The weekday Amidah consists of 19 blessings, though it originally had 18; hence the name "Shemoneh Esrei". The first three blessings and the last three constitute the permanent stock, so to speak, by framing the Amidah of every service. The middle thirteen weekday blessings are replaced on Shabbat, New Moons, and holidays by a blessing specific to the occasion, for seven total blessings.
The prescribed times for reciting the Amidah come from the times of the public tamid ("eternal") sacrifices that took place in the Temples in Jerusalem. After the Second Temple's destruction in 70 CE, the Council of Jamnia determined that the Amidah would substitute the sacrifices, directly applying Hosea's dictate, "So we will render for bullocks the offering of our lips. Thus, the Amidah must be recited during the exact time period of the day that the substituted tamid could have been offered.
The Ma'ariv service was originally optional, because it in fact does not replace a specific sacrifice, but rather the burning of ashes on the altar throughout the night (Ma'ariv has since been accepted as obligatory). Similarly, Maariv's Amidah is not repeated by the hazzan (reader), but all other Amidot are repeated.
On Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh, and other Jewish holidays there is a musaf ("Additional") Amidah to replace the additional communal sacrifices of these days. On Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), a fifth public recitation, Ne'ilah, is added to replace another sacrifice offered especially on that day.
All the Amidas, and particularly the Musaf Amidas, mention the sacrifices, as well as prayers for their future restoration and the meantime acceptance of prayer in their stead.
The repetition's original purpose was to give illiterate members of the congregation a chance to be included in the chazzan's Amidah by answering "Amen."
Conservative and Reform congregations sometimes abbreviate the public recitation of the Amidah by saying it once, with the first three blessings said out loud and the remainder silently. This abridged style, commonly referred to as (הויכע קדושה) "heikhe kedusha," is also performed within Orthodox Judaism in certain circumstances. It is usually used to lead into the Silent Prayer.
Also, according to Halakhah, the first blessing of the Amidah must be said with intention; if said by rote alone, the worshipper must go back and repeat it with intention. The Rema wrote that this is no longer necessary, because "modern" (he lived in the 16th century) attention spans are so short, one would not have intention the second time either. The second to last blessing of Hoda'ah also has high priority for kavanah.
The Talmud states that one who is riding an animal or sitting in a boat (or by modern extension, flying in an airplane) may recite the Amidah while seated, as the precarity of standing would disturb one's focus.
The Babylonian Talmud relates that the practice of stepping backward after the Amidah is a reminder of the practice in the Temple in Jerusalem, when those offering the daily sacrifices would walk backward from the altar after finishing. It is also compared to a student who respectfully backs away from his teacher.
The Talmud therefore states:
In following this discussion, the worshipper takes three steps back at the end of the final meditation, and says while bowing left, right, and forward, "He who makes peace in the heavens, may He make peace for us and all Israel, and let us say, Amen." Many have the custom to remain standing in place until immediately before the chazzan reaches the Kedusha, and then take three steps forward.
During certain parts of the Amidah said on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, Ashkenazi Jews traditionally go down to the floor upon their knees and make their upper body bowed over like an arch, similar to Muslims, though not exactly in the same manner. There are some variations in Ashkenazi customs as to how long one remains in this position. Some Jews among the Dor Daim and Talmidhe haRambam understand both the Mishneh Torah and the Talmudic source texts concerning bowing in the Shemoneh Esreh to be teaching that one must always bow down upon his knees, not only during the High Holy Days, but throughout the year. It is hard to know the percentage of those who hold by the latter view, the likelihood being that most who accept such a view usually only do so in private or when praying among like-minded people.
The weekday Amidah contains nineteen blessings. Each blessing ends with the signature "Blessed are you, O Lord..." and the opening blessing begins with this signature as well. The first three blessings as a section are known as the shevach ("praise"), and serve to inspire the worshipper and invoke God's mercy. The middle thirteen blessings compose the bakashah ("request"), with six personal requests, six communal requests, and a final request that God accept the prayers. The final three blessings, known as the hoda'ah ("gratitude"), thank God for the opportunity to serve Him. The shevach and hoda'ah are standard for every Amidah, with some changes on certain occasions.
