Wisdom of Sirach 44:19-45:26
19 Abraham was a great father of many nations,
And no one is found like him in glory.
20 He kept the law of the Most High,
Who made a covenant with him.
He established a covenant in his flesh,
And he was found faithful in testing.
21 Therefore He affirmed by an oath
That nations would be blessed in his seed;
And He would multiply him like the dust of the earth,
And exalt his seed like the stars in number,
And cause them to inherit from sea unto sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
22 And with Isaac He established the same assurance,
For the sake of Abraham his father.
23 A blessing for all men and the covenant He made
Rest upon the head of Jacob.
He acknowledged him with His blessings
And gave him an inheritance.
Then He divided his portions among twelve tribes.
1 He brought from him a man of mercy
Who found favor in the eyes of all flesh,
Beloved by God and man,
Moses, whose remembrance is blessed.
2 He made him equal in glory to the saints
And magnified him in the fears of his enemies.
3 With his words he caused signs to cease,
And the Lord honored him in the presence of kings.
He gave him commands for His people
And showed him His glory.
4 He sanctified him because of his faithfulness and gentleness
And chose him out of all flesh.
5 He caused him to hear His voice,
Then led him into the darkness
And gave him the commandments face to face:
The law of life and knowledge,
To teach Jacob His covenant
And His judgments to Israel.
6 He exalted Aaron, a holy man like himself,
His brother from the tribe of Levi.
7 He established an everlasting covenant with him
And gave him the priesthood of the people.
He blessed him with orderly behavior
And covered him with an adornment of glory.
8 He clothed him with the consummation of boasting
And confirmed him with instruments of strength:
The linen breeches, the long robe, and the ephod.
9 And He encircled him with tassels,
With many golden bells all around,
To sound their ring at his steps,
Making their ringing sound
As he walked in the temple,
A reminder for the children of his people.
10 With a holy garment, with gold and hyacinth
And purple cloth with embroidered work,
With the oracle of judgment, the Urim and Thummim,
With woven scarlet by the work of an artisan,
11 With entwined scarlet, the work of a skilled craftsman,
With precious stones engraved like a seal
In a setting of gold, in a cut stone, a jeweler’s work,
With a memorial in engraved letters,
According to the number of the tribes of Israel.
12 He set a golden crown over the priestly turban,
A figure of the holy seal, a distinction of honor,
The work of an expert,
Things desirable to the eyes, richly adorned!
13 There was never so much beauty before his time.
No outsider was ever clothed in these garments,
Only his sons and his offspring perpetually.
14 His sacrifices shall be a whole burnt offering
Perpetually, twice every day.
15 Moses ordained him and anointed him with holy oil.
It was an eternal covenant for him
And for his seed forever,
To minister to the Lord and serve as priest;
To bless His people in His name.
16 He chose him from all the living
To offer sacrifices to the Lord,
Incense and sweet-smelling offerings as a remembrance
To make atonement for Your people.
17 He gave him authority with His commandments
In covenants of judgments,
To teach Jacob the testimonies
And to enlighten Israel in His law.
18 Outsiders conspired against him
And were jealous of him in the desert,
The men who gathered with Dothan and Abiram,
And even the company of Korah with anger and wrath.
19 The Lord saw and was not pleased,
And they were brought to an end by the anger of His wrath.
He performed wonders against them
To consume them in His flaming fire.
20 He also brought Aaron glory
And gave him an inheritance.
He divided the firstfruits for him;
He prepared bread in abundance from the firstfruits.
21 For they will eat the sacrifices to the Lord,
Which He gave to him and to his seed.
22 But in the land of the people
He will have no inheritance,
And there is no portion for him among the people;
For the Lord Himself is his portion and his inheritance.
23 Then Phineas the son of Eleazar is the third in glory,
When he showed zeal in the fear of the Lord;
And he stood fast when the people turned away,
By the goodness of the eagerness of his soul,
And he made atonement for Israel.
24 Therefore He established a covenant of peace with him,
To be in charge of the sanctuary
And leader of his people,
That the priesthood might be with him and his seed forever.
25 A covenant was also established with David,
The son of Jesse from the tribe of Judah.
The heritage of the king is from son to son only,
And the heritage of Aaron is for his seed.
26 May He give you wisdom in your heart
To judge His people in righteousness,
That their good things might not disappear,
And their glory throughout their generations.
56 They tested and rebelled against the Most High God,
And did not keep His testimonies;
57 And they turned away and broke His covenant, just as their fathers did,
And they changed into a crooked bow;
58 And they provoked Him to anger with their high places,
And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images.
59 God heard and despised them,
And He utterly disdained Israel;
60 And He rejected the tabernacle at Shiloh,
His dwelling place, where He settled among men.
61 He gave their strength into captivity
And their beauty into the hands of the enemy;
62 And He gave His people over to the sword
And despised His inheritance.
63 Fire consumed their young men,
And their virgins were not lamented;
64 Their priests fell by the sword,
And their widows were not lamented.
65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
Like a strong man drunk from wine;
66 And He struck His enemies from behind;
He gave them eternal reproach.
67 And He rejected the dwelling of Joseph
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68 He chose the tribe of Judah,
This Mount Zion that He loves;
69 And He built His sanctuary as the place of unicorns;
He founded it forever on the earth.
70 He chose David for His servant
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 He took him from behind sheep that gave birth
To shepherd Jacob His people
And Israel His inheritance;
72 And he shepherded them in the integrity of his heart
And guided them with the skillfulness of his hands.
21 The heart of a wise man shall understand the things from his own mouth,
And he shall carry knowledge upon his lips.
22 Good words are a honeycomb,
And their sweetness is a healing of the soul.
23 There are ways that seem right to a man;
However, their ends look to the depths of Hades.
24 A man labors diligently for himself
And expels destruction from himself;
However, a perverse man carries destruction on his lips.
25 A man without discernment digs up evil things for himself
And stores up fire on his own lips.
25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.
26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
27 nor give place to the devil.
28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Walk in Love
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
Walk in Light
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.
14 Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”