Sirach 16

16 aDesire not the sightb of unprofitable sons,

And delight not in corrupt children;

Yea, and if they care fruitfulc, exult not because of them

If they have no fear of the Lord.

Trust not thou in their life,

dNor rely on their eende d;

HA For better is onef than a thousandg,

And to die childless than h(to have)h a presumptuous posterity.

From one thathh feareth the Lord a city is peopled,

But through a race of treacherous men it is desolatedi.

Many things like these mine eye hath seen,

And mightier things than these mine ear hath heard.

(e) 16:6–14. God’s righteous wrath against the Wicked

(= 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 2[ + 2] distichs).

In the assembly of the wicked a fire is kindled,

And in an apostate nation doth wrath burn.

He forgave not the princesk of old,

lWho revoltedm l in their might.

He spared not nthe place where Lot sojournedn,

Who were arrogant in their pride;

Nor did He spare the nation accursedo,

Dispossessed because of their sinp.

10 Thus (did it happen) to the six hundred thousand footmen,

Who were destroyed in the arrogancy of their heartq.

11 Yea, and if there be one who is stiff-necked,

A marvel it would be were he not punished.

For mercy and wrath are with Him,

He forgiveth and pardoneth, but rupon the wicked He causeth His wrath to restr.

12 As great as His mercy (is), so is His chastisements:

(Each) man doth He judge according to his works.

HA 13 The sinner shall not escape with his spoil,

And He will not suffer the desiret of the righteous to fail for ever.

14 Every one that doeth righteousness shall receive his reward,

And every man shall findu (his reward) before Him, according to his works.

15 [vThe Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh who knew Him not,

Whose works were manifest under the heavens;

16 His mercies are seen by all His creation,

And His light and His darknessw hath He apportioned unto the children of men.]v

(f) 16:17–23. Man’s insignificance in the sight of God

(= 2 + 3 + 3 + 1 distichs).

17 Say not: ‘I am hidden from God,

And in the height who will remember me?

I shall not be noticedx among so illustrious a people,

And what is my soul among the mass of the spirits yof all the children of meny?’

18 Behold the heavens and the heavens of the heavens,

And the deep, and the earthz;

19 aWhen He treadeth upon them they stand firm,

And when He visiteth them they tremblea.

bYea, the bottoms of the mountains, and the foundations of the world,

When Hec looketh upon them they tremble greatly.

HA 20 ‘In truth, unto me He will not have respect;

And as for my ways, who will mark them?cc

21 If I sin, no eye beholdeth it,

Or if I deal untruly in all secrecy, who will know it?

22 dMy righteous dealing, who declareth it?

And what hope (is there)? for the decree is distant *d e.’

23 They that lack understanding think these things,

And the man of folly thinketh this.

(a). 16:24–30. Wisdom as seen in Creation

(= 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 distichs).

24 Hearken ye unto me, and receive my wisdom,

And set your heart upon my words.

25 I will pour out my spiritf by weight,

And gby measureg will I declare my knowledge.

26 When God created His works from the beginning,

G hAfter making themh He assigned them (their) portionsi.

27 He set in order Hisk works for ever,

lAnd their authority unto their generationsl.

They hunger not, neither mare they weakm,

And they cease not from their worksn.

G 28 oNot one thrusteth aside his neighbouro,

They never disobey His word.

29 And after this the Lord looked upon the earth,

And pfilled it with His good thingsp.

30 With every living thing He filledq the earth;

rAnd into it is their returnr.

(b) 17:1–14. God’s gifts to man

(= 2 + 2 + 4 + 2 + 2 distichs).

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