Wisdom of Sirach 24:19-25:25
19 “Come to me, you who desire me,
And take your fill of my fruits.
20 For the remembrance of me is sweeter than honey,
And my inheritance is sweeter than the honeycomb.
21 Those who eat me will hunger for more,
And those who drink me will thirst for more.
22 He who obeys me will not be put to shame,
And those who work with me will not sin.”
23 All this is the book of the covenant of the Most High God—
The law Moses commanded us,
The inheritance of the congregations of Jacob.
24 Faint not to be strong in the Lord;
That He may confirm you, cleave unto Him:
For the Lord Almighty is God alone,
And beside Him there is no other Savior.
25 This law fills men with wisdom,
Like the Pishon and the Tigris at the time of firstfruits;
26 And it fills them with understanding,
Like the Euphrates and the Jordan at the time of harvest.
27 This law shines forth instruction like light,
Like the Gihon in the days of vintage.
28 As the first man did not know wisdom perfectly,
So the last man has not searched out her depths.
29 For her thoughts are deeper than the sea
And her counsel than the great abyss.
30 I went forth like a canal from a river
And like an aqueduct into a garden.
31 I said, “I will water my garden
And drench the garden beds.”
And behold, my canal became a river,
And my river became a sea.
32 I will yet make instruction shine like the morning,
And I will make it shine far away.
33 I will yet pour forth teaching like prophecy,
And I will leave it behind for future generations.
34 As you can see, I have not labored for myself alone,
But for all who seek wisdom.
1 There are three things beautiful to see,
And they are beautiful before the Lord and men:
The harmony of brothers, friendship between neighbors,
And a wife and husband well-adjusted together.
2 My soul hates three kinds of men,
And I am very offended with their lifestyle:
A beggar who is arrogant, a rich man who is a liar,
And an old man who is an adulterer and lacks understanding.
Wisdom of the Aged
3 If you have gathered nothing in your youth,
How can you find anything in your old age?
4 Judgment is like beauty in gray hair,
And in elders, it is to know counsel.
5 Wisdom is like the beauty of old men,
And in those who are glorious, it is understanding and counsel.
6 The crown of old men is great experience,
For their boast is the fear of the Lord.
7 In my heart I have blessed nine suppositions,
And I will mention a tenth:
A father who delights in his children;
A man who lives to see the downfall of his enemies;
8 A husband who is blessed to live with an understanding wife;
A man who does not slip with his tongue;
A man who has not served a man less worthy than himself;
9 A man who is blessed to find discernment;
A man who is blessed to speak to ears that listen;
10 And a man who has found wisdom—how blessed he is!
But there is no one greater than a man who fears the Lord.
11 The fear of the Lord is more important than anything.
To what will it be compared?
An Evil Wife
12 Any wound, but not a wound of the heart!
Any evil, but not an evil wife!
13 Any misery, but not the misery of those who hate me!
Any vengeance, but not the vengeance of enemies!
14 There is no head worse than the head of a snake,
And there is no anger worse than the anger of an enemy.
15 I would rather live with a lion or a snake than with an evil wife.
16 The evil of a wife changes her appearance
And darkens her face like that of a bear.
17 Her husband will go to his neighbors for meals,
And he sighs bitterly and involuntarily.
18 Any evil is small compared to the evil of a wife.
May the portion of a sinner fall upon her!
19 A sandy hill of ascent for the feet of an old man—
Such is an overly talkative wife to a quiet husband.
20 Do not fall for the beauty of a woman,
And do not long for her beauty.
21 There is wrath, insolence, and great shame
When a wife supports her husband.
22 A downcast heart, a sad face, and a wounded heart
Are caused by an evil wife.
Drooping hands and weakened knees
Are caused by a wife who does not make her husband happy.
23 Sin had its beginning from a wife,
And because of her we all die.
24 Do not give water an outlet,
Nor boldness to an evil wife.
25 If she does not follow your good leadership,
Cut her off from yourself.
1 A psalm for Asaph.
How good God is to Israel,
To the upright in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet were almost shaken;
My steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was jealous of the lawless
When I beheld the peace of sinners.
4 For there is no upward gaze at their death
Nor steadfastness in their chastening.
5 They are not in difficulties as other men,
And they shall not be chastened with other men.
6 For this reason arrogance mastered them;
They clothed themselves with their wrongdoing and ungodliness;
7 Their wrongdoing shall go forth as from fatness;
They passed through to their heart’s intent.
8 They thought and spoke in evil;
They spoke in wrongdoing to the height.
9 They set their mouth against heaven,
And their tongue passed through the earth.
10 For this reason my people shall return here;
Days of fullness shall be found in them.
11 They said, “How does God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are sinners, and they prosper;
They possess wealth in this age.
13 And I said, “Surely in vain have I kept my heart righteous,
And washed my hands with the innocent.”
14 For all day long I was scourged,
And my reproof persisted through the night.
1 Wrath destroys even men of discernment;
But a humble answer turns away anger,
And a grievous word stirs up wrath.
2 The tongue of the wise understands good things,
But the mouth of those without discernment proclaims evil things.
3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place;
They keep watch over both the evil and the good.
4 The healing of the tongue is a tree of life,
And the one who guards it will be filled with the Spirit.
5 A son without discernment treats the instruction of his father with contempt,
But the one who guards his commandments is more astute.
2 Corinthians 13
1 This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”
2 I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare—
3 since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you.
4 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
Paul Prefers Gentleness
7 Now I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified.
8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete.
10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.
Greetings and Benediction
11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
13 All the saints greet you.14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.