Day 267 – Wisdom of Sirach 28, 29; Psalm 73:1–11; Proverbs 15:11–15; Galatians 2

Wisdom of Sirach 28, 29

1 He who seeks revenge will find it from the Lord,

And He will surely punish his sins.

Showing Mercy

2 Forgive a wrong done you by your neighbor;

Then your sins will be pardoned when you pray.

3 Can a man preserve wrath against his neighbor

And still seek healing from the Lord?

4 Can he show no mercy toward a man like himself

And still beg God for mercy for himself?

5 If he being flesh keeps his anger continually,

Who will atone for his sins?

6 Remember the end of your life

And cease from enmity;

Remember destruction and death

And stand fast in the commandments.

7 Remember the commandments

And do not vent your wrath against your neighbor;

Remember the covenant of the Most High

  And overlook faults.

Cease Quarreling and Evil Talk

8 Refrain from quarreling and you will decrease your sins,

For a man who is hot-tempered will kindle quarreling.

9 A sinful man will trouble his friends,

And among those who live in peace he will inject unfriendliness.

10 The heat of a fire will be kindled according to the amount of wood;

So also the heat of a fire will be kindled according to the obstinacy of quarreling.

According to the strength of a man, so his anger shall be;

And according to his wealth, he will increase his wrath.

11 A hasty quarrel kindles a fire,

And a vigorous quarrel sheds blood.

12 If you blow on a spark, it will kindle a fire,

But if you spit on it, it will be quenched;

Yet both come out of your mouth.

13 Curse a slanderous and deceitful man,

For he has destroyed many who were at peace.

14 Slander has unsettled many

And scattered them from nation to nation;

And it has destroyed strong cities

And overturned the houses of great men.

15 Slander has driven away courageous women

And robbed them of their labors.

16 He who devotes himself to slander will not find rest,

Nor shall he dwell in quietness.

17 The blow from a whip causes a wound,

But a blow from the tongue breaks bones.

18 Many have fallen by the edge of the sword,

But not so many as those who have fallen because of the tongue.

19 Blessed is the man who is sheltered from it,

Who has not passed through the anger of the tongue;

Who does not drag its yoke

And is not bound by its chains.

20 For its yoke is a yoke of iron,

And its chains are chains of bronze.

21 Its death is an evil death,

And Hades is preferable to it.

22 An evil tongue will not prevail over the godly,

And they will not be burned in its flame.

23 Those who forsake the Lord will fall into it,

And among them it will be kindled;

And it will not be quenched.

It will set upon them like a lion,

And like a leopard it will mangle them.

24 See that you fence in your possessions with thorns;

Lock up your silver and gold.

25 Make balances and scales for your words

  And bar and bolt the door of your mouth.

26 Beware lest you make a slip with your tongue,

Lest you fall victim before him who lies in wait.

Loans and Gifts

1 He who shows mercy will lend to his neighbor,

And he who makes him strong with a helping hand

Keeps the commandments.

2 Lend to your neighbor in the time of his need,

And when you borrow, repay your neighbor on time.

3 Keep your word and be trustworthy with him,

And on every occasion you will find what you need.

4 Many men, supposing a loan is like a windfall,

Cause trouble to those who help them.

5 He will kiss the lender’s hand until he receives the loan,

And to get his neighbor’s money he will lower his voice;

But at the time of repayment, he will put it off,

And repay only with words of indifference,

And blame the times.

6 If the lender is firm with him, he will barely get back half the loan,

And will consider it as a windfall.

If the borrower does not repay anything,

He has robbed him of his money,

And needlessly made him an enemy.

The lender will then repay him with curses and insults,

And dishonor instead of glory.

7 Many men, not because they are evil,

Have refused to lend;

They have become afraid of being needlessly robbed.

8 However, be patient with a man of humble circumstances,

And do not keep him waiting for your alms.

9 Because of the commandment, help a poor man,

And in his need, do not turn him away empty.

10 Lose your money for the sake of a brother and friend;

Do not let it rust under a stone and be lost.

11 Lay up your treasure according to the commandments of the Most High,

For this will profit you more than gold.

12 Store alms in your storerooms,

And they will deliver you from all affliction.

13 More than a mighty shield and better than a strong spear

Almsgiving will fight for you against your enemy.

14 A good man will go surety for his neighbor,

But a man who has lost his sense of shame will forsake him.

15 Do not forget the kindness his surety has done for you,

For he has given his life for you.

16 A sinner will overthrow the good things of his surety,

  And the ungrateful man will forsake his deliverer on purpose.

17 Suretyship has destroyed many prosperous men

And tossed them about like waves of the sea.

18 Suretyship has driven influential men from their homes,

And they have wandered among foreign nations.

19 The sinner who chances upon suretyship

And the man who pursues profit-taking will fall into judgment.

20 Help your neighbor according to your ability,

But watch out for yourself lest you fall.

21 The principle of life is water, bread, and clothing,

And a house that offers privacy.

22 The life of a poor man under a shelter of logs

Is better than great food in another man’s house.

23 Be content with little or much,

And you will not hear your guest insulted.

24 Going from house to house is a bad way to live,

And where you are visiting, you dare not open your mouth.

25 You will entertain guests and give drink to the ungrateful,

And besides this you will hear bitter words:

26 “Come here, stranger; set the table,

And if you have any food at hand, feed me.”

27 “Get out, stranger, somebody more important is here;

My brother has come as my guest;

I need my house.”

28 These things are hard for a sensible man to take:

The rebuke of a household and the abuse of a creditor.

Psalm 73:1–11

1 Of understanding; for Asaph.

O God, why have You rejected us to the end?

Why has Your anger raged against the sheep of Your pasture?

2 Remember Your congregation You acquired from the beginning,

That You redeemed the rod of Your inheritance,

This Mount Zion, where You encamped.

3 Lift up Your hands against their arrogance to the end,

Against everything the enemy prostituted in Your holy places.

4 Those who hate You boasted in the midst of Your feast;

They set up their signs, yes signs, and they did not know.

5 As into an entrance hall,

6 As in a thicket of trees, they cut down its doors with axes;

With battle axes and hammers, they broke it down.

7 They burned down Your sanctuary;

They defiled the tabernacle of Your name to the ground.

8 Their kindred said in their heart together,

“Come, let us abolish all the feasts of God from the earth.”

9 We do not see our signs;

There is no longer any prophet, and He will no longer know us.

10 How long, O God, will the enemy reproach?

Will the adversary provoke Your name to the end?

11 Why do You turn away Your hand,

Your right hand from the midst of Your breast to the end?

Proverbs 15:11–15

11 The instruction of the simple is known by those who pass by,

But those who hate reproofs will die shamefully.

12 Hades and destruction are manifest before the Lord;

How can the hearts of men not be also?

13 An uninstructed man will not love those who reprove him,

And he will not keep company with the wise.

14 When one’s heart is glad, his face is cheerful,

But when it is in grief, his face is sad.

15 The upright heart seeks perception,

But the mouth of the uninstructed will know evil things.

Galatians 2

1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me.

2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.

3 Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.

4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage),

5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

6 But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.

7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter

8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles),

9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.

No Return to the Law

11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed;

12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.

  13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?

15 “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

16 “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not!

18 “For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

19 “For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.

20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

21 “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

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