Wisdom of Sirach 14
1 Blessed is a man who does not slip and fall because of his mouth, And is not stung with pain caused by his sin.
2 Blessed is he whose soul does not condemn him, And who has not fallen away from his hope.†
3 Wealth is not fitting for a small-minded man, And to what end is wealth for an envious man?†
4 For he who gathers for himself, gathers for others, And others will live in luxury with his goods.
5 If a man does evil to himself, for whom shall he do good? And he will not rejoice in his wealth.
Warnings of Vices
6 When a man envies himself, there is no one worse off, And this is the reward for his vice.
7 Even if he does good, he does it unintentionally, And in the end he reveals his vice.
8 He who envies with his eye is evil; He turns away his face and despises souls.
9 The eye of a greedy man is not satisfied with his share, And useless wrongdoing dries up the soul.
10 The evil eye of a man is envious over his bread; Thus it is lacking at his table.
11 My son, whatever you have, treat yourself well, And offer sacrifices worthily to the Lord.
12 Remember that death does not delay, And the covenant of Hades has not been shown to you.†
13 Before you die, do good to a friend, And reach out and give to him based on your ability.
14 Do not let a day go by without doing something good, And do not let any of your desire for doing good escape you.
15 Will you not leave all your hard work to another, And all your hard work to be divided by lot?
16 Give and receive and deprive yourself, Because in Hades there is nowhere to seek luxury.
17 All flesh becomes old like a garment, For the covenant from of old is, “You shall die by death.”
18 Like flourishing leaves on a thick tree, Which sheds some leaves and puts forth others, So also is the generation of flesh and blood: One dies and another is born.
19 Every work of man decays and fails, And he who made it will depart with it.
The Blessings of Wisdom
20 Blessed is the man who practices wisdom And discourses with insight.†
21 Whoever ponders the ways of wisdom in his heart Will also reflect on her secrets.
22 Pursue wisdom like a tracker And lie in wait on her paths.
23 He who looks intently through her windows Will also listen at her doors.
24 He who lodges near her house Will also fasten his tent peg to her walls.
25 He will establish his home according to her will, And so lodge in a good dwelling place.
26 He will put his children in her shelter And lodge under her branches.
27 He will be sheltered by her from the burning heat And will dwell in her glory.
1 For the End; concerning help in the morning; a psalm by David. †
2 O God, my God, hear me; why have You forsaken me? The words of my transgressions are far from my salvation.
3 O my God, I will cry out by day, but You will not hear me; And by night, but not for a lack of understanding in me.
4 But You dwell among the saints, O praise of Israel.
5 Our fathers hoped in You; They hoped in You, and You delivered them.
6 They cried out to You and were saved; They hoped in You and were not ashamed.
7 But I am a worm, and not a man; A reproach of man and despised by the people.
8 All who see me mock me; They speak with their lips and shake their head,
9 Saying, “He hoped in the Lord, let Him rescue him; Let Him save him since He delights in him.”
10 For You are He who drew me from the womb, My hope from my mother’s breasts;
11 I was cast upon You from the womb, From my mother’s womb You are my God.
12 Do not stand off from me, for affliction is near; There is no one to help.
13 Many young bulls surrounded me; Fat bulls encircled me.
14 They opened their mouths against me Like a raging and roaring lion.
15 I am poured out like water, And all my bones are shattered; My heart is like wax, melting into my stomach.
16 My strength is dried up like an earthen vessel; My tongue cleaves to my throat; And You led me into the dust of death.
17 For many dogs surrounded me; An assembly of evildoers enclosed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.
18 I numbered all my bones, And they look and stare at me.
19 They divided my garments among themselves, And for my clothing they cast lots.
Proverbs of Solomon 4
1 Hear, my children, the instruction of your father, And pay attention, that you might know his thinking;†
2 For I offer a good gift to you; Do not forsake my law.
3 For I was a son, and I was obedient to my father, And beloved in the presence of my mother,
4 Who taught me, saying, “Let our word become firmly planted in your heart;
5 Guard our commandments; do not forget them; Neither disregard the word of my mouth,
6 Nor forsake it, and it shall cleave to you; Love it, and it will keep you.
7 Secure it, and it shall exalt you; Honor it, that it may embrace you,
8 And give your head a crown of graces, And cover you with a crown of delight.”†
17 And when we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.†
18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.
19 When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law;
21 but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.
22 What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come.
23 Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow.
24 Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law.
25 But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.”†
Temple Riot, Paul Arrested
26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them.
27 Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him,
28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.”†
29 (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
30 And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut.
31 Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.†
32 He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33 Then the commander came near and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and he asked who he was and what he had done.
34 And some among the multitude cried one thing and some another. So when he could not ascertain the truth because of the tumult, he commanded him to be taken into the barracks.
35 When he reached the stairs, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob.
36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!”†
37 Then as Paul was about to be led into the barracks, he said to the commander, “May I speak to you?” He replied, “Can you speak Greek?
38 Are you not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a rebellion and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?”†
39 But Paul said, “I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city; and I implore you, permit me to speak to the people.”
40 So when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,