Wisdom of Sirach 43
Sun, Moon, and Stars
1 The exultation of the heavenly heights Is the firmament of purity, The form of heaven with the vision of glory.†
2 The sun, when it appears, making proclamation as it goes forth, Is a wonderful instrument, a work of the Most High.†
3 At noon it dries up the land, And who can endure its burning heat?
4 A man kindling a furnace works in burning heat, But the sun burns the mountains three times as much, Breathing out fiery steams, And sending forth shining beams, it dims the eyes.
5 Great is the Lord who made it, And by His command it hastens its journey.
6 He also made the moon to serve in its season As a declaration of times and an everlasting sign.
7 From the moon comes the sign of a feast, A light that wanes as it completes its course.
8 The month is named according to the moon, Being increased wondrously in its phases, A vessel encamped on high, Shining in the firmament of heaven.
9 The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven, A world shining in the high places of the Lord.
10 By the words of the Holy One they stand according to His judgment And do not grow weary in their watches.
The Majestic Creation
11 Behold the rainbow and bless Him who made it, Exceedingly beautiful in its brightness.†
12 It circles heaven with its glorious arc, And the hands of the Most High laid out its course.
13 By His command He makes the snow to fall, And speeds the lightning by His judgment.†
14 Therefore the storehouses are opened And the clouds fly forth like birds.
15 By His majesty He condenses the clouds, And the hailstones break into pieces.
16 At His appearing the mountains are shaken, And by His will the south wind blows.
17 The voice of His thunder makes the earth tremble, And so do the hurricane from the north and the whirlwind as well.
18 He sprinkles the snow like birds flying down, And its descent is like grasshoppers alighting. The eye marvels at the beauty of its whiteness, And the heart is astonished at its raining down.
19 He pours the hoarfrost like salt upon the earth, And when it freezes, it becomes like pointed thorns.
20 A cold north wind blows And ice freezes on the water, And forms on every pool of water, And clothes the water like armor.
21 He consumes the mountains and burns up the desert, And withers the green herbage like fire.
22 A mist quickly heals it all, And falling dew brings refreshment from the heat.
23 By His reasoning He quieted the great deep And planted islands in it.
24 Those who sail the sea recount its dangers, And we are amazed at the reports coming to our ears.
25 For therein are the incredible and wondrous works, A diversity of many living things, And a created order of huge sea creatures.
26 Because of Him His messenger has a prosperous journey, And by His word all things are held together.†
How Do We Praise Him?
27 We will say many things and not reach the end, But the sum of our words is seen in this: “He is the all.”†
28 How shall we ever be able to adequately praise Him? For He is greater than all His works.
29 Fearful is the Lord and exceedingly great, And wondrous is His power.
30 Glorify the Lord and exalt Him as much as you are able, For He will surpass even that. And when you exalt Him, put forth all your strength; Do not grow weary, for you cannot exalt Him enough.
31 Who has seen Him and will describe Him? And who can magnify Him as He truly is?
32 There are yet many hidden things greater than these, For we have seen but few of His works.
33 For the Lord made all things And gives wisdom to the godly.†
10 But now You rejected and disgraced us, And You will not go out with our armies;
11 You turned us back from our enemies, And those who hate us took spoil for themselves.
12 You gave us as sheep to be eaten, And You scattered us among the nations.
13 You bound Your people without honor, And there was no abundance given to ransom them.
14 You made us a reproach to our neighbors And a scorn and derision to those around us;
15 You made us a byword among the nations And a shaking of the head among the peoples.
16 All day long my disgrace is before me, And the shame of my face covers me,
17 Because of the voice of him who reviles and chatters, Because of the face of the enemy and persecutor.
18 All these things came upon us, but we have not forgotten You, And we did not act unjustly with Your covenant;
19 Our heart did not draw back, Yet you turned our steps from Your way.
20 You humbled us in a place of affliction, And the shadow of death covered us.
21 If we forget the name of our God, And spread out our hands to a foreign god,
22 Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.
23 For Your sake we are put to death all day long, We are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
24 Awake; why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise; and do not reject us to the end.
25 Why do You turn away Your face, And forget our poverty and our affliction?
26 For our soul was humbled to the dust, And our belly was joined to the ground.
27 Arise, O Lord; help us, And redeem us for Your name’s sake.
Proverbs of Solomon 9
1 Wisdom built her house, And she supported it with seven pillars.†
2 She offered her sacrifices; She mixed her wine in a bowl And prepared her table.†
3 She sent her servants, Inviting people to the bowl with a lofty proclamation, saying,†
4 “He who is without discernment, Let him turn aside to me”; And to those in need of discernment, she says,†
5 “Come, eat my bread And drink the wine I mixed for you;†
6 Forsake lack of discernment, and you shall live; Seek discernment so you may live, And keep straight your understanding with knowledge.”
Paul’s Personal Greetings
1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea,†
2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,†
4 who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ.
6 Greet Mary, who labored much for us.
7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.†
8 Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord.
9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved.
10 Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus.
11 Greet Herodion, my countryman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.
12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord.
13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren who are with them.
15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.
Warning About Divisive Teachers
17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.†
18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.
20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Greetings from Paul’s Friends
21 Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you.
22 I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord.†
23 Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother.
24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began†
26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—
27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.