Wisdom of Sirach 38
Honoring the Physician
1 Honor the physician with the honor due him, And also according to your need of him, For the Lord created him.†
2 Healing comes from the Most High, And he will receive a gift from the king.
3 The physician’s skill will lift up his head, And he shall be admired in the presence of the great.
4 The Lord created medicines from the earth, And a sensible man will not loathe them.†
5 Is not water made sweet by wood That its strength might be known?†
6 And He gave skill to men That He might be glorified in His wonders.†
7 By them He heals and takes away pain, A druggist making a compound of them.
8 God’s works are never finished, And from Him health is upon the face of the earth.
9 My son, do not be negligent when you are sick, But pray to the Lord and He will heal you.†
10 Depart from transgression and direct your hands aright, And cleanse your heart from every sin.
11 Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice And a memorial of the finest wheat flour; And pour oil on your offering, as if you are soon to die.
12 And keep in touch with your physician, For the Lord created him; And do not let him leave you, For you need him.
13 There is a time when success is also in their hands,
14 For they will pray to the Lord To give them success in bringing relief and healing, For the sake of preserving your life.†
15 He who sins before the One who made him, May he fall into the hands of a physician.
Mourning the Departed
16 My son, let your tears fall for the dead, And as one suffering grievously, begin the lament. With the honor due him, wrap his body And take care of his burial.†
17 Weep bitterly and lament fervently; Do your mourning according to what he deserves For a day or two to avoid slander; Then be comforted for your grief.
18 For grief is a cause of death, And a grief-stricken heart will sap your strength.
19 Grief also abides in misery, And the life of a poor man weighs down his heart.
20 Do not give your heart to grief; Drive it away, remembering the end of life.
21 Do not forget, for there is no coming back; And you cannot help the dead man by grieving, But will only injure yourself.
22 Remember my end, since yours is also like it: “Mine yesterday, yours today.”
23 When the dead man is at rest, let his remembrance cease, And be comforted for him in the exodus of his spirit.†
Gratitude for Laborers
24 The wisdom of a scribe depends on his opportunity for quiet, For when he has little business, he will be made wise.†
25 How will he who handles the plow be made wise? For he boasts in the shaft of the goad, And he drives oxen and is occupied with their labors, And his talk is about young bulls.†
26 His heart is set on plowing furrows, And he keeps watch to feed his heifers.
27 The same is true for every craftsman and architect Who works by night as well as by day— Those who engrave the signets of seals— He is diligent to make great variety; His heart set on creating a lifelike image And keeping watch to perfect his work.
28 So too is the blacksmith sitting near the anvil, Examining closely his iron works, The breath of the fire melting his flesh As he struggles with the heat of the furnace. He inclines his ear to the sound of the hammer, And his eyes are focused on the likeness of the object. He sets his heart on the completion of his works And keeps watch to perfect its detail.
29 The potter as well, sitting by his work And turning the potter’s wheel with his feet, He is always careful about the quality of his work And also the quantity of his output.
30 With his arm he molds the clay, And with his feet he curves it. His heart is set on finishing the glazing, And he is careful to clean the furnace.
31 All these trust in their hands, And each is skilled in his work.
32 Without them a city will not be livable, Nor will anyone sojourn or live there.
33 Yet they will not be sought out for the council of the people, And they will not gain prominence in the assembly. They do not sit in the judge’s seat, Nor will they understand the sentence of judgment.
34 They cannot give instruction in discipline or judgment, Nor will they be found using parables; But they will keep the fabric of the world stable, And their prayer is in the practice of their craft.
1 For the End, for Jeduthun; an ode by David. †
2 I said, “I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I set a guard on my mouth When the sinner stood against me.”
3 I was deadened and humbled; and I kept silent, even from good; And my grief was stirred anew.
4 My heart was hot within me, And in my meditation, fire will be kindled. I spoke with my tongue,
5 “O Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, So as to know what I lack.
6 Behold, You made my days as a handbreadth, And my existence is as nothing before You; But all things are vanity, and every man living. (Pause)
7 “Nevertheless man walks about like a phantom; Surely in vain they stir themselves up; He stores up treasure, but does not know for whom he will gather it.
8 And now what is my patience? Is it not the Lord? And my support is from You.
9 Deliver me from all my transgressions; You made me a reproach to the undiscerning.
10 I was dumb and opened not my mouth; For You are He who made me.
11 Take away Your scourges from me; Because of the strength of Your hand I fainted.
12 With rebukes You chasten a man for his transgression, And You cause his soul to waste away like a spider web; But every man stirs himself up in vain. (Pause)
13 “Hear my prayer, O Lord, And give ear to my supplication; Do not be silent at my tears, For I am a sojourner before You, And a stranger, as were all my fathers.
14 Do not forsake me, that I may revive Before I depart and am no longer here.”
Proverbs of Solomon 8
11 For wisdom is better than precious stones, And every costly thing is not worthy of her.
12 I, wisdom, dwell with counsel, And I call upon knowledge and understanding.
13 The fear of the Lord hates unrighteousness, And both rudeness and arrogance, and the ways of wicked men; And I hate the perverted ways of evil men.
14 Counsel and safety are mine; Discernment is mine, and strength is mine;
15 By me, kings reign, And princes write of righteousness;
16 By me, noblemen become great, And by me, monarchs have power in the land.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.†
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.†
A Life of Unity in the Church
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.†
4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
A Life of Mercy for All Men
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.†
10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.†
20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.