Holy Bible - WEB Translation - The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach Christianity. Orthodoxy. Catholicism. Sense of life. The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach
And if thy hand cause thee to stumble, cut it off: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed, rather than having thy two hands to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire.                where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.                And if thy foot cause thee to stumble, cut it off: it is good for thee to enter into life halt, rather than having thy two feet to be cast into hell, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.                And if thine eye cause thee to stumble, cast it out: it is good for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell;                where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.               
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The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach

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The Prologue of the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach.

WHEREAS many and great things have been delivered to us by the law and the prophets, and by the others that have followed in their steps, for the which things we must give Israel the praise of instruction and wisdom; and since not only the readers must needs become skillful themselves, but also those who love learning must be able to profit them which are without, both by speaking and writing; my grandfather Jesus, having much given himself to the reading of the law, and the prophets, and the other books of our fathers, and having gained great familiarity therein, was drawn on also himself to write somewhat pertaining to instruction and wisdom; in order that those who love learning, and are addicted to these things, might make progress much more by living according to the law. You⌃ are entreated therefore to read with favor and attention, and to pardon us, if in any parts of what we have laboured to interpret, we may seem to fail in some of the phrases. For things originally spoken in Hebrew have not the same force in them, when they are translated into another tongue: and not only these, but the law itself, and the prophecies, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when they are spoken in their original language. For having come into Egypt in the eight and thirties year of Energetes the king, and having continued there some time, I found * a copy affording no small instruction. I thought it therefore most necessary for me to apply some diligence and travail to interpret this book; applying indeed much watchfulness and skill in that space of time to bring the book to an end, and set it forth for them also, who in the land of their sojourning are desirous to learn, fashioning their manners beforehand, so as to live according to the law.

Chapter 1

1 All wisdom comes from the Lord,
And is with him forever.
2 The sand of the seas, and the drops of rain,
And the days of eternity, who shall count?
3 The height of the heaven, and the breadth of the earth,
And the deep, and wisdom, who shall search them out?
4 Wisdom has been created before all things,
And the understanding of prudence from everlasting. 5 †
6 To whom has the root of wisdom been revealed?
And who has known her shrewd counsels? 7 ‡
8 There is one wise, greatly to be feared,
The Lord sitting upon his throne:
9 He created her,
And saw, and counted her,
And poured her out upon all his works.
10 She is with all flesh according to his gift;
And he gave her freely to those who love him.
11 The fear of the Lord is glory, and exultation,
And gladness, and a crown of rejoicing.
12 The fear of the Lord will delight the heart,
And will give gladness, and joy, and length of days.
13 Whoso fears the Lord, it will go well with him at the last,
And in the day of his death he will be blessed.
14 To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
And it was created together with the faithful in the womb.
15 With men she § laid an eternal foundation;
And with their seed she will be had in trust.
16 To fear the Lord is the fulness of wisdom;
And she satiates men with her fruits.
17 She will fill all her house with desirable things,
And her garners with her produce.
18 The fear of the Lord is the crown of wisdom,
Making peace and ** perfect health to flourish. ††
19 He both saw and counted her;
He rained down skill and knowledge of understanding,
And exalted the honor of those who hold her fast.
20 To fear the Lord is the root of wisdom;
And her branches are length of days. 21 ‡‡
22 Unjust wrath can never be justified;
For the sway of his wrath is his downfall.
23 A man that is longsuffering will §§ bear *** for a season,
And afterward gladness will spring up to him;
24 He will hide his words ††† for a season,
And the lips of many will tell forth his understanding.
25 A parable of knowledge is in the treasures of wisdom;
But godliness is an abomination to a sinner.
26 If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments,
And the Lord will give her to you freely:
27 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction;
And in faith and meekness is his good pleasure.
28 Disobey not the fear of the Lord;‡‡‡
And come not to him with a double heart.
29 Be not a hypocrite in the mouths of men;
And take good heed to your lips.
30 Exalt not yourself, lest you fall,
And bring dishonor upon your soul;
And so the Lord will reveal your secrets,
And will cast you down in the midst of the congregation;
Because you came not to the fear of the Lord,
And your heart was full of deceit.

*^ Or, a like work The word is of very doubtful meaning.

† 1:5 Verses 5 and 7 are omitted by the best authorities

‡ 1:7 Verses 5 and 7 are omitted by the best authorities

§ 1:15 Gr. nested.

** 1:18 Gr. health of cure.

†† 1:18 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

‡‡ 1:21 Verse 21 is omitted by the best authorities.

§§ 1:23 Most authorities read resist.

*** 1:23 Or, until his season

††† 1:24 Or, until his season

‡‡‡ 1:28 The remainder of this line is omitted by the best authorities.

Chapter 2

1 My son, if you come to serve the Lord,
Prepare your soul for temptation.
2 Set your heart aright, and constantly endure,
And make not haste in time of calamity.
3 Cleave to him, and depart not,
That you may be increased at your latter end.
4 Accept whatever is brought upon you,
And be longsuffering * when you passest into humiliation.
5 For gold is tried in the fire,
And acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.
6 Put your trust in him, and he will help you:
Order your ways aright, and set your hope on him.
7 You⌃ that fear the Lord, wait for his mercy;
And turn not aside, lest you⌃ fall.
8 You⌃ that fear the Lord, put your trust in him;
And your reward will not fail.
9 You⌃ that fear the Lord, hope for good things,
And for eternal gladness and mercy.
10 Look at the generations of old, and see:
Who did ever put his trust in the Lord, and was ashamed?
Or who did abide in his fear, and was forsaken?
Or who did call upon him, and he despised him?
11 For the Lord is full of compassion and mercy;
And he forgives sins, and saves in time of affliction.
12 Woe to fearful hearts, and to faint hands,
And to the sinner that goes two ways!
13 Woe to the faint heart! for it believes not;
Therefore will it not be defended.
14 Woe to you that have lost your patience!
And what will you⌃ do when the Lord shall visit you?
15 They that fear the Lord will not disobey his words;
And those who love him will keep his ways.
16 They that fear the Lord will seek his good pleasure;
And those who love him will be filled with the law.
17 They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts,
And will humble their souls in his sight,
18 saying,
We will fall into the hands of the Lord,
And not into the hands of men:
For as his majesty is,
So also is his mercy.

* 2:4 Gr. in the changes of your humiliation.

Chapter 3

1 Hear me your father, O my children,
And do thereafter, that you⌃ may be saved.
2 For the Lord has given the father glory as touching the children,
And has confirmed the judgement of the mother as touching the sons.
3 He that honors his father will make atonement for sins:
4 And he that gives glory to his mother is as one that lays up treasure.
5 Whoso honors his father will have joy of his children;
And in the day of his prayer he will be heard.
6 He that gives glory to his father will have length of days;
And he that listens to the Lord will bring rest to his mother,
7 * And will do service under his parents, as to masters.
8 In deed and word honor your father,
That a blessing may come upon you from him.
9 For the blessing of the father establishes the houses of children;
But the curse of the mother roots out the foundations.
10 Glorify not yourself 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 a mother in dishonor is a reproach to her children.
12 My son, help your father in his old age;
And grieve him not as long as he lives.
13 And if he fails in understanding, have patience with him;
And dishonor him not while you are in your full strength.
14 For the relieving of your father will not be forgotten:
And instead of sins it will be added to build you up.
15 In the day of your affliction it will remember you;
As fair weather upon ice,
So will your sins also melt away.
16 He that forsakes his father is as a blasphemer;
And he that provokes his mother is cursed of the Lord.
17 My son, go on with your business in meekness;
So will you be beloved of an acceptable man.
18 The greater you are, humble yourself the more,
And you will find favor before the Lord. 19 †
20 For great is the potency of the Lord,
And he is glorified of those who are lowly.
21 Seek not things that are too hard for you,
And search not out things that are above your strength.
22 The things that have been commanded you, think thereupon;
For you have no need of the things that are secret.
23 Be not over busy in your superfluous works:
For more things are showed to you than men can understand.
24 For the conceit of many has led them astray;
And evil surmising has caused their judgement to slip. 25 ‡
26 A stubborn heart will fare ill at the last;
And he that loves danger will perish therein.
27 A stubborn heart will be laden with troubles;
And the sinner will heap sin upon § sin.
28 The calamity of the proud is no healing;
For a plant of wickedness has taken root in him.
29 The heart of the prudent will understand a parable;
And the ear of a listener is the desire of a wise man.
30 Water will quench a flaming fire;
And almsgiving will make atonement for sins.
31 He that requites good turns is mindful of that which comes afterward;
And in the time of his falling he will find a support.

* 3:7 The preceding words of this verse are omitted by the best authorities.

† 3:19 Verse 19 is omitted by the best authorities.

‡ 3:25 Most authorities omit verse 25, and transpose the lines in verse 26.

§ 3:27 Gr. sins.

Chapter 4

1 My son, deprive not the poor of his living,
And make not the needy eyes to wait long.
2 Make not a hungry soul sorrowful;
Neither provoke a man in his distress.
3 To a heart that is provoked add not more trouble;
And defer not to give to him that is in need.
4 Reject not a suppliant in his affliction;
And turn not away your face from a poor man.
5 Turn not away your eye from one that asks of you,
And give none occasion to a man to curse you:
6 For if he curse you in the bitterness of his soul,
He that made him will hear his supplication.
7 Get yourself the love of the congregation;
And to a great man bow your head.
8 Incline your ear to a poor man,
And answer him with peaceful words in meekness.
9 Deliver him that is wronged from the hand of him that wrongs him;
And be not faint-hearted in giving judgement.
10 Be as a father to the fatherless,
And instead of a husband to their mother:
So will you be as a son of the Most High,
And he will love you more than your mother does.
11 Wisdom exalts her sons,
And takes hold of those who seek her.
12 He that loves her loves life;
And those who seek to her early will be filled with gladness.
13 He that holds her fast will inherit glory;
And where * he enters, the Lord will bless.
14 They that do her service will minister to the Holy One;
And those who love her the Lord does love.
15 He that gives ear to her will judge the nations;
And he that gives heed to her will dwell securely.
16 If he trust her, he will inherit her;
And his generations will have her in possession.
17 For at the first she will walk with him in crooked ways,
And will bring fear and dread upon him,
And torment him with her discipline,
Until she may trust his soul, and try him by her judgements:
18 Then she will return again the straight way to him,
And will gladden him, and reveal to him her secrets.
19 If he go astray, she will forsake him,
And give him over † to his fall.
20 Observe the opportunity, and beware of ‡ evil;
And be not ashamed concerning your soul.
21 For there is a shame that brings sin;
And there is a shame that is glory and grace.
22 Accept not the person of any against your soul;
And § reverence no man to your falling.
23 Refrain not speech, ** when it tends to safety;
†† And hide not your wisdom for the sake of fair-seeming.
24 For by speech wisdom will be known;
And instruction by the word of the tongue.
25 Speak not against the truth;
And be abashed for your ignorance.
26 Be not ashamed to make confession of your sins;
And force not the current of the river.
27 Lay not yourself down for a fool to tread upon;
And accept not the person of one that is mighty.
28 Strive for the truth to death, and the Lord God will fight for you.
29 Be not ‡‡ hasty in your tongue,
And in your deeds slack and remiss.
30 Be not as a lion in your house,
Nor fanciful among your servants.
31 Let not your hand be stretched out to receive, and §§ closed when you should repay.

* 4:13 Or, she

† 4:19 Gr. to the hands of his fall.

‡ 4:20 Or, an evil man

§ 4:22 Or, be not abashed

** 4:23 Gr. in an occasion of safety.

†† 4:23 Most authorities omit this line.

‡‡ 4:29 Some authorities read rough.

§§ 4:31 Or, drawn back

Chapter 5

1 Set not your heart upon your goods;
And say not, They are sufficient for me.
2 Follow not your own mind and your strength,
To walk in the desires of your heart;
3 And say not, Who will have dominion over me?
For the Lord will surely take vengeance on you.
4 Say not, I sinned, and what happened to me?
For the Lord is longsuffering. *
5 Concerning atonement, be not without fear,
To add sin upon sins:
6 And say not, His compassion is great;
He will be pacified for the multitude of my sins:
For mercy and wrath are with him,
And his indignation will rest upon sinners.
7 Make no tarrying to turn to the Lord;
And put not off from day to day:
For suddenly will the wrath of the Lord come forth; †
And you will perish in the time of vengeance.
8 Set not your heart upon unrighteous gains:
For you will profit nothing in the day of calamity.
9 Winnow not with every wind,
And walk not in every path:
Thus does the sinner that has a double tongue.
10 Be stedfast in your understanding;
And let your word be one.
11 Be swift to hear; ‡
And with patience make your answer.
12 If you have understanding, answer your neighbor;
And if not, let your hand be upon your mouth.
13 Glory and dishonor is in talk:
And the tongue of a man is his fall.
14 Be not called a whisperer;
And lie not in wait with your tongue:
For upon the thief there is shame,
And an evil condemnation upon him that has a double tongue.
15 In a great matter and in a small, be not ignorant;

* 5:4 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

† 5:7 A line of this verse is here omitted by the best authorities.

‡ 5:11 The remainder of this line is omitted by the best authorities.

Chapter 6

1 And instead of a friend become not an enemy;
For an evil name will inherit shame and reproach:
Even so will the sinner that has a double tongue.
2 Exalt not yourself in the counsel of your soul;
That your soul be not torn in pieces as a bull:
3 You will eat up your leaves, and destroy your fruits,
And leave yourself as a dry tree.
4 A wicked soul will destroy him that has gotten it,
And will make him * a laughing stock to his enemies.
5 † Sweet words will multiply ‡ a man’s friends;
And a fair-speaking tongue will multiply courtesies.
6 Let those that are at peace with you be many;
But your counselors one of a thousand.
7 If you would get you a friend, get him § by proving,
And be not in haste to trust him.
8 For there is a friend that is so for his own occasion;
And he will not continue in the day of your affliction.
9 And there is a friend that turns to enmity;
And he will discover strife to your reproach.
10 And there is a friend that is a companion at the table;
And he will not continue in the day of your affliction.
11 And in your prosperity he will be as yourself,
And will be bold over your servants:
12 If you shall be brought low, he will be against you,
And will hide himself from your face.
13 Separate yourself from your enemies;
And beware of your friends.
14 A faithful friend is a strong ** defence;
And he that has found him has found a treasure.
15 There is nothing that can be taken in exchange for a faithful friend;
And his excellency is beyond †† price.
16 A faithful friend is a medicine of life;
And those who fear the Lord will find him.
17 He that fears the Lord directs his friendship aright;
For as he is, so is his neighbor also.
18 My son, gather instruction from your youth up:
And even to hoar hairs you will find wisdom.
19 Come to her as one that plows and sows,
And wait for her good fruits;
For your toil will be little in the tillage of her,
And you will eat of her fruits right soon.
20 How exceeding harsh is she to the unlearned!
And he that is without understanding will not abide in her.
21 As a mighty stone of trial she will rest upon him;
And he will not delay to cast her from him.
22 For wisdom is according to her name; and she is not manifest to many.
23 Give ear, my son, and accept my judgement,
And refuse not my counsel,
24 And bring your feet into her fetters,
And your neck into her chain.
25 Put your shoulder under her, and bear her,
And be not grieved with her bonds.
26 Come to her with all your soul,
And keep her ways with your whole power.
27 Search, and seek, and she will be made known to you;
And when you have got hold of her, let her not go.
28 For at the last you will find her rest;
And ‡‡ she will be turned for you into gladness.
29 And her fetters will be to you for a covering of strength,
And her chains for a robe of glory.
30 For there is a golden ornament upon her,
And her bands are §§ a riband of blue.
31 You shall put her on as a robe of glory,
And shall array you with her as a crown of rejoicing.
32 My son, if you will, you shall be instructed;
And if you will yield your soul, you will be *** prudent.
33 If you love to hear, you will receive;
And if you incline your ear, you will be wise.
34 Stand you in the multitude of the elders;
And whoso is wise, cleave you to him.
35 Be willing to listen to every godly discourse;
And don’t let the proverbs of understanding escape you.
36 If you see a man of understanding, get you betimes to him,
And let your foot wear out the steps of his doors.
37 Let your mind dwell upon the ordinances of the Lord,
And meditate continually in his commandments:
He will establish your heart,
And your desire of wisdom will be given to you.

* 6:4 Or, a rejoicing

† 6:5 Gr. A sweet throat.

‡ 6:5 Gr. his.

§ 6:7 Or, in the time of trial

** 6:14 Or, covert

†† 6:15 Gr. weight.

‡‡ 6:28 Or, it

§§ 6:30 Numbers 15:38.

