Wisdom of Sirach 48, 49
1 Then Elijah the prophet rose up like fire,
And his word burned like a lamp.
2 He brought a famine upon them,
And in his zeal he reduced them in number.
3 By the word of the Lord he shut up heaven,
And also three times he brought down fire.
4 So by your wonders you were honored, O Elijah,
And who can boast like you?
5 You raised the dead from death
And from Hades by the word of the Most High.
6 You brought down kings to destruction,
And from their bed, those who had been honored.
7 You heard rebuke at Sinai,
And at Horeb the judgments of punishment.
8 You anointed kings for retribution
And prophets to serve after you.
9 You were taken up in a fiery whirlwind,
In a chariot of flaming horses.
10 It is written that you will come at the proper time with rebukes
To calm the wrath of God before it breaks forth in fury,
To turn the heart of the father to the son,
And to restore the tribes of Jacob.
11 Blessed are those who saw you
And who fell asleep with love,
For indeed we will surely live.
12 Elijah was covered by the whirlwind,
And Elisha was filled with his spirit.
And in his days he trembled before no ruler,
And no one oppressed him.
13 No word could overcome him,
And after death his body prophesied.
14 As in his life he did wonders,
So even in death his works were amazing.
15 For all these things the people did not repent,
Nor did they turn away from their sins
Until their land was plundered;
Then they were scattered over all the earth.
16 But a people few in number were left
And a ruler in the house of David.
Some of them did what was virtuous,
But some multiplied sins.
Hezekiah and Isaiah
17 Hezekiah fortified his city
And brought water into its midst.
He dug through the hard rock with iron
And constructed cisterns for the water.
18 In his days, Sennacherib came up
And sent out the Rabshakeh, and he retreated.
Then he lifted up his hand against Zion
And boasted in his arrogance.
19 So their hearts and hands were shaken,
And they suffered pain like women giving birth.
20 Then they called upon the merciful Lord,
Stretching out their hands toward Him.
Thus the Holy One quickly heard them from heaven
And rescued them by the hand of Isaiah.
21 He struck the camp of the Assyrians,
And his angel destroyed them.
22 For Hezekiah did what was pleasing to the Lord
And grew strong in the ways of David his father,
Which Isaiah the prophet commanded,
The one great and faithful in his vision.
23 In his days the sun moved backward
And lengthened the life of the king.
24 With a great spirit he saw the last things
And encouraged those who mourned in Zion.
25 He showed what was to come to the end of time,
And the hidden things before they came to pass.
Josiah and Jeremiah
1 The remembrance of Josiah is like the composition of incense
Prepared by the work of the perfumer.
In every mouth it is sweet like honey
And like the music at a banquet with wine.
2 He led in the conversion of the people,
And he removed the abominations of lawlessness.
3 He directed his heart to the Lord,
And in days of lawlessness he strengthened godliness.
4 Except for David, Hezekiah, and Josiah,
All offended continually,
For they forsook the law of the Most High.
The kings of Judah failed,
5 For they gave their power to others
And their glory to a foreign nation.
6 They set fire to the chosen city of the sanctuary
And desolated her streets
7 According to the word of Jeremiah;
For they did him evil,
He who was sanctified as a prophet while still inside his mother,
To root out, to afflict, and to destroy,
And likewise to build and to plant.
Ezekiel and the Twelve Prophets
8 Ezekiel himself saw a vision of glory,
Which the Lord showed him on a chariot of cherubim.
9 For He remembered his enemies with a thunderstorm
And did good to those who directed their ways aright.
10 May He indeed revive the bones
Of the twelve prophets from their place.
For they encouraged the people of Jacob
And redeemed them with steadfast hope.
Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah
11 How shall we magnify Zerubbabel?
He was surely like a seal upon the right hand,
12 And so was Jeshua the son of Jozadak,
Who in their days built the house
And raised up a holy temple to the Lord,
One prepared unto eternal glory.
13 There is the lasting memory of Nehemiah,
Who raised for us the walls that had fallen;
And he established gates and locks
And raised again our home sites.
Others of Honor
14 No one like Enoch was created upon the earth,
For he himself was taken up from the earth.
15 Neither has a man like Joseph been born,
The leader of his brothers and the support of his people;
And they watched over his bones.
16 Shem and Seth were honored among men,
And Adam over every living thing in creation.
1 For the End, concerning things that shall be changed; a testimony for Asaph, a psalm concerning the Assyrian.
2 Give heed, O You who shepherd Israel;
Reveal Yourself, O You who lead Joseph like a flock,
Who sit upon the cherubim.
3 Raise up Your power
Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh,
And come for our salvation.
4 O God, convert us,
And reveal Your face, and we shall be saved.
5 O Lord God of hosts,
How long will You be angry with the prayer of Your servant?
6 Will You feed us the bread of tears,
And will You give us as drink tears in measure?
7 You made us an offense to our neighbors,
And our enemies sneered at us.
8 O Lord God, convert us,
And reveal Your face, and we shall be saved.
9 You removed a vineyard from Egypt;
You cast out the nations and planted it;
10 You prepared the way before it,
And You planted its roots; and the earth was filled.
11 Its shade covered the mountains,
And its vines the cedars of God;
12 Its branches reached to the sea
And its shoots as far as the river.
13 Why did You pull down its hedge,
And all who pass on the road gather its grapes?
14 A wild swine from the forest laid it waste,
A solitary wild beast devoured it.
15 O God of hosts, convert us now;
Look down from heaven and behold,
And visit this vineyard
16 Which Your right hand planted, and perfect it.
And visit the son of man, whom You strengthened for Yourself.
17 It was set on fire and uprooted,
But they shall perish at the rebuke of Your face.
18 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
And upon the son of man, whom You strengthened for Yourself;
19 Then we will not turn away from You;
You will give us life, and we will call upon Your name.
20 O Lord God of hosts, convert us,
and reveal Your face, and we shall be saved.
1 Better is a morsel with enjoyment in peace
Than a house full of many good things and unrighteous sacrifices with quarreling.
2 A servant with discernment shall rule over masters without discernment,
And will divide portions among brethren.
3 As silver and gold are tested in a furnace,
So are chosen hearts before the Lord.
4 An evil man heeds the tongue of the lawless,
But a righteous man pays no attention to false lips.
5 He who laughs at the poor provokes the One who made him,
And he who rejoices in destruction will not be unpunished;
But he who has compassion will be shown mercy.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:
3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Bondservants and Masters
5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ;
6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,
8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
A Gracious Greeting
21 But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you;
22 whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts.
23 Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.