Wisdom of Sirach 40
1 Hard work was created for every man And a heavy yoke for the sons of Adam, From the day they come forth from their mother’s womb until the day they return to the mother of all.†
2 The conception of things to come and the day of death Trouble their thoughts and cause fear of heart—
3 From the one sitting on a glorious throne To the one humbled in earth and ashes,
4 From the one wearing purple and a crown To the one clothed in burlap, There is anger, envy, trouble, and unrest, And fear of death and fury and strife.
5 When it is time for rest on his bed, His night of sleep alters his knowledge.
6 He gets little or no rest, and afterward in his sleep, As though on a day of watch, He is troubled by the vision of his heart, Like one who escapes from the face of battle.
7 In the exact time of need he awakes And is amazed there was nothing to fear.
8 With all flesh, from man to animal, And upon sinners seven times more, there will be:
9 Death and bloodshed; strife and the sword; Distresses and famine; and ruin and affliction.
10 All these things were created for the lawless, And because of them the flood came.
11 Whatever comes from the earth returns to the earth, And whatever comes from the waters returns to the sea.
The Wise and Unwise
12 Every bribe and wrongdoing will be blotted out, But faithfulness shall stand forever.†
13 The wealth of the unrighteous will dry up like a river And sound forth and cease like great thunder in the rain.
14 A generous man will rejoice, But transgressors will come to ruin.
15 The offspring of the ungodly shall not grow branches, For they are unclean roots on a hard rock.
16 Weeds growing by any water or riverbank Will be plucked out before any grass.
17 Grace is like a paradise in blessing, And almsgiving endures forever.
18 The life of the self-reliant and the worker will be sweet, But he who finds a treasure is better off than both.
19 Having children and building a city establish a name, But a blameless wife is accounted better than both.†
20 Wine and music gladden the heart, But love of wisdom is better than both.
21 The flute and harp give sweet melody, But a pleasant tongue is better than both.
22 The eye will desire grace and beauty, But the green shoots of grain are better than both.
23 A friend and companion meet at an appointed time, But a wife meeting with her husband is better than both.
24 Brothers and help are for a time of affliction, But almsgiving rescues better than both.†
25 Gold and silver will make the foot secure, But counsel is esteemed more valuable than both.
26 Wealth and strength will lift up the heart, But the fear of the Lord is better than both. There is no loss in the fear of the Lord, And with it there is no need to seek for help.
27 The fear of the Lord is like a paradise of blessing And covers a man better than any glory.†
28 My child, do not live the life of a beggar, For it is better to die than to beg.
29 When a man looks at another’s table, He is living an irrational life. For he will pollute his soul with another’s food. But a rational and educated man will guard himself against that.
30 Begging will be sweet in the mouth of a shameless man, But in his belly a fire will be kindled.
1 For the End; a psalm by David. †
2 Blessed is he who understands the poor and needy; The Lord will deliver him in an evil day.
3 May the Lord keep him, and give him life, And make him blessed on the earth, And not deliver him into the hands of his enemies.
4 May the Lord help him on his bed of pain; You turned his bed from sickness to wholeness.
5 O Lord, I said, “Have mercy on me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”
6 My enemies speak evil things against me, “When will he die, and his name perish?”
7 And if he comes to see us, he speaks in vain; His heart gathered lawlessness to itself; He went forth and spoke the same.
8 All my enemies whisper together against me; Against me they devise evils for me;
9 They testify a lawless word against me, “Since he is asleep, will he rise up again?”
10 For even the man of my peace, in whom I hoped, He who ate my bread, dealt deceptively with me;
11 But You, O Lord, have mercy on me, And raise me up; and I will repay them.
12 By this I know You are pleased with me, Because my enemy did not rejoice over me.
13 And because of my innocence, You supported me, And established me before You forever.
14 Blessed is the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting. Amen! Amen!
Proverbs of Solomon 8
Divine Wisdom and the Father
22 “If I declare to you the things that happen daily, I will also remember to recount the things of old.†
23 The Lord created me in the beginning of His ways for His works; He established me in the beginning before time,†
24 Before He made the earth, and before He made the abysses, Before the going forth of the fountains of waters,†
25 Before the mountains were created; And He begot me before all hills.
26 The Lord made the fields and the uninhabited places And the inhabited heights under heaven.†
Christian Liberty in Serving God
1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.†
2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.
3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.
4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.†
8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11 For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.”
Loving Fellow Christians
12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.†
14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.
16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;
17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.
21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.†
23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.