*** 6:32 Or, shrewd

Chapter 7

1 Do no evil, so will no evil overtake you.
2 Depart from wrong, and it will turn away from you.
3 My son, sow not upon the furrows of unrighteousness,
And you shall not reap them sevenfold.
4 Seek not of the Lord preeminence,
Neither of the king the seat of honor.
5 Justify not yourself in the presence of the Lord;
And display not your wisdom before the king.
6 Seek not to be a judge,
Lest you be not able to take away iniquities;
Lest haply you fear the person of a mighty man,
And lay a stumbling block in the way of your uprightness.
7 Sin not against the multitude of the city,
And cast not yourself down in the crowd.
8 Bind not up sin twice;
For in one sin you will not be unpunished.
9 Say not, He will look upon the multitude of my gifts,
And when I offer to the Most High God, he will accept * it.
10 Be not faint-hearted in your prayer;
And neglect not to give alms.
11 Laugh not a man to scorn when he is in the bitterness of his soul;
For there is one who humbles and exalts.
12 † Devise not a lie against your brother;
Neither do the like to a friend.
13 Love not to make any manner of lie;
For the custom thereof is not for good.
14 Prate not in the multitude of elders;
And repeat not your words in your prayer.
15 Hate not laborious work;
Neither husbandry, which the Most High has ‡ ordained.
16 Number not yourself among the multitude of sinners:
Remember that wrath will not wait.
17 Humble your soul greatly;
For the punishment of the ungodly man is fire and the worm.
18 Change not a friend for a thing indifferent;
Neither a true brother for the gold of Ophir.
19 Forgo not a wise and good wife;
For her grace is above gold.
20 Entreat not evil a servant that works truly,
Nor a hireling that gives you his life.§
21 Let your soul love a wise servant;
Defraud him not of liberty.
22 Hast you cattle? have an eye to them;
And if they are profitable to you, let them stay by you.
23 Hast you children? correct them,
And bow down their neck from their youth.
24 Hast you daughters? give heed to their body,
And make not your face cheerful toward them.
25 Give your daughter in marriage, and you will have accomplished a great matter:
And give her to a man of understanding.
26 Hast you a wife after your mind? cast her not out:
** But trust not yourself to one that is †† hateful.
27 Give glory to your father with your whole heart;
And forget not the pangs of your mother.
28 Remember that of them you were born:
And what will you recompense them for the things that they have done for you?
29 Fear the Lord with all your soul;
And reverence his priests.
30 With all your strength love him that made you;
And forsake not his ministers.
31 Fear the Lord, and glorify the priest;
And give him his portion, even as it is commanded you;
The first fruits, and the trespass offering, and the gift of the shoulders,
And the sacrifice of sanctification, and the first fruits of holy things.
32 Also to the poor man stretch out your hand,
That your blessing may be perfected.
33 A gift has grace in the sight of every man living;
And for a dead man keep not back grace.
34 Be not lacking to those who weep;
And mourn with those who mourn.
35 Be not slow to visit a sick man;
For by such things you will gain love.
36 In all your ‡‡ matters remember your last end,
And you will never do amiss.

* 7:9 Or, them

† 7:12 Gr. Plow not.

‡ 7:15 Gr. created.

§ 7:20 Or, soul.

** 7:26 Many authorities omit this line

†† 7:26 Or, hated

‡‡ 7:36 Or, words

Chapter 8

1 Contend not with a mighty man,
Lest haply you fall into his hands.
2 Strive not with a rich man, lest haply he overweigh you:
For gold has destroyed many,
And turned away the hearts of kings.
3 Contend not with a man that is full of tongue,
And heap not wood upon his fire.
4 Jest not with a rude man,
Lest your ancestors be dishonored.
5 Reproach not a man when he turns from sin:
Remember that we are all worthy of punishment.
6 Dishonour not a man in his old age;
For some of us also are waxing old.
7 Rejoice not over one that is dead:
Remember that we die all.
8 Neglect not the discourse of the wise,
And be conversant with their proverbs;
For of them you will learn instruction,
And how to minister to great men.
9 Miss not the discourse of the aged;
For they also learned of their fathers:
Because from them you will learn understanding,
And to give answer in time of need.
10 Kindle not the coals of a sinner,
Lest you be burned with the * flame of his fire.
11 Rise not up from the presence of an insolent man,
Lest he lie in wait as an ambush for your mouth.
12 Lend not to a man that is mightier than yourself;
And if you lend, be as one that has lost.
13 Be not surety above your power:
And if you be surety, take thought as one that will have to pay.
14 Go not to law with a judge;
For according to his honor they will give judgement for him.
15 Go not in the way with a rash man,
Lest he be aggrieved with you;
For he will do according to his own will,
And you will perish with his folly.
16 Fight not with a wrathful man,
And travel not with him through the desert:
For blood is as nothing in his sight;
And where there is no help, he will overthrow you.
17 Take not counsel with a fool;
For he will not be able to conceal the matter.
18 Do no secret thing before a stranger;
For you know not what † he will bring forth.
19 Open not your heart to every man;
And let him not return you a favor.

*8:10 Gr. fire of his flame.

†8:18 Or, it

Chapter 9

1 Be not jealous over the wife of your bosom,
And teach her not an evil lesson against yourself.
2 Give not your soul to a woman,
That she should set her foot upon your strength.
3 Don’t go to meet a woman who plays the harlot,
Lest haply you fall into her snares.
4 Use not the company of a woman that is a singer,
Lest haply you be caught by her attempts.
5 Gaze not on a maid, lest haply you be trapped in her penalties.
6 Give not your soul to harlots,
That you lose not your inheritance.
7 Look not round about you in the streets of the city,
Neither wander you in the solitary places thereof.
8 Turn away your eye from a comely woman,
And gaze not on another’s beauty:
By the beauty of a woman many have been led astray;
And herewith love is kindled as a fire.
9 Sit not at all with a woman that has a husband; *
And revel not with her at the wine;
Lest haply your soul turn away to her,
And with your spirit you slide into destruction.
10 Forsake not an old friend;
For the new is not comparable to him:
As new wine, so is a new friend;
If it become old, you will drink it with gladness.
11 Envy not the glory of a sinner;
For you know not what will be his overthrow.
12 Delight not in the delights of the ungodly:
Remember they will not go unpunished to † the grave.
13 Keep you far from the man that has ‡ power to kill,
And you will have no suspicion of the fear of death:
And if you come to him, commit no fault,
Lest he take away your life:
Know surely that you go about in the midst of snares,
And walk upon the battlements of a city.
14 As well as you can, guess at your neighbors;
And take counsel with the wise.
15 Let your converse be with men of understanding;
And let all your discourse be in the law of the Most High.
16 Let just men be the companions of your board;
And let your glorying be in the fear of the Lord.
17 For the hand of the artificers a work will be commended:
And he that rules the people will be counted wise for his speech.
18 A man full of tongue is dangerous in his city;
And he that is headlong in his speech will be hated.

*9:9 A line of this verse is here omitted by the best authorities.

†9:12 Gr. Hades.

‡9:13 Or, authority

Chapter 10

1 A wise judge will instruct his people;
And the government of a man of understanding will be well ordered.
2 As is the judge of his people, so are his ministers;
And as is the ruler of the city, such are all those who dwell therein.
3 An uninstructed king will destroy his people;
And a city will be established through the understanding of the powerful.
4 In the hand of the Lord is the authority of the earth;
And in due time he will raise up over it one that is profitable.
5 In the hand of the Lord is the prosperity of a man;
And he will lay his honor upon the person of the scribe.
6 Be not angry with your neighbor for every wrong;
And do nothing by works of violence.
7 Pride is hateful before the Lord and before men;
And in the judgement of both will unrighteousness err.
8 Sovereignty is transferred from nation to nation,
Because of iniquities, and deeds of violence, and greed of money.
9 * Why is earth and ashes proud? †
Because in his life he has cast away his bowels.
10 It is a long disease; the physician mocks:
And he is a king today, and tomorrow he will die.
11 For when a man is dead,
He will inherit creeping things, and beasts, and worms.
12 It is the beginning of pride when a man departs from the Lord;
And his heart is departed from him that made him.
13 For the beginning of pride is sin;
And he that keeps it will pour forth abomination.
For this cause the Lord brought upon them strange calamities,
And overthrew them utterly.
14 The Lord cast down the thrones of rulers,
And set the meek in their stead.
15 The Lord plucked up the roots of nations,
And planted the lowly in their stead.
16 The Lord overthrew the lands of nations,
And destroyed them to the foundations of the earth.
17 He took some of them away, and destroyed them,
And made their memorial to cease from the earth.
18 Pride has not been created for men,
Nor wrathful anger for the offspring of women.
19 ‡ What manner of seed has honor? the seed of man.
What manner of seed has honor? those who fear the Lord.
What manner of seed has no honor? the seed of man.
What manner of seed has no honor? those who transgress the commandments.
20 In the midst of kindred he that rules them has honor;
And in the eyes of the Lord those who fear him. 21 §
22 The rich man, and the honorable, and the poor,
Their glorying is the fear of the Lord.
23 It is not right to dishonor a poor man that has understanding;
And it is not fitting to glorify a man that is a sinner.
24 The great man, and the judge, and the mighty man, will be glorified;
And there is not one of them greater than he that fears the Lord.
25 Free men will minister to a wise servant;
And a man that has knowledge will not murmur thereat.
26 Be not over wise in doing your work;
And glorify not yourself in the time of your distress.
27 ** Better is he that labores, and abounds in all things,
Than he that glorifies himself, and lacks bread.
28 My son, glorify your soul in meekness,
And give it honor according to the worthiness thereof.
29 Who will justify him that sins against his own soul?
And who will glorify him that dishonors his own life?
30 A poor man is glorified for his knowledge;
And a rich man is glorified for his riches.
31 But he that is glorified in poverty, how much more in riches?
And he that is inglorious in riches, how much more in poverty?

*10:9 The text here is uncertain.

†10:9 Two lines of this verse are here omitted by the best authorities.

‡10:19 The MSS. here greatly differ. The rendering represents the most probable text.

§10:21 Verse 21 is omitted by the best authorities.

** 10:27 The Greek text of this verse is uncertain.

Chapter 11

1 The wisdom of the lowly will lift up his head,
And make him to sit in the midst of great men.
2 Commend not a man for his beauty;
And abhor not a man for his outward appearance.
3 The bee is little among such as fly;
And her fruit is the chief of sweetmeats.
4 Glory not in the putting on of raiment,
And exalt not yourself in the day of honor;
For the works of the Lord are wonderful,
And his works are hidden among men.
5 Many * kings have sat down upon the ground;
And one that was never thought of has worn a diadem.
6 Many mighty men have been greatly disgraced;
And men of renown have been delivered into other men’s hands.
7 Blame not before you have examined:
Understand first, and then rebuke.
8 Answer not before you have heard;
And interrupt not in the midst of speech.
9 Strive not in a matter that concerns you not;
And where sinners judge, sit not you with them.
10 My son, be not busy about many matters:
For if you meddle much, you will not be unpunished;
And if you pursue, you will not overtake;
And you will not escape by fleeing.
11 There is one who toils, and labors, and makes haste,
And is so much the more behind.
12 There is one that is sluggish, and has need of help,
Lacking in strength, and that abounds in poverty;
And the eyes of the Lord looked upon him for good,
And he set him up from his low estate,
13 And lifted up his head;
And many marveled at him.
14 Good things and evil, life and death,
Poverty and riches, are from the Lord. 15-16 †
17 The gift of the Lord remains with the godly,
And his good pleasure will prosper forever.
18 There is that waxes rich by his wariness and pinching,
And this is the portion of his reward:
19 When he says, I have found rest,
And now I will eat of my goods;
Yet he knows not what time will pass,
And he will leave them to others, and die.
20 Be stedfast in your covenant, and be conversant therein,
And wax old in your work.
21 Marvel not at the works of a sinner;
But trust the Lord, and abide in your labor:
For it is an easy thing in the sight of the Lord swiftly on the sudden to make a poor man rich.
22 The blessing of the Lord is in the reward of the godly;
And in an hour that comes swiftly he makes his blessing to flourish.
23 Say not, What use is there of me?
And what from henceforth will my good things be?
24 Say not, I have sufficient,
And from henceforth what harm will happen to me?
25 In the day of good things there is a forgetfulness of evil things;
And in the day of evil things a man will not remember things that are good.
26 For it is an easy thing in the sight of the Lord
To reward a man in the day of death according to his ways.
27 The affliction of an hour causes forgetfulness of delight;
And in the last end of a man is the revelation of his deeds.
28 Call no man blessed before his death;
And a man will be known in his children.
29 Bring not every man into your house;
For many are the plots of the deceitful man.
30 As a decoy partridge in a cage, so is the heart of a proud man;
And as one that is a spy, he looks upon your falling.
31 For he lies in wait to turn things that are good into evil;
And in things that are praiseworthy he will lay blame.
32 From a spark of fire a heap of many coals is kindled;
And a sinful man lies in wait for blood.
33 Take heed of an evil-doer, for he contrives wicked things;
Lest haply he bring upon you blame forever.
34 Receive a stranger into your house, and he will distract you with brawls,
And estrange you from your own.

*11:5 Gr. tyrants

†11:15-16 Verses 15 and 16 are omitted by the best authorities.

Chapter 12

1 If you do good, know to whom you do it;
And your good deeds will have thanks.
2 Do good to a godly man, and you will find a recompense;
And if not from him, yet from the Most High.
3 There will no good come to him that continues to do evil,
Nor to him that gives no alms.
4 Give to the godly man,
And help not the sinner.
5 Do good to one that is lowly,
And give not to an ungodly man:
Keep back his bread, and give it not to him,
Lest he overmaster you thereby:
For you will receive twice as much evil
For all the good you will have done to him.
6 For the Most High also hates sinners,
And will repay vengeance to the ungodly. *
7 Give to the good man,
And help not the sinner.
8 A man’s friend will not be † fully tried in prosperity;
And his enemy will not be hidden in adversity.
9 In a man’s prosperity his enemies are grieved;
And in his adversity even his friend will be separated from him.
10 Never trust your enemy:
For like as the brass rusts, so is his wickedness.
11 Though he humble himself, and go crouching,
Yet take good heed, and beware of him,
And you will be to him as one that has wiped a mirror,
And you will know that ‡ he has not utterly rusted it.
12 Set him not by you,
Lest he overthrow you and stand in your place;
Let him not sit on your right hand,
Lest he seek to take your seat,
And at the last you acknowledge my words,
And be pricked with my sayings.
13 Who will pity a charmer that is bitten with a serpent,
Or any that come near wild beasts?
14 Even so who will pity him that goes to a sinner,
And is mingled with him in his sins?
15 For a while he will abide with you,
And if you give way, he will not hold out.
16 And the enemy will speak sweetly with his lips,
And in his heart take counsel how to overthrow you into a pit:
The enemy will weep with his eyes,
And if he find opportunity, he will not be satiated with blood.
17 If adversity meet you, you will find him there before you;
And as though he would help you, he will trip up your heel.
18 He will shake his head, and clap his hands,
And whisper much, and change his countenance.

*12:6 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

†12:8 Or, punished

‡12:11 Or, it has not utterly rusted him

Chapter 13

1 He that touches pitch will be defiled;
And he that has fellowship with a proud man will become like to him.
2 Take not up a burden above your strength;
And have no fellowship with one that is mightier and richer than yourself.
What fellowship shall the earthen pot have with the kettle?
This will strike, and that will be dashed in pieces.
3 The rich man does a wrong, and he threatens withal:
The poor is wronged, and he will entreat withal.
4 If you be profitable, he will make merchandise of you;
And if you be in lack, he will forsake you.
5 If you have substance, he will live with you;
And he will make you bare, and will not be sorry.
6 Hath he had need of you? then he will deceive you,
And smile upon you, and give you hope:
He will speak you fair, and say, What need you?
7 And he will shame you by his meats,
Until he have made you bare twice or thrice,
And at the last he will laugh you to scorn:
Afterward he will see you, and will forsake you,
And shake his head at you.
8 Beware that you be not deceived, and brought low in your mirth.
9 If a mighty man invites you, be retiring,
And he will invite you so much the more.
10 Press not upon him, lest you be thrust back;
And stand not far off, lest you be forgotten.
11 Affect not to speak with him as an equal,
And believe not his many words:
For he will test you with much talk,
And will search you out in a smiling manner.
12 He that doesn’t keep spoken words to himself is unmerciful;
And he will not spare to hurt and to bind.
13 Keep them to yourself, and take earnest heed,
For you walk * in peril of your falling. 14 †
15 Every living creature loves his like,
And every man loves his neighbor.
16 All flesh consorts according to kind,
And a man will cleave to his like.
17 What fellowship shall the wolf have with the lamb?
So is the sinner to the godly.
18 What peace is there between the hyena and the dog?
And what peace between the rich man and the poor?
19 Wild asses are the prey of lions in the wilderness;
So poor men are pasture for the rich.
20 Lowliness is an abomination to a proud man;
So a poor man is an abomination to the rich.
21 A rich man when he is shaken is held up of his friends;
But one of low degree being down is thrust away also by his friends.
22 When a rich man is fallen, there are many helpers;
He speaks ‡ things not to be spoken, and men justify him:
A man of low degree falls, and men rebuke him withal;
He utters wisdom, and no place is allowed him.
23 A rich man speaks, and all keep silence;
And what he says they extol to the clouds:
A poor man speaks, and they say, Who is this?
And if he stumble, they will help to overthrow him.
24 Riches are good that have no sin;
And poverty is evil in the mouth of the ungodly.
25 The heart of a man changes his countenance,
Whether it be for good or for evil. §
26 A cheerful countenance is a token of a heart that is in prosperity;
And the finding out of parables is a weariness of thinking.