The nineteen blessings are as follows:
Prior to the final blessing for peace, the following is said:
The priestly blessing is said in the reader's repetition of the Shacharit Amidah, and at the Mussaf Amidah on Shabbat and Jewish Holidays. On public fast days it is also said at Mincha; and on Yom Kippur, at Neilah. It is not said in a House of Mourning. In Orthodox and some Conservative congregations, this blessing is chanted by kohanim (direct descendants of the Aaronic priestly clan) on certain occasions. In Ashkenazic practice, the priestly blessing is chanted by kohanim on Jewish Holidays in the Diaspora, and daily in the Land of Israel. In Yemenite Jewish synagogues and some Sephardi synagogues, kohanim chant the priestly blessing daily, even outside of Israel.
The custom has gradually developed of reciting, at the conclusion of the latter, the supplication with which Mar, the son of Rabina, used to conclude his prayer:
My God, keep my tongue and my lips from speaking deceit, and to them that curse me let my soul be silent, and like dust to all. Open my heart in Your Torah, and after [in] Thy commandments let me [my soul] pursue. As for those that think evil of [against] me speedily thwart their counsel and destroy their plots. Do [this] for Thy name's sake, do this for Thy right hand's sake, do this for the sake of Thy holiness, do this for the sake of Thy Torah. That Thy beloved ones may rejoice, let Thy right hand bring on help [salvation] and answer me... May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Eternal, my rock and my redeemer.
May it be your will, O my God and God of my fathers, that the Temple be rebuilt speedily in our days, and give us our portion in your Torah, and there we will worship you with reverence as in ancient days and former years. And may the Mincha offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasing to God, as in ancient days and former years.
It is also customary to add individual personal prayers as part of silent recitation of the Amidah. Rabbi Shimon enjoins praying by rote: "But rather make your prayer a request for mercy and compassion before the Ominipresent. Some authorities encourage the worshipper to say something new in his prayer every time.
The Shabbat Ma'ariv (evening), Shacharit (morning), Mussaf (additional), and Mincha (afternoon) Amidah prayers all have special forms in which the middle 13 benedictions are replaced by one, known as Kedushat haYom ("sanctity of the day"), so that each Shabbat Amidah is composed of seven benedictions. The Kedushat haYom has an introductory portion, which on Sabbath is varies for each of the four services, and short conlcuding portion, which is constant:
Our God and God of our Ancestors! Be pleased with our rest; sanctify us with Your commandments, give us a share in Your Torah, satiate us with Your bounty, and gladden us in Your salvation. Cleanse our hearts to serve You in truth: let us inherit, O Lord our God, in love and favor, Your holy Sabbath, and may Israel, who loves Your name, rest thereon. Praised are You, O Lord, who sanctifies the Sabbath.
On Sabbath eve, after the congregation has read the Amidah silently, the reader repeats aloud the Me'En Sheva', or summary of the seven blessings. The congregation then continues:
Shield of the fathers by His word, reviving the dead by His command, the holy God to whom none is like; who causeth His people to rest on His holy Sabbath-day, for in them He took delight to cause them to rest. Before Him we shall worship in reverence and fear. We shall render thanks to His name on every day constantly in the manner of the benedictions. God of the 'acknowledgments,' Lord of 'Peace,' who sanctifieth the Sabbath and blesseth the seventh [day] and causeth the people who are filled with Sabbath delight to rest as a memorial of the work in the beginning of Creation.
On festivals a special "Sanctification of the Day" prayer, made up of several sections, replaces the intermediate 13 blessings in the evening, morning, and afternoon prayers. The first section is constant:
Thou hast chosen us from all the nations, hast loved us and wast pleased with us; Thou hast lifted us above all tongues, and hast hallowed us by Thy commandments, and hast brought us, O our King, to Thy service, and hast pronounced over us Thy great and holy name.
