3 Maccabees 2:1-20 (Common English Bible w/ Apocrypha)

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Prayer of Simon

1 aThen the high priest Simon knelt in front of the temple, extended his hands, and offered this prayer in a dignified manner: 2 “Lord, Lord, king of the heavens and master of all creation, holy among the holy ones, only ruler, almighty: Pay attention to us. We are being crushed by an evil and impure man, caught up in his own arrogance and power. 3 You are the creator of all things and the just master who rules over all. You judge those who act with violence and arrogance. 4 You destroyed those who did evil in the past, even giants. The giants trusted in their bodily strength and boldness, but you destroyed them in a great flood. 5 The people of Sodom acted arrogantly and were notorious for their wicked deeds.b You destroyed them with fire and sulfur, making them an example to others for all time. 6 When the arrogant ruler of Egypt enslaved your holy people Israel, you tested him with many, varied punishments. You made your power known; indeed, you made known your great strength. 7 When the ruler of Egypt pursued Israel with chariots and a multitude of people, you overwhelmed him with the depth of the sea. But those who trusted in you, the one who holds power over all creation—these people you brought safely through the sea. 8 And when they saw your powerful work, they praised you, the almighty. 9 “Although you, King, created the whole wide earth, you chose this city and set this place apart for your name, though you don't need anything. You made it wonderful, giving it a splendid appearance, and established its order for the reputation of your great and honored name. 10 Because you love the house of Israel, you promised that you would hear our prayer if we came to this holy place and prayed whenever we experienced a setback or were overwhelmed with distress. 11 Indeed, you are faithful and true. 12 Whenever our ancestors were hard-pressed or humiliated, you helped them and rescued them from great hardships. 13 See now, Holy King, how we are being afflicted and have been subjected to our enemies and are weakened to the point of helplessness because of our many and great sins. 14 But in the midst of our calamity this arrogant and unholy man is determined to insult the holy place dedicated on earth to your glorious name. 15 For human beings can't enter your dwelling place, the heaven of heavens. 16 But since you were pleased for your glory to rest among your people Israel, you set this place apart. 17 Don't take vengeance on us because of the impurity of these people. Don't call us to account because of their pollution, so that the lawless don't boast in their hearts or rejoice in the arrogance of their tongues, saying, 18 "We trampled the house of holiness just as the houses of idols are trampled." 19 Wipe away our sins and scatter our faults to the winds, and reveal your compassion in this hour. 20 Let your mercies quickly overtake us. Put praises in the mouths of those who are downcast and crushed in their spirits, granting us peace.
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