9With you is wisdom, she who knows your works and was present when you made the world; she understands what is pleasing in your sight and what is right according to your commandments. 10Send her forth from the holy heavens, and from the throne of your glory send her, that she may labour at my side, and that I may learn what is pleasing to you. 11For she knows and understands all things, and she will guide me wisely in my actions and guard me with her glory. 12Then my works will be acceptable, and I shall judge your people justly, and shall be worthy of the throne* of my father. 13For who can learn the counsel of God? Or who can discern what the Lord wills? 14For the reasoning of mortals is worthless, and our designs are likely to fail; 15for a perishable body weighs down the soul, and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful* mind. 16We can hardly guess at what is on earth, and what is at hand we find with labour; but who has traced out what is in the heavens? 17Who has learned your counsel, unless you have given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high? 18And thus the paths of those on earth were set right, and people were taught what pleases you, and were saved by wisdom.’
The Work of Wisdom from Adam to Moses
10Wisdom* protected the first-formed father of the world, when he alone had been created; she delivered him from his transgression, 2 and gave him strength to rule all things.
4 And Mordecai said, “These things have come from God; 5for I remember the dream that I had concerning these matters, and none of them has failed to be fulfilled. 6There was the little spring that became a river, and there was light and sun and abundant water—the river is Esther, whom the king married and made queen. 7 The two dragons are Haman and myself. 8The nations are those that gathered to destroy the name of the Jews. 9And my nation, this is Israel, who cried out to God and was saved. The Lord has saved his people; the Lord has rescued us from all these evils; God has done great signs and wonders, wonders that have never happened among the nations.
The Israelites Celebrate Their Victory
8 Then the high priest Joakim and the elders of the Israelites who lived in Jerusalem came to witness the good things that the Lord had done for Israel, and to see Judith and to wish her well. 9When they met her, they all blessed her with one accord and said to her, ‘You are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the great boast of Israel, you are the great pride of our nation! 10You have done all this with your own hand; you have done great good to Israel, and God is well pleased with it. May the Almighty Lord bless you for ever!’ And all the people said, ‘Amen.’ 11 All the people plundered the camp for thirty days. They gave Judith the tent of Holofernes and all his silver dinnerware, his beds, his bowls, and all his furniture. She took them and loaded her mules and hitched up her carts and piled the things on them. 12 All the women of Israel gathered to see her, and blessed her, and some of them performed a dance in her honour. She took ivy-wreathed wands in her hands and distributed them to the women who were with her; 13and she and those who were with her crowned themselves with olive wreaths. She went before all the people in the dance, leading all the women, while all the men of Israel followed, bearing their arms and wearing garlands and singing hymns.
Judith Offers Her Hymn of Praise
14 Judith began this thanksgiving before all Israel, and all the people loudly sang this song of praise. 161And Judith said, Begin a song to my God with tambourines, sing to my Lord with cymbals. Raise to him a new psalm;* exalt him, and call upon his name. 2For the Lord is a God who crushes wars; he sets up his camp among his people; he delivered me from the hands of my pursuers. 3The Assyrian came down from the mountains of the north; he came with myriads of his warriors; their numbers blocked up the wadis, and their cavalry covered the hills. 4He boasted that he would burn up my territory, and kill my young men with the sword, and dash my infants to the ground, and seize my children as booty, and take my virgins as spoil.
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4just as he chose us in Christ* before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance,* having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah,* fourteen generations.
The Birth of Jesus the Messiah
18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah* took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’