A paragraph naming the special festival and its special character follow.
If the Sabbath coincides with it, special sections are added mentioning both the Shabbat and the festival.
The Mussaf Amidah on Rosh Hashanah is unique in that apart from the first and last 3 blessings, it contains 3 central blessings making a total of 9, compared to the normal 19 in a weekday Amidah or 7 in a Shabbat or Festival Amidah. These 3 blessings each end a section of the Amidah - which are "Malchuyot" (Kingship, and also includes the blessing for the holiness of the day as is in a normal Mussaf), "Zichronot" (Remembrance) and "Shofrot" (concerning the Shofar). Each section contains an introductory paragraph followed by selections of verses about the "topic". The verses are 3 from the Torah, 3 from the Ketuvim, 3 from the Nevi'im, and one more from the Torah. During the repetition of the Amidah, the Shofar is sounded (except on Shabbat) after the blessing that ends each section.
The Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism has devised two forms for the Mussaf Amidah with varying degrees of difference from the Orthodox form. One version refers to the prescribed sacrifices, but in the past tense ("there our ancestors offered" rather than "there we shall offer"). A newer version omits references to sacrifices entirely.
In the ninth blessing of the weekday Amidah, the words "dew and rain" are inserted during the winter season in the Land of Israel. This season is defined as beginning on the 60th day after the autumnal equinox (usually December 4) and ending on Passover. In the Land of Israel, however, the season begins on the 7th of Cheshvan. The Sepharadi and Yemenite Jewish rituals, as opposed to just adding the words "dew and rain" during the winter, have two distinct versions of the ninth blessing. During the dry season, the blessing has this form:
Bless us, our Father, in all the work of our hands, and bless our year with gracious, blessed, and kindly dews: be its outcome life, plenty, and peace as in the good years, for Thou, O Eternal, are good and does good and blesses the years. Blessed be Thou, O Eternal, who blesses the years.
In the rainy season, the phraseology is changed to read:
Bless upon us, O Eternal our God, this year and all kinds of its produce for goodness, and bestow dew and rain for blessing on all the face of the earth; and make abundant the face of the world and fulfil the whole of Thy goodness. Fill our hands with Thy blessings and the richness of the gifts of Thy hands. Preserve and save this year from all evil and from all kinds of destroyers and from all sorts of punishments: and establish for it good hope and as its outcome peace. Spare it and have mercy upon it and all of its harvest and its fruits, and bless it with rains of favor, blessing, and generosity; and let its issue be life, plenty, and peace as in the blessed good years; for Thou, O Eternal, are good and does good and blesses the years. Blessed be Thou, O Eternal, who blesses the years.
Moreover, the signatures of two blessings are changed to reflect the days' heightened recognition of God's sovereignty. In the third blessing, the signature "Blessed are You, O Lord, the Holy God" is replaced with "Blessed are You, O Lord, the Holy King." On weekdays, the signature of the eleventh blessing is changed from "Blessed are You, O Lord, King who loves justice and judgement" to "Blessed are You, O Lord, the King of judgement."
At Minchah, the chazzan adds Aneinu in his repetition again, as at Shacharit. In addition, during the silent Amidah, all fasting congregatants recite the text of Aneinu without its signature in the blessing of Tefillah. In addition, communities that say the shortened version of the Shalom blessing at Minchah and Maariv say the complete version at this Minchah. The chazzan also says the priestly blessing before Shalom as he would at Shacharit, unlike the usual weekday Minchah when the priestly blessing is not said.
On Tisha B'Av at Minchah, Ashkenazim add a prayer that begins Nachem ("Console...") to the conclusion of the blessing Binyan Yerushalayim, elaborating on the mournful state of the Temple in Jerusalem. The concluding signature of the blessing is also extended to say "Blessed are You, O Lord, Who consoles Zion and builds Jerusalem."
