Wisdom of Sirach 10
1 A wise leader will educate his people, And the rule of an intelligent man will be well ordered.
2 As goes the leader of a people, so also are his officials, And all the inhabitants of a city will reflect its ruler.
3 An undisciplined king will ruin his people, But a city will be made habitable through the wisdom of its rulers.
4 The authority of the earth is in the hand of the Lord, And He will raise up the right man for an appointed time.†
5 The success of a man is in the hand of the Lord, And He confers His honor upon the person of the scribe.
6 Do not cherish anger against your neighbor for any injury, And do nothing by acts of insolence.
Beware of Arrogance
7 Arrogance is hateful before God and man, And wrongdoing is offensive to both.
8 Dominion is transferred from nation to nation Because of wrongdoing, insolence, and wealth.
9 How can he who is earth and ashes be arrogant? Because even while living, his insides are decaying.†
10 A physician scoffs at a long illness, And a king today will also die tomorrow.
11 When a man dies, he will inherit Reptiles, wild animals, and worms.
12 The beginning of a man’s arrogance is to depart from the Lord, For his heart withdraws from the One who created him.
13 For the beginning of arrogance is sin, And he who takes hold of it will pour out an abomination. Therefore the Lord will bring them extraordinary distress And completely destroy them.
14 The Lord pulls down the thrones of rulers And seats the gentle in their place.†
15 The Lord plucks out the roots of nations And plants the humble in their place.
16 The Lord overthrows the lands of the nations And destroys them to the foundations of the earth.
17 He removes some of them and destroys them, And puts an end to their memory on the earth.†
18 Arrogance was not created by mankind, Nor fierce anger by the offspring of women.
Honor and Dishonor
19 What kind of seed is honored? The seed of man. What kind of seed is honored? Those who fear the Lord. What kind of seed is dishonored? The seed of man. What kind of seed is dishonored? Those who transgress the commandments.
20 Among brothers their leader is honored, And those who fear the Lord are honored in His eyes.†
21 The fear of the Lord goes before the obtaining of authority, But roughness and pride is the losing thereof.
22 The rich and the honored and the poor alike— Their boasting is the fear of the Lord.
23 It is not right to dishonor an intelligent poor man, Nor is it proper to honor a sinful man.
24 The nobleman, the judge, and the ruler will be honored, But none of them is greater than the one who fears the Lord.
25 Free men will render service to a wise servant, And an understanding man will not grumble.
26 Do not put your wisdom on display when you do your work, Nor magnify yourself in the time of your trouble.
27 Better is he who works and has plenty Than he who magnifies himself but has no bread.
28 My son, honor your soul with gentleness And give it honor according to its worth.†
29 Who will declare righteous the man who sins against his soul, And who will honor the man who dishonors his life?
30 A poor man is honored for his knowledge, While a rich man is honored for his wealth.
31 If a man is honored in poverty, How much more in wealth, And if a man is dishonored in wealth, How much more in poverty?
33 It is God who girds me with power, And He made my way blameless;
34 Who makes my feet like a deer And sets me on high places;
35 Who teaches my hands to make war; And You make my arms a bronze bow;
36 And You gave me the shield of Your salvation; And Your right hand supported me; And Your instruction restored me to the end; And Your instruction will teach me.
37 You widened my steps under me, And my footsteps were not feeble.
38 I shall pursue my enemies and overtake them; And I shall not turn back until they faint;
39 I shall wound them until they cannot stand; They shall fall under my feet.
40 For You armed me with strength for war; You entangled under my feet all who rose up against me,
41 And You gave me the back of my enemies; And You destroyed all who hate me.
42 They cried out, but there was none to save them; Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.
43 I will grind them fine, like the dust that blows in the wind; I will smooth them out, like mud in the streets.
44 Deliver me from the contradictions of the people; You will establish me as the head of the Gentiles; A people I never knew served me;
45 The moment they heard, they obeyed me; Sons who are strangers lied to me;
46 Sons who are strangers became old, And they became lame because of their beaten path.
47 The Lord lives, and blessed is my God. Let the salvation of my God be exalted,
48 The God who vindicates me, And who subdued the peoples under me,
49 My deliverer from the rage of my enemies; Because of those who rise up against me, You will exalt me; You will deliver me from the unrighteous man.
50 Therefore I will give thanks to You among the Gentiles, O Lord, And sing to Your name,
51 He who magnifies the salvation of His king And shows mercy to His anointed, To David and his seed forever.”
Proverbs of Solomon 3
17 For length of days and years of life are in her right hand, And in her left hand are riches and glory;
18 Righteousness proceeds from her mouth, And she carries law and mercy upon her tongue.
19 Her ways are good ways, And all her paths are in peace.
20 She is a tree of life for all who cleave to her, And she is security for those who lean upon her as upon the Lord.
21 God by wisdom founded the earth And prepared the heavens with discernment.
22 With perception the depths were broken up, And the clouds flowed with dew.
A Greek Goddess Defended
23 And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way.
24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen.
25 He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade.
26 Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.†
27 So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.”†
28 Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”
29 So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions.†
30 And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him.
31 Then some of the officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent to him pleading that he would not venture into the theater.
32 Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together.
33 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander motioned with his hand, and wanted to make his defense to the people.†
34 But when they found out that he was a Jew, all with one voice cried out for about two hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”
35 And when the city clerk had quieted the crowd, he said: “Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple guardian of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Zeus?
36 Therefore, since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rashly.
37 For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess.†
38 Therefore, if Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a case against anyone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another.
39 But if you have any other inquiry to make, it shall be determined in the lawful assembly.
40 For we are in danger of being called in question for today’s uproar, there being no reason which we may give to account for this disorderly gathering.”
41 And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.