*13:13 Gr. along with.

†13:14 The remainder of verse 13, and verse 14, are omitted by the best authorities.

‡13:22 Or, secrets, and

§13:25 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

Chapter 14

1 Blessed is the man that has not slipped with his mouth,
And is not pricked with sorrow for sins.
2 Blessed is he whose soul does not condemn him,
And who is not fallen from his hope.
3 Riches are not comely for a niggard;
And what should an envious man do with money?
4 He that gathers by taking from his own soul gathers for others;
And others will revel in his goods.
5 He that is evil to himself, to whom will he be good?
And he will not rejoice in his possessions.
6 There is none more evil than he that envies himself;
And this is a recompense of his wickedness.
7 Even if he does good, he does it in forgetfulness;
And at the last he shows forth his wickedness.
8 Evil is he that envies with his eye,
Turning away the face, and despising the souls of men.
9 A covetous man’s eye is not satisfied with his portion;
And wicked injustice dries up his soul.
10 An evil eye is grudging of bread,
And he is miserly at his table
11 My son, according as you have, do well to yourself,
And bring offerings to the Lord worthily.
12 Remember that death will not wait,
And that the covenant of * the grave is not showed to you.
13 Do well to your friend before you die;
And according to your ability stretch out your hand and give to him.
14 Defraud not yourself of a good day;
And don’t let the portion of a good desire pass you by.
15 Shall you not leave your labors to another?
And your toils to be divided by lot?
16 Give, and take, and decieve your soul;
For there is no seeking of luxury in † the grave.
17 All flesh waxes old as a garment;
For the covenant from the beginning is, You shall die the death.
18 As of the leaves flourishing on a thick tree,
Some it sheds, and some it makes to grow;
So also of the generations of flesh and blood,
One comes to an end, and another is born.
19 Every work rots and falls away,
And the worker thereof shall depart with it.
20 Blessed is the man that shall ‡ meditate in wisdom,
And that shall discourse by his understanding.
21 He that considers her ways in his heart
Shall also have knowledge in her secrets.
22 Go forth after her as one who tracks,
And lie in wait in her ways.
23 He that pries in at her windows
Shall also listen at her doors.
24 He that lodges close to her house
Shall also fasten a nail in her walls.
25 He shall pitch his tent near at hand to her,
And will lodge in a lodging where good things are.
26 He will set his children under her shelter,
And will rest under her branches.
27 By her he will be covered from heat,
And will lodge in her glory.

*14:12 Gr. Hades.

†14:16 Gr. Hades.

‡14:20 Most authorities read come to an end.

Chapter 15

1 He that fears the Lord will do this;
And he that has possession of the law will obtain her.
2 And as a mother shall she meet him,
And receive him as a wife married in her virginity.
3 She will feed him with bread of understanding,
And give him water of wisdom to drink.
4 He will be stayed upon her, and will not be moved;
And will rely upon her, and will not be confounded.
5 And she will exalt him above his neighbors;
And she will open his mouth in the midst of the congregation.
6 He will inherit joy, and a crown of gladness,
And an everlasting name.
7 Foolish men will not obtain her;
And sinners will not see her.
8 She is far from pride;
And liars will not remember her.
9 Praise is not comely in the mouth of a sinner;
For it was not sent him from the Lord.
10 For praise will be spoken in wisdom;
And the Lord will prosper it.
11 Say not you, It is through the Lord that I fell away;
For you shall not do the things that he hates.
12 Say not you, It is he that caused me to err;
For he has no need of a sinful man.
13 The Lord hates every abomination;
And those who fear him love it not.
14 He himself made man from the beginning,
And left him in the hand of his own counsel.
15 If you will, you shall keep the commandments;
And to perform faithfulness is of your own good pleasure.
16 He has set fire and water before you:
You will stretch forth your hand to whichever you will.
17 Before man is life and death;
And whichever he likes, it shall be given him.
18 For great is the wisdom of the Lord:
He is mighty in power, and sees all things;
19 And his eyes are upon those who fear him;
And he will take knowledge of every work of man.
20 He has not commanded any man to be ungodly;
And he has not given any man licence to sin.

Chapter 16

1 Desire not a multitude of unprofitable children,
Neither delight in ungodly sons.
2 If they multiply, delight not in them,
Except the fear of the Lord be with them.
3 Trust not you in their life,
Neither rely on their condition:
For one is better than a thousand;
And to die childless than to have ungodly children.
4 For from one that has understanding will a city be peopled;
But a race of wicked men will be made desolate.
5 Many such things I have seen with my eyes;
And my ear has heard mightier things than these.
6 In the congregation of sinners will a fire be kindled;
And in a disobedient nation wrath is kindled.
7 He was not pacified toward the giants of old time,
Who revolted in their strength.
8 He spared not those with whom Lot sojourned,
Whom he abhorred for their pride.
9 He pitied not the people of perdition,
Who were taken away in their sins.
10 And in like manner the six hundred thousand footmen,
Who were gathered together in the hardness of their hearts.
11 Even if there be one stiff-necked person,
It is marvel if he will be unpunished:
For mercy and wrath are with him;
He is mighty to forgive, and he pours out wrath.
12 As his mercy is great, so is his correction also:
He judges a man according to his works.
13 The sinner will not escape with his plunder;
And the perseverance of the godly will not be frustrated.
14 He will make room for every work of mercy;
Each man will find according to his works. 15-16 *
17 Don’t say, I shall be hidden from the Lord;
And who will remember me from on high?
I will not be known among so many people;
For what is my soul in a boundless creation?
18 Behold, the heaven, and the heaven of heavens,
The deep, and the earth, will be moved when he shall visit.
19 The mountains and the foundations of the earth together
Are shaken with trembling, when he looks upon them.
20 And no heart will think upon these things:
And who shall conceive his ways?
21 And there is a tempest which no man will see;
Yes, the more part of his works are † hid.
22 Who will declare the works of his righteousness?
Or who will endure them?
For his covenant is afar off. ‡
23 He that is lacking in § understanding thinks upon these things;
And an unwise and erring man thinks follies.
24 My son, listen to me, and learn knowledge,
And give heed to my words with your heart.
25 I will show forth instruction by weight,
And declare knowledge exactly.
26 In the judgement of the Lord are his works from the beginning;
And from the making of them he disposed the parts thereof.
27 He garnished his works forever,
And the beginnings of them to their generations:
They neither hunger, nor are weary,
And they cease not from their works.
28 No one thrusts aside his neighbor;
And they will never disobey his word.
29 After this also the Lord looked upon the earth,
And filled it with his blessings.
30 ** †† All manner of living things covered the face thereof;
And into it is their return.

*16:15-16 Verses 15 and 16 are omitted by the best authorities.

†16:21 Gr. among hidden things.

‡16:22 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

§16:23 Gr. heart.

**16:30 The Greek text of this line is uncertain.

††16:30 Gr. The soul of every living thing.

Chapter 17

1 The Lord created man of the earth,
And turned him back to it again.
2 He gave them days by number, and a set time,
And gave them authority over the things that are thereon.
3 He endued them with strength proper to them;
And made them according to his own image.
4 He put the fear of * man upon all flesh,
And gave him to have dominion over beasts and fowls. 5 †
6 Counsel, and tongue, and eyes,
Ears, and heart, gave he them to understand withal.
7 He filled them with the knowledge of wisdom,
And showed them good and evil.
8 He set his eye upon their hearts,
To show them the majesty of his works. 9 ‡
10 And they will praise the name of his holiness,
§ That they may declare the majesty of his works.
11 He added to them knowledge,
And gave them a law of life for a heritage.
12 He made an everlasting covenant with them,
And showed them his judgements.
13 Their eyes saw the majesty of his glory;
And their ear heard the glory of ** his voice.
14 And he said to them, Beware of all unrighteousness;
And he gave them commandment, each man concerning his neighbor.
15 Their ways are ever before him;
They will not be hid from his eyes. 16 ††
17 ‡‡ For every nation he appointed a ruler;
And Israel is the Lord’s portion. 18 §§
19 All their works are as the sun before him;
And his eyes are continually upon their ways.
20 Their iniquities are not hid from him;
And all their sins are before the Lord. 21 ***
22 With him the alms of a man is as a signet;
And he will keep the bounty of a man as the apple of the eye. †††
23 Afterwards he will rise up and recompense them,
And render their recompense upon their head.
24 Howbeit to those who repent he grants a return;
And he comforts those who are losing patience.
25 Return to the Lord, and forsake sins:
Make your prayer before his face, and lessen the offence.
26 Turn again to the Most High, and turn away from iniquity; ‡‡‡
And greatly hate the abominable thing.
27 Who will give praise to the Most High in §§§ the grave,
Instead of them which live and return thanks?
28 Thanksgiving perishes from the dead, as from one that is not:
He that is in life and health will praise the Lord.
29 How great is the mercy of the Lord,
And his forgiveness to those who turn to him!
30 For all things can’t be in men,
Because the son of man is not immortal.
31 What is brighter than the sun? yet this fails:
And an evil man will think on flesh and blood.
32 He looks upon the power of the height of heaven:
And all men are earth and ashes.

*17:4 Gr. him.

†17:5 Verse 5 is omitted by the best authorities.

‡17:9 Verse 9 is omitted by the best authorities.

§17:10 This line is added by the best authorities.

**17:13 Some ancient authorities read their.

††17:16 Verses 16, 18, and 21 are omitted by the best authorities.

‡‡17:17 The preceding part of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

§§17:18 Verses 16, 18, and 21 are omitted by the best authorities.

***17:21 Verses 16, 18, and 21 are omitted by the best authorities.

†††17:22 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

‡‡‡17:26 A line is here omitted by the best authorities.

§§§17:27 Gr. Hades.

Chapter 18

1 He that lives forever created all things in common.
2 The Lord alone will be justified. 3 *
4 To none has he given power to declare his works:
And who will trace out his mighty deeds?
5 Who shall number the strength of his majesty?
And who shall also tell out his mercies?
6 As for the wondrous works of the Lord, it is not possible to take from them nor add to them,
Neither is it possible to track them out.
7 When a man has finished, then he is but at the beginning;
And when he ceases, then he will be in perplexity.
8 What is man, and whereto serves he?
What is his good, and what is his evil?
9 The number of man’s days at the most are a hundred years.
10 As a drop of water from the sea, and a pebble from the sand;
So are a few years in the day of eternity.
11 For this cause the Lord was longsuffering over them,
And poured out his mercy upon them.
12 He saw and perceived their end, that it is evil;
Therefore he multiplied his forgiveness.
13 The mercy of a man is upon his neighbor;
But the mercy of the Lord is upon all flesh;
Reproving, and chastening, and teaching,
And bringing again, as a shepherd does his flock.
14 He has mercy on those who accept chastening,
And that diligently seek after his judgements.
15 My son, to your good deeds add no blemish;
And no grief of words in any of your giving.
16 Shall not the dew assuage the scorching heat?
So is a word better than a gift.
17 Behold, is not a word better than a gift?
And both are with a gracious man.
18 A fool will upbrade ungraciously;
And the gift of an envious man consumes the eyes.
19 Learn before you speak;
And have a care of your health or ever you be sick.
20 Before judgement examine yourself;
And in the hour of visitation you will find forgiveness.
21 Humble yourself before you be sick;
And in the time of sins show repentance.
22 Let nothing hinder you to pay your vow in due time;
And wait not until death to be justified.
23 Before you make a vow, prepare yourself;
And be not as a man that tempts the Lord.
24 Think upon the wrath that will be in the days of the end,
And the time of vengeance, when he turns away his face.
25 In the days of fulness remember the time of hunger,
And poverty and lack in the days of wealth.
26 From morning until evening the time changes;
And all things are speedy before the Lord.
27 A wise man will fear in everything;
And in days of sinning he will beware of offence. †
28 Every man of understanding knows wisdom;
And he will give thanks to him that found her.
29 They that were of understanding in sayings became also wise themselves,
And poured forth apt proverbs.
30 Go not after your lusts;
And refrain yourself from your appetites.
31 If you give fully to your soul the delight of her desire,
She will make you ‡ the laughing stock of your enemies.
32 Make not merry in much luxury;
Neither be tied to the expense thereof.
33 Be not made a beggar by banqueting upon borrowing,
When you have nothing in your purse. §

*18:3 The remainder of verse 2, and verse 3, are omitted by the best authorities.

†18:27 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

‡18:31 Or, a rejoicing to

§18:33 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

Chapter 19

1 A workman that is a drunkard will not become rich:
He that despises small things will fall by little and little.
2 Wine and women will make men of understanding to fall away:
And he that cleaves to harlots will be the more reckless.
3 Moths and worms will have him to heritage;
And a reckless soul will be taken away.
4 He that is hasty to trust is light-minded;
And he that sins will offend against his own soul.
5 He that makes merry in his heart will be condemned: *
6 † And he that hates talk has the less wickedness.
7 Never repeat what is told you,
And you will fare never the worse.
8 Whether it be of friend or foe, tell it not;
And unless it is a sin to you, reveal it not.
9 For he has heard you, and observed you,
And when the time comes he will hate you.
10 Hast you heard a word? let it die with you:
Be of good courage, it will not burst you.
11 A fool will travail in pain with a word,
As a woman in labor with a child.
12 As an arrow that sticks in the ‡ flesh of the thigh,
So is a word in a fool’s belly.
13 Reprove a friend; it may be he did it not:
And if he did something, that he may do it no more.
14 Reprove your neighbor; it may be he said it not:
And if he has said it, that he may not say it again.
15 Reprove a friend; for many times there is slander:
And trust not every word.
16 There is one that slips, and not from the heart:
And who is he that has not sinned with his tongue?
17 Reprove your neighbor before you threaten him;
And give place to the law of the Most High. 18-19 §
20 All wisdom is the fear of the Lord;
And in all wisdom is the doing of the law. 21 **
22 And the knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom;
And the prudence of sinners is not counsel.
23 There is a wickedness, and the same is abomination;
And there is a fool lacking in wisdom.
24 Better is one that has small understanding, and fears,
Than one that has much prudence, and transgresses the law.
25 There is an exquisite subtlety, and the same is unjust;
And there is one that perverts favor †† to gain a judgement. ‡‡
26 There is one that does wickedly, that hangs down his head with mourning;
But inwardly he is full of deceit,
27 Bowing down his face, and making as if he were deaf of one ear:
Where he is not known, he will be beforehand with you.
28 And if for lack of power he be hindered from sinning,
If he find opportunity, he will do mischief.
29 A man will be known by his look,
And one that has understanding will be known by his face, when you meet him.
30 A man’s attire, and §§ grinning laughter,
And gait, show what he is.

*19:5 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

†19:6 The preceding part of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

‡19:12 Gr. thigh of flesh.

§19:18-19 Verses 18 and 19 are omitted by the best authorities.

**19:21 The remainder of verse 20, and verse 21, are omitted by the best authorities.

††19:25 Gr. to bring to light.

‡‡19:25 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

§§19:30 Gr. laughter of the teeth.

Chapter 20

1 There is a reproof that is not comely;
And there is a man that keeps silence, and he is wise.
2 How good is it to reprove, rather than to be angry;
And he that makes confession will be kept back from hurt. 3 *
4 As is the lust of an eunuch to deflower a virgin;
So is he that executes judgements with violence.
5 There is one that keeps silence, and is found wise;
And there is one that is hated for his much talk.
6 There is one that keeps silence, for he has no answer to make;
And there is that keeps silence, as knowing his time.
7 A wise man will be silent till his time come;
But the braggart and fool will overpass his time.
8 He that uses many words will be abhorred;
And he that takes to himself authority therein will be hated.
9 There is a prosperity that a man finds in misfortunes;
And there is a gain that turns to loss.
10 There is a gift that will not profit you;
And there is a gift whose recompense is double.
11 There is an abasement because of glory;
And there is that has lifted up his head from a low estate.
12 There is that buys much for a little,
And pays for it again sevenfold.
13 He that is wise in words will make himself beloved;
But the pleasantries of fools will be wasted.
14 The gift of a fool will not profit you;†
For his eyes are many instead of one.
15 He will give little, and upbraid much;
And he will open his mouth like a crier:
Today he will lend, and tomorrow he will ask it again:
Such an one is a hateful man.
16 The fool will say, I have no friend,
And I have no thanks for my good deeds;
They that eat my bread are of evil tongue.
17 How often, and of how many, will he be laughed to scorn! ‡
18 A slip on a pavement is better than a slip with the tongue;
So the fall of the wicked will come speedily.
19 A man without grace is as a tale out of season:
It will be continually in the mouth of the ignorant.
20 A § wise sentence from a fool’s mouth will be rejected;
For he will not speak it in its season.
21 There is that is hindered from sinning through lack;
And when he takes rest, he will not be troubled.
22 There is that destroys his soul through bashfulness;
And by a foolish countenance he will destroy it.
23 There is that for bashfulness promises to his friend;
And he makes him his enemy for nothing.
24 A lie is a foul blot in a man:
It will be continually in the mouth of the ignorant.
25 A thief is better than a man that is continually lying:
But they both will inherit destruction.
26 The disposition of a liar is dishonor;
And his shame is with him continually.
27 He that is wise in words will advance himself;
And one that is prudent will please great men.
28 He that tils his land will raise his heap high;
And he that pleases great men will get pardon for iniquity.
29 Presents and gifts blind the eyes of the wise,
And as a muzzle on the mouth, turn away reproofs.
30 Wisdom that is hid, and treasure that is out of sight,
What profit is in them both?
31 Better is a man that hides his folly
Than a man that hides his wisdom. 32 **

*20:3 Verse 3 is omitted by the best authorities.

†20:14 A line of this verse is here omitted by the best authorities.

‡20:17 The latter part of verse 17 is omitted by the best authorities.

§20:20 Gr. parable.

**20:32 Verse 32 is omitted by the best authorities.

Chapter 21

1 My son, have you sinned? add no more thereto;
And make supplication for your former sins.
2 Flee from sin as from the face of a serpent;
For if you draw near it will bite you:
The teeth thereof are the teeth of a lion,
Slaying the souls of men.
3 All iniquity is as a two-edged sword;
Its stroke has no healing.
4 Terror and violence will lay waste riches;
So the house of an arrogant man will be laid waste.
5 Supplication from a poor man’s mouth reaches to the ears of * God,
And his judgement comes speedily.
6 One that hates reproof is in the path of the sinner;
And he that fears the Lord will turn again in his heart.
7 He that is mighty in tongue is known afar off:
But the man of understanding knows when he slips.
8 He that builds his house with other men’s money
Is like one that gathers himself stones against winter.
9 The congregation of wicked men is as tow wrapped together;
And the end of them is a flame of fire.
10 The way of sinners is made smooth with stones;
And at the last end thereof is the pit of Hades.
11 He that keeps the law becomes master of the intent thereof;
And the end of the fear of the Lord is wisdom.
12 He that is not clever will not be instructed;
And there is a cleverness which makes bitterness to abound.
13 The knowledge of a wise man will be made to abound as a flood;
And his counsel as a fountain of life.
14 The inward parts of a fool are like a broken vessel;
And he will hold no knowledge.
15 If a man of knowledge hear a wise word,
He will commend it, and add to it:
The dissolute man hears it, and it displeases him,
And he puts it away behind his back.
16 The discourse of a fool is like a burden in the way;
But grace will be found on the lips of the wise.
17 The mouth of the prudent man will be sought for in the congregation;
And they will ponder his words in their heart.
18 As a house that is destroyed, so is wisdom to a fool;
And the knowledge of an unwise man is as † talk without sense.
19 Instruction is as fetters on the feet of an unwise man,
And as manacles on the right hand.
20 A fool lifts up his voice with laughter;
But a clever man will scarce smile quietly.
21 Instruction is to a prudent man as an ornament of gold,
And as a bracelet upon his right arm.
22 The foot of a fool is soon in another man’s house;
But a man of experience will be ashamed of entering.
23 A foolish man peeps in from the door of another man’s house;
But a man that is instructed will stand without.
24 It is a lack of instruction in a man to listen at the door;
But the prudent man will be grieved with the disgrace.
25 ‡ The lips of strangers will be grieved at these things;
But the words of prudent men will be weighed in the balance.
26 The heart of fools is in their mouth;
But the mouth of wise men is their heart.
27 When the ungodly curses Satan,
He curses his own soul.
28 A whisperer defiles his own soul,
And will be hated wherever he sojourns.

*21:5 Gr. him.

†21:18 Gr. unexamined words.

‡21:25 The text seems to be uncertain.

Chapter 22

1 A slothful man is compared to a stone that is defiled;
And every one will hiss him out in his disgrace.
2 A slothful man is compared to the filth of a dunghill:
Every man that takes it up will shake out his hand.
3 A father has shame in having begotten an uninstructed son;
And a foolish daughter is born to his loss.
4 A prudent daughter will inherit a husband of her own;
And she that brings shame is the grief of her father.
5 She that is bold brings shame upon father and husband;
And she will be despised of them both.
6 Unseasonable discourse is as music in mourning;
But stripes and correction are wisdom at every season.
7 He that teaches a fool is as one that glues a potsherd together;
Even as one that wakes a sleeper out of a deep sleep.
8 He that discourses to a fool is as one discoursing to a man that slumbers;
And at the end he will say, What is it? 9-10 *
11 Weep for the dead, for light has failed him;
And weep for a fool, for understanding has failed him:
Weep more sweetly for the dead, because he has found rest;
But the life of the fool is worse than death.
12 Seven days are the days of mourning for the dead;
But for a fool and an ungodly man, all the days of his life.
13 Talk not much with a foolish man,
And go not to one that has no understanding:
Beware of him, lest you have trouble;
And so you shall not be † defiled in his onslaught:
Turn away from him, and you will find rest;
And so you shall not be wearied in his madness.
14 What shall be heavier than lead?
And what is the name thereof, but a fool?
15 Sand, and salt, and a mass of iron, is easier to bear,
Than a man without understanding.
16 Timber girded and bound into a building will not be loosed with shaking:
So a heart established in due season on well advised counsel will not be afraid.
17 A heart settled upon a thoughtful understanding
Is as an ornament of plaister on a polished wall.
18 Pales set on a high place will not stand against the wind:
So a fearful heart in the imagination of a fool will not stand against any fear.
19 He that pricks the eye will make tears to fall;
And he that pricks the heart makes it to show feeling.
20 Whoso casts a stone at birds frays them away;
And he that upbraids a friend will dissolve friendship.
21 If you have drawn a sword against a friend, despair not;
For there may be a returning.
22 If you have opened your mouth against a friend, fear not;
For there may be a reconciling;
Except it be for upbraiding, and arrogance, and disclosing of a secret, and a treacherous blow:
For these things every friend will flee.
23 Gain trust with your neighbor in his poverty,
That in his prosperity you may have gladness:
Abide stedfast to him in the time of his affliction,
That you may be heir with him in his inheritance. ‡
24 Before fire is the vapor and smoke of a furnace;
So revilings before bloodshed.
25 I will not be ashamed to shelter a friend;
And I will not hide myself from his face:
26 And if any evil happen to me because of him,
Every one that hears it will beware of him.
27 Who shall set a watch over my mouth,
And a seal of shrewdness upon my lips,
That I fall not from it, and that my tongue destroy me not?

*22:9-10 Verses 9 and 10 are omitted by the best authorities.

†22:13 Or, defiled: in his onslaught turn

‡22:23 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

Chapter 23

1 O Lord, Father and Master of my life,
Abandon me not to their counsel:
Suffer me not to fall by them.
2 Who will set scourges over my thought,
And a discipline of wisdom over my heart?
That they spare me not for my ignorances,
And my heart pass not by their sins:
3 That my ignorances be not multiplied,
And my sins abound not;
And I will fall before my adversaries,
And my enemy rejoice over me. *
4 O Lord, Father and God of my life,
Give me not a † proud look, ‡
5 And turn away concupiscense from me. §
6 Let not ** greediness and chambering overtake me;
And give me not over to a shameless mind.
7 Hear you⌃, my children, the discipline of the mouth;
And he that keeps it will not be taken.
8 The sinner will be †† overtaken in his lips;
And the reviler and the proud man will stumble therein.
9 Accustom not your mouth to an oath;
And be not accustomed to the naming of the Holy One.
10 For as a servant that is continually scourged will not lack a bruise,
So he also that swears and names God continually will not be cleansed from sin.
11 A man of many oaths will be filled with iniquity;
And the scourge will not depart from his house:
If he shall offend, his sin will be upon him;
And if he disregard it, he has sinned doubly;
And if he has sworn in vain, he will not be justified;
For his house will be filled with calamities.
12 There is a manner of speech that is clothed about with death:
Let it not be found in the heritage of Jacob;
For all these things will be far from the godly,
And they will not wallow in sins.
13 Accustom not your mouth to gross rudeness,
For therein is the word of sin.
14 Remember your father and your mother,
For you sit in the midst of great men;
That you be not forgetful before them,
And become a fool by your custom;
So will you wish that you had not been born,
And curse the day of your nativity.
15 A man that is accustomed to words of reproach
Will not be corrected all the days of his life.
16 Two sorts of men multiply sins,
And the third will bring wrath:
A hot mind, as a burning fire, will not be quenched till it be consumed:
A fornicator in the body of his flesh will never cease till he has ‡‡ burned out the fire.
17 All bread is sweet to a fornicator:
He will not leave off till he die.
18 A man that goes astray from his own bed,
Saying in his heart, Who sees me?
Darkness is round about me, and the walls hide me,
And no man sees me; of whom am I afraid?
The Most High will not remember my sins;
19 —And the eyes of men are his terror,
And he knows not that the eyes of the Lord are ten thousand times brighter than the sun,
Beholding all the ways of men,
And looking into secret places.
20 All things were known to him or ever they were created;
And in like manner also after they were perfected.
21 This man will be punished in the streets of the city;
And where he suspected not he will be taken.
22 So also a wife that leaves her husband,
And brings in an heir by a stranger.
23 For first, she was disobedient in the law of the Most High;
And secondly, she trespassed against her own husband;
And thirdly, she played the adulteress in whoredom,
And brought in children by a stranger.
24 She shall be brought out into the congregation;
And upon her children will there be visitation.
25 Her children will not spread into roots,
And her branches will bear no fruit.
26 She will leave her memory for a curse;
And her reproach will not be blotted out.
27 And those who are left behind will know that there is nothing better than the fear of the Lord,
And nothing sweeter than to take heed to the commandments of the Lord. 28 §§

*23:3 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

†23:4 Gr. lifting up of eyes.

‡23:4 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

§23:5 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

**23:6 Gr. appetite of the belly.

††23:8 Most authorities read left.

‡‡23:16 Or, made a fire blaze up

§§23:28 Verse 28 is omitted by the best authorities.

Chapter 24

1 Wisdom will praise * herself,
And will glory in the midst of her people.
2 She will open her mouth in the congregation of the Most High,
And glory in the presence of his power.
3 I came forth from the mouth of the Most High,
And covered the earth as a mist.
4 I lived in high places,
And my throne is in the pillar of the cloud.
5 Alone I compassed the circuit of heaven,
And walked in the depth of the abyss.
6 In the waves of the sea, and in all the earth,
And in every people and nation, I got a possession.
7 With all these I sought rest;
And in whose inheritance shall I lodge?
8 Then the Creator of all things gave me a commandment;
And he that created me made my tabernacle to rest,
And said, Let your tabernacle be in Jacob,
And your inheritance in Israel.
9 He created me from the beginning before the world;
And to the end I will not fail.
10 In the holy tabernacle I ministered before him;
And so was I established in Sion.
11 In the beloved city likewise he gave me rest;
And in Jerusalem was my authority.
12 And I took root in a people that was glorified,
Even in the portion of the Lord’s own inheritance.
13 I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus,
And as a cypress tree on the mountains of Hermon.
14 I was exalted like a palm tree on the sea shore,
And as rose plants in Jericho,
And as a fair olive tree in the plain;
And I was exalted as a plane tree.
15 As cinnamon and aspalathus, I have given a scent of perfumes;
And as choice myrrh, I spread abroad a pleasant odour;
As † galbanum, and onyx, and stacte,
And as the fume of frankincense in the tabernacle.
16 As the terebinth I stretched out my branches;
And my branches are branches of glory and grace.
17 As the vine I put forth grace;
And my flowers are the fruit of glory and riches. 18 ‡
19 Come to me, you⌃ that are desirous of me,
And be you⌃ filled with my produce.
20 For my memorial is sweeter than honey,
And my inheritance than the honeycomb.
21 They that eat me will yet be hungry;
And those who drink me will yet be thirsty.
22 He that obeys me will not be ashamed;
And those who work in me will not do amiss.
23 All these things are the book of the covenant of the Most High God,
Even the law which Moses commanded us for a heritage to the assemblies of Jacob. 24 §
25 It is he that makes wisdom abundant, as Pishon,
And as Tigris in the days of new fruits;
26 That makes understanding full as Euphrates,
And as Jordan in the days of harvest;
27 That makes instruction to shine forth as the light,
As Gihon in the days of vintage.
28 The first man knew her not perfectly;
And in like manner the last has not traced her out.
29 For her thoughts are filled from the sea,
And her counsels from the great deep.
30 And I came out as a ** stream from a river,
And as a conduit into a garden.
31 I said, I will water my garden,
And will water abundantly my garden bed;
And, behold, my stream became a river,
And my river became a sea.
32 I will yet bring instruction to light as the morning,
And will make †† these things to shine forth afar off.
33 I will yet pour out doctrine as prophecy,
And leave it to generations of ages.
34 Behold that I have not laboured for myself only,
But for all those who diligently seek her.

*24:1 Gr. her own soul.

†24:15 See Exodus 30:34.

‡24:18 Verse 18 is omitted by the best authorities.

§24:24 Verse 24 is omitted by the best authorities.

**24:30 Gr. canal.

††24:32 Gr. them.

Chapter 25

1 In three things I was beautified,
And stood up beautiful before the Lord and men:
The concord of kindred, and friendship of neighbors,
And a woman and her husband that walk together in agreement.
2 But three sorts of men my soul hates,
And I am greatly offended at their life:
A poor man that is arrogant, and a rich man that is a liar,
And an old man that is an adulterer lacking understanding.
3 In your youth you have not gathered,
And how should you find in your old age?
4 How beautiful a thing is judgement for gray hairs,
And for elders to know counsel!
5 How beautiful is the wisdom of old men,
And thought and counsel to men that are in honor!
6 Much experience is the crown of old men;
And their glorying is the fear of the Lord.
7 There be nine things that I have thought of, and in my heart counted happy;
And the tenth I will utter with my tongue:
A man that has joy of his children;
A man that lives and looks upon the fall of his enemies:
8 Happy is he that dwells with a wife of understanding;
And he that has not slipped with his tongue;
And he that has not served a man that is unworthy of him:
9 Happy is he that has found prudence;
And he that discourses in the ears of those who listen.
10 How great is he that has found wisdom!
Yet is there none above him that fears the Lord.
11 The fear of the Lord passes all things:
He that holds it, to whom shall he be likened? 12 *
13 Give me any plague but the plague of the heart;
And any wickedness but the wickedness of a woman;
14 Any calamity, but a calamity from those who hate me;
And any vengeance, but the vengeance of enemies.
15 There is no head above the head of a serpent;
And there is no wrath above the wrath of an enemy.
16 I will rather dwell with a lion and a dragon,
Than keep house with a wicked woman.
17 The wickedness of a woman changes her look,
And darkens her countenance as a bear does.
18 Her husband will sit at meat among his neighbors,
And when he hears it he sighs bitterly.
19 All malice is but little to the malice of a woman:
Let the portion of a sinner fall on her.
20 As the going up a sandy way is to the feet of the aged,
So is a wife full of words to a quiet man.
21 Throw not yourself upon the beauty of a woman;
And desire not a woman for her beauty.
22 There is anger, and impudence, and great reproach,
If a woman maintain her husband.
23 A wicked woman is abasement of heart,
And sadness of countenance, and a wounded heart:
A woman that will not make her husband happy
Is as hands that hang down, and palsied knees.
24 From a woman was the beginning of sin;
And because of her we all die.
25 Give not water an outlet;
Neither to a wicked woman freedom of speech.
26 If she go not † as you would have her,
Cut her off from your flesh. ‡

*25:12 Verse 12 is omitted by the best authorities.

†25:26 Gr. according to your hand.

‡25:26 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

Chapter 26

1 Happy is the husband of a good wife;
And the number of his days will be twofold.
2 A brave woman rejoices her husband;
And he will fulfil his years in peace.
3 A good wife is a good portion:
She will be given in the portion of such as fear the Lord.
4 Whether a man be rich or poor,
A good heart makes at all times a cheerful countenance.
5 Of three things my heart was afraid;
And concerning the fourth * kind I made supplication:
The slander of a city, and the assembly of a multitude, and a false accusation:
All these are more grievous than death.
6 A grief of heart and sorrow is a woman that is jealous of another woman,
And the scourge of a tongue communicating to all.
7 A wicked woman is as a yoke of oxen shaken to and fro:
He that takes hold of her is as one that grasps a scorpion.
8 A drunken woman causes great wrath;
And she will not cover her own shame.
9 The whoredom of a woman is in the lifting up of her eyes;
And it will be known by her eyelids.
10 Keep strict watch on a headstrong daughter,
Lest she find liberty for herself, and use it.
11 Look well after an impudent eye;
And marvel not if it trespass against you.
12 She will open her mouth, as a thirsty traveller,
And drink of every water that is near:
She will sit down at every post,
And open her quiver against any arrow.
13 The grace of a wife will delight her husband;
And her knowledge will fatten his bones.
14 A silent woman is a gift of the Lord;
And there is nothing so much worth as a well-instructed soul.
15 A shamefast woman is grace upon grace;
And there is no † price worthy of a continent soul.
16 As the sun when it arises in the highest places of the Lord,
So is the beauty of a good wife in the ordering of ‡ a man’s house.
17 As the lamp that shines upon the holy candlestick,
So is the beauty of the face in ripe age.
18 As the golden pillars are upon a base of silver,
So are beautiful feet with the breasts of one that is stedfast. 19-27 §
28 For two things my heart is grieved;
And for the third anger comes upon me:
A man of war that suffers for poverty;
And men of understanding that are counted as refuse:
One that turns back from righteousness to sin;
The Lord will prepare him for the sword.
29 A merchant shall hardly keep himself from wrong doing;
And a huckster will not be acquitted of sin.

*26:5 Gr. countenance.

†26:15 Gr. weight.

‡26:16 Gr. his.

§26:19-27 Verses 19-27 are omitted by the best authorities.

Chapter 27

1 Many have sinned for a thing indifferent;
And he that seeks to multiply gain will turn his eye away.
2 A nail will stick fast between the joinings of stones;
And sin will * thrust itself in between buying and selling.
3 Unless a man hold on diligently in the fear of the Lord,
His house will soon be overthrown.
4 In the shaking of a sieve, the refuse remains;
So the filth of man in his reasoning.
5 The furnace will prove the potter’s vessels;
And the trial of a man is in his reasoning.
6 The fruit of a tree declares the husbandry thereof;
So is the utterance of the thought of the heart of a man.
7 Praise no man before you hear him reason;
For this is the trial of men.
8 If you follow righteousness, you will obtain her,
And put her on, as a long robe of glory.
9 Birds will resort to their like;
And truth will return to those who practise her.
10 The lion lies in wait for prey;
So does sin for those who work iniquity.
11 The discourse of a godly man is always wisdom:
But the foolish man changes as the moon.
12 Among men void of understanding observe the opportunity;
But stay continually among the thoughtful.
13 The discourse of fools is an offence;
And their laughter is in the wantonness of sin.
14 The talk of a man of many oaths will make the hair stand upright;
And their strife makes one stop his ears.
15 The strife of the proud is a shedding of blood;
And their reviling of each other is a grievous thing to hear.
16 He that reveals secrets destroys credit,
And will not find a friend to his mind.
17 Love a friend, and keep faith with him:
But if you reveal his secrets,
You shall not pursue after him;
18 For as a man has destroyed his enemy,
So have you destroyed the friendship of your neighbor.
19 And as a bird which you have loosed out of your hand,
So have you let your neighbor go, and you will not catch him again:
20 Pursue him not, for he is gone far away,
And has escaped as a gazelle out of the snare.
21 For a wound may be bound up, and after reviling there may be a reconcilement;
But he that reveals secrets has lost hope.
22 One that winks with the eye contrives evil things;
And no man will remove him from it.
23 When you are present, he will speak sweetly,
And will admire your words;
But afterward he will writhe his mouth,
And set a trap for you in your words.
24 I have hated many things, but nothing like him;
And the Lord will hate him.
25 One that casts a stone on high casts it on his own head;
And a deceitful stroke will open wounds.
26 He that digs a pit will fall into it;
And he that sets a snare will be taken therein.
27 He that does evil things, they will roll upon him,
And he will not know whence they have come to him.
28 Mockery and reproach are from the arrogant;
And vengeance, as a lion, will lie in wait for him.
29 They that rejoice at the fall of the godly will be taken in a snare;
And anguish will consume them before they die.
30 Wrath and anger, these also are abominations;
And a sinful man will possess them.

*27:2 Gr. rub.

Chapter 28

1 He that takes vengeance will find vengeance from the Lord;
And he will surely make firm his sins.
2 Forgive your neighbor the hurt that he has done you;
And then your sins will be pardoned when you pray.
3 Man cherishes anger against man;
And does he seek healing from the Lord?
4 Upon a man like himself he has no mercy;
And does he make supplication for his own sins?
5 He being himself flesh nourishes wrath:
Who will make atonement for his sins?
6 Remember your last end, and cease from enmity:
Remember corruption and death, and abide in the commandments.
7 Remember the commandments, and be not angry with your neighbor;
And remember the covenant of the Highest, and wink at ignorance.
8 Abstain from strife, and you will diminish your sins:
For a passionate man will kindle strife;
9 And a man that is a sinner will trouble friends,
And will make debate among those who are at peace.
10 * As is the fuel of the fire, so will it burn;
And as the stoutness of the strife is, so will it burn:
As is the strength of the man, so will be his wrath;
And as is his wealth, so he will exalt his anger.
11 A contention begun in haste kindles a fire;
And a hasty fighting sheds blood.
12 If you blow a spark, it will burn;
And if you spit upon it, it will be quenched:
And both these shall come out of your mouth.
13 Curse the whisperer and double-tongued:
For he has destroyed many that were at peace.
14 A third person’s tongue has shaken many,
And dispersed them from nation to nation;
And it has pulled down strong cities,
And overthrown the houses of great men.
15 A third person’s tongue has cast out brave women,
And deprived them of their labors.
16 He that listens to it will not find rest,
Nor shall he dwell quietly.
17 The stroke of a whip makes a mark in the flesh;
But the stroke of a tongue will break bones.
18 Many have fallen by the edge of the sword:
Yet not so many as those who have fallen because of the tongue.
19 Happy is he that is sheltered from it,
That has not passed through the wrath thereof;
That has not drawn its yoke,
And has not been bound with its bands.
20 For the yoke thereof is a yoke of iron,
And the bands thereof are bands of brass.
21 The death thereof is an evil death;
And Hades were better than it.
22 It shall not have rule over godly men;
And they shall not be burned in its flame.
23 They that forsake the Lord shall fall into it;
And it shall burn among them, and shall not be quenched:
It shall be sent forth upon them as a lion;
And as a leopard it shall destroy them.
24 Look that you hedge your possession about with thorns;
Bind up your silver and your gold;
25 And make a balance and a weight for your words;
And make a door and a bar for your mouth.
26 Take heed lest you slip therein;
Lest you fall before one that lies in wait.

*28:10 The order of the lines in this verse is uncertain.

Chapter 29

1 He that shows mercy will lend to his neighbor;
And he that strengthens him with his hand keeps the commandments.
2 Lend to your neighbor in time of his need;
And pay you your neighbor again in due season.
3 Confirm your word, and keep faith with him;
And at all seasons you shall find what you need.
4 Many have reckoned a loan as a windfall,
And have given trouble to those that helped them.
5 Till he has received, he will kiss a man’s hands;
And for his neighbor’s money he will speak submissly:
And when payment is due, he will prolong the time,
And return words of heaviness, and complain of * the times.
6 If he prevail, he shall hardly receive the half;
And he will count it as a windfall:
If not, he has deprived him of his money,
And he has gotten him for an enemy without cause:
He will pay him with cursings and railings;
And for honor he will pay him disgrace.
7 † Many on account of men’s ill-dealing have turned away;
They have feared to be defrauded for nothing.
8 Howbeit with a man in poor estate be longsuffering;
And let him not wait for your alms.
9 Help a poor man for the commandment’s sake;
And according to his need send him not empty away.
10 Lose your money for a brother and a friend;
And let it not rust under the stone to be lost.
11 Bestow your treasure according to the commandments of the Most High;
And it shall profit you more than gold.
12 Shut up alms in your store-chambers;
And it shall deliver you out of all affliction:
13 It shall fight for you against your enemy
Better than a mighty shield and a ponderous spear.
14 A good man will be surety for his neighbor;
And he that has lost shame will fail him.
15 Forget not the good offices of your surety;
For he has given his life for you.
16 A sinner will overthrow the good estate of his surety;
17 And he that is of an unthankful mind will fail him that delivered him.
18 Suretiship has undone many that were prospering,
And shaken them as a wave of the sea:
Mighty men has it driven from their homes;
And they wandered among strange nations.
19 A sinner that falls into suretiship,
And undertakes contracts for work, shall fall into lawsuits.
20 Help your neighbor according to your power,
And take heed to yourself that you fall not to the same.
21 The chief thing for life is water, and bread,
And a garment, and a house to cover shame.
22 Better is the life of a poor man under a shelter of logs,
Than sumptuous fare in another man’s house.
23 With little or with much, be well satisfied. ‡
24 It is a miserable life to go from house to house:
And where you are a sojourner, you shall not dare to open your mouth.
25 You shall entertain, and give to drink, and have no thanks:
And in addition to this you shall hear bitter words.
26 Come hither, you sojourner, furnish a table,
And if you have anything in your hand, feed me with it.
27 Go forth, you sojourner, from the face of honor;
My brother is come to be my guest; I have need of my house.
28 These things are grievous to a man of understanding;
The upbraiding of house-room, and the reproaching of the money-lender.

*29:5 Gr. the season.

†29:7 Some ancient authorities read Many therefore.

‡29:23 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

Chapter 30

1 He that loves his son will continue to lay stripes upon him,
That he may have joy of him in the end.
2 He that chastises his son shall have profit of him,
And shall glory of him among his acquaintance.
3 He that teaches his son shall provoke his enemy to jealousy;
And before friends he shall rejoice of him.
4 His father dies, and is as though he had not died;
For he has left one behind him like himself.
5 In his life, he saw and rejoiced in him;
And when he died, he sorrowed not:
6 He left behind him an avenger against his enemies,
And one to requite kindness to his friends.
7 He that makes too much of his son shall bind up his wounds;
And his heart will be troubled at every cry.
8 An unbroken horse becomes stubborn;
And a son left at large becomes headstrong.
9 Cocker your child, and he shall make you afraid:
Play with him, and he will grieve you.
10 Laugh not with him, lest you have sorrow with him;
And you shall gnash your teeth in the end.
11 Give him no liberty in his youth,
* And wink not at his follies.
12 † Bow down his neck in his youth,
And beat him on the sides while he is a child,
Lest he wax stubborn, and be disobedient to you;
‡ And there shall be sorrow to your soul.
13 Chastise your son, and take pains with him,
Lest his shameless behavior be an offence to you.
14 Better is a poor man, being sound and strong of constitution,
Than a rich man that is plagued in his body.
15 Health and a good constitution are better than all gold;
And a strong body than wealth without measure.
16 There is no riches better than health of body;
And there is no gladness above the joy of the heart.
17 Death is better than a bitter life,
§ And ** eternal rest than a continual sickness.
18 Good things poured out upon a mouth that is closed
Are as messes of meat laid upon a grave.
19 What does an offering profit an idol?
For neither shall it eat nor smell:
So is he that is afflicted of the Lord,
20 Seeing with his eyes and groaning,
As an eunuch embracing a virgin and groaning.
21 Give not over your soul to sorrow;
And afflict not yourself in your own counsel.
22 Gladness of heart is the life of a man;
And the joyfulness of a man is length of days.
23 Love your own soul, and comfort your heart:
And remove sorrow far from you;
For sorrow has destroyed many,
And there is no profit therein.
24 Envy and wrath shorten a man’s days;
And care brings old age before the time.
25 A cheerful and good heart
Will have a care of his meat and diet.

*30:11 These three lines are absent from the oldest MSS.

†30:12 These three lines are absent from the oldest MSS.

‡30:12 These three lines are absent from the oldest MSS.

§30:17 The oldest MSS. omit And eternal rest.

**30:17 Gr. age-long rest.

Chapter 31

1 Wakefulness that comes of riches consumes the flesh,
And the anxiety thereof puts away sleep.
2 Wakeful anxiety will crave slumber;
And * in a sore disease sleep will be broken.
3 A rich man toils in gathering money together;
And when he rests, he is filled with his good things.
4 A poor man toils in lack of substance;
And when he rests, he becomes needy.
5 He that loves gold shall not be justified;
And he that follows destruction shall himself have his fill of it.
6 Many have been given over to ruin for the sake of gold;
And their perdition † meets them face to face.
7 It is a stumbling block to those who sacrifice to it;
And every fool shall be taken therewith.
8 Blessed is the rich that is found without blemish,
And that goes not after gold.
9 Who is he? and we will call him blessed:
For wonderful things has he done among his people.
10 Who has been tried thereby, and found perfect?
Then let him glory.
Who has had the power to transgress, and has not transgressed?
And to do evil, and has not done it?
11 His goods shall be made sure,
And the congregation shall declare his alms.
12 Sittest you at a great table? ‡ be not greedy upon it,
And say not, Many are the things upon it.
13 Remember that an evil eye is a wicked thing:
What has been created more evil than an eye?
Therefore it sheds tears from every face.
14 Stretch not your hand wherever it looks,
And thrust not yourself with it into the dish.
15 Consider your neighbor’s liking by your own;
And be discreet in every point.
16 Eat, as becomes a man, those things which are set before you;
And eat not greedily, lest you be hated.
17 Be first to leave off for manners’ sake;
And be not insatiable, lest you offend.
18 And if you sit among many,
Reach not out your hand before them.
19 How sufficient to a well-mannered man is a very little,
And he does not breathe hard upon his bed.
20 Healthy sleep comes of moderate eating;
He rises early, and his wits are with him:
The pain of wakefulness, and colic,
And griping, are with an insatiable man.
21 And if you have been forced to eat,
Rise up in the midst thereof, and you shall have rest.
22 Hear me, my son, and despise me not,
And at the last you shall find my words true:
In all your works be quick,
And no disease shall come to you.
23 Him that is liberal of his meat the lips shall bless;
And the testimony of his excellence shall be believed.
24 Him that is a niggard of his meat the city shall murmur at;
And the testimony of his niggardness shall be sure.
25 Show not yourself valiant in wine;
For wine has destroyed many.
26 The furnace proves the temper of steel by dipping;
So does wine prove hearts in the quarreling of the proud.
27 Wine is as good as life to men,
If you drink it in its measure:
What life is there to a man that is without wine?
And it has been created to make men glad.
28 Wine drunk in season and to satisfy
Is joy of heart, and gladness of soul:
29 Wine drunk largely is bitterness of soul,
With provocation and conflict.
30 Drunkenness increases the rage of a fool to his hurt;
It diminishes strength, and adds wounds.
31 Rebuke not your neighbor at a banquet of wine,
Neither set him at nothing in his mirth:
Speak not to him a word of reproach,
And press not upon him by asking back a debt.

*31:2 This appears to be the meaning; but the Greek text here is probably corrupt.

†31:6 Or, comes to pass in their faces

‡31:12 Gr. open not your throat upon it.

Chapter 32

1 Have they made you ruler of a feast?
Be not lifted up,
Be you among them as one of them;
Take thought for them, and so sit down.
2 And when you have done all your office, take your place,
That you may be gladdened on their account,
And receive a crown for your well ordering.
3 Speak, you that are the elder, for it becomes you, but with sound knowledge;
And hinder not music.
4 Pour not out talk where there is a performance of music,
And display not your wisdom out of season.
5 As a signet of carbuncle in a setting of gold,
So is a concert of music in a banquet of wine.
6 As a signet of emerald in a work of gold,
So is a strain of music with pleasant wine.
7 Speak, young man, if there be need of you;
Yet scarcely if you be twice asked.
8 Sum up your speech, many things in few words;
Be as one that knows and yet holds his tongue.
9 If you be among great men, behave not as their equal;
And when another is speaking, make not much babbling.
10 Lightning speeds before thunder;
And before a shamefast man favor shall go forth.
11 Rise up betimes, and be not the last;
Get you home quickly and loiter not:
12 There take your pastime, and do what is in your heart;
And sin not by proud speech:
13 And for these things bless him that made you,
And gives you to drink freely of his good things.
14 He that fears the Lord will receive his discipline;
And those who seek him early shall find favor.
15 He that seeks the law shall be filled therewith:
But the hypocrite shall stumble thereat.
16 They that fear the Lord shall find judgement,
And shall kindle righteous acts as a light.
17 A sinful man shuns reproof,
And will find a judgement according to his will.
18 A man of counsel will not neglect a thought;
A strange and proud man will not crouch in fear,
Even after he has done a thing by himself without counsel.
19 Do nothing without counsel;
And when you have once done, repent not.
20 Go not in a way of conflict;
And stumble not in stony places.
21 Be not confident in a * smooth way.
22 And beware of your own children.
23 In every work trust your own soul;
For this is the keeping of the commandments.
24 He that believes the law gives heed to the commandment;
And he that trusts in the Lord shall suffer no loss.

*32:21 Gr. without stumbling blocks.

Chapter 33

1 There shall no evil happen to him that fears the Lord;
But in temptation once and again he will deliver him.
2 A wise man will not hate the law;
But he that is a hypocrite therein is as a ship in a storm.
3 A man of understanding will put his trust in the law;
And the law is faithful to him, as when one asks at the oracle.
4 Prepare your speech, and so shall you be heard;
Bind up instruction, and make your answer.
5 The heart of a fool is as a cartwheel;
And his thoughts like a rolling axle tree.
6 A stallion horse is as a mocking friend;
He neighs under every one that sits upon him.
7 Why does one day excel another,
When all the light of every day in the year is of the sun?
8 By the knowledge of the Lord they were distinguished;
And he varied seasons and feasts:
9 Some of them he exalted and hallowed,
And some of them has he made ordinary days.
10 And all men are from the ground,
And Adam was created of earth.
11 In the abundance of his knowledge the Lord distinguished them,
And made their ways various:
12 Some of them he blessed and exalted,
And some of them he hallowed and brought near to himself:
Some of them he cursed and brought low,
And overthrew them from their place.
13 As the clay of the potter in his hand,
All his ways are according to his good pleasure;
So men are in the hand of him that made them,
To render to them according to his judgement.
14 Good is the opposite of evil,
And life is the opposite of death:
So is * the sinner is the opposite of the godly.
15 And thus look upon all the works of the Most High;
Two and two, one against another.
16 And I waked up last,
As one that gleans after the grape gatherers:
By the blessing of the Lord I got before them,
And filled my winepress as one that gathers grapes.
17 Consider that I laboured not for myself alone,
But for all those who seek instruction.
18 Hear me, you⌃ great men of the people,
And listen with your ears, you⌃ rulers of the congregation.
19 To son and wife, to brother and friend,
Give not power over you while you live;
And give not your goods to another,
Lest you repent and make supplication for them again.
20 Whilst you yet live, and breath is in you,
Give not yourself over to anybody.
21 For better it is that your children should supplicate you,
Than that you should look to the hand of your sons.
22 In all your works keep the upper hand;
Bring not a stain on your honor.
23 In the day that you endest the days of your life,
And in the time of death, distribute your inheritance.
24 Fodder, a stick, and burdens, for an ass;
Bread, and discipline, and work, for a servant.
25 Set your servant to work, and you shall find rest:
Leave his hands idle, and he will seek liberty.
26 Yoke and thong will bow the neck:
And for an evil servant there are racks and tortures.
27 Send him to labor, that he be not idle;
For idleness teaches much mischief.
28 Set him to work, as is fit for him;
And if he obey not, make his fetters heavy.
29 And be not excessive toward any;
And without judgement do nothing.
30 If you have a servant, let him be as yourself,
Because you have bought him with blood.
31 If you have a servant, treat him as yourself;
† For as your own soul will you have need of him:
If you treat him ill, and he depart and run away,
Which way will you go to seek him?

*33:14 A line of this verse is here omitted by the best authorities.

†33:31 The Greek text of this line is probably corrupt.

Chapter 34

1 Vain and false hopes are for a man void of understanding;
And dreams give wings to fools.
2 As one that catches at a shadow, and follows after the wind,
So is he that sets his mind on dreams.
3 The vision of dreams is as this thing against that,
The likeness of a face near a face.
4 Of an unclean thing what shall be cleansed?
And of that which is false what shall be true?
5 Divinations, and soothsayings, and dreams, are vain:
And the heart fancies, as a woman’s in travail.
6 If they be not sent from the Most High in your visitation,
Give not your heart to them. 7 For dreams have led many astray:
And they have failed by putting their hope in them.
8 Without lying shall the law be accomplished;
And wisdom is perfection to a faithful mouth.
9 A well-instructed man knows many things;
And he that has much experience will declare understanding.
10 He that has no experience knows few things:
But he that has wandered shall increase his skill.
11 In my wandering I have seen many things;
And more than my words is my understanding.
12 Ofttimes was I in danger even to death;
And I was preserved because of these things.
13 The spirit of those that fear the Lord shall live;
For their hope is upon him that saves them.
14 Whoso fears the Lord shall not be afraid, and shall not play the coward;
For he is his hope.
15 Blessed is the soul of him that fears the Lord:
To whom does he give heed? and who is his stay?
16 The eyes of the Lord are upon those who love him,
A mighty protection and strong stay,
A cover from the hot blast, and a cover from the noonday,
A guard from stumbling, and a succour from falling.
17 He raises up the soul, and enlightens the eyes:
He gives healing, life, and blessing.
18 He that sacrifices of a thing wrongfully gotten, his offering is made in mockery;
And the mockeries of wicked men are not well-pleasing.
19 The Most High has no pleasure in the offerings of the ungodly;
Neither is he pacified for sins by the multitude of sacrifices.
20 As one that kills the son before his father’s eyes
Is he that brings a sacrifice from the goods of the poor.
21 The bread of the needy is the life of the poor:
He that deprives him thereof is a man of blood.
22 As one that slays his neighbor is he that takes away his living;
And as a shedder of blood is he that deprives a hireling of his hire.
23 One building, and another pulling down,
What profit have they had but toil?
24 One praying, and another cursing,
Whose voice will the Lord listen to?
25 He that washes himself after touching a dead body, and touches it again,
What profit has he in his washing?
26 Even so a man fasting for his sins,
And going again, and doing the same;
Who will listen to his prayer?
And what profit has he in his humiliation?

Chapter 35

1 He that keeps the law multiplies offerings;
He that takes heed to the commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
2 He that requites a good turn offers fine flour;
And he that gives alms sacrifices a thank offering.
3 To depart from wickedness is a thing pleasing to the Lord;
And to depart from unrighteousness is an atoning sacrifice.
4 See that you appear not in the presence of the Lord empty.
5 For all these things are to be done because of the commandment.
6 The offering of the righteous makes the altar fat;
And the sweet savor thereof is before the Most High.
7 The sacrifice of a righteous man is acceptable;
And the memorial thereof shall not be forgotten.
8 Glorify the Lord with a good eye,
And stint not the first fruits of your hands.
9 In every gift show a cheerful countenance,
And dedicate your tithe with gladness.
10 Give to the Most High according as he has given;
And as your hand has found, give with a good eye.
11 For the Lord recompenses,
And he will recompense you sevenfold.
12 Think not to corrupt with gifts; for he will not receive them:
And set not your mind on an unrighteous sacrifice;
For the Lord is judge,
And with him is no respect of persons.
13 He will not accept any person against a poor man;
And he will listen to the prayer of him that is wronged.
14 He will in no wise despise the supplication of the fatherless;
Nor the widow, * when she pours out her tale.
15 Do not the tears of the widow run down her cheek?
And is not her cry against him that has caused them to fall?
16 He that serves God according to his good pleasure shall be accepted,
And his supplication shall reach to the clouds.
17 The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds;
And till it come near, he will not be comforted;
And he will not depart, till the Most High shall visit;
And he shall judge † righteously, and execute judgement.
18 And the Lord will not be slack, neither will he be longsuffering toward them,
Till he have crushed the loins of the unmerciful;
And he shall repay vengeance to the heathen;
Till he have taken away the multitude of the arrogant,
And broken in pieces the sceptres of the unrighteous;
19 Till he have rendered to every man according to his doings,
And to the works of men according to their plans;
Till he have judged the cause of his people;
And he shall make them to rejoice in his mercy.
20 Mercy is seasonable in the time of his afflicting them,
As clouds of rain in the time of drought.

*35:14 Gr. if

†35:17 Some ancient authorities read for the righteous.

Chapter 36

1 Have mercy upon us, O Lord the God of all, and behold;
2 And send your fear upon all the nations: *
3 Lift up your hand against the strange nations;
And let them see your mighty power.
4 As you were sanctified in us before them,
So be you magnified in them before us.
5 And let them know you, as we also have known you,
That there is no God but only you, O God.
6 Show new signs, and work various wonders;
Glorify your hand and your right arm. †
7 Raise up indignation, and pour out wrath;
Take away the adversary, and destroy the enemy.
8 Hasten the time, and remember the oath;
And let them declare your mighty works.
9 Let him that escapes be devoured by the rage of fire;
And may those who harm your people find destruction.
10 Crush the heads of the rulers of the enemies,
That say, There is none but we.
11 Gather all the tribes of Jacob together,
And ‡ take them for your inheritance, as from the beginning.
12 O Lord, have mercy upon the people that is called by your name,
And upon Israel, whom you did liken to a firstborn.
13 Have compassion upon the city of your sanctuary,
Jerusalem, the place of your rest.
14 Fill Sion; exalt your oracles,
And fill your people with your glory.
15 Give testimony to those that were your creatures in the beginning,
And raise up the prophecies that have been in your name.
16 Give reward to those who wait for you:
And men shall put their trust in your prophets.
17 Listen, O Lord, to the prayer of your suppliants,
According to the blessing of Aaron concerning your people;
And all those who are on the earth shall know
That you are the Lord, the § eternal God.
18 The belly will eat any meat;
Yet is one meat better than another.
19 The ** mouth tastes meats taken in hunting:
So does an understanding heart false speeches.
20 A froward heart will cause heaviness:
And a man of experience will recompense him.
21 A woman will receive any man;
But one daughter is better than another.
22 The beauty of a woman cheers the countenance;
And a man desires nothing so much.
23 If there is on her tongue mercy and meekness,
Her husband is not like the sons of men.
24 He that gets a wife enters upon a possession:
A help meet for him, and a pillar of rest.
25 Where no hedge is, the possession will be laid waste:
And he that has no wife will mourn as he wanders up and down.
26 For who will trust a nimble robber, that skips from city to city?
Even so who shall trust a man that has no nest, and lodges wherever he finds himself at nightfall?

*36:2 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

†36:6 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

‡36:11 The ancient authorities read I took them for my inheritance: but the Greek text is here very confused.

§36:17 Gr. God of the ages.

**36:19 Gr. throat.

Chapter 37

1 Every friend will say, I also am his friend:
But there is a friend, which is only a friend in name.
2 Is there not a grief in it even to death,
When a companion and friend is turned to enmity?
3 O wicked imagination, whence came you rolling in
To cover the dry land with deceitfulness?
4 There is a companion, which rejoices in the gladness of a friend,
But in time of affliction will be against him.
5 There is a companion, which for the belly’s sake labores with his friend,
In the face of battle will take up the buckler.
6 Forget not a friend in your soul;
And be not unmindful of him in your riches.
7 Every counsellor extols counsel;
But there is that counsels for himself.
8 Let your soul beware of a counsellor,
And know you before what is his interest
(For he will take counsel for himself);
Lest he cast the lot upon you,
9 And say to you, Your way is good:
And he will stand near you, to see what will happen to you.
10 Take not counsel with one that looks askance at you;
And hide your counsel from such as are jealous of you.
11 Take not counsel with a woman about her rival;
Neither with a coward about war;
Nor with a merchant about exchange;
Nor with a buyer about selling;
Nor with an envious man about thankfulness;
Nor with an unmerciful man about kindliness;
Nor with a sluggard about any kind of work;
Nor with a hireling in your house about finishing his work;
Nor with an idle servant about much business:
Give not heed to these in any matter of counsel.
12 But rather be continually with a godly man,
Whom you shall have known to be a keeper of the commandments,
Who in his soul is as your own soul,
And who will grieve with you, if you shall miscarry.
13 And make the counsel of your heart to stand;
For there is none more faithful to you than it.
14 For a man’s soul is sometime wont to bring him tidings,
More than seven watchmen that sit on high on a watch-tower.
15 And above all this entreat the Most High,
That he may direct your way in truth.
16 Let reason be the beginning of every work,
And let counsel go before every action.
17 As a token of the changing of the heart,
18 four manner of things do rise up,
Good and evil, life and death;
And that which rules over them continually is the tongue.
19 There is one that is shrewd and the instructor of many,
And yet is unprofitable to his own soul.
20 There is one that is subtle in words, and is hated;
He shall be destitute of all food:
21 For grace was not given him from the Lord;
Because he is deprived of all wisdom.
22 There is one that is wise to his own soul;
And the fruits of his understanding are trustworthy in the mouth.
23 A wise man will instruct his own people;
And the fruits of his understanding are trustworthy.
24 A wise man shall be filled with blessing;
And all those who see him shall call him happy.
25 The life of man is counted by days;
And the days of Israel are innumerable.
26 The wise man shall inherit confidence among his people,
And his name shall live forever.
27 My son, prove your soul in your life,
And see what is evil for it, and give not that to it.
28 For all things are not profitable for all men,
Neither has every soul pleasure in every thing.
29 Be not insatiable in any luxury,
And be not greedy on the things that you eatest.
30 For in multitude of meats there shall be disease,
And surfeiting shall come near to colic.
31 Because of surfeiting have many perished;
But he that takes heed shall prolong his life.

Chapter 38

1 Honor a physician according to your need of him with the honors due to him:
For truly the Lord has created him.
2 For from the Most High comes healing;
And from the king he shall receive a gift.
3 The skill of the physician shall lift up his head;
And in the sight of great men he shall be admired.
4 The Lord created medicines out of the earth;
And a prudent man will have no disgust at them.
5 Was not water made sweet with wood,
That the virtue thereof might be known?
6 And he gave men skill,
That * they might be glorified in his marvelous works.
7 With them does he heal a man,
And takes away his pain.
8 With these will the apothecary make a confection;
And his works shall not be brought to an end;
And from him is peace upon the face of the earth.
9 My son, in your sickness be not negligent;
But pray to the Lord, and he shall heal you.
10 Put away wrong doing, and order your hands aright,
And cleanse your heart from all manner of sin.
11 Give a sweet savor, and a memorial of fine flour;
And make fat your offering, as one that is not.
12 Then give place to the physician, for truly the Lord has created him;
And let him not go from you, for you have need of him.
13 There is a time when in their very hands is the issue for good.
14 For they also shall beseech the Lord,
That he may prosper them in giving relief and in healing for the maintenance of life.
15 He that sins before his Maker,
Let him fall into the hands of the physician.
16 My son, let your tears fall over the dead,
And as one that suffers grievously begin lamentation;
And wind up his body according to his due,
And neglect not his burial.
17 Make bitter weeping, and make passionate wailing,
And let your mourning be according to his desert,
For one day or two, lest you be evil spoken of:
And so be comforted for your sorrow.
18 For of sorrow comes death,
And sorrow of heart will bow down the strength.
19 In calamity sorrow also remains:
And the poor man’s life is † grievous to the heart.
20 Give not your heart to sorrow:
Put it away, remembering the last end:
21 Forget it not, for there is no returning again:
Him you shall not profit, and you will hurt yourself.
22 Remember the sentence upon him; for so also shall your be;
Yesterday for me, and today for you.
23 When the dead is at rest, let his remembrance rest;
And be comforted for him, when his spirit departs from him.
24 The wisdom of the scribe comes by opportunity of leisure;
And ‡ he that has little business shall become wise.
25 How shall he become wise that holds the plow,
That glories in the shaft of the goad,
That drives oxen, and is occupied in their labors,
And whose discourse is of the stock of bulls?
26 He will set his heart upon turning his furrows;
And his wakefulness is to give his heifers their fodder.
27 So is every craftsman and workmaster,
That passes his time by night as by day;
They that cut gravings of signets,
And his diligence is to make great variety;
He will set his heart to preserve likeness in his portraiture,
And will be wakeful to finish his work.
28 So is the smith sitting by the anvil,
And considering the unwrought iron:
The vapor of the fire will waste his flesh;
And in the heat of the furnace he will wrestle with his work:
The noise of the hammer will § be ever in his ear,
And his eyes are upon the pattern of the vessel;
He will set his heart upon perfecting his works,
And And he will be wakeful to adorn them perfectly.
29 So is the potter sitting at his work,
And turning the wheel about with his feet,
Who is always anxiously set at his work,
And all his handywork is by number;
30 He will fashion the clay with his arm,
And will bend its strength in front of his feet;
He will apply his heart to finish the glazing;
And he will be wakeful to make clean the furnace.
31 All these put their trust in their hands;
And each becomes wise in his own work.
32 Without these shall not a city be inhabited,
And men shall not sojourn nor walk up and down therein.
33 ** They shall not be sought for in the council of the people,
And in the assembly they shall not mount on high;
They shall not sit on the seat of the judge,
And they shall not understand the covenant of judgement:
Neither shall they declare instruction and judgement;
And where parables are they shall not be found.
34 But they will maintain the fabric of the †† world;
And in the handywork of their craft is their prayer.

*38:6 Or, he

†38:19 Gr. against the heart.

‡38:24 Gr. he that is lessened in his business.

§38:28 Gr. renew.

**38:33 This line is absent from the oldest MSS.

††38:34 Gr. age.