According to the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, the language of the "Tefillah" most likely comes from the mishnaic period, both before and after the destruction of the Temple, as the probable time of its composition and compilation. In the time of the Mishnah, it was considered unnecessary to prescribe its text and content. This may have been simply because the language was well known to the Mishnah's authors. (Maimonides on Men. iv. 1b, quoted by Elbogen, "Gesch. des Achtzehngebetes"). The Mishnah may also not have recorded a specific text because of an aversion to making prayer a matter of rigor and fixed formula. This aversion continued at least to some extent throughout the Talmudic period, as evidenced by the opinions of R. Eliezer (Talmud Ber. 28a) and R. Simeon ben Yohai (Ab. ii. 13). R. Jose held that one should include something new in one's prayer every day (Talmud Yerushalmi Ber. 8b), a principle said to have been carried into practice by R. Eleazar and R. Abbahu (ib.). Prayer was not to be read as one would read a letter (ib.).
The Talmud names Simeon ha-Pa?oli as the editor of the collection in the academy of R. Gamaliel II. at Jabneh. (Ber. 28b). But this can not mean that the benedictions were unknown before that date; for in other passages the "Shemoneh 'Esreh" is traced to the "first wise men" (; Sifre, Deut. 343), and again to "120 elders and among these a number of prophets" (Meg. 17b). This latter opinion harmonizes with the usual assumption that the "men of the Great Synagogue" arranged and instituted the prayer services (Ber.33a). In order to remove the discrepancies between the latter and the former assignment of editorship, the Talmud takes refuge in the explanation that the prayers had fallen into disuse, and that Gamaliel reinstituted them (Meg. 18a).
The historical kernel in these conflicting reports seems to be the indubitable fact that the benedictions date from the earliest days of the Pharisaic Synagogue. They were at first spontaneous outgrowths of the efforts to establish the Pharisaic Synagogue in opposition to, or at least in correspondence with, the Sadducean Temple service. This is apparent from the haggadic endeavor to connect the stated times of prayer with the sacrificial routine of the Temple, the morning and the afternoon "Tefillah" recalling the constant offerings (Ber. 26b; Gen. R. lxviii.), while for the evening "Tefillah" recourse was had to artificial comparison with the sacrificial portions consumed on the altar during the night.
R. Gamaliel II. undertook finally both to fix definitely the public service and to regulate private devotion. He directed Simeon ha-Pakoli to edit the benedictions-probably in the order they had already acquired-and made it a duty, incumbent on every one, to recite the prayer three times daily.
According to the Talmud Gamaliel directed Samuel ha-Katan to write another paragraph against informers and heretics making the number nineteen (Ber. iv. 3; see Grätz, "Gesch." 3d ed., iv. 30 et seq.). This addition is the 12th prayer in the modern sequence.
The most recent known change to the text of the standard daily Amidah by an authority accepted by Orthodox Judaism was done by the Arizal in the Sixteenth Century CE. He formulated a text of the Amidah which seems to be a fusion of the Ashkenazi and Sepharadi text in accordance with his understanding of Kabbalah. Following the establishment of the State of Israel and the reunification of Jerusalem, some Orthodox authorities proposed changes to the special Nachem ("Console...") prayer commemorating the destruction of Jerusalem added to the Amidah on Tisha B'av in light of these events.
Conservative and Reform Judaism have altered the text to varying degrees to bring it into alignment with their view of modern needs and sensibilities. Conservative Judaism retains the traditional number and time periods during which the Amidah must be said, while omitting explicit supplications for restoration of the sacrifices. Reconstructionist and Reform Judaism, consistent with their views that the rhythm of the ancient sacrifices should no longer drive modern Jewish prayer, often omit some of the Amidah prayers, such as the Mussaf, omit temporal requirements, and omit references to the Temple and its sacrifices.
