Wisdom of Sirach 11, 12
1 The wisdom of a humble man will exalt his head,
And he will take his seat among the great.
2 Do not praise a man for his good looks,
And do not detest one because of his appearance.
3 The bee is small among winged creatures,
But her fruit is first among sweet things.
4 Do not boast about your fine clothes,
Nor magnify yourself in the day you are honored;
Because the works of the Lord are wondrous,
And His works are hidden from men.
5 Many tyrants have sat on the ground,
But one never thought of has worn a crown.
6 Many rulers have suffered exceeding disgrace,
And honored men have been betrayed into the hands of others.
7 Do not find fault before you examine a situation.
First, understand it, and then make your judgment.
8 Do not answer before you have listened,
And do not interrupt someone while he is talking.
9 Do not argue about a matter that does not concern you,
And do not sit together with sinners when they judge a case.
10 My son, do not let your business involve too many things.
If you multiply them, you will not remain unpunished,
And if you pursue them, you will not overtake them;
And you will not escape by running away.
11 There is a man who works and works
And keeps on working, but is in much more poverty.
12 There is another who is sluggish and in need of help;
And he lacks strength and abounds in poverty.
But the eyes of the Lord look upon him for his good
And restores his well-being from his humble state.
13 He raises up his head,
And many are amazed at this.
14 Good and bad, life and death, poverty and wealth—
These are from the Lord.
15 The gift of the Lord remains with the godly,
And His approval brings prosperity forever.
16 There is a man who grows rich
Because of his attention and restraint;
And this is the portion of his reward:
17 When he says, “I have found rest,
And now I will partake of my good things.”
Yet he does not know how much time will pass until he will die
And leave them behind to others.
18 Stand by your covenant and attend to it,
And grow old in your work.
19 Do not be amazed at the works of a sinner,
But trust in the Lord and remain at your work;
Because it is easy in the sight of the Lord
To make a poor man rich quickly and unexpectedly.
20 The blessing of the Lord is in the reward of a godly man,
And in an instant He makes his blessings flourish.
21 Do not say, “What do I need,
And what good things will be mine in the future?”
22 Do not say, “I am independent.
From now on, what will harm me?”
23 In the day of good things,
There is forgetfulness of bad things,
And in the day of bad things,
There is no remembrance of good things.
24 For it is easy in the judgment of the Lord
To reward a man on the day of his death according to his ways.
25 The ill-treatment of an hour makes one forget luxury,
And at the end of a man’s life,
There shall be a revelation of his works.
26 Consider no man happy before his death,
And a man will be known in his children.
Beware of Evildoers
27 Do not bring every man into your home,
For the plots of the deceitful are many.
28 The heart of an arrogant man is like a decoy partridge in a cage,
And like a spy he watches for your fall.
29 For he lies in wait and turns good into evil,
And he will attach blame to the good one chooses.
30 From a spark of fire a charcoal fire is kindled,
And a sinful man lies in wait for bloodshed.
31 Beware of an evildoer and his schemes,
Lest he bring lasting blame upon you.
32 Receive a stranger into your home
And he will upset you with troubles,
And alienate your family from you.
1 If you show kindness, know to whom you show it,
And you shall be thanked for your good deeds.
2 Do good to a godly man, and you will be repaid—
If not by him, then certainly by the Most High.
3 There shall be no good things for him who continues in evil things,
Or for him who does not give alms cheerfully.
4 Give to a godly man, but do not help the sinner.
5 Do good to a humble man, but do not give to an ungodly man.
Hold back his bread and do not give it to him,
Lest by it he lord it over you.
For you will receive twice as much evil coming back
For all the good you did for him.
6 For the Most High also hates sinners
And will render punishment on the ungodly.
Never Trust an Enemy
7 Give to the good man, but do not help the sinner.
8 A friend will not be revealed when you are prosperous,
Nor will an enemy hide himself when you are in adversity.
9 When a man prospers, his enemies are grieved,
But when he is in adversity, even a friend will separate himself.
10 Never trust your enemy,
For as copper becomes rusty, so is his evil.
11 Even if he acts humble and goes about with a humble posture,
Watch yourself, and be on your guard.
Then you shall be to him like him who wipes off a mirror,
And you will know that it is not corroded continually.
12 Do not let him stand by your side,
Lest he overthrow you and take your place.
Do not seat him on your right,
Lest he seek your seat of honor.
Then at last you will know the truth of my words,
And because of my words you will be pierced with sorrow.
13 Who will pity a snake charmer when he is bitten,
Or those who go near wild animals?
14 So no one will pity one who approaches a sinful man
And gets involved in his sins.
15 He will stay with you for a while,
But if you turn aside from him, he will not put up with you.
16 An enemy speaks sweetly with his lips,
But in his heart he will plan to throw you into a pit.
An enemy will shed tears, but if he finds an opportunity,
He will not be satisfied apart from shedding your blood.
17 If evil comes upon you,
You will find your enemy there ahead of you,
And as he pretends to help you,
He will pull your feet from under you.
18 He will shake his head and applaud with his hands;
And he will whisper many things and alter his expression.
21 Our God is the God who saves us,
And the issues of death belong to the Lord’s Lord.
22 But God will crush the heads of His enemies,
The hairy head of those who continue in their transgressions.
23 The Lord said, “I will return from Bashan;
I will return in the depths of the sea,
24 So your foot may be dipped in blood,
The tongue of your dogs in the blood of your enemies.”
25 Your processionals were seen, O God,
The processionals of my God and my King in the holy place.
26 The rulers drew near, singers followed after;
In the midst of them came young maidens playing timbrels.
27 Bless God in the churches,
The Lord from the fountains of Israel.
28 There is the young Benjamin in ecstasy;
The rulers of Judea are their leaders,
The rulers of Zebulun and Naphtali.
29 Give command, O God, to Your power;
Strengthen, O God, what You accomplished in us.
30 Because of Your temple at Jerusalem,
Kings will bring gifts to You.
31 Rebuke the wild beasts of the reed,
The herd of bulls among the heifers of the peoples,
Lest they shut out those proven in silver;
Scatter the nations that desire wars.
32 Ambassadors shall come out of Egypt;
Ethiopia shall draw near to stretch out its hand to God.
33 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, sing to the Lord.
34 Sing to God, who rides upon the heaven of heavens towards the east;
Behold, He will speak with His voice, a voice of power.
35 Give glory to God;
His magnificence is over Israel,
And His power is in the clouds.
36 God is wondrous in His saints;
The God of Israel shall give power and strength to His people.
Blessed is God.
1 Wise women build houses,
But those without discernment destroy them with their hands.
2 He who walks uprightly fears the Lord,
But he who is crooked in his ways will be dishonored.
3 From the mouth of a man without discernment comes a rod of arrogance,
But the lips of wise men guard themselves.
4 Where there are no oxen, the stalls are clean,
But where there are abundant crops, the strength of an ox is evident.
5 A faithful witness does not lie,
But an unrighteous witness kindles lies.
2 Corinthians 7
1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
The Corinthians’ Repentance
2 Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one.
3 I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.
5 For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.
6 Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,
7 and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.
8 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while.
9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
12 Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.
The Joy of Titus
13 Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.
14 For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I am not ashamed. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus was found true.
15 And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him.16 Therefore I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything.