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This book is so called from a Greek word
that signifies a Preacher: because, like au Wisdom is from the Lord God, and an hath been always with him, and is be
excellent preacher, it gives admirable les-fore all time. sons of all virtues. The author wus Jesus 2 Who hath numbered the sand of the the son of Sirach of Jerusalem, who flourish-sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of ed about two hundred years before Christ. the world? Who hath measured the height As it was written after the time of Esdras, of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, it is not in the Jewish Canon: but is re-and the depth of the abyss? ceived as canonical and divine by the catho- 3 Who hath searched out the wisdom of lic church, instructed by apostolical tradi- God that goeth before all things? tion, and directed by the Spirit of God. It 4 Wisdom hath been created before all was first wrote in the Hebrew, but after-things, and the understanding of prudence wards translated into Greek by another Je-from everlasting.
sus, the grandson of the author; whose pro-| logue to this book is the following:
5 The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom; and her ways are everlast ing commandments.
6 To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed, and who hath known her wise counsels?
HE knowledge of many and great things hath been shewn us by the law, and the prophets, and others that have followed them for which things Israel is to be commended for doctrine and wisdom: because not only they that speak must needs be skil ful, but strangers also both speaking and writing, may by their means become most 8 There is one most high Creator Allearned. My grandfather Jesus, after he had mighty, and a powerful King, and greatly much given himself to a diligent reading to be feared, who sitteth upon his throne, of the law, and the prophets, and other and is the God of dominion. books, that were delivered to us from our 9 He created her in the Holy Ghost, and fathers, had a mind also to write something saw her, and numbered her, and measured himself, pertaining to doctrine and wisdom; her.
7 To whom hath the discipline of wisdom been revealed and made manifest? and who hath understood the multiplicity of her steps?
that such as are desirous to learn, and are 10 And he poured her out upon all his made knowing in these things, may be more works, and upon all flesh according to his and more attentive in mind, and be strength-gift, and hath given her to them that love ened to live according to the law. I entreat you therefore to come with benevolence, and to read with attention, and to pardon us for those things wherein we may seem, while we follow the image of wisdom, to come short in the composition of words:
11 The fear of the Lord is honour, and
glory, and gladness, and a crown of joy.
12 The fear of the Lord shall delight the heart, and shall give joy, and gladness, and length of days.
for the Hebrew words have not the same 13 With him that feareth the Lord, it force in them when translated into another shall go well in the latter end, and in the tongue. And not only these, but the law day of his death he shall be blessed. also itself, and the prophets, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when 15 And they to whom she shall shew herthey are spoken in their own language. For self, love her by the sight, and by the knowin the eighth and thirtieth year coming into ledge of her great works.
14 The love of God is honourable wisdom.
Egypt, when Ptolemy Evergetes was king, 16 The fear of the Lord is the beginning and continuing there a long time, I found of wisdom, and was created with the faiththere books left, of no small nor contempti ful in the womb: it walketh with chosen ble learning. Therefore I thought it good, women, and is known with the just and and necessary for me to bestow some dili faithful. gence and labour to interpret this book: and with much watching and study in some space of time, I brought the book to an end, and set it forth for the service of them that are willing to apply their mind, and to learn how they ought to conduct themselves, who purpose to lead their life according to the law of the Lord.
17 The fear of the Lord is the religiousness of knowledge.
18 Religiousness shall keep and justify the heart: it shall give joy and gladness.
19 It shall go well with him that feareth the Lord; and in the days of his end he shall be blessed.
20 To fear God is the fulness of wisdom; and fulness is from the fruits thereof.
21 She shall fill all her house with her
All Wisdom is from God, and is given to them increase, and the storehouses with her that fear and love God.
22 The fear of the Lord is a crown of || 6 Believe God, and he will recover thee: wisdom, filling up peace and the fruit of and direct thy way, and trust in him. Keep his fear, and grow old therein.
7 Ye that fear the Lord, wait for his mercy and go not aside from him, lest ye fall.
8 Ye that fear the Lord, believe him: and your reward shall not be made void.
9 Ye that fear the Lord, hope in him:
23 And it hath seen, and numbered her: but both are the gifts of God.,
24 Wisdom shall distribute knowledge, and understanding of prudence; and exalteth the glory of them that hold her.
25 The root of wisdom is to fear the and mercy shall come to you for your deLord: and the branches thereof are long lived. 26 In the treasures of wisdom is understanding, and religiousness of knowledge: but to sinners wisdom is an abomination.
10 Ye that fear the Lord, love him; and your hearts shall be enlightened.
11 My children, behold the generations of men: and know ye that no one hath hoped in the Lord, and hath been confounded.
12 For who hath continued in his commandment, and hath been forsaken? or who hath called upon him, and he despised him?
29 A patient man shall bear for a time and afterwards joy shall be restored to him. 30 A good understanding will hide his 13 For God is compassionate and merci. words for a time: and the lips of many shall ful, and will forgive sins in the day of tribudeclare his wisdom. lation: and he is a protector to all that seek
31 In the treasures of wisdom is the sig-him in truth. nification of discipline:
14 Wo to them that are of a double heart,
32 But the worship of God is an abomina-and to wicked lips, and to the hands that tion to a sinner. do evil, and to the sinner that goeth on the
33 Son, if thou desire wisdom, keep jus-earth two ways. tice, and God will give her to thee.
34 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom who believe not God: and therefore they and discipline: and that which is agreeable shall not be protected by him. to him,
35 Is faith, and meekness: and he will fill up his treasures.
16 Wo to them that have lost patience, and that have forsaken the right ways, and have gone aside into crooked ways.
36 Be not incredulous to the fear of the Lord; and come not to him with a double heart.
17 And what will they do, when the Lord shall begin to examine?
18 They that fear the Lord, will not be incredulous to his word: and they that love
27 The fear of the Lord driveth out sin: 28 For he that is without fear cannot be justified: for the wrath of his high spirits is his ruin.
15 Wo to them that are faint-hearted,
37 Be not a hypocrite in the sight of men and let not thy lips be a stumbling-him, will keep his way. block to thee.
19 They that fear the Lord, will seek
38 Watch over them, lest thou fall, and after the things that are well pleasing to bring dishonour upon thy soul, him and they that love him, shall be filled
39 And God discover thy secrets, and cast with his law. thee down in the midst of the congregation: 20 They that fear the Lord, will prepare 40 Because thou camest to the Lord their hearts, and in his sight will sanctify wickedly: and thy heart is full of guile and their souls.
21 They that fear the Lord, keep his commandments, and will have patience even
God's servants must look for temptations:until his visitation,
and must arm themselves with patience and| 22 Saying: If we do not penance, we confidence in God. shall fall into the hands of the Lord, and ON, when thou comest to the service of not into the hands of men.
God, stand in justice and in fear, and 23 For according to his greatness, so prepare thy soul for temptation. also is his mercy with him. CHAP. III.
2 Humble thy heart, and endure : incline thy ear, and receive the words of understanding and make not haste in the time of clouds.
Lessons concerning the honour of parents, and humility, and avoiding curiosity.
sons of wisdom are the church of
Wait on God with patience: join thy-T the just, and their generation, obedi
self to God, and endure, that thy life may be increased in the latter end.
ence and love.
2 Children, hear the judgment of your father, and so do that you may be saved.
3 For God hath made the father honourable to the children: and seeking the judg ment of the mothers, hath confirmed it upon
4 Take all that shall be brought upon thee and in thy sorrow endure, and in thy humiliation keep patience :
5 For gold and silver are tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the furnace of the children. humiliation.
4 Ile that loveth God shall obtain par
don for his sins by prayer, and shall refrain and he that loveth danger shall perish in it. himself from them, and shall be heard in the 28 A heart that goeth two ways shall not prayer of days. have success and the perverse of heart
5 And he that honoureth his mother is as shall be scandalized therein. one that layeth up a treasure.
6 He that honoureth his father shall have joy in his own children: and in the day of his prayer he shall be heard.
29 A wicked heart shall be laden with sorrows, and the sinner will add sin to sin.
30 The congregation of the proud shall not be healed: for the plant of wickedness
7 He that honoureth his father shall en-shall take root in them, and it shall not be
joy a long life: and he that obeyeth the perceived. father shall be a comfort to his mother. 31 The heart of the wise is understood in 8 He that feareth the Lord honoureth wisdom: and a good ear will hear wisdom his parents, and will serve them as his mas-with all desire. ters that brought him into the world.
9 Honour thy father, in work and word, and all patience,
32 A wise heart, and which hath understanding, will abstain from sins, and in the works of justice shall have success.
10 That a blessing may come upon thee from him, and his blessing may remain in the latter end.
33 Water quencheth a flaming fire and alms resisteth sins:
34 And God provideth for him that shew11 The father's blessing establisheth theeth favour: he remembereth him afterhouses of the children: but the mother's wards: and in the time of his fall he shall curse rooteth up the foundation. find a sure stay.
12 Glory not in the dishonour of thy father: for his shame is no glory to thee.
13 For the glory of a man is from the honour of his father and a father without honour is the disgrace of the son.
14 Son, support the old age of thy father; and grieve him not in his life:
15 And if his understanding fail, have patience with him, and despise him not when thou art in thy strength for the relieving of the father shall not be forgotten.
16 For good shall be repaid to thee for the sin of thy mother:
An exhortation to works of mercy, and to the love of wisdom.