Reform Judaism has changed the first benediction, traditionally invoking the phrase "God of our Fathers, God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob," one of the Biblical names of God. New editions of the Reform siddur explicitly say avoteinu v'imoteinu ("our fathers and our mothers"), and Reform and some Conservative congregations amend the second invocation to "God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob; God of Sarah, God of Rebekah, God of Leah, and God of Rachel."
Liberal branches of Judaism make some additional changes to the opening benedictions. the phrase umeivi go'eil ("and brings a redeemer") is changed in Reform Judaism to umeivi ge'ulah ("who brings redemption"), replacing the personal messiah with a Messianic Age. The phrase m'chayei hameitim ("who causes the dead to come to life") is replaced in the Reform and Reconstructionist siddurim with m'chayei hakol ("who gives life to all") and m'chayei kol chai ("who gives life to all life"), respectively. This represents a turn away from the traditional article of faith that God will resurrect the dead.
Prayer 17, Avodah. asks God to restore the Temple services, build a Third Temple, and restore sacrificial worship. The concluding meditation ends with an additional prayer for the restoration of Temple worship. Both prayers have been modified within the siddur of Conservative Judaism, so that although they still ask for the restoration of the Temple, they remove the explicit plea for the resumption of sacrifices. (Some Conservative congregations remove the concluding silent prayer for the Temple entirely.) The Reform siddur also modifies this prayer, eliminating all reference to the Temple service and replacing the request for the restoration of the Temple with "God who is near to all who call upon you, turn to your servants and be gracious to us; pour your spirit upon us."
Many Reform congregations will often conclude with either Sim Shalom or Shalom Rav. Once either of those prayers are chanted or sung, many congregations proceed to a variation on the mishaberach (typically the version popularized by Debbie Friedman), the traditional prayer for healing, followed by silent prayer, and then a resumption of the service.
Conservative Judaism is divided on the role of the Mussaf Amidah. More traditional Conservative congregations recite a prayer similar to the Mussaf prayer in Orthodox services, except they refer to Temple sacrifices only in the past tense and do not include a prayer for the restoration of the sacrifices. More liberal Conservative congregations omit references to the Temple sacrifices entirely. Reconstructionist and Reform congregations generally do not do the Mussaf Amidah at all, but if they do, they omit all references to Temple worship.
The following analysis may indicate the Biblical passages underlying the Amidah.
Benediction No. i.: "Blessed be Thou, our God and the God of our fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" recalls Ex. iii. 15 (comp. Mek., Bo, 16). "The high God," Gen. xiv. 19. God "great, mighty, and awe-inspiring," Deut. x. 17 (comp. Ber. 33b; Soṭah 69b). "Creator of all," Gen. xiv. 19. "Bringing a redeemer," Isa. lix. 20. "Shield of Abraham," Ps. vii. 11; xviii. 3, 36; lxxxiv. 10; Gen. xv. 1.
No. ii.: "Supportest the falling," Ps. cxlv. 14. "Healest the sick," Ex. xv. 26. "Settest free the captives," Ps. cxlvi. 7. "Keepest his faith" = "keepeth truth forever," ib. cxlvi. 6 (comp. Dan. xii. 2). "Killing and reviving," I Sam. ii. 6.
