he was born. Has friends who insist he must have sinned and should repent, but Job disagrees

9 J OB Is finally spoken to by God in a whirlwind. God reminds him that He, not Job, is the Creator of the universe who sustains everything. Job, awed and humbled, admits that the mystery of life is too great for him to understand. God’s wisdom is far beyond his own. Finally, Job accepts what has happened. Message: even in our darkest moments, God is in charge loving and caring for us through it all.

10 T HE “A NSWER ” Christians believe all suffering is caused by natural events and is the consequence of Original Sin. Some things are just beyond the grasp of the human mind All we can do is bow to the mystery of God Seattle Children’s Hospital KC’s Response Bieber Bet

11 E CCLESIASTES Ecclesiastes comes from a Greek word from the Hebrew word for “teacher” Still did not talk about an afterlife/hereafter Conclusion: life is a mystery you cannot solve. The sensible thing is to accept life from the hand of God and enjoy it as well as you can. Famous passageFamous passage from Ecclesiastes: Ecclesiastes 3: New American Standard Bible (NASB) A Time for Everything 3 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— 2 A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. 3 A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. 4 A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. 5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. 6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. 7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. 8 A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace. 9 What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? 10 I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.

12 W ISDOM, S IRACH, AND THE S ONG OF S ONGS : L IFE WITH G OD ( P.242) Wisdom = Wisdom of Solomon Author was a scholar that lived in Alexandria, Egypt after 100 B.C. Struggled with the problem of evil Afterlife Refused to accept conventional wisdom that God rewards goodness and punishes sin in this life (not long before – Jews put to death for not giving up their faith) More conventional/realistic than Proverbs needed Message: What are we made for? What is beyond this life for our souls? Our destiny is life forever with God. At the final judgment, wicked will see that they do not get eternal life.

13 A FTERLIFE 2 Maccabees + Daniel + Wisdom all start to talk about afterlife All written later, signs that the writers were exposed to the Greek thought of an afterlife

14 S IRACH : W ISDOM IN T EACHINGS OF I SRAEL Jesus ben Sirach ran a school for scriptural study and Jewish wisdom in Alexandria, Egypt (under Greek rule) between B.C. Taught all wisdom comes from God, not Greek thought. Book depicts wisdom as a woman who was with God at Creation – just like in Proverbs Also called “Ecclesiasticus” or “church book” – NOT to be confused with Ecclesiastes The messages still apply today!

15 T HE S ONG OF S ONGS /S ONG OF S OLOMON : H UMAN AND D IVINE L OVE Collection of love poems: Bride and groom speak of their longing for each other Love/ sexuality + Doesn’t mention God = God designed human love as a powerful, holy bond Unknown authors, sometime after Babylonian Exile around 450 B.C., also attributed at one time to Solomon Allegory = bride and groom’s love = God’s love and devotion to Israel (Christ’s “bride” = the Church) Message: Love can overcome death

16 S TORIES OF E NCOURAGEMENT : F AITH AND G OODNESS T RIUMPH ( P.246) Stories about Tobit, Judith, Esther & Jonah: Told during the centuries after the Babylonian Exile Meant to inspire courage and faith in times of trial