ON, defraud not the poor of alms; and turn not away thy eyes from the poor. 2 Despise not the hungry soul: and provoke not the poor in his want.
3 Afflict not the heart of the needy: and defer not to give to him that is in distress.
4 Reject not the petition of the afflicted: and turn not away thy face from the needy.
5 Turn not away thy eyes from the poor for fear of anger and leave not to them that ask of thee to curse thee behind thy
17 And in justice thou shalt be built up, and in the day of affliction thou shalt be re-back. membered: and thy sins shall melt away as 6 For the prayer of him that curseth thee the ice in the fair warm weather.
in the bitterness of his soul, shall be heard: for he that made him will hear him.
18 Of what an evil fame is he that forsaketh his father? and he is cursed of God that angereth his mother.
7 Make thyself affable to the congrega. tion of the poor; and humble thy soul to
19 My son, do thy works in meekness, the ancient; and bow thy head to a great and thou shalt be beloved above the glory||man. of men.
8 Bow down thy ear cheerfully to the
20 The greater thou art, the more hum-poor; and pay what thou owest; and anble thyself in all things; and thou shalt find swer him peaceable words with mildness. grace before God:
21 For great is the power of God alone and he is honoured by the humble.
9 Deliver him that suffereth wrong out of the hand of the proud; and be not fainthearted in thy soul.
10 In judging be merciful to the fatherless as a father, and as a husband to their mother:
22 Seek not the things that are too high for thee, and search not into things above thy ability but the things that God hath commanded thee, think on them always: 11 And thou shalt be as the obedient son and in many of his works be not curious. of the most High, and he will have mercy 23 For it is not necessary for thee to see on thee more than a mother. with thy eyes those things that are hid. 12 Wisdom inspireth life into her chil24 In unnecessary matters be not over-dren, and protecteth them that seek after curious; and in many of his works thou her, and will go before them in the way of shalt not be inquisitive. justice.
13 And he that loveth her, loveth life: and they that watch for her, shall embrace her sweetness.
14 They that hold her fast, shall inherit life: and whithersoever she entereth, God
25 For many things are shewn to thee above the understanding of men.
26 And the suspicion of them hath deceived many, and hath detained their minds in vanity.
27 A hard heart shall fare evil at the last :will give a blessing.
15 They that serve her, shall be servants]
to the holy one: and God loveth them that We must not presume on our wealth or strength; nor on the mercy of God to go on in sin: we must be stedfast in virtue and truth.
16 He that hearkeneth to her, shall judge nations and he that looketh upon her, shall
17 If he trust to her, he shall inherit her, SE
and his generation shall be in assurance.
18 For she walketh with him in temptation; and at the first she chooseth him.
19 She will bring upon him fear, and dread, and trial: and she will scourge him with the affliction of her discipline, till she try him by her laws, and trust his soul.
20 Then she will strengthen him, and make a straight way to him, and give him joy.
4 Say not: I have sinned, and what harm hath befallen me? for the most High is a patient rewarder.
5 Be not without fear about sin forgiven; and add not sin upon sin :
21 And will disclose her secrets to him,' and will heap upon him treasures of knowledge and understanding of justice. 22 But if he go astray, she will forsake is great: he will have mercy on the multihim, and deliver him into the hands of his enemy.
6 And say not: The mercy of the Lord
tude of my sins.
23 Son, observe the time, and fly from evil.
7 For mercy and wrath quickly come from him: and his wrath looketh upon sinners. 8 Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day.
9 For his wrath shall come on a sudden; and in the time of vengeance he will destroy thee.
10 Be not anxious for goods unjustly gotten: for they shall not profit thee in the day of calamity and revenge.
11 Winnow not with every wind, and go not into every way: for so is every sinner proved by a double tongue.
12 Be stedfast in the way of the Lord, and in the truth of thy judgment, and in knowledge: and let the word of peace and justice keep with thee.
13 Be meek to hear the word, that thou mayst understand: and return a true answer with wisdom.
24 For thy soul be not ashamed to say the truth.
25 For there is a shame that bringeth sin and there is a shame that bringeth glory and grace.
26 Accept no person against thy own person, nor against thy soul a lie. 27 Reverence not thy neighbour in his fall:
28 And refrain not to speak in the time of salvation. Hide not thy wisdom in her beauty.
29 For by the tongue wisdom is discerned; and understanding, and knowledge, and learning, by the word of the wise, and stedfastness in the works of justice.
ET not thy heart upon unjust possessions; and say not: I have enough to live on: for it shall be of no service in the time of vengeance and darkness.
