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Sirach 34

34S aHe who seeketh vanity findeth delusion,a

G bAnd dreams elate foolsb.

As one catching at a shadow cand pursuing the windc,

So is dhe that trustethd ein dreamsc.

S fAlike are mirror and dreamf,

gThe likeness of a face opposite a faceg.

hFrom the unclean what can be cleanh,

And from the false what can be true?

Divinations and soothsayings and dreams are vain;

Even ias thou hopest (so) seeth thy hearti.

S iIf they be not sent from the Most High providentiallyj,

Do thou pay them no heed.

kFor many there are that have been led astray by dreamsk,

G lAnd through placing their hopes thereon have fallenl.

mWithout deceit shall the Law be fulfilledm,

nAnd wisdom is perfect in a mouth that is faithfuln.

(b) 34:9–17 (31:9–20). The practical value of true Wisdom

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

oAn (experienced man) knoweth much,

And (one that is well versed)o pdeclareth understandingp.

10 He that is without experience knoweth little,

(11) But qthe well-versedq hath much rskillr.

G 11(12) sIn my journeyings I have seen much,

S tAnd many things have befallen met.

12(13) Often was I in danger even unto death,

But was preserved ubecause of these thingsu.

13(14) vThe spirit of those that fear the Lord remaineth alivev,

(15) wFor their hope is upon Him that saves themw.

14(16) xHe that feareth the Lord is afraid of ynothingy,

And doth not lose courage—for He is his hope.

15(17) Of him that feareth the Lord—happy the soul!

(18) On whom doth he trust? And who is his stayz?

16(19) The eyes of the Lord are upon athem that fear Hima,

b A mighty shield, and strong stayb,

cA cover from scorching Siroccoc, da shadow from noontide heatd,

e A guard from stumblinge, and a succour from falling,

17(20) Heart-gladdenerf and eye-brightener,

gHealing, life, and blessingg!

(c) 34:18–26 (31:21–31). Unacceptable sacrifice

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

18(21) hThe sacrifice of the unrighteous man is a mocking offeringh,

(22) And unacceptable are ithe oblationsi of the godless.

G(S) 19(23) The Most High hath no pleasure in the offerings of the ungodly,

jNeither doth He forgive sins for a multitude of sacrificesj.

20(24) k(As) one that killeth the son before the father’s eyes

Is he that offereth a sacrifice from the goods of the poork.

21(25) lA scanty bread is the life of the poorl:

mHe that depriveth him thereofm is na man of bloodn.

22(26) oHe slayeth his neighbour who taketh away his livingo,

(27) p And a blood-shedder is he that depriveth the hireling of his hirep.

23(28) One building qand anotherq pulling down—

What have they gained but remptyr toil?

24(29) One sprayings and tanothert cursing—

To whose voice shall uthe Lordu listen?

25(30) He who washeth after (contact with) a dead body vand toucheth it againv,

wWhat hath he gained by his bathingw?

G(S) 26(31) So a man fasting for his sins

And again doing the same—

xWho will listen to his prayer?

And what hath he gained yby his humiliationy x.

(d) z35:1–11 (32:1–13). Acceptable sacrifice

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

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