Wisdom of Sirach 3
1 Give heed to me, O children, for I am your father, And do what I tell you, that you may be saved.†
2 For the Lord honored the father over the children And strengthened the judgment of the mother over her sons.
3 He who honors his father atones for his sins;
4 And he who honors his mother Is like one who stores up treasure.
5 He who honors his father Will be gladdened by his own children, And when he prays, he will be heard.
6 He who honors his father will have a long life, And he who obeys the Lord will give rest to his mother;
7 And he will serve his parents as his masters.
8 Honor your father and mother in word and deed, That a blessing may come upon you from him.
9 For the blessing of a father establishes the houses of the children, But the curse of a mother uproots their foundations.
10 Do not glory in the dishonor of your father, For your father’s dishonor is no glory to you.
11 For the glory of a man is from the honor of his father, And it is a disgrace for children to dishonor their mother.
12 My son, help your father in his old age, And do not grieve him in his life;
13 And if his understanding fails, be considerate, And do not dishonor him in your prime.
14 For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, And it will be credited to you instead of your sins.
15 It will be remembered in the day of your affliction; Thus your sins will melt away like frost in warm weather.
16 He who forsakes his father is like a blasphemer, And he who provokes his mother to wrath is cursed by God.
Wisdom at Work
17 My son, accomplish your works with gentleness, And you will be loved by people the Lord accepts.
18 The greater you are, the more humble you must be, And you will find grace before the Lord;†
19 Because great is the power of the Lord, And He is honored by the humble.
20 Do not seek things too difficult for you, Nor examine what is beyond your strength.†
21 Think about what is commanded you, For you do not need what the Lord keeps hidden.
22 Do not meddle in what is none of your business, For things beyond human insight have been shown to you.
23 Speculation has led many astray, And evil suppositions have caused their minds to slip and fall.
Keep a Soft Heart
24 A hard heart will suffer ruin in the end, And he who loves danger will perish in it.†
25 A hard heart will be weighed down with pains, And the sinner will add sin to sin.
26 There is no healing to aid an arrogant man, For a plant of evil has taken root in him.
27 The heart of an intelligent man will ponder a parable, And the ear of a pupil is a wise man’s desire.
18 Let sinners be turned back into Hades, And all the nations who forget God.
19 For the poor man shall not be forgotten in the end; The patience of the poor shall not perish forever.
20 Arise, O Lord, and do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged in Your presence.
21 Set a lawgiver over them, O Lord, And let the nations know that they are men. (Pause)
22 Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You disregard me in times of affliction?
23 When the ungodly man behaves arrogantly, the poor are set afire; Let him be caught in the counsels he ponders.
24 For the sinner praises himself in the desires of his soul, And the unjust man blesses himself.
25 The sinner provokes the Lord; He will not seek Him out because of the fullness of His wrath; God is not before him.
26 His ways are defiled in every season; Your judgments are removed from his face; He shall rule over all his enemies,
27 For he said in his heart, “I will not be shaken; From generation to generation I will be without trouble.”
28 His mouth is full of cursing, bitterness and deceit; Suffering and pain are under his tongue.
29 He lies in ambush with the wealthy; He kills the innocent in hidden places; His eyes look intently at the poor;
30 He lies in ambush in a hiding place, like a lion in his den; He lies in wait to seize the poor man, To seize the poor man to drag him away;
31 He will humble him in his snare; But he will bend down and fall when he rules over the poor.
32 For he said in his heart, “God forgets; He turned His face so as never to see it.”
33 Arise, O Lord God, let Your hand be lifted high, And do not forget Your poor.
34 Why has the ungodly man provoked God? For he said in his heart, “You will never call me to account for this.”
35 But You do see, You do perceive the suffering and pain, That You might deliver them into Your hands; Therefore, the poor man will be left to You; You give help to the orphan.
36 Break the arm of the sinner and the evil man; His sin shall be sought, and because of it he will not be found;
37 The Lord will reign, But you, O nations, you will perish from His earth.
38 The Lord hears the desire of the poor; Your ear heeds the readiness of their heart,
39 To judge the orphan and the humble, That man may no longer increase his great boasting upon the earth.
Proverbs of Solomon 2
It Is Wise to Obey
1 My son, if you receive the words of my commandment And hide them within yourself,
2 Your ear will be obedient to wisdom, And you will incline your heart to understanding; You will entrust it to your son as an admonition.
3 For if he calls upon wisdom, And you utter your voice for understanding; If you seek perception with a strong voice,†
4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as treasure,
5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord And find the knowledge of God.
The Decree: Early Canon Law
22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.†
23 They wrote this, letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings.
24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “ You must be circumcised and keep the law”
25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth.
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:†
29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.
The Decree Received in Antioch
30 So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter.
31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement.
32 Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.
33 And after they had stayed there for a time, they were sent back with greetings from the brethren to the apostles.
34 However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there.
35 Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
Paul and Barnabas Separate
36 Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.”†
37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark.†
38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work.
39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus;
40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God.
41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.