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Ecclesiasticus / Sirach - Chapter 18

Ecclesiasticus / Sirach Chapters

1 He who lives for ever has created the sum of things.

2 The Lord alone will be found just.

3

4 He has given no one the power to proclaim his works to the end, and who can fathom his magnificent deeds?

5 Who can assess his magnificent strength, and who can go further and tell all of his mercies?

6 Nothing can be added to them, nothing subtracted, it is impossible to fathom the marvels of the Lord.

7 When someone finishes he is only beginning, and when he stops he is as puzzled as ever.

8 What is a human being, what purpose does he serve? What is good and what is bad for him?

9 The length of his life: a hundred years at most.

10 Like a drop of water from the sea, or a grain of sand, such are these few years compared with eternity.

11 This is why the Lord is patient with them and pours out his mercy on them.

12 He sees and recognises how wretched their end is, and so he makes his forgiveness the greater.

13 Human compassion extends to neighbours, but the Lord's compassion extends to everyone; rebuking, correcting and teaching, bringing them back as a shepherd brings his flock.

14 He has compassion on those who accept correction, and who fervently search for his judgements.

15 My child, do not temper your favours with blame nor any of your gifts with words that hurt.

16 Does not dew relieve the heat? In the same way a word is worth more than a gift.

17 Why surely, a word is better than a good present, but a generous person is ready with both.

18 A fool will offer nothing but insult, and a grudging gift makes the eyes smart.

19 Learn before you speak, take care of yourself before you fall ill.

20 Examine yourself before judgement comes, and on the day of visitation you will be acquitted.

21 Humble yourself before you fall ill, repent as soon as the sin is committed.

22 Let nothing prevent your discharging a vow in good time, and do not wait till death to set matters right.

23 Prepare yourself before making a vow, and do not be like someone who tempts the Lord.

24 Bear in mind the retribution of the last days, the time of vengeance when God averts his face.

25 In a time of plenty remember times of famine, think of poverty and want when you are rich.

26 The time slips by between dawn and dusk, everything passes quickly for the Lord.

27 The wise will be cautious in everything, in sinful times will take care not to offend.

28 Every person of sense recognises wisdom, and will respect anyone who has found her.

29 Those who understand sayings have toiled for their wisdom and have poured out accurate maxims.

30 Do not be governed by your passions, restrain your desires.

31 If you allow yourself to satisfy your desires, this will make you the laughing-stock of your enemies.

32 Do not indulge in luxurious living, do not get involved in such society.

33 Do not beggar yourself by banqueting on credit when there is nothing in your pocket.


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