17 The Book of Tobias, as it is called in the Latin Vulgate Bible, is also known as the Book of Tobit. It is one of the most delightful books of Hebrew Scripture, the Old Testament of our Bible. The father is called Tobit in the Greek Septuagint and his son is named Tobias. The book begins with Tobit, an Israelite of the Northern Kingdom who was deported to Nineveh, who suffers blindness. Blind Tobit hears his wife Anna come home with a bleating young goat - payment for the work she has done. Tobit however, thinks the goat is stolen goods and summons Anna to return it to its owner. Anna thinks Tobit has lost it, and is very sharp with him. A young woman Sarah in Media suffers torment. (Sarah has been married several times, and her husband was always killed on their wedding night by a demon.) Because of their good life and prayers, God sends the Archangel Raphael to help them. The virtuous young Tobias the Son joins the disguised Raphael on a journey to Media on his father's behalf, and brings happiness both to his Father and Sarah. Archangel Raphael heals Tobit of blindness, he protects and guides Tobias on his travels and he delivers Sarah from an evil demon. Tobit, Tobias and Sarah were beset by trials and difficulties to purify them, but they remained steadfast in their faith during the period of testing, and eventually enjoyed God’s blessings and mercy. All prayed for deliverance and God sent St. Raphael. The message of the book is that God is both just and free. Suffering is not a punishment but a test. God in the long run does reward the just and punish the wicked. The believer is called upon to trust God and live his way. The book is rich in principle, and presents the sanctity of marriage, intercession through Angels, reward of good works, and parental respect, as well as the importance of prayer in our daily lives, fasting, and especially almsgiving in expiation of sin (12:9). Raphael reveals himself in a fascinating statement in Chapter 12, as "the angel Raphael, one of the seven who stand before the Lord" (12:15). Even though the setting takes place in the eighth century BC, it is thought the book was written after the time of Ezra, and thus it was not included in the shorter Hebrew Canon. However, the book was part of the Old Testament Greek Septuagint, and has always been considered inspired by both Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. The recent discovery of the book with fragments in both Hebrew and Aramaic among the Dead Sea Scrolls in Cave IV of Qumran has given the book renewed attention. T OBIT : T HE F AITHFUL J EW

18 T OBIT ( BLIND, J EWISH E LDER ) + A NNA ( HIS W IFE ) T OBIAS = THEIR S ON S ARAH = WOMAN FROM M EDIA WHO HAS LOST SEVERAL HUSBANDS TO A DEMON ON HER WEDDING NIGHT Archangel Raphael = brings Sarah to Tobias, they marry and live happily ever after, and he cures Tobit of blindness…

19 Overall idea: Tobit is a faithful elder who remains steadfast in the face of personal disaster. Faithful goodness and trust in God are rewarded with blessings.

20 J UDITH : C OURAGE AND P IETY ( P.249) Author was probably a Palestinian Jew who wrote sometime after 150 B.C. Story set in Persian period 1 st sentence has a mistake – saying Nebuchadnezzar is king of Assyria, not Babylon Written as a folk story, not historically accurate Judith model of faith and courage (what the Jews of the time needed) beautiful, intelligent, and faithful – uses her faith to conquer Assyrians saves her people from Holofernes – Nebuchadnezzar’s cruel general Story is depicted on the famous ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, painted by Michelangelo in the early 1500’s:

21 J UDITH AND H OLOFERNES (J UDITH 13,1-10) "Judith was left alone in the tent, with Holofernes stretched out on the bed, for he was overcome with wine (Judith 13,2)... She went up to the post at the end of the bed, above Holofernes' head, and took down his sword that hung there. She came close to the bed and took hold of the hair of his head, and said: "Give me strength this day, O Lord God of Israel!". And she struck his neck twice with all her might, and severed his head from his body (Judith 13,6-8)... After a moment she went out and gave Holofernes' head to her maid (Judith 13, 9)".

22 J UDITH The Old Testament narrates the episode of Judith who saved her city of Bethulia from the siege of Holofernes, general of the Assyrian king Nebuchadnezzar, by killing him after a banquet at which he had been made drink, beheading him and bringing his head to his fellow citizens (Judith ch ). Judith videoJudith video – 5 ½ min

23 E STHER Not known when it was written 2 purposes: praise goodness of God (who saved Jews from annihilation) Explain Jewish feast of Purim

24 P URIM The festival of Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar (late winter/early spring – this year it was March 7-8). It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”

25 P URIM The Persian empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he orchestrated a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favor in his eyes and became the new queen—though she refused to divulge the identity of her nationality. Meanwhile, the anti-Semitic Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews (and Esther’s cousin), defied the king’s orders and refused to bow to Haman. Haman was incensed and convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar—a date chosen by a lottery Haman made. Mordechai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to God. Meanwhile, Esther asked the king and Haman to join her for a feast. At the feast, Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity. Haman was hanged, Mordechai was appointed prime minister in his stead, and a new decree was issued—granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies. On the 13th of Adar the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar they rested and celebrated.

