Wisdom of Sirach 34
1 Vain hopes and lying belong to a man without understanding, And dreams give wing to senseless men.†
2 Like him who grasps after shadows and chases the wind, So is he who pays attention to dreams.
3 The vision of dreams is this against that, The likeness of a face opposite a face.
4 What will be cleansed from an unclean thing? And what will be true from a false thing?
5 Divinations, omens, and dreams are worthless; And like a woman in the pains of childbirth, The heart becomes visible.
6 Unless visions are sent from the Most High in a visitation, Do not give your heart to them.†
7 For dreams have deceived many, And those who hope in them have fallen away.
8 Without such lying, the law will be fulfilled, And wisdom is perfection in the mouth of the faithful.
Benefits of Travel
9 A man who has traveled about knows many things, And a man with much experience will speak with understanding.†
10 A man who has not been tested knows little, But he who has traveled about increases his astuteness.
11 I have seen many things in my travels, And my understanding is more than I can express in words.
12 I have frequently been in danger of death, But I have been saved because of these experiences.
The Blessings of God
13 The spirit of those who fear the Lord will live, For their hope is in Him who saves them.
14 He who fears the Lord will fear nothing, And he will not be cowardly, for the Lord is his hope.
15 Blessed is the soul of a man who fears the Lord. To whom does he look? And who is his support?†
16 The eyes of the Lord are upon those who love Him. He is a powerful protection and a strong support: A shelter from the burning heat, A shelter from the noonday sun, A guard from stumbling, And help from a fall.
17 He raises up the soul And gives light to the eyes. He gives healing, life, and blessing.
18 If a man sacrifices by means of wrongdoing, The offering is a mockery, And the gifts of the lawless are not accepted.†
19 The Most High is not pleased with the offerings of the ungodly, And a man does not atone for his sins with a multitude of sacrifices.
20 He who offers a sacrifice from the property of the poor Is like one who kills a son in the sight of his father.
21 The bread of the needy is the life of the poor. He who deprives them of it is a man of bloodshed.
22 Whoever takes away his neighbor’s livelihood murders him, And whoever deprives a hired worker of his wages sheds his blood.
23 If one builds up while another tears down, What do they profit other than toil?†
24 If one prays while another curses, Whose voice will the Lord hear?
25 If a man washes himself after touching a corpse, Then touches it again, What does he profit by his washing?
26 So it is with a man who fasts over his sins And goes and does the same sins all over again. Who will hear his prayer? What does his humbling profit him?
1 Of David. †Do not be envious of those who do evil, Nor be jealous of those who work lawlessness;
2 For like grass they shall be dried up quickly, And like green vegetables they shall swiftly wither.
3 Hope in the Lord, and work goodness; Dwell in the land, and you shall be nurtured by its riches.
4 Delight in the Lord, And He will give you the requests of your heart.
5 Reveal your way to the Lord, And hope in Him; and He will do it.
6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as light, And your judgment as the noonday sun.
7 Submit to the Lord, and supplicate Him; Do not be envious of him who prospers in his way, Nor of him who transgresses the law.
8 Cease from wrath and forsake anger; Do not be envious so as to do evil;
9 Because evildoers will be destroyed, But those who wait on the Lord, these shall inherit the earth.
10 For in a little while the sinner shall no longer be present, And you will look for his place, but not find it.
11 But the gentle shall inherit the earth, And they will delight in the fullness of peace.
12 The sinner will closely observe the just man And gnash at him with his teeth.
13 But the Lord shall laugh at him, Because He foresees his day will come.
14 The sinners draw the sword And stretch their bow, To cast down the poor and needy, To slay the upright in heart.
15 May their sword enter their heart, And may their bows be shattered.
16 Better the little with the just man Than the great riches of sinners;
17 For the arms of sinners shall be shattered, But the Lord supports the righteous.
18 The Lord knows the ways of the blameless, And their inheritance shall be forever.
19 They shall not be ashamed in an evil time, And in days of famine they shall be filled.
20 But the sinners shall perish, And the enemies of the Lord altogether, When they glorify and exalt themselves; Like smoke they shall vanish away.
Proverbs of Solomon 7
21 So she leads him astray with much conversation, And with snares from her lips she compels him.
22 And being cajoled, he follows her As an ox is led for slaughter
23 And as a dog to bonds, Or as a deer struck with an arrow in the liver;
24 And he hastens even as a bird into a snare, Not knowing he runs for his life.
God Is Just in His Choice
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!†
15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”
16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”
18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”†
20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it , “Why have you made me like this?”
21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,†
23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,
24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.” †
26 “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”
27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved.
28 For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth.”
29 And as Isaiah said before: “Unless the LORD of Sabaoth had left us a seed, We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah.”
Israel Pursues Self-Righteousness
30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;†
31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.
32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.
33 As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”