Wisdom of Sirach 39
Students of God’s Word
1 How different is the man who devotes himself To the study of the law of the Most High. He will seek out the wisdom of all the ancients And be occupied with their prophecies.†
2 He will preserve the discourse of notable men And penetrate the subtleties of parables.
3 He will seek out the hidden meanings of proverbs And be engaged in the riddles of parables.
4 He will serve in the midst of great men And will appear before rulers. He will travel through the land of foreign nations And test the good and evil among men.†
5 He will give his heart to rising early Before the Lord who created him, And will make supplication to the Most High; And he will open his mouth in prayer And make supplication for his sins.
6 If the great Lord wills, He will be filled with the Spirit of understanding. He will pour forth words of His wisdom, And in prayer he will give thanks to the Lord.
7 He will direct his counsel and knowledge aright, And he will reflect on His hidden things.
8 He will reveal instruction in his teaching And boast in the law of the Lord’s covenant.
9 Many will praise his understanding, And it will never be blotted out. His memory will not disappear, And his name will live through all generations.
10 Nations will proclaim his wisdom, And the assembly will proclaim his praise.
11 If he lives long, he will leave a name greater than a thousand, And if he goes to his rest, his work is completed.
Praise for God’s Works
12 I have yet more to tell, and I will describe it in detail; For I am filled like a full moon.
13 So hear me, O holy sons, And bud forth like a rose Springing up by a running stream.
14 Like frankincense, emit a sweet fragrance, And blossom forth like a lily. Send forth a fragrance And sing a hymn of praise. Bless the Lord in all His works;†
15 Ascribe majesty to His name And give thanks to Him in praise, With songs on your lips and with lyres; And thus you shall say in thanksgiving:†
16 “All things are the works of the Lord, For they are exceedingly good. And every command shall be in His appointed time.” No one cay say, “What is this? Why is that?” For every question will be answered in His appointed time.
17 By His word the waters stood as a heap And the reservoirs of the waters by the word of His mouth.†
18 By His command all His good pleasure is done, And no one will diminish His salvation.
19 The works of all flesh are before Him, And nothing can be hidden from His eyes.†
20 From age to age He looks upon them, And nothing is marvelous to Him.
21 No one can say, “What is this? Why is that?” For all things were created for their uses.
22 His blessing covers the dry land like a river And drenches it like a flood.
23 As He turns fresh waters into salt, So the heathen will inherit His wrath.
24 As His ways are straight to the holy, So they are an occasion of stumbling to the lawless.†
25 As from the beginning good things were created for the good, So evil things for sinners.
26 The basic needs of a man’s life Are water, fire, iron, salt, and wheat flour, And milk, honey, the blood of the grape, olive oil, and clothing.†
27 As all these things are good for the godly, So they turn into evil for sinners.
28 There are spirits created for vengeance, And in His anger they strengthen their scourges. In the time of consummation they will pour out their might And appease the wrath of Him who made them.
29 Fire, hail, famine, and death: All these things are created for vengeance.
30 The teeth of wild animals, scorpions and snakes, And the avenging sword that drives the ungodly to destruction—
31 They shall be glad at His commandment And be prepared for His service on earth; And when their times come, they will not transgress His word.
32 Therefore from the beginning I was determined and resolved, And left this in writing:†
33 All the works of the Lord are good, And He will supply every need in its hour.
34 No one can say, “This is worse than that,” For all things will be well pleasing in their time.
35 So now sing praise with all your heart and voice, And bless the name of the Lord.
1 For the End; a psalm by David. †
2 I waited patiently for the Lord, and He heeded me; And He heard my supplication,
3 And brought me up out of a miserable pit And from miry clay; And He established my feet on a rock And kept straight my steps.
4 He put a new song in my mouth, A hymn to our God; Many will see and be afraid, And shall hope in the Lord.
5 Blessed is the man whose hope is the name of the Lord, And who did not look into vanities and false frenzies.
6 Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders You performed, And in Your thoughts there is no one who shall be likened to You; I declared and said, “They are multiplied beyond number.
7 Sacrifice and offering You did not will; But a body You prepared for me; A whole burnt offering and a sin offering You did not require.”
8 Then I said, “Behold, I come (it is written of me in the volume of the book);
9 I willed to do Your will, O my God, And Your law in the midst of my heart.”
10 I proclaimed righteousness in the great church; Behold, I shall not restrain my lips, O Lord, You know.
11 I did not hide Your righteousness in my heart; I declared Your truth and Your salvation; I did not hide Your mercy and Your truth from the great congregation.
12 O Lord, do not remove Your compassion from me; May Your mercy and Your truth take hold of me continually.
13 For evils without number surrounded me; My transgressions overpowered me, and I could not see; They multiplied more than the hairs of my head, And my heart failed me.
14 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, give heed to help me.
15 May those who seek my soul to make away with it Be disgraced and confounded together; May those who wish evil for me be turned back and disgraced;
16 May those who say to me, “Well done! Well done!” Receive their shame immediately.
17 May all who seek You, O Lord, Rejoice exceedingly, and be glad in You; And may those who love Your salvation Say continually, “The Lord be magnified.”
18 But I am poor and needy; the Lord will take care of me. You are my helper and my protector; O my God, do not delay.
Proverbs of Solomon 8
17 I love those who love me, And those who seek me shall find me.
18 Riches and glory belong to me, And abundant possessions, and righteousness;
19 It is better to enjoy my fruits than gold and precious stones, And my fruits are better than choice silver.
20 I walk in the ways of righteousness, And I am conversant with the paths of judgment;
21 That I may distribute substance to those who love me, And may fill their treasuries with good things.
Duties to the State
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.†
2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.†
5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.†
6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Love of Neighbor
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” †
10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
“The Day” Is at Hand
11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.†
13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.