No. iii.: "Thou art holy," Ps. xxii. 4. "The holy ones," ib. xvi. 3. "[They shall] praise Thee" = sing the "Hallel" phrase, which is a technical Psalm term and hence followed by Selah No. iv.: "Thou graciously vouchsafest" is a typical Psalm idiom, the corresponding verb occurring perhaps more than 100 times in the psalter. "Understanding," Isa. xxix. 23; Jer. iii. 15; Ps. xciv. 10. No. v.: "Repentance," Isa. vi. 10, 13; lv. 7. No. vi.: "Pardon," ib. lv. 7. No. vii.: "Behold our distress," Ps. ix. 14, xxv. 18, cix. 153. "Fight our fight," ib. xxxv. 1, xliii. 1, lxxiv. 22. "And redeem us," ib. cix. 154 (comp. Lam. iii. 58). No. viii.: "Heal," Jer. xvii. 14 (comp. ib. xxx. 17). Maimonides' reading, "all of our sicknesses," is based on Ps. ciii. 3. No. ix.: Compare ib. lxv. 5, 12; ciii. 5; Jer. xxxi. 14. No. x.: "Gather our exiles," Isa. xi. 12, xxvii. 13, xliii. 5, xlv. 20, lx. 9; Jer. li. 27; Deut. xxx. 4; Mic. iv. 6; Ps. cxlvii. 2. No. xi.: "Reestablish our judges," Isa. i. 26. "In loving-kindness and mercy," Hos. ii. 21. "King who lovest righteousness and justice," Ps. xxxiii. 5, xcix. 4; Isa. lxi. 8 (comp. also Isa. xxxv. 10, li. 11; Ps. cxlvi. 10). No. xii.: The expression "zedim" is a very familiar one of almost technical significance in the "Psalms of the poor" (for other expressions compare Ps. lxxxi. 15; Isa. xxv. 5). No. xiii.: For some of the words of this benediction compare Jer. xxxi. 20; Isa. lxiii. 15; Ps. xxii. 6, xxv. 2, lxxi. 5, cxliii. 8; Eccl. vi. 9. No. xiv.: Zech. viii. 3; Ps. cxlvii. 2, lxxxix. 36-37, cxxii. 5. No. xv.: Hos. iii. 5; Isa. lvi. 7; Ps. l. 23, cxii. 9; Gen. xlix. 18; Ps. lxxxix. 4, 18, 21, 26; xxv. 5; Ezek. xxix. 21, xxxiv. 23; Ps. cxxxii. 17; Jer. xxiii. 5, xxxiii. 15; Ps. cxxxii. 10. No. xvi.: Ps. lxv. 3. No. xvii.: Mic. iv. 11. No. xviii.: I Chron. xxix. 13; II Sam. xxii. 36; Ps. lxxix. 13; Lam. iii. 22; Ps. xxxviii. 6 (on the strength of which was printed the emendation "Ha-Mufḳadot" for the "Ha-Peḳudot"); Jer. x. 6. No. xix.: Ps. xxix. 10; Num. vi. 27; Mic. vi. 8; Ps. cix. 165, cxxv. 5.
Analogies in Ben Sira Verse 1: "God of all" recalls benediction No. i., while 1b is the key-note of the prayer for Rosh ha-Shanah. Verse 2 contains the word = benediction No. ii. Verse 3 is a summary of the "Kedushah" = benediction No. iii. Verse 4 explains the knowledge asked for in No. iv. Verse 6 accounts for the petition against the enemy, No. xii. Verse 7 is the prayer for the exiles, No. x. Verse 8 is the content of the prayer in behalf of the pious, No. xiii. Verse 9 is the prayer for Jerusalem, No. xiv. Verse 10 recalls No. xvii. Verse 11 is clearly related to both Nos. xvi. and xix.
Another line begins "Hasten the end-time," which may, by its Messianic implication, suggest benediction No. xv. ("the sprout of David").
If this construction of Ben Sira's prayer is admissible, many of the benedictions must be assigned to the Maccabean era, though most scholars have regardedthem as posterior to the destruction of the Temple. Instead of for the "judges," Ben Sira prays for the reestablishment of God's "judgments," in open allusion to the Exodus (Ex. xii. 12; Num. xxxiii. 4; Ezek. xxv. 11, from which verse he borrows the name "Moab" as a designation of the enemy in the prayer).
Apocrypha of Ben Sira
No. iv.: "Thou graciously vouchsafest" is a typical Psalm idiom, the corresponding verb occurring perhaps more than 100 times in the psalter. "Understanding," Isa. xxix. 23; Jer. iii. 15; Ps. xciv. 10.
