The author remembers four more heroes of the faith: Elijah, Elisha, Hezekiah, and Isaiah. They are great role models for us.
The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
NAB translation. Till there appeared the prophet whose words were as a flaming furnace.
a flaming furnace. Reading the prophets is like standing next to a blast furnace in the winter. Most of us would like the heat, but we can’t stand to stand too close lest we get burnt.
Jeremiah 23:29. “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” (NIV translation)
VERSE 2. Who brought a famine upon them, And by his zeal made them few in number.
VERSE 3. By the word of the Lord he shut up the heaven: Thrice did he thus bring down fire.
VERSE 4. How was you glorified, O Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! And who shall glory like to you?
VERSE 5. Who did raise up a dead man from death, And from the place of the dead, by the word of the Most High:
VERSE 6. Who brought down kings to destruction, And honorable men from their bed:
VERSE 7. Who heard rebuke in Sinai, And judgments of vengeance in Horeb:
VERSE 8. Who anointed kings for retribution, And prophets to succeed after him:
KJV translation. Who was taken up in a whirlwind of fire, and in a chariot of fiery horses:
a chariot of fiery horses. The Bible describes both Enoch and Elijah as being taken body and soul into heaven without dying:
Genesis 5:24. Enoch walked with God, and he was not found, for God took him.
2 Kings 2:11. As they continued on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated them, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
Sirach 48:9. [Elijah] was taken up in a whirlwind of fire, and in a chariot of fiery horses:
Sirach 49:14. No man was created upon the earth such as was Enoch; For he was taken up from the earth.
Hebrews 11:5. By faith, Enoch was taken away, so that he wouldn’t see death, and he was not found, because God translated him. For he has had testimony given to him that before his translation he had been well pleasing to God.
Revelation 4:1. After these things I looked and saw a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, like a trumpet speaking with me, was one saying, “Come up here, and I will show you the things which must happen after this.”
Revelation 11:12. I heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” They went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies saw them.
VERSE 10. Who was recorded for reproofs in their seasons, To pacify anger, before it brake forth into wrath; To turn the heart of the father to the son, And to restore the tribes of Jacob.
turn the heart of the father to the son:
Malachi 4:6. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.
Sirach 48:10. Who was recorded for reproofs in their seasons, To pacify anger, before it brake forth into wrath; To turn the heart of the father to the son, And to restore the tribes of Jacob.
Luke 1:17. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to prepare a people prepared for the Lord.”
VERSE 11. Blessed are those who saw you, And those who have been beautified with love; For we also shall surely live.
VERSE 12. Elijah it was, who was wrapped in a tempest: And Elisha was filled with his spirit; And in all his days he was not moved by the fear of any ruler, And no one brought him into subjection.
NAB translation. During his lifetime, [Elisha] feared no one, nor was any man able to intimidate his will.
not moved by … fear. During his lifetime, Elisha feared no one. Nor was anyone able to intimidate him. He is a great hero of courage. If you’re prone to fear or intimidation, how can the Bible help you?
Zephaniah 3:13. The remnant of Israel will not do iniquity nor speak lies, neither will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth, for they will feed and lie down, and no one will make them afraid.”
VERSE 13. Nothing was too high for him; And when he was laid on sleep his body prophesied.
VERSE 14. As in his life he did wonders, So in death were his works marvelous.
VERSE 15. For all this the people repented not, And they departed not from their sins, Till they were carried away as a plunder from their land, And were scattered through all the earth; And the people was left very few in number, And a ruler was left in the house of David.
VERSE 16. Some of them did that which was pleasing to God, And some multiplied sins.
VERSE 17. Hezekiah fortified his city, And brought in water into the midst of them: He digged the sheer rock with iron, And built up wells for waters.
VERSE 18. In his days Sennacherib came up, And sent Rabshakeh, and departed; And he lifted up his hand against Sion, And boasted great things in his arrogance.
VERSE 19. Then were their hearts and their hands shaken, And they were in pain, as women in travail;
VERSE 20. And they called upon the Lord which is merciful, Spreading forth their hands to him: And the Holy One heard them speedily out of Heaven, And delivered them by the hand of Isaiah.
VERSE 21. He struck the camp of the Assyrians, And his angel utterly destroyed them.
VERSE 22. For Hezekiah did that which was pleasing to the Lord, And was strong in the ways of David his father, Which Isaiah the prophet commanded, Who was great and faithful in his vision.
the sun went backward:
Isaiah 38:8. “Behold, I will cause the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down on the sundial of Ahaz with the sun, to return backward ten steps.” So the sun returned ten steps on the sundial on which it had gone down.
VERSE 24. He saw by an excellent spirit what should come to pass at the last; And he comforted those who mourned in Sion.
VERSE 25. He showed the things that should be to the end of time, And the hidden things or ever they came.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.