Wisdom of Sirach 34, 35
1 Vain hopes and lying belong to a man without understanding,
And dreams give wing to senseless men.
2 Like him who grasps after shadows and chases the wind,
So is he who pays attention to dreams.
3 The vision of dreams is this against that,
The likeness of a face opposite a face.
4 What will be cleansed from an unclean thing?
And what will be true from a false thing?
5 Divinations, omens, and dreams are worthless;
And like a woman in the pains of childbirth,
The heart becomes visible.
6 Unless visions are sent from the Most High in a visitation,
Do not give your heart to them.
7 For dreams have deceived many,
And those who hope in them have fallen away.
8 Without such lying, the law will be fulfilled,
And wisdom is perfection in the mouth of the faithful.
Benefits of Travel
9 A man who has traveled about knows many things,
And a man with much experience will speak with understanding.
10 A man who has not been tested knows little,
But he who has traveled about increases his astuteness.
11 I have seen many things in my travels,
And my understanding is more than I can express in words.
12 I have frequently been in danger of death,
But I have been saved because of these experiences.
The Blessings of God
13 The spirit of those who fear the Lord will live,
For their hope is in Him who saves them.
14 He who fears the Lord will fear nothing,
And he will not be cowardly, for the Lord is his hope.
15 Blessed is the soul of a man who fears the Lord.
To whom does he look? And who is his support?
16 The eyes of the Lord are upon those who love Him.
He is a powerful protection and a strong support:
A shelter from the burning heat,
A shelter from the noonday sun,
A guard from stumbling,
And help from a fall.
17 He raises up the soul
And gives light to the eyes.
He gives healing, life, and blessing.
18 If a man sacrifices by means of wrongdoing,
The offering is a mockery,
And the gifts of the lawless are not accepted.
19 The Most High is not pleased with the offerings of the ungodly,
And a man does not atone for his sins with a multitude of sacrifices.
20 He who offers a sacrifice from the property of the poor
Is like one who kills a son in the sight of his father.
21 The bread of the needy is the life of the poor.
He who deprives them of it is a man of bloodshed.
22 Whoever takes away his neighbor’s livelihood murders him,
And whoever deprives a hired worker of his wages sheds his blood.
23 If one builds up while another tears down,
What do they profit other than toil?
24 If one prays while another curses,
Whose voice will the Lord hear?
25 If a man washes himself after touching a corpse,
Then touches it again,
What does he profit by his washing?
26 So it is with a man who fasts over his sins
And goes and does the same sins all over again.
Who will hear his prayer?
What does his humbling profit him?
1 The man who keeps the law will abound in offerings;
He who heeds the commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
2 He who returns a kindness offers fine wheat flour,
And he who does alms sacrifices a praise offering.
3 To forsake evil is pleasing to the Lord,
And to forsake wrongdoing is atonement.
4 Do not appear before the Lord empty-handed,
For all these offerings are made because of the commandment.
5 A righteous offering anoints the altar,
And its fragrance rises before the Most High.
6 The sacrifice of a righteous man is acceptable,
And its remembrance shall not be forgotten.
7 Glorify the Lord with your generosity,
And do not reduce the firstfruits of your hands.
8 In every gift let your face be cheerful,
And sanctify your tithe with gladness.
9 Give to the Most High as He has given to you,
And give to Him with generosity, according to your windfall.
10 For the Lord is He who repays,
And He will repay you sevenfold.
God’s Justice and Mercy
11 Do not bribe Him, for He will not accept it;
And do not offer an unrighteous sacrifice.
12 For the Lord is the judge,
And there is no partiality with Him.
13 He will not show partiality to a poor man,
But He will hear the petition of him who is wronged.
14 He will not overlook the supplication of an orphan,
Nor a widow when she pours out her story.
15 Do not the tears of a widow run down her cheeks
As she cries out against him who caused them?
16 He whose service is pleasing to the Lord
Will be accepted by Him,
And his prayer will reach to the clouds.
17 The prayer of a humble man passes through the clouds,
And he will not be comforted until it reaches the Lord;
18 And he will not withdraw it until the Most High visits him,
Provides justice for the righteous,
And executes judgment.
19 So the Lord will not delay,
Neither will He be slow to help them,
20 Until He crushes the loins of the unmerciful
And repays vengeance upon the nations,
21 Until He destroys the multitude of the insolent
And crushes the scepter of the unrighteous,
22 Until He renders to a man according to his practices
And the works of men according to their devices,
23 Until He judges the cause of His people
And brings them joy with His mercy.
24 Mercy is beautiful in the time of His affliction,
Like rain in the time of drought.
1 For the End; in hymns; a psalm for Asaph, an ode to the Assyrian.
2 In Judah God is known;
His name is great in Israel.
3 His place was made in peace
And His dwelling in Zion.
4 There He broke the power of the bows,
Weapon and sword and battle.
5 You give light wondrously
From the everlasting mountains.
6 All the foolish in heart were troubled;
All the men of wealth slept their sleep
And found nothing in their hands.
7 At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
Those who mounted horses fell asleep.
8 You are fearsome, and who shall stand against You?
From that time on is Your wrath.
9 You caused judgment to be heard from heaven;
The earth was afraid, and kept quiet
10 When God arose for judgment,
To save all the gentle on the earth.
11 For a man shall give thanks to You from his heart,
And he shall celebrate a feast to You with his whole heart.
12 Pray and return to the Lord Your God;
All around Him shall bring gifts
13 To the fearsome One, and to Him who takes away the spirits of rulers,
To the fearsome One among the kings of the earth.
27 The Lord will destroy the houses of the arrogant,
But He will strengthen the boundary of a widow.
28 The thinking of the unrighteous man is an abomination to the Lord,
But the words of the holy are sacred.
29 He who receives bribes utterly destroys himself,
But he who hates the receiving of bribes saves himself.
30 Sins are cleansed by almsgiving and faithfulness,
And by the fear of the Lord everyone turns aside from evil.
31 The hearts of the righteous care about faithfulness,
But the mouth of the ungodly answers evil things.
32 The ways of righteous men are acceptable before the Lord,
And through them even enemies become friends.
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
Love Fulfills the Law
7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.
9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.
12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Walking in the Spirit
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.