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Ecclesiasticus / Sirach - Chapter 45

1 From Jacob's stock he produced a generous man who found favour in the eyes of all humanity, beloved by God and people, Moses, of blessed memory.

2 He made him the equal of the holy ones in glory and made him strong, to the terror of his enemies.

3 By the word of Moses, he made prodigies cease and raised him high in the respect of kings; he gave him commandments for his people, and showed him something of his glory.

4 For his loyalty and gentleness he sanctified him, choosing him alone out of all human beings;

5 he allowed him to hear his voice, and led him into the darkness;

6 he gave him the commandments face to face, the law of life and knowledge, to teach Jacob his ordinances and Israel his decrees. He raised up Aaron, a holy man like Moses, his brother, of the tribe of Levi.

7 He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him the priesthood of the people. He adorned him with impressive vestments, he dressed him in a robe of glory.

8 He clothed him in glorious perfection and invested him with rich ornaments, the breeches, the long robe, the ephod.

9 To surround the robe he gave him pomegranates, and many gold bells all round to chime at every step, for their sound to be heard in the Temple as a reminder to the children of his people;

10 and a sacred vestment of gold and aquamarine and scarlet, the work of an embroiderer; the pectoral of judgement, the urim and thummim, of plaited crimson, the work of a craftsman;

11 precious stones cut like seals mounted in gold, the work of a jeweller, as a reminder with their engraved inscriptions of the number of the tribes of Israel;

12 and a golden diadem on his turban, engraved with the seal of consecration; superb ornamentation, magnificent work, adornment to delight the eye.

13 There had never been such lovely things before him, and no one else has ever put them on, but only his own sons, and his descendants for all time.

14 His sacrifices were to be burnt entirely, twice each day and for ever.

15 Moses consecrated him and anointed him with holy oil; and this was an everlasting covenant for him, and for his descendants as long as the heavens endure, that he should preside over worship, act as priest, and bless the people in the name of the Lord.

16 He chose him out of all the living to offer sacrifices to the Lord, incense and perfume as a memorial to make expiation for the people.

17 He entrusted him with his commandments, committed to him the statutes of the Law for him to teach Jacob his decrees and enlighten Israel on his Law.

18 Others plotted against him, they were jealous of him in the desert, Dathan and Abiram and their men, Korah and his crew in fury and rage.

19 The Lord saw it and was displeased, his raging fury made an end of them; he worked miracles on them, consuming them by his flaming fire.

20 And he added to Aaron's glory, he gave him an inheritance; he allotted him the offerings of the first-fruits, before all else, as much bread as he could want.

21 Thus they eat the sacrifices of the Lord which he gave to him and his posterity.

22 But of the people's territory he inherits nothing, he alone of all the people has no share, 'For I myself am your share and heritage.'

23 Phinehas son of Eleazar is third in glory because of his zeal in the fear of the Lord, because he stood firm when the people revolted, with a staunch and courageous heart; and in this way made expiation for Israel.

24 Hence a covenant of peace was sealed with him, making him governor of both sanctuary and people, and securing to him and his descendants the high priestly dignity for ever.

25 There was also a covenant with David son of Jesse, of the tribe of Judah, a royal succession by exclusively linear descent, but the succession of Aaron passes to all his descendants.

26 May God endow your hearts with wisdom to judge his people uprightly, so that the virtues of your ancestors may never fade, and their glory may pass to all their descendants!

Book of Ecclesiasticus / Sirach Chapters

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