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Ecclesiasticus / Sirach - Chapter 51

Ecclesiasticus / Sirach Chapters

1 I shall give thanks to you, Lord and King, and praise you, God my Saviour, I give thanks to your name;

2 for you have been my guard and support and redeemed my body from destruction, from the snare of the lying tongue, from lips that fabricate falsehood; in the presence of my assailants, you were on my side; you have been my support, you have redeemed me,

3 true to your abounding kindness -- and the greatness of your name -- you liberated me from the fangs of those seeking to devour me, from the clutches of those seeking my life, from the many ordeals which I have endured,

4 from the stifling heat which hemmed me in, from the heart of a fire which I had not kindled,

5 from deep in the belly of Sheol,

6 treacherous denunciations to the king. My soul has been close to death, my life had gone down to the brink of Sheol.

7 I was completely surrounded, there was no one to help me; I looked for someone to help me, there was no one.

8 Then I remembered your mercy, Lord, and your deeds from earliest times, how you deliver those who wait for you patiently, and save them from the clutches of their enemies.

9 And I sent up my plea from the earth, I begged to be delivered from death.

10 I called on the Lord, the father of my Lord, 'Do not desert me in the days of ordeal, in the days of the proud, when we are helpless. I shall praise your name unceasingly and gratefully sing its praises.'

11 And my plea was heard, for you saved me from destruction, you delivered me from that time of evil.

12 And therefore I shall thank you and praise you, and bless the name of the Lord.

13 When I was still a youth, before I went travelling, in my prayers I asked outright for wisdom.

14 Outside the sanctuary I would pray for her, and to the last I shall continue to seek her.

15 From her blossoming to the ripening of her grape my heart has taken its delight in her. My foot has pursued a straight path, I have sought her ever since my youth.

16 By bowing my ear a little, I have received her, and have found much instruction.

17 Thanks to her I have advanced; glory be to him who has given me wisdom!

18 For I was determined to put her into practice, have earnestly pursued the good, and shall not be put to shame.

19 My soul has fought to possess her, I have been scrupulous in keeping the Law; I have stretched out my hands to heaven and bewailed how little I knew of her;

20 I have directed my soul towards her, and in purity I have found her; having my heart fixed on her from the outset, I shall never be deserted;

21 my very core having yearned to discover her, I have now acquired a good possession.

22 In reward the Lord has given me a tongue with which I shall sing his praises.

23 Come close to me, you ignorant, take your place in my school.

24 Why complain about lacking these things when your souls are so thirsty for them?

25 I have opened my mouth, I have said: 'Buy her without money,

26 put your necks under her yoke, let your souls receive instruction, she is near, within your reach.'

27 See for yourselves: how slight my efforts have been to win so much peace.

28 Buy instruction with a large sum of silver, thanks to her you will gain much gold.

29 May your souls rejoice in the mercy of the Lord, may you never be ashamed of praising him.

30 Do your work before the appointed time and at the appointed time he will give you your reward. (Subscript:) Wisdom of Jesus, son of Sira.


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