Chapter 39

1 * Not so he that has applied his soul,
And meditates in the law of the Most High;
He will seek out the wisdom of all the ancients,
And will be occupied in prophecies.
2 He will keep the discourse of the men of renown,
And will enter in amidst the subtleties of parables.
3 He will seek out the hidden meaning of proverbs,
And be conversant in the dark sayings of parables.
4 He will serve among great men,
And appear before him that rules:
He will travel through the land of strange nations;
For he has tried good things and evil among men.
5 He will apply his heart to resort early to the Lord that made him,
And will make supplication before the Most High,
And will open his mouth in prayer,
And will make supplication for his sins.
6 If the great Lord will,
He shall be filled with the spirit of understanding:
He shall pour forth the words of his wisdom,
And in prayer give thanks to the Lord.
7 He shall direct his counsel and knowledge,
And in his secrets shall he meditate.
8 He shall show forth the instruction which he has been taught,
And shall glory in the law of the covenant of the Lord.
9 Many shall commend his understanding;
And so long as the world endures, it shall not be blotted out:
His memorial shall not depart,
And his name shall live from generation to generation.
10 Nations shall declare his wisdom,
And the congregation shall tell out his praise.
11 If he continue, he shall leave a greater name than a thousand:
And if he † die, he adds thereto.
12 Yet more I will utter, which I have thought upon;
And I am filled as the moon at the full.
13 Listen to me, you⌃ holy children,
And bud forth as a rose growing by a brook of water:
14 And give you⌃ a sweet savor as frankencense,
And put forth flowers as a lily,
Spread abroad a sweet smell, and sing a song of praise;
Bless you⌃ the Lord for all his works.
15 Magnify his name,
And give utterance to his praise
With the songs of your lips, and with harps;
And thus shall you⌃ say when you⌃ utter his praise:
16 All the works of the Lord are exceeding good,
And every command shall be accomplished in his season.
17 None can say, What is this? wherefore is that?
For in his season they shall all be sought out.
At his word the waters stood as a heap,
And the receptacles of waters at the word of his mouth.
18 At his command is all his good pleasure done;
And there is none that shall hinder his salvation.
19 The works of all flesh are before him;
And it is not possible to be hid from his eyes.
20 He sees from everlasting to everlasting;
And there is nothing wonderful before him.
21 None can say, What is this? wherefore is that?
For all things are created for their uses.
22 His blessing covered the dry land as a river,
And saturated it as a flood.
23 As he has turned the waters into saltness;
So shall the heathen inherit his wrath.
24 His ways are plain to the holy;
So are they stumbling blocks to the wicked.
25 Good things are created from the beginning for the good;
So are evil things for sinners.
26 The chief of all things necessary for the life of man
Are water, and fire, and iron, and salt,
And flour of wheat, and honey, and milk,
The blood of the grape, and oil, and clothing.
27 All these things are for good to the godly;
So to the sinners they shall be turned into evil.
28 There be winds that are created for vengeance,
And in their fury lay on their scourges heavily;
In the time of consummation they pour out their strength,
And shall appease the wrath of him that made them.
29 Fire, and hail, and famine, and death,
All these are created for vengeance;
30 Teeth of wild beasts, and scorpions and adders,
And a sword punishing the ungodly to destruction.
31 They shall rejoice in his commandment,
And shall be made ready upon earth, when need is;
And in their seasons they shall not transgress his word.
32 Therefore from the beginning I was resolved,
And I thought this, and left it in writing;
33 All the works of the Lord are good:
And he will supply every need in its season.
34 And none can say, This is worse than that:
For they shall all be well approved in their season.
35 And now with all your heart and mouth sing you⌃ praises,
And bless the name of the Lord.

*39:1 Gr. Except him that.

†39:11 Gr. cease.

Chapter 40

1 Great travail is created for every man,
And a heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam,
From the day of their coming forth from their mother’s womb,
Until the day for their burial in the mother of all things.
2 The expectation of things to come, and the day of death,
* Trouble their thoughts, and cause fear of heart;
3 From him that sits on a throne of glory,
Even to him that is humbled in earth and ashes;
4 From him that wears purple and a crown,
Even to him that is clothed with a hempen frock.
5 There is wrath, and jealousy, and trouble, and disquiet,
And fear of death, and anger, and strife;
And in the time of rest upon his bed
His night sleep does change his knowledge.
6 A little or nothing is his resting,
And afterward in his sleep, as in a day of keeping watch,
He is troubled in the vision of his heart,
As one that has escaped from the front of battle.
7 In the very time of his deliverance he awakens,
And marvels that the fear is nothing.
8 It is thus with all flesh, from man to beast,
And upon sinners sevenfold more.
9 Death, and bloodshed, and strife, and sword,
Calamities, famine, tribulation, and the scourge;
10 All these things were created for the wicked,
And because of them came the flood.
11 All things that are of the earth turn to the earth again:
And all things that are of the waters return into the sea.
12 All bribery and injustice shall be blotted out;
And good faith shall stand forever.
13 The goods of the unjust shall be dried up like a river,
And like a great thunder in rain shall go off in noise.
14 In opening his hands a man shall be made glad:
So shall transgressors utterly fail.
15 The children of the ungodly shall not put forth many branches;
And are as unclean roots upon a sheer rock.
16 The sedge that grows upon every water and bank of a river
Shall be plucked up before all grass.
17 Bounty is as a garden † of blessings,
And almsgiving endures forever.
18 The life of one that labores, and is contented, shall be made sweet;
And he that finds a treasure is above both.
19 Children and the building of a city establish a man’s name;
And a blameless wife is counted above both.
20 Wine and music rejoice the heart;
And the love of wisdom is above both.
21 The pipe and the lute make pleasant melody;
And a pleasant tongue is above both.
22 Your eye shall desire grace and beauty;
And above both the green blade of corn.
23 A friend and a companion never meet amiss;
And a wife with her husband is above both.
24 Brethren and succour are for a time of affliction;
And almsgiving is a deliverer above both.
25 Gold and silver will make the foot stand sure;
And counsel is esteemed above them both.
26 Riches and strength will lift up the heart;
And the fear of the Lord is above both:
There is nothing lacking in the fear of the Lord,
And there is no need to seek help therein.
27 The fear of the Lord is as a garden of blessing,
And covers ‡ a man above all glory.
28 My son, lead not a beggar’s life;
Better it is to die than to beg.
29 A man that looks to the table of another,
His life is not to be counted for a life;
He will pollute his soul with another man’s meats:
But a man wise and well-instructed will beware thereof.
30 In the mouth of the shameless begging will be sweet;
And in his belly a fire shall be kindled.

*40:2 The Greek text of this line is probably corrupt.

†40:17 Gr. in.

‡40:27 Gr. him.

Chapter 41

1 O death, how bitter is the remembrance of you to a man that is at peace in his possessions,
To the man that has nothing to distract him, and has prosperity in all things,
And that still has strength to receive meat!
2 O death, acceptable is your sentence to a man that is needy, and that fails in strength,
That is in extreme old age, and is distracted about all things,
And is perverse, and has lost patience!
3 Don’t be afraid of the sentence of death;
Remember those who have been before you, and that come after:
This is the sentence from the Lord over all flesh.
4 And why do you refuse, when it is the good pleasure of the Most High?
Whether it be ten, or a hundred, or a thousand years,
There is no inquisition of life in * the grave.
5 The children of sinners are abominable children,
And they frequent the dwellings of the ungodly.
6 The inheritance of sinners’ children shall perish,
And with their posterity shall be a perpetual reproach.
7 Children will complain of an ungodly father,
Because they shall be reproached for his sake.
8 Woe to you, ungodly men,
Which have forsaken the law of the Most High God! †
9 If you⌃ be born, you⌃ shall be born to a curse;
If you⌃ die, a curse shall be your portion.
10 All things that are of the earth shall go back to the earth:
So the ungodly shall go from a curse to perdition.
11 The mourning of men is about their bodies:
But the name of sinners being evil shall be blotted out.
12 Have regard to your name;
For it continues with you longer than a thousand great treasures of gold.
13 A good life has its number of days;
And a good name continues forever.
14 My children, keep instruction in peace:
But wisdom that is hid, and a treasure that is not seen,
What profit is in them both?
15 Better is a man that hides his foolishness
Than a man that hides his wisdom.
16 Wherefore show reverence to my word:
For it is not good to retain every kind of shame;
And not all things are approved by all in good faith.
17 Be ashamed of whoredom before father and mother:
And of a lie before a prince and a mighty man;
18 Of an offence before a judge and ruler;
Of iniquity before the congregation and the people;
Of unjust dealing before a partner and friend;
19 And of theft in regard of the place where you sojourn,
And in regard of the truth of God and his covenant;
And of leaning with your elbow at meat;
And of scurrility in the matter of giving and taking;
20 And of silence before those who salute you;
And of looking upon a woman that is a harlot;
21 And of turning away ‡ your face from a kinsman;
Of taking away a portion or a gift;
And of gazing upon a woman that has a husband;
22 Of being over busy with his maid; and come not near her bed;
Of upbraiding speeches before friends;
And after you have given, upbraid not;
23 Of repeating and speaking what you have heard;
And of revealing of secrets.
24 So shall you be truly shamefast,
And find favor in the sight of every man.

*41:4 Gr. hades

†41:8 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

‡41:21 Or, the face of a kinsman

Chapter 42

1 Of these things be not ashamed,
And accept no man’s person to sin thereby:
2 Of the law of the Most High, and his covenant;
And of judgement to do justice to the ungodly;
3 Of reckoning with a partner and with travellers;
And of a gift from the heritage of friends;
4 Of exactness of balance and weights;
And of getting much or little;
5 Of indifferent selling of merchants;
And of much correction of children;
And of making the side of an evil servant to bleed.
6 * Sure keeping is good, where an evil wife is;
And where many hands are, shut you close.
7 Whatsoever you handest over, let it be by number and weight;
And in giving and receiving let all be in writing.
8 Be not ashamed to instruct the unwise and foolish,
And one of extreme old age that contends with those that are young;
And so shall you be well instructed indeed,
And approved in the sight of every man living.
9 A daughter is a secret cause of wakefulness to a father;
And the care for her puts away sleep;
In her youth, lest she pass the flower of her age;
And when she is married, lest she should be hated:
10 In her virginity, lest she should be defiled
And be with child in her father’s house;
And when she has a husband, lest she should transgress;
And when she is married, lest she should be barren.
11 Keep a strict watch over a headstrong daughter,
Lest she make you † a laughing stock to your enemies,
A byword in the city and ‡ notorious among the people,
And shame you before the multitude.
12 Look not upon every body in regard of beauty,
And sit not in the midst of women;
13 For from garments comes a moth,
And from a woman a woman’s wickedness.
14 Better is the wickedness of a man than a pleasant-dealing woman,
And a woman which puts you to shameful reproach.
15 I will make mention now of the works of the Lord,
And will declare the things that I have seen:
In the words of the Lord are his works.
16 The sun that gives light looks upon all things;
And the work of the Lord is full of his glory.
17 The Lord has not given power to the saints to declare all his marvelous works;
Which the Almighty Lord firmly settled,
That whatever is might be established in his glory.
18 He searches out the deep, and the heart,
And he has understanding of their cunning plans:
For the Most High knows all knowledge,
And he looks into the § signs of the world,
19 Declaring the things that are past, and the things that shall be,
And revealing the traces of hidden things.
20 No thought escapes him;
There is not a word hid from him.
21 The mighty works of his wisdom he has ordered,
Who is from everlasting to everlasting:
Nothing has been added to them, nor diminished from them;
And he had no need of any counsellor.
22 How desirable are all his works!
One may behold this even to a spark.
23 All these things live and remain forever in all manner of uses,
And they are all obedient.
24 All things are double one against another:
And he has made nothing imperfect.
25 One thing establishes the good things of another:
And who shall be filled with beholding his glory?

*42:6 Or, A seal

†42:11 Or, a rejoicing

‡42:11 Gr. called forth.

§42:18 Gr. sign.

Chapter 43

1 The pride of the height is the firmament * in its clearness,
The appearance of heaven, in the spectacle of its glory.
2 The sun when he appears, bringing tidings as he goes forth,
Is a marvelous instrument, the work of the Most High:
3 At his noon he dries up the country,
And who shall stand against his burning heat?
4 A man blowing a furnace is in works of heat,
But the sun three times more, burning up the mountains:
Breathing out fiery vapours,
And sending forth bright beams, he dims the eyes.
5 Great is the Lord that made him;
And at his word he hastens his course.
6 The moon also is in all things for her season,
For a declaration of times, and a sign of the world.
7 From the moon is the sign of the feast day;
A light that wanes when she is come to the full.
8 The month is called after her name,
Increasing wonderfully in her changing;
An instrument of the army on high,
Shining forth in the firmament of heaven;
9 The beauty of heaven, the glory of the stars,
An ornament giving light in the highest places of the Lord.
10 At the word of the Holy One they will stand in † due order,
And they will not faint in their watches.
11 Look upon the rainbow, and praise him that made it;
Exceeding beautiful in the brightness thereof.
12 It encircles the heaven round about with a circle of glory;
The hands of the Most High have stretched it.
13 By his commandment he makes the snow to fall apace,
And sends swiftly the lightnings of his judgement.
14 By reason thereof the treasure-houses are opened;
And clouds fly forth as fowls.
15 By his mighty power he makes strong the clouds,
And the hailstones are broken small:
16 And at his appearing the mountains will be shaken,
And at his will the south wind will blow.
17 The voice of his thunder makes the earth to travail;
So does the northern storm and the whirlwind:
As birds flying down he sprinkles the snow;
And as the lighting of the locust is the falling down thereof:
18 The eye will marvel at the beauty of its whiteness,
And the heart will be astonished at the raining of it.
19 The hoar frost also he pours on the earth as salt;
And when it is congealed, it is as points of thorns.
20 The cold north wind shall blow,
And the ice shall be congealed on the water:
It shall lodge upon every gathering together of water,
And the water shall put on as it were a breastplate.
21 It shall devour the mountains, and burn up the wilderness,
And consume the green herb as fire.
22 A mist coming speedily is the healing of all things;
A dew coming after heat shall bring cheerfulness.
23 By his counsel he has stilled the deep,
And ‡ planted islands therein.
24 They that sail on the sea tell of the danger thereof;
And when we hear it with our ears, we marvel.
25 Therein be also those strange and wondrous works,
Variety of all that has life, the § race of sea-monsters.
26 By reason of him his end has success,
And by his word all things consist.
27 We may say many things, yet shall we not attain;
And the sum of our words is, He is all.
28 How shall we have strength to glorify him?
For he is himself the great one above all his works.
29 The Lord is terrible and exceeding great;
And marvelous is his power.
30 When you⌃ glorify the Lord, exalt him as much as you⌃ can;
For even yet he will exceed:
And when you⌃ exalt him, put forth your full strength:
Be not weary; for you⌃ will never attain.
31 Who has seen him, that he may declare him?
And who shall magnify him as he is?
32 Many things are hidden greater than these;
For we have seen but a few of his works.
33 For the Lord made all things;
And to the godly gave he wisdom.

*43:1 Gr. of clearness.

†43:10 Gr. judgement.

‡43:23 The most ancient authorities read Jesus planted it.

§43:25 Gr. creation. Several ancient authorities read possession of cattle.

Chapter 44

1 Let us now praise famous men,
And our fathers that became the father of us.
2 The Lord * manifested in them great glory,
Even his mighty power from the beginning.
3 Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms,
And were men renowned for their power,
† Giving counsel by their understanding,
Such as have brought tidings in prophecies:
4 Leaders of the people by their counsels,
And by their understanding ‡ men of learning for the people;
Wise were their words in their instruction:
5 Such as sought out musical tunes,
And set forth verses in writing:
6 Rich men furnished with ability,
Living peaceably in their habitations:
7 All these were honored in their generations,
And were a glory in their days.
8 There be of them, that have left a name behind them,
To declare their praises.
9 And some there be, which have no memorial;
Who are perished as though they had not been,
And are become as though they had not been born;
And their children after them.
10 But these were men of mercy,
Whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten.
11 With their seed shall remain continually a good inheritance;
Their children are § within the covenants.
12 Their seed stands fast,
And their children for their sakes.
13 Their seed shall remain forever,
And their glory shall not be blotted out.
14 Their bodies were buried in peace,
And their name lives to all generations.
15 Peoples will declare their wisdom,
And the congregation tells out their praise.
16 Enoch pleased the Lord, and was translated,
Being an example of repentance to all generations.
17 Noah was found perfect and righteous;
In the season of wrath he was taken in exchange for the world;
Therefore was there left a remnant to the earth,
When the flood came.
18 Everlasting covenants were made with him,
That all flesh should no more be blotted out by a flood.
19 Abraham was a great father of a multitude of nations;
And there was none found like him in glory;
20 Who kept the law of the Most High,
And was taken into covenant with him:
In his flesh he established the covenant;
And when he was proved, he was found faithful.
21 Therefore he assured him by an oath,
That the nations should be blessed in his seed;
That he would multiply him as the dust of the earth,
And exalt his seed as the stars,
And cause them to inherit from sea to sea,
And from the River to the utmost part of the earth.
22 In Isaac also did he establish likewise, for Abraham his father’s sake,
The blessing of all men, and the covenant:
23 And he made it rest upon the head of Jacob;
He acknowledged him in his blessings,
And gave to him by inheritance,
And divided his portions;
Among twelve tribes did he part them.

*44:2 Gr. created.

†44:3 Most authorities read They shall take counsel.

‡44:4 The Greek text is here corrupt.

