Wisdom of Sirach 15
1 He who fears the Lord will do this, And he who holds fast to the law will obtain wisdom.
2 She will come to meet him like a mother And accept him like the wife of one’s youth.†
3 She will feed him the bread of understanding And give him the water of wisdom to drink.
4 He will be supported by her and not fall; And he will hold on to her and not be put to shame.
5 She will exalt him alongside his neighbors, And in the midst of the assembly she will open his mouth.
6 He will find gladness and a crown of rejoicing And will inherit an everlasting name.
7 But foolish men will not find her, And sinful men will not see her.
8 She is far from the arrogant, And lying men will not keep her in mind.
9 Praise is not proper in the mouth of a sinner, Because it was not sent from the Lord.
10 For praise should be spoken in wisdom; Then the Lord will prosper it.
Our Sin Is Our Fault
11 Do not say, “I fell away because of the Lord,” For He will not do what He hates.†
12 Do not say, “It was He who led me astray,” For He has no need of a sinful man.
13 The Lord hates all abominations, And they are not loved by those who fear Him.
14 He Himself created man in the beginning And left him in the counsel of his will.
15 If you will, you will keep the commandments And faithfully do His good pleasure.
16 He has set before you fire and water; If you will, stretch forth your hand.†
17 Life and death are before mankind, And whichever he chooses, it will be given to him.
18 For great is the wisdom of the Lord; He is mighty in power and sees all things.
19 His eyes are upon those who fear Him, And He Himself knows every deed of man.†
20 He has commanded no one to be ungodly, And He has given no one license to sin.
20 But You, O Lord, do not remove Your help from me; Attend to my aid.
21 Deliver my soul from the sword And my only-begotten from the hand of the dog;
22 Save me from the lion’s mouth, My humiliation from the horns of the unicorns.
23 I will declare Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the church I will sing to You.
24 You who fear the Lord, praise Him. All you seed of Jacob, glorify Him; Fear Him, all you seed of Israel.
25 For He has not despised nor scorned the beggar’s supplication, Nor has He turned away His face from me; And when I cried out to Him, He heard me.
26 My praise is from You in the great church; I will pay my vows before those who fear Him.
27 The poor shall eat and be well-filled, And those who seek Him will praise the Lord; Their hearts will live unto ages of ages.
28 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord; And all families of the Gentiles shall worship before You,
29 For the kingdom is the Lord’s; And He is the Master of the Gentiles.
30 All the prosperous of the earth ate and worshiped; All going down into the earth shall bow down before Him, And my soul lives with Him.
31 And my seed shall serve Him; The coming generation shall be told of the Lord,
32 And they will declare His righteousness To a people who will be born, because the Lord made them.
Proverbs of Solomon 4
The Paths of Wisdom
9 Hear me, my son, and receive my words, And the years of your life shall be increased, That many ways of life may be yours;†
10 For I teach you the ways of wisdom And set you on upright paths.
11 For if you walk, your steps shall not be confined; And if you run, you will not grow weary.
12 Lay hold of my instruction; do not let go, But guard it for yourself as your life.
Paul’s Defense at the Temple
1 “Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now.”†
2 And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent. Then he said:
3 “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.†
4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women,
5 as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.
6 “Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me.
7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’
8 So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’
9 “And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me.
10 So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’
11 And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
12 “Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there,
13 came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him.
14 Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth.
15 For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.
16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’†
17 “Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance†
18 and saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’
19 So I said, ‘Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You.
20 And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’
21 Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’ ”†
An Appeal to Roman Citizenship
22 And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!”
23 Then, as they cried out and tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air,
24 the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him.†
25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?”
26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, “Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.”
27 Then the commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” He said, “Yes.”
28 The commander answered, “With a large sum I obtained this citizenship.” And Paul said, “But I was born a citizen. ”
29 Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.