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Sirach 39

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;

Who aheedetha bthe discoursesb of men of renown,

And centerethc dinto the deep things of parablesd;

Searcheth out ethe hidden meaninge of proverbs,

And fis conversantf gwith the dark sayings of parablesg;

hWho serveth among great men,

And appeareth before princesh;

Who travelleth ithrough the lands of the peoplesi,

jTestethj good and evil among men;

Who is careful kto seekk lunto his Makerl,

And mbeforem the Most High nentreateth mercyn;

S(G) Who openeth his mouth in prayer,

And omaketh supplicationo for his sins.

pIfp qit seem good to God Most Highq,

rHe shall be filledr with the spirit of understanding.

sHe himself poureth forth wise sayings in double measures,

And giveth thanks tunto the Lord in prayert.

He himself udirectethu vcounsel and knowledgev,

wAnd setteth his mindw on xtheirx secrets.

He himself declareth ywise instructiony,

And glorieth in the law zof the Lordz.

His understanding many do praise,

aAnda never shall bhis nameb be blotted out:

His memory cshall not ceasec,

And his name shall live from generation to generation.

H 10 d eHis wisdome doth fthe congregationf tell forth,

And ghis praiseg the assembly publisheth.

S(G) 11 hIf he live longh, ihe shall be accounted happyi more than a thousand;

And when he cometh to an end, jhis name sufficethj.

(d) Appendix. 39:12–35. Hymn in praise of creation

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

12 kYet again will I fix my thoughts and [make my doctrine to shine forth]k,

lAs the full moon on the twelfth dayl.

S (G) 13 Hearken unto me, mye piousm, and nyour flesh shall grown,

oLike the cedaro that is planted pby streams of waterp.

14 qYour scent shall be sweet as Lebanonq,

rAnd ye shall put forth blossoms as the lilyr.

sLift up your voices and tsing togethert,

uAndu vblessv the Lord for all His works.

15 wO magnify His name,

And acknowledge Him with praisew,

HB xWith songs of the harpx yand of stringed instrumentsy;

And zthus shall ye sayz, awith a shouta:

16 The works of God bare all goodb,

cAnd supply every need in its seasonc.

17 (21 c) ccNone may say: This is worse than that;

(21 d)  For everything availeth in its seasoncc.

d(By His word) He ordereth (the luminaries in the heavenly height)d,

eAnd by the utterance of His mouth in His treasurye.

HB 18 fIn His place (?) His good pleasure attaineth its endf,

And there is no grestraintg to His deliverance.

19 hThe worksh of all flesh are before Him,

And there is nothing hid from before His eyes.

20 iFrom everlasting to everlasting He beholdethi,

jAnd there is nothing small or petty with Him;

Is there limit (?) to His deliverance?j

There is nothing too wonderful or hard for Him.

k 21 (a) None may say: lWherefore is thisl?

21 (b)  For everything mis selected for its usem.

22 nHis blessingn overfloweth as the Nile,

And osaturatetho the world plike the Riverp.

23 qEven so His wrath dispossesseth nationsq,

And He turneth a watered land into salt.

24 rHis pathsr sare plain for the blamelesss;

Even so tthey offer obstaclest uto the presumptuousu.

HB 25 Good things for the goodv hath He allottedv from the beginning;

Even so to the evil wgood and evilw.

26 x(The chief of all the necessaries)x of life for man

Are water and fire, and iron and salt,

xxThe fat of wheatxx, milk and honey,

The blood of the grape, oil and clothing.

27 All these prove good to the good—

Even so for the evil they are turned yto evily.

28 zThere are (winds) which are formed (for punishment)z,

a(And in their fury)a bremove moun(tains)b.

G (S) cIn the season of destruction they pour out their force,

And appease the spirit of their creatorc.

HB 29 Fire and hail, d[famine]d and pestilence—

These also are formed for judgement.

30 eBeasts of preye, scorpions and vipers,

And the avenging sword to exterminate the wicked—

fAll these are created for their uses,

And are in the treasure-house (ready) to be requisitioned in due timef:

31 When He giveth them the command they rejoice,

And gin their prescribed tasksg disobey not His behest.

32 Therefore from the beginning hI was assuredh,

And when I had considered it I set it down in writing:

HB 33 iThe worksi of God are all good,

jThey supplyj every need in its season.

34 None may say: This is worse than that;

For everything kavailethk in its season.

35 And now ring out lwhole-heartedlyl

And praise the name of the Holy One!

(a) 40:1–17. The woes of humanity and the destruction of evil

(= 3 + 3 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 distichs).

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