Wisdom of Sirach 3, 4
1 Give heed to me, O children, for I am your father,
And do what I tell you, that you may be saved.
2 For the Lord honored the father over the children
And strengthened the judgment of the mother over her sons.
3 He who honors his father atones for his sins;
4 And he who honors his mother
Is like one who stores up treasure.
5 He who honors his father
Will be gladdened by his own children,
And when he prays, he will be heard.
6 He who honors his father will have a long life,
And he who obeys the Lord will give rest to his mother;
7 And he will serve his parents as his masters.
8 Honor your father and mother in word and deed,
That a blessing may come upon you from him.
9 For the blessing of a father establishes the houses of the children,
But the curse of a mother uproots their foundations.
10 Do not glory in the dishonor of your father,
For your father’s dishonor is no glory to you.
11 For the glory of a man is from the honor of his father,
And it is a disgrace for children to dishonor their mother.
12 My son, help your father in his old age,
And do not grieve him in his life;
13 And if his understanding fails, be considerate,
And do not dishonor him in your prime.
14 For kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
And it will be credited to you instead of your sins.
15 It will be remembered in the day of your affliction;
Thus your sins will melt away like frost in warm weather.
16 He who forsakes his father is like a blasphemer,
And he who provokes his mother to wrath is cursed by God.
Wisdom at Work
17 My son, accomplish your works with gentleness,
And you will be loved by people the Lord accepts.
18 The greater you are, the more humble you must be,
And you will find grace before the Lord;
19 Because great is the power of the Lord,
And He is honored by the humble.
20 Do not seek things too difficult for you,
Nor examine what is beyond your strength.
21 Think about what is commanded you,
For you do not need what the Lord keeps hidden.
22 Do not meddle in what is none of your business,
For things beyond human insight have been shown to you.
23 Speculation has led many astray,
And evil suppositions have caused their minds to slip and fall.
Keep a Soft Heart
24 A hard heart will suffer ruin in the end,
And he who loves danger will perish in it.
25 A hard heart will be weighed down with pains,
And the sinner will add sin to sin.
26 There is no healing to aid an arrogant man,
For a plant of evil has taken root in him.
27 The heart of an intelligent man will ponder a parable,
And the ear of a pupil is a wise man’s desire.
28 Water will quench a blazing fire,
And almsgiving will atone for sins.
29 He who repays kindnesses is mindful of the hereafter,
And at the time of his fall he will find support.
Care of the Poor and Needy
1 My son, do not deprive the poor of his living,
And do not keep eyes in need waiting.
2 Do not grieve a soul who is hungry,
Nor provoke to anger a man in despair.
3 Do not trouble a heart that was made resentful,
And do not put off the gift of a man in need.
4 Do not reject a suppliant who is afflicted,
Nor turn your face away from a poor man.
5 Do not turn your eye away from a needy man,
And do not give a man occasion to curse you;
6 For if he curses you in the bitterness of his soul,
His Maker will hear his prayer.
7 Make yourself beloved in the assembly
And bow your head to a great man.
8 Incline your ear to a poor man
And answer him peaceably and with gentleness.
9 Deliver a person who has been wronged
From the hand of the wrongdoer,
And do not be fainthearted when you judge his case.
10 Be like a father to orphans
And like a husband to their mother;
And you will be like a son of the Most High,
And He will love you more than your mother.
Pursuit of Wisdom
11 Wisdom exalts her children
And lays hold of those who seek her.
12 Whoever loves her loves life,
And those who come to her early in the morning
Will be filled with gladness.
13 He who holds fast to her will inherit glory,
And the Lord blesses every place she enters.
14 Those who serve her will minister to the Holy One,
And the Lord loves those who love her.
15 He who obeys her will judge the nations;
And he that gives heed to her will live with confidence.
16 If he trusts in her, he will inherit her,
And his posterity will be in possession of her.
17 At first she will walk with him on disturbing paths
And bring fear and dread upon him;
And she will torment him with her discipline
Until she can trust his soul
And test him with her ordinances.
18 Then she will come straight back to him,
And will gladden him, and reveal her secrets to him.
19 If he wanders away, she will forsake him
And hand him over to his ruin.
Shame and Sin
20 Watch for a proper opportunity and keep yourself from evil;
And do not bring shame upon your soul.
21 For there is a shame that brings sin,
And there is a shame which is glory and grace.
22 Do not show partiality to someone to your own harm,
And do not let your respect for another cause you to fall.
23 Do not withhold a word in time of need;
24 For wisdom is made known by a word,
And instruction by a word of the tongue.
25 Do not speak against the truth,
And do not be put to shame by your ignorance.
26 Do not be ashamed to confess your sins,
And do not exercise force against the current of a river.
27 Do not subject yourself to a foolish man,
And do not show partiality to a ruler.
28 Fight to the death for the truth,
And the Lord God will fight for you.
29 Do not be rash with your tongue
And sluggish and neglectful in your works.
30 Do not be like a lion in your home
And act in pretense with your servants.
31 Do not let your hand be extended to receive
And shut when you should repay.
1 For the End; a psalm by David; an ode; sung by Jeremiah and Ezekiel regarding the situation of the sojourners, when they were about to depart.
2 It is fitting to sing a hymn to You in Zion, O God,
And a vow shall be rendered to You in Jerusalem.
3 Hear my prayer;
To You all flesh shall come.
4 The words of lawless men overpowered us,
And You will show mercy to our ungodliness.
5 Blessed is he whom You choose and help;
He shall dwell in Your courts.
We shall be filled with the good things of Your house;
Holy is Your temple, wondrous in righteousness.
6 Hear us, O God our savior,
The hope of all the ends of earth
And of those far off at sea,
7 He who prepares mountains in His strength,
Who is girded with power,
8 Who troubles the depth of the sea,
The sounds of its waves.
The nations shall be troubled,
9 And those who inhabit the ends of the earth
Shall be afraid because of Your signs;
You shall gladden the outgoings of morning and evening.
10 You visited the earth and watered it;
You enriched it abundantly;
The river of God is filled with waters;
You prepared their food, for thus is Your preparation thereof.
11 Water its furrows; multiply its fruits;
With its raindrops the earth will be gladdened when it produces fruits.
12 You will bless the crown of the year with Your goodness,
And Your fields will be filled with fatness;
13 The desert fruits will be made fat,
And the hills will be girded with rejoicing.
14 The rams of the sheep are clothed with wool,
And the valleys shall abound in wheat;
They will shout and truly sing hymns.
6 Righteousness guards the simple,
But sin makes the ungodly worthless.
7 There are those with nothing who make themselves rich,
And there are those, though very rich, who humble themselves.
8 The ransom of a man’s soul is his own wealth,
But the poor man does not withstand a threat.
9 Light is with the righteous continually,
But the light of the ungodly is extinguished.
10 Deceitful souls are led astray in sins,
But the righteous have compassion and are merciful.
2 Corinthians 3
1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you?
2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;
3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
The Spirit, Not the Letter
4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God.
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,
6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Glory of the New Covenant
7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away,
8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?
9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.
10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.
11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—
13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away.
14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.
15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.
16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.