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Sirach 38:1–39:1

jCultivatej the physician kin accordance with the need of himk,

HB For him also hath God ordained.

HB It is from God that lthe physician getteth wisdoml,

And from the king he receiveth mgiftsm.

The skill of the physician lifteth up his head,

nAnd he may stand before noblesn.

God ohath createdo medicines out of the earth,

And let not a discerning man reject them.

Was not pthe waterp made sweet qby the woodq,

rThat He might make known to all men His powerr?

And He gave men discernment,

That they might glory sin His mighty workss.

tBy means of them the physician assuageth paint,

And likewise uthe apothecary prepareth a confectionu:

HB That His work may not cease,

vNor healthv wfrom the face of His earthw.

My son, xin sicknessx ybe not negligenty;

Pray unto God, for He can healz.

10 a[Turn] from iniquity, and [purify thy hands]a;

And from all btransgressionsb cleanse thy heart.

11 c d[Give a meal-offering with] a memoriald,

eAnd offer a fat sacrificee fto the utmost of thy meansf.

12 gAnd to the physician also give a placeg;

Nor should he be far awayh, for of him there is need.

13 For there is a time when successful help is in his power;

14  For he also maketh supplication to God,

iTo make his diagnosis successfuli,

And the treatment, jthat it may promote recoveryj.

15 He that sinneth before his Maker

kShall be delivered into the handsk of the physician.

(b) 38:16–23. On mourning for the dead

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

HB 16 lMy son, mlet tears fallm over the dead;

nShow thy griefn and wail out thy lamentation.

In accordance with what is due to him bury his body,

oAnd hide not thyselfo pwhen he expiresp.

17 qLet thy weeping be bitter and thy wailing passionateq;

And make mourning such as befits him:

A day or two on account of rgossipr

And be consoled son account of (thy) [sorrow]s.

18 tFor out of sorrowt proceedeth ubaneu;

vEven sov wsadness of heartw x[prostrateth] vigourx.

S y19 z[Worse than death is abiding sorrow],

G(S) And an unfortunate life is cursed by the heartz.

HB 20 aAnd let him no more occupy thy thoughtsa:

bDismiss the remembrance of him, and remember the endb.

HB 21 c dRemember him not, for he hath no hoped;

Thou canst not profit him, while thou harmest thyself.

22 cRemember his doom, for it is the doom of thyself—

eHise yesterday, and thine to-day!

23 fWhen the dead is at rest, let his memory restf;

And be consoled when his soul departeth.

(a) 38:24–30. The superiority of the scribe over the labourer and artisan

(= 1 + 3 + 3 + 4 + 4 distichs).

24 The wisdom of the scribe gincreaseth wisdomg,

And hhe that hath little businessh can become wise.

25 How can he become wise that holdeth ithe goadi,

And glorieth jin brandishing the lancej?

H kWho leadeth cattlek land turneth about oxenl,

mAnd whose discoursem is with bullocks?

26 mmHe is careful nto harrow [the seed-strip]n,

And his anxiety is oto complete the provendero.

27 pLikewise the maker of carving and cunning devicep,

Who by night as by day qhath no restq;

rWho engraveth signet-engravingsr,

sAnd whose art it is to make variety of designs;

He is careful tto make the likeness truet,

And his anxiety is to complete his work.

G(S) tt28 So also uthe smithu that sitteth vby the furnacev,

wAnd regardeth the weighty vesselsw:

The flame of the fire xcrackethx his flesh,

And with the heat of the furnace yhe glowethy;

zTo the sound of the hammer he inclineth his earz,

And to the pattern of the vessel adirectetha his eyes.

G(S) He is careful to complete his work,

And his anxiety is bto measure it off exactlyb.

S(G) 29 Likewise the potter who sitteth cat his wheelc,

dAnd driveth the vessel with the soles of his feetd;

eWho is all the time in anxiety over his worke,

fAnd all his handiwork is gby numbergf;

30 hHis arms are cracked by the clayh,

iAnd [before old age] he is bent and bowedi;

He is careful to complete jthe glazingj,

And his anxiety is kfor the heating ofk the furnace.

(b) 38:31–34. Though unfitted for the highest offices the craftsman fills an essential place

(= 2 + 2 + 2 distichs).

31 All these lare deftl with their hands,

And each is wise min his handiworkm.

32 Without them a city cannot be inhabited,

n* And wherever they dwell they hunger notn.

33 oBut they shall not be inquired of for public counselo,

And in the assembly pthey enjoy no precedencep.

S(G) qOn the seat of the judge they do not sit,

rAnd law and justicer they understand notq.

sThey do not expounds tthe instruction of wisdomt,

ttNor understand the proverbs of the wisett;

34 uBut they understand the work [they have wrought]u,

And vtheir thoughtv is on the practice of their craft.

(c) 39:1–11. The ideal scribe described

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

39 Not so he that applieth himself wto the fear of Godw,

xAnd to set his mindx upon the Law of the Most High;

Who searcheth out the wisdom of all the ancients,

And yis occupiedy zwith the prophets of oldz;

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