26 T HE F OUR M AIN M ITZVOT OF P URIM 1. MEGILLAT ESTHER -- we read the story of Purim in the evening and the next day. And whenever Haman is mentioned, we make as much noise as possible to blot out his name and his memory! 2. SENDING GIFTS OF FOOD to at least one friend or relative, because Purim is a time of love and friendship between Jews. 3. GIVING GIFTS OF MONEY TO THE POOR because Purim is a time of sharing and caring and helping. 4. EATING A FESTIVE PURIM MEAL – the special holiday meal eaten on Purim afternoon.

27 P URIM C USTOMS This is also the significance behind a traditional Purim food, the hamantash —a pastry whose filling is hidden within a three- cornered crust. Purim Maccabeats SongPurim Maccabeats Song – 4 min A time-honored Purim custom is for children to dress up and disguise themselves—an allusion to the fact that the miracle of Purim was disguised in natural garments. When the story is read, children use noisemakers and “boo” to drown out the name of the evil King Haman.

28 J ONAH : A P ARABLE OF M ERCY Author unknown Short, 4 chapters long Humorous portrayal of a fictitious prophet. Satire to make a serious point: God’s mercy extends to all, not just the “insiders” God’s love and mercy reach far and wide across cultural and religious boundaries. Set during the Assyrian Empire, around 750 B.C., but not written until 5 th century B.C.

29 J ONAH Jonah = scatterbrained, self- serving, sulks when God turns out to be more merciful to sinners than Jonah expected or wanted Probably written in contrast to the narrow-minded spirit of Ezra and Nehemiah Message for us: We may be tempted at times to think we are better than others; we may forget the “worst people” are still loved tenderly by God and deserve our respect. No one is beyond God’s reach – all nations, religions, cultures, and subgroups are from God! We are all insiders when it comes to God’s love.

30 T HE S TORY OF J ONAH – 2 MIN. 8 min video 2:43 video

31 J ONAH The Story of Jonah The chief interest in the minor prophet Jonah centers around two remarkable incidents narrated in the book which bears his name. In the opening verse it is stated that "the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amathi, saying: Arise and go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach in it: for the wickedness thereof is come up before me." (Jonah thinks the Ninevites are filthy pagans, and wants nothing to do with them.) But the Prophet, instead of obeying the Divine command, "rose up to flee into Tharsis from the face of the Lord" that he might escape the task assigned to him. He boards a ship bound for that port, but a violent storm overtakes him, and on his admission that he is the cause of it, he is cast overboard. He is swallowed by a great fish providentially prepared for the purpose, and after a three day's sojourn in the belly of the monster, during which time he composes a hymn of thanksgiving, he is cast upon dry land. After this episode he again receives the command to preach in Nineveh, and the account of his second journey is scarcely less marvelous than that of the first. He proceeds to Nineveh and enters "after a day's journey" into it, foretelling its destruction in forty days. A general repentance is immediately commanded by the authorities, in view of which God relents and spares the wicked city. Jonah, angry and disappointed, wishes for death. He tried to reason with the Lord, and declares that it was in anticipation of this result that on the former occasion he had wished to flee to Tharsis. He withdraws from Nineveh and, under a booth which he has erected, he awaits the destiny of the city. In this abode he enjoys for a time the refreshing shade of a gourd which the Lord prepares for him. Shortly, however, the gourd is stricken by a worm and the Prophet is exposed to the burning rays of the sun, whereupon he again murmurs and wishes to die. Then the Lord rebukes him for his selfish grief over the withering of a gourd, while still desiring that God should not be touched by the repentance of a city in which "there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons that know not how to distinguish between their right hand and their left, and many beasts." Apart from the hymn ascribed to Jonah (ii, 2-11) the contents of the book are prose.


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