Sirach 18

18 He that liveth for ever createda all things togetherb.

The Lord alone cshall be justifiedc.

4 d eWho is sufficiente to declare His works,

And who can trace outf His mighty deeds?

G gWho can declare the might of His majesty,

And ggwho can recountgg Hish merciesi?

No man can take (from them) nor add (to them),

Nor can any one trace out the marvellous acts of the Lordg.

When a man hath finished, then doth he but begin,

And when he ceaseth, he is in perplexity.

What is man, mand what profit is there of himm?

What is the good of him, and what is the evil?

The number of man’s days

Is great (if it reach) an hundred yearsn.

10 oAs a drop of watero from the sea, or asp a grainq of sand,

qqSo are r(man’s) fewr years in the eternal dayss qq.

11 Therefore is the Lord longsuffering towards them,

And poureth out His mercy upon them.

12 tHe seethu and knowetht that their endv is evil,

Therefore doth He multiply His forgivenessw.

13 The mercy of man is (exercised upon) his own kinx,

But the mercy of Gody is (extended) to all fleshz,

Reproving, and chastening, and teachinga,

And bringing them back as a shepherd his flock.

14 bHe hath mercy on them that accept (His) chasteningb,

And that cdiligently seek afterc His judgements.

(f) 18:15–18. The right spirit in giving

(= 2 + 2 distichs).

15 ccMy son, dbring noe blemish on thy good deedsd,

fNor in (giving) any giftg (cause) grief through wordsf;

G 16 hJust ash the raini maketh the burning heat to cease;

kSo a word changethl (the character of) a giftk.

17 mFor there is a good word which is better than a giftm,

And both belong to a saintlyn man.

18 A fool upbraideth ungraciouslyo,

And the gift of an enviousp man consumethq the eyes.

(g) 18:19–29. The need of foresight and preparation in view of many things which happen to men; this is true Wisdom

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

S 19 rBefore thou fight, seek thee a helperr;

sBefore thou art ill, seek thee a physicians.

G 20 tBefore judgement uexamine thyselfu t,

And in the vhour of visitationv thou shalt find forgivenessw.

21 Before thou fallx, yhumble thyselfy,

And zin the time ofz (committing) sins, ashow forth repentancea.

22 Delay notb cto pay thy vow in due timec,

dAnd wait not till death to be justifiedd.

HA 23 eBefore thou vowest, prepare thy vowsee,

And be not as one fthat tempteth Godf e.

G 24 Think of the wrath in the glatter dayg,

And (when), in the time of vengeance, He turneth away His face.

25 Remember hthe time of famineh in the timei of fullness,

And poverty and want in the days of wealth.

26 From morning until evening the time changeth,

And all thingsk haste onl before the Lord.

27 mA wise man is discreetn in all thingso m,

And in days of sinning pkeepeth himself from offencep.

S 28 qEvery wise man teachethr wisdoms,

tAnd they who know her must give thankst q.

G 29 They that are wise in wordsu also show that they are wise,

vIn that they pour forth apt proverbsv.

(a) 18:30–19:3. An Exhortation to Self-control in all things

(= 2 + 3 + 2 distichs).

30 wMy sonx, follow not the lusts of thy soulyp>y,

And refrain thyself zfrom its desirez.

S 31 aIf thou fulfil the desire of thy soul,

Thou wilt be like him that fulfilleth his enemy’s wisha.

HC 32 bDelight not thyself in overmuch luxury,

cFor double is the poverty thereofc.

33 Be not a squanderer and a drunkard,

Else there will be nothing in thy pursed.

Read more