§44:11 Or, In their testaments

Chapter 45

1 And he brought out of him a man of mercy,
Which found favor in the sight of all flesh;
A man beloved of God and men, even Moses,
Whose memorial is blessed.
2 He made him like to the glory of the saints,
And magnified him in the fears of his enemies.
3 By his words he caused the wonders to cease;
He glorified him in the sight of kings;
He gave him commandment for his people,
And showed him part of his glory.
4 He sanctified him in his faithfulness and meekness;
He chose him out of all flesh.
5 He made him to hear his voice,
And led him into the thick darkness,
And gave him commandments face to face,
Even the law of life and knowledge,
That he might teach Jacob the covenant,
And Israel his judgments.
6 He exalted Aaron, a holy man like to him,
Even his brother, of the tribe of Levi.
7 He established for him an everlasting covenant,
And gave him the priesthood of the people;
He * beautified him with comely ornaments,
And girded him about with a robe of glory.
8 He clothed him with the perfection of exultation;
And strengthened him with apparel of † honor,
The linen breeches, the long robe, and the ephod.
9 And he compassed him with pomegranates of gold,
And with many bells round about,
To send forth a sound as he went,
To make a sound that might be heard in the temple,
For a memorial to the children of his people;
10 With a holy garment, with gold and blue and purple, the work of the embroiderer,
With an oracle of judgement, even with the Urim and Thummim;
11 With twisted scarlet, the work of the craftsman;
With precious stones graven like a signet, in a setting of gold, the work of the jeweller,
For a memorial engraved in writing, after the number of the tribes of Israel;
12 With a crown of gold upon the mitre, ‡ having graven on it, as on a signet, HOLINESS,
An ornament of honor, a work of might,
The desires of the eyes, goodly and beautiful.
13 Before him there never have been any such;
No stranger put them on, but his sons only, and his offspring perpertually.
14 His sacrifices shall be wholly consumed
Every day twice continually.
15 Moses § consecrated him,
And anointed him with holy oil:
It was to him for an everlasting covenant,
And to his seed, all the days of heaven,
To minister to him, and to execute also the priest’s office,
And bless his people in his name.
16 He chose him out of all living
To offer sacrifice to the Lord,
Incense, and a sweet savor, for a memorial,
To make reconciliation for your people.
17 He gave to him in his commandments,
Yes, authority in the covenants of judgements,
To teach Jacob the testimonies,
And to enlighten Israel in his law.
18 Strangers gathered themselves together against him,
And envied him in the wilderness,
Even Dathan and Abiram with their company,
And the congregation of Korah, with wrath and anger.
19 The Lord saw it, and it displeased him;
And in the wrath of his anger they were destroyed:
He did wonders upon them,
To consume them with flaming fire.
20 And he added glory to Aaron,
And gave him a heritage:
He divided to him the first fruits of the increase;
And first did he prepare bread in abundance:
21 For they shall eat the sacrifices of the Lord,
Which he gave to him and to his seed.
22 Howbeit in the land of the people he shall have no inheritance,
And he has no portion among the people:
For he himself is your portion and inheritance.
23 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar is the third in glory,
In that he was zealous in the fear of the Lord,
And stood fast in the good forwardness of his soul when the people turned away,
And he made reconciliation for Israel.
24 Therefore was there a covenant of peace established for him,
That he should be leader of the ** saints and of his people;
That he and his seed
Should have the dignity of the priesthood forever.
25 Also he made a covenant with David the son of Jesse, of the tribe of Judah;
The inheritance of the king is his alone from son to son;
So the inheritance of Aaron is also to his seed.
26 God give you wisdom in your heart
To judge his people in righteousness,
That their good things be not abolished,
And that their glory endure for all their generations.

*45:7 Gr. blessed.

†45:8 Gr. strength.

‡45:12 Gr. an engraving of a signet of holiness.

§45:15 Gr. filled his hands.

**45:24 Or, sanctuary

Chapter 46

1 Joshua the son of * Nun was valiant in war,
And was the successor of Moses in prophecies:
Who according to his name was made great
For the saving of † God’s elect,
To take vengeance of the enemies that rose up against them,
That he might give Israel their inheritance.
2 How was he glorified in the lifting up his hands,
And in stretching out his sword against the cities!
3 Who before him so stood fast?
For the Lord himself brought his enemies to him.
4 Did not the sun go back by his hand?
And did not one day become as two?
5 He called upon the Most High and Mighty One,
When his foes pressed him round about;
And the great Lord heard him.
6 With hailstones of mighty power
He caused war to break violently upon the nation,
And ‡ in the going down he destroyed those who resisted;
That the nations might know his § armor,
How that he fought in the sight of the Lord;
For he followed after the Mighty One.
7 Also in the time of Moses he did a work of mercy,
He and Caleb the son of Jephunneh,
In that they withstood the adversary,
Hindered the people from sin,
And stilled the murmuring of wickedness.
8 And of six hundred thousand people on foot, they two alone were preserved
To bring them into the heritage,
Even into a land flowing with milk and honey.
9 Also the Lord gave strength to Caleb,
And it remained with him to his old age;
So that he entered upon the height of the land,
And his seed obtained it for a heritage:
10 That all the children of Israel might see
That it is good to walk after the Lord.
11 Also the judges, every one by his name,
All whose hearts went not a whoring,
And who turned not away from the Lord,
May their memorial be blessed.
12 May their bones flourish again out of their place,
And may the name of those who have been honored be renewed upon their children.
13 Samuel, the prophet of the Lord, beloved of his Lord,
Established a kingdom, and anointed princes over his people.
14 By the law of the Lord he judged the congregation,
And the Lord visited Jacob.
15 By his faithfulness he was proved to be a prophet,
And by his words he was known to be faithful in vision.
16 Also when his enemies pressed him round about
He called upon the Lord, the Mighty One,
With the offering of the sucking lamb.
17 And the Lord thundered from heaven,
And with a mighty sound made his voice to be heard.
18 And he utterly destroyed the rulers of the Tyrians,
And all the princes of the Philistines.
19 Also before the time of his ** long sleep
He made protestations in the sight of the lord and his anointed,
I have not taken any man’s goods, so much as a shoe:
And no man did accuse him.
20 And after he fell asleep he prophesied,
And showed the king his end,
And lifted up his voice from the earth in prophecy,
To blot out the wickedness of the people.

*46:1 Gr. Nave.

†46:1 Gr. his.

‡46:6 See Joshua 10:11

§46:6 Gr. panoply.

**46:19 Gr. age-long sleep.

Chapter 47

1 And after him rose up Nathan
To prophesy in the days of David.
2 As is the fat when it is separated from the peace offering,
So was David separated from the children of Israel.
3 He played with lions as with kids,
And with bears as with lambs of the flock.
4 In his youth did he not kill a giant,
And take away reproach from the people,
When he lifted up his hand with a sling stone,
And beat down the boasting of Goliath?
5 For he called upon the Most High Lord;
And he gave him strength in his right hand,
To kill a man mighty in war,
To exalt the horn of his people.
6 So they glorified him for his ten thousands,
And praised him for the blessings of the Lord,
In that there was given him a diadem of glory.
7 For he destroyed the enemies on every side,
And brought to nothing the Philistines his adversaries,
Brake their horn in pieces to this day.
8 In every work of his he gave thanks to the Holy One Most High with words of glory;
With his whole heart he sang praise,
And loved him that made him.
9 Also he set singers before the altar,
And to make sweet melody by their music. *
10 He gave beauty to the feasts,
And set in order the seasons to perfection,
While they praised his holy name,
And the sanctuary sounded from early morning.
11 The Lord took away his sins,
And exalted his horn forever;
And gave him a covenant of kings,
And a throne of glory in Israel.
12 After him rose up a son, a man of understanding;
And for his sake he lived at large.
13 Solomon reigned in days of peace;
And to him God gave rest round about,
That he might set up a house for his name,
And prepare a sanctuary forever.
14 How wise was you made in your youth,
And filled as a river with understanding!
15 Your soul covered the earth,
And you filled it with † dark parables.
16 Your name reached to the aisles afar off;
And for your peace you were beloved.
17 For your songs and proverbs and parables,
And for your interpretations, the countries marveled at you.
18 By the name of the Lord God,
Which is called the God of Israel,
You did gather gold as tin,
And did multiply silver as lead.
19 You did bow your loins to women,
And in your body you were brought into subjection.
20 You did blemish your honor,
And profane your seed,
To bring wrath upon your children;
And I was grieved for your folly:
21 So that the sovereignty was divided,
And out of Ephraim ruled a disobedient kingdom.
22 But the Lord will never forsake his mercy;
And he will not destroy any of his works,
Nor blot out the posterity of his elect;
And the seed of him that loved him he will not take away;
And he gave a remnant to Jacob,
And to David a root out of him.
23 And so rested Solomon with his fathers;
And of his seed he left behind him Rehoboam,
Even the foolishness of the people, and one that lacked understanding,
Who made the people to revolt by his counsel.
Also Jeroboam the son of Nebat,
Who made Israel to sin,
And gave to Ephraim a way of sin.
24 And their sins were multiplied exceedingly,
To remove them from their land.
25 For they sought out all manner of wickedness,
Till vengeance should come upon them.

*47:9 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

†47:15 Gr. parables of riddles.

Chapter 48

1 Also there arose Elijah the prophet as fire,
And his word burned like a torch:
2 Who brought a famine upon them,
And by his zeal made them few in number.
3 By the word of the Lord he shut up the heaven:
Thrice did he thus bring down fire.
4 How was you glorified, O Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!
And who shall glory like to you?
5 Who did raise up a dead man from death,
And from * the place of the dead, by the word of the Most High:
6 Who brought down kings to destruction,
And honorable men from their bed:
7 Who heard rebuke in Sinai,
And judgements of vengeance in Horeb:
8 Who anointed kings for retribution,
And prophets to succeed after him:
9 Who was taken up in a tempest of fire,
In a chariot of fiery horses:
10 Who was recorded for reproofs in their seasons,
To pacify anger, before it brake forth into wrath;
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 those who have been beautified with love;
For we also shall surely live.
12 Elijah it was, who was wrapped in a tempest:
And Elisha was filled with his spirit;
And in all his days he was not moved by the fear of any ruler,
And no one brought him into subjection.
13 † Nothing was too high for him;
And when he was laid on sleep his body prophesied.
14 As in his life he did wonders,
So in death were his works marvelous.
15 For all this the people repented not,
And they departed not from their sins,
Till they were carried away as a plunder from their land,
And were scattered through all the earth;
And the people was left very few in number,
And a ruler was left in the house of David.
16 Some of them did that which was pleasing to God,
And some multiplied sins.
17 Hezekiah fortified his city,
And brought in ‡ water into the midst of them:
He digged the sheer rock with iron,
And built up wells for waters.
18 In his days Sennacherib came up,
And sent Rabshakeh, and departed;
And he lifted up his hand against Sion,
And boasted great things in his arrogancy.
19 Then were their hearts and their hands shaken,
And they were in pain, as women in travail;
20 And they called upon the Lord which is merciful,
Spreading forth their hands to him:
And the Holy One heard them speedily out of Heaven,
And delivered them by the hand of Isaiah.
21 He struck the camp of the Assyrians,
And his angel utterly destroyed them.
22 For Hezekiah did that which was pleasing to the Lord,
And was strong in the ways of David his father,
Which Isaiah the prophet commanded,
Who was great and faithful in his vision.
23 In his days the sun went backward;
And he added life to the king.
24 He saw by an excellent spirit what should come to pass at the last;
And he comforted those who mourned in Sion.
25 He showed the things that should be to the end of time,
And the hidden things or ever they came.

*48:5 Gr. Hades.

†48:13 Or, No man’s word overcame him

‡48:17 Some ancient authorities, apparently by a confusion, read Gog.

Chapter 49

1 The memorial of Josiah is like the composition of incense
Prepared by the work of the apothecary:
It shall be sweet as honey in every mouth,
And as music at a banquet of wine.
2 He behaved himself uprightly in the conversion of the people,
And took away the abominations of iniquity.
3 He set his heart right toward the Lord;
In the days of wicked men he made godliness to prevail.
4 Except David and Hezekiah and Josiah,
All committed trespass:
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 strange nation.
6 They set on fire the chosen city of the sanctuary,
And made her streets desolate, as it was written by the hand of Jeremiah.
7 For they entreated him evil;
And yet he was sanctified in the womb to be a prophet,
To root out, and to afflict, and to destroy;
And in like manner to build and to plant.
8 It was Ezekiel who saw the vision of glory,
Which God showed him upon the chariot of the cherubim.
9 For truly he remembered the enemies in † storm,
And to do good to those who directed their ways aright.
10 Also of the twelve prophets ‡
May the bones flourish again out of their place.
And he comforted Jacob,
And delivered them by confidence of hope.
11 How shall we magnify Zerubbabel?
And he was as a signet on the right hand:
12 So was Jesus the son of Josedek:
Who in their days built the house,
And exalted a § people holy to the Lord,
Prepared for everlasting glory.
13 Also of Nehemiah the memorial is great;
Who raised up for us the walls that were fallen,
And set up the gates and bars,
And raised up our homes again.
14 No man was created upon the earth such as was Enoch;
For he was taken up from the earth.
15 Neither was there a man born like to Joseph,
A governor of his kindred, a stay of the people:
Yes, his bones were visited.
16 Shem and Seth were glorified among men;
And above every living thing in the creation is Adam.

*49:5 Gr. horn.

†49:9 Gr. rain.

‡49:10 The remainder of this line is omitted by the best authorities.

§49:12 Some ancient authorities read temple.

Chapter 50

1 It was Simon, the son of Onias, the * great priest,
Who in his life repaired the house,
And in his days strengthened the temple:
2 And by him was built from the foundation the height of the double wall,
The lofty underworks of the inclosure of the temple:
3 In his days the cistern of waters was † diminished,
The brazen vessel in compass as the sea.
4 It was he that took thought for his people that they should not fall,
And fortified the city ‡ against besieging:
5 How glorious was he when the people gathered round him
At his coming forth out of the § sanctuary!
6 As the morning star in the midst of a cloud,
As the moon at the full:
7 As the sun shining forth upon the temple of the Most High,
And as the rainbow giving light in clouds of glory:
8 As the flower of roses in the days of new fruits,
As lilies at the waterspring,
As the shoot of the frankencense tree in the time of summer:
9 As fire and incense in the censer,
As a vessel all of beaten gold
Adorned with all manner of precious stones:
10 As an olive tree budding forth fruits,
And as a cypress growing high among the clouds.
11 When he took up the robe of glory,
And put on the perfection of exultation,
In the ascent of the holy altar,
He made glorious the precinct of the sanctuary.
12 And when he received the portions out of the priests’ hands,
Himself also standing by the hearth of the altar,
His kindred as a garland round about him,
He was as a young cedar in Libanus;
And as stems of palm trees compassed they him round about,
13 And all the sons of Aaron in their glory,
And the Lord’s offering in their hands, before all the congregation of Israel.
14 And finishing the service at the altars,
That he might adorn the offering of the Most High, the Almighty,
15 He stretched out his hand to the ** cup,
And poured out the cup of the grape;
He poured out at the foot of the altar
A sweet smelling savor to the Most High, the King of all.
16 Then shouted the sons of Aaron,
They sounded the trumpets of beaten work,
They made a great noise to be heard,
For a remembrance before the Most High.
17 Then all the people together hurried,
And fell down upon the earth on their faces
To worship their Lord, the Almighty, God Most High.
18 The singers also praised him with their voices;
In the whole house was there made sweet melody.
19 And the people implored the Lord Most High,
In prayer before him that is merciful.
Till the †† worship of the Lord should be ended;
And so they accomplished his service.
20 Then he went down, and lifted up his hands
Over the whole congregation of the children of Israel,
To give blessing to the Lord with his lips,
And to glory in his name.
21 And he bowed himself down in worship the second time,
To declare the blessing from the Most High.
22 And now bless you⌃ the God of all,
Which everywhere does great things,
Which exalts our days from the womb,
And deals with us according to his mercy.
23 May he grant us joyfulness of heart,
And that peace may be in our days in Israel for the days of eternity:
24 To intrust his mercy with us;
And let him deliver us in his time!
25 With two nations is my soul vexed,
And the third is no nation:
26 They that sit upon the mountain of ‡‡ Samaria, and the Philistines,
And that foolish people that dwells in Sichem.
27 I have §§ written in this book the instruction of understanding and knowledge,
I Jesus, the son of Sirach Eleazar, of Jerusalem,
Who out of his heart poured forth wisdom.
28 Blessed is he that shall be exercised in these things;
And he that lays them up in his heart shall become wise.
29 For if he do them, he shall be strong to all things:
For the light of the Lord is his *** guide. †††

*50:1 Or, high

†50:3 The text here seems to be corrupt.

‡50:4 Gr. to beseige: that is, as to besieging it.

§50:5 Gr. house of the veil.

**50:15 Gr. cup of libation.

††50:19 Gr. adornment.

‡‡50:26 According to some ancient versions, Seir.

§§50:27 Gr. graven.

***50:29 Gr. footstep.

†††50:29 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

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Source: The World English Bible

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