No. v.: "Repentance," Isa. vi. 10, 13; lv. 7.
No. vi.: "Pardon," ib. lv. 7.
No. vii.: "Behold our distress," Ps. ix. 14, xxv. 18, cix. 153. "Fight our fight," ib. xxxv. 1, xliii. 1, lxxiv. 22. "And redeem us," ib. cix. 154 (comp. Lam. iii. 58).
No. viii.: "Heal," Jer. xvii. 14 (comp. ib. xxx. 17). Maimonides' reading, "all of our sicknesses," is based on Ps. ciii. 3.
No. ix.: Compare ib. lxv. 5, 12; ciii. 5; Jer. xxxi. 14.
No. x.: "Gather our exiles," Isa. xi. 12, xxvii. 13, xliii. 5, xlv. 20, lx. 9; Jer. li. 27; Deut. xxx. 4; Mic. iv. 6; Ps. cxlvii. 2.
No. xi.: "Reestablish our judges," Isa. i. 26. "In loving-kindness and mercy," Hos. ii. 21. "King who lovest righteousness and justice," Ps. xxxiii. 5, xcix. 4; Isa. lxi. 8 (comp. also Isa. xxxv. 10, li. 11; Ps. cxlvi. 10).
No. xii.: The expression "zedim" is a very familiar one of almost technical significance in the "Psalms of the poor" (for other expressions compare Ps. lxxxi. 15; Isa. xxv. 5).
No. xiii.: For some of the words of this benediction compare Jer. xxxi. 20; Isa. lxiii. 15; Ps. xxii. 6, xxv. 2, lxxi. 5, cxliii. 8; Eccl. vi. 9.
No. xiv.: Zech. viii. 3; Ps. cxlvii. 2, lxxxix. 36-37, cxxii. 5.
No. xv.: Hos. iii. 5; Isa. lvi. 7; Ps. l. 23, cxii. 9; Gen. xlix. 18; Ps. lxxxix. 4, 18, 21, 26; xxv. 5; Ezek. xxix. 21, xxxiv. 23; Ps. cxxxii. 17; Jer. xxiii. 5, xxxiii. 15; Ps. cxxxii. 10.
No. xvi.: Ps. lxv. 3.
No. xvii.: Mic. iv. 11.
No. xviii.: I Chron. xxix. 13; II Sam. xxii. 36; Ps. lxxix. 13; Lam. iii. 22; Ps. xxxviii. 6 (on the strength of which was printed the emendation "Ha-Mufḳadot" for the "Ha-Peḳudot"); Jer. x. 6.
No. xix.: Ps. xxix. 10; Num. vi. 27; Mic. vi. 8; Ps. cix. 165, cxxv. 5.
Analogies in Ben Sira
Verse 1: "God of all" recalls benediction No. i., while 1b is the key-note of the prayer for Rosh ha-Shanah.
Verse 2 contains the word = benediction No. ii.
Verse 3 is a summary of the "Kedushah" = benediction No. iii.
Verse 4 explains the knowledge asked for in No. iv.
Verse 6 accounts for the petition against the enemy, No. xii.
Verse 7 is the prayer for the exiles, No. x.
Verse 8 is the content of the prayer in behalf of the pious, No. xiii.
Verse 9 is the prayer for Jerusalem, No. xiv.
Verse 10 recalls No. xvii.
Verse 11 is clearly related to both Nos. xvi. and xix. Another line begins "Hasten the end-time," which may, by its Messianic implication, suggest benediction No. xv. ("the sprout of David"). If this construction of Ben Sira's prayer is admissible, many of the benedictions must be assigned to the Maccabean era, though most scholars have regardedthem as posterior to the destruction of the Temple.
Instead of for the "judges," Ben Sira prays for the reestablishment of God's "judgments," in open allusion to the Exodus (Ex. xii. 12; Num. xxxiii. 4; Ezek. xxv. 11, from which verse he borrows the name "Moab" as a designation of the enemy in the prayer).