2 Follow not in thy strength the desires of thy heart:
3 And say not: How mighty am I? and who shall bring me under for my deeds? for God will surely take revenge.
30 In no wise speak against the truth: but be ashamed of the lie of thy ignorance. 14 If thou have understanding, answer 31 Be not ashamed to confess thy sins; thy neighbour: but if not, let thy hand be but submit not thyself to every man for upon thy mouth, lest thou be surprised in an unskilful word, and be confounded.
32 Resist not against the face of the mighty, and do not strive against the stream of the river.
33 Strive for justice for thy soul; and even unto death fight for justice, and God will overthrow thy enemies for thee.
34 Be not hasty in thy tongue: and slack, and remiss in thy works.
35 Be not as a lion in thy house, terrifying them of thy household, and oppressing them that are under thee.
15 Honour and glory is in the word of the wise, but the tongue of the fool is his ruin.
16 Be not called a whisperer and be not taken in thy tongue and confounded:
17 For confusion and repentance is upon a thief, and an evil mark of disgrace upon the double-tongued, but to the whisperer hatred and enmity, and reproach.
18 Justify alike the small and the great. CHAP. VI.
Of true and false friends and of the fruits 36 Let not thy hand be stretched out to of wisdom. receive, and shut when thou shouldst give.NSTEAD of a friend become not an enemy to thy neighbour: for an evil man • In temptation, &c. The meaning is, shall inherit reproach and shame: so shall that before wisdom will choose any for her every sinner that is envious and doublefavourite, she will try them by leading them through contradictions, afflictions, and temptations, the usual noviceship of the children of God.
2 Extol not thyself in the thoughts of thy soul like a bull; lest thy strength be quashHed by folly.
3 And it eat up thy leaves and destroy thy fruit, and thou be left as a dry tree in the wilderness.
26 Bow down thy shoulder, and bear
4 For a wicked soul shall destroy him her; and be not grieved with her bands. that hath it, and maketh him to be a joy to 27 Come to her with all thy mind; and his enemies, and shall lead him into the lot keep her ways with all thy power. of the wicked.
28 Search for her, and she shall be made known to thee; and when thou hast gotten her, let her not go:
29 For in the latter end thou shalt find rest in her, and she shall be turned to thy joy.
5 A sweet word multiplieth friends, and appeaseth enemies: and a gracious tongue in a good man aboundeth.
6 Be in peace with many but let one of a thousand be thy counsellor.
7 If thou wouldst get a friend, try him before thou takest him, and do not credit him easily.
8 For there is a friend for his own occasion and he will not abide in the day of thy trouble.
9 And there is a friend that turneth to enmity and there is a friend that will disclose hatred, and strife, and reproaches.
10 And there is a friend a companion at the table; and he will not abide in the day of distress.
25 Put thy feet into her fetters, and thy neck into her chains :
18 My son, from thy youth up receive instruction; and even to thy gray hairs thou shalt find wisdom.
11 A friend if he continue stedfast, shall be to thee as thyself, and shall act with con-thou shalt be wise. fidence among them of thy household.
12 If he humble himself before thee, and are wise, and join thyself from thy heart to hide himself from thy face, thou shalt have their wisdom, that thou mayst hear every unanimous friendship for good. discourse of God, and the sayings of praise
19 Come to her as one that plougheth, and soweth, and wait for her good fruits.
30 Then shall her fetters be a strong defence for thee, and a firm foundation, and her chain a robe of glory:
31 For in her is the beauty of life, and her bands are a healthful binding.
32 Thou shalt put her on as a robe of glory: and thou shalt set her upon thee as crown of joy.
13 Separate thyself from thy enemies, may not escape thee. and take heed of thy friends.
36 And if thou see a man of understand14 A faithful friend is a strong defenceing, go to him early in the morning; and let and he that hath found him, hath found athy foot wear the steps of his doors. treasure. 37 Let thy thoughts be upon the pre15 Nothing can be compared to a faith- cepts of God, and meditate continually on ful friend and no weight of gold and silver his commandments: and he will give thee a is able to countervail the goodness of his heart, and the desire of wisdom shall be fidelity. given to thee.
16 A faithful friend is the medicine of life and immortality: and they that fear the Lord, shall find him.
17 He that feareth God, shall likewise Dono evils, and no evils shall lay hold of
have good friendship: because according to him shall his friend be.
20 For in working about her thou shalt|| labour a little, and shalt quickly eat of her fruits.
33 My son, if thou wilt attend to me, thou shalt learn and if thou wilt apply thy mind, thou shalt be wise.
34 If thou wilt incline thy ear, thou shalt receive instruction: and if thou love to hear,
24 Give ear, my son, and take wise counsel, and cast not away my advice.
35 Stand in the multitude of ancients that
4 Seek not of the Lord a pre-eminence, nor of the king the seat of honour.
5 Justify not thyself before God, for he knoweth the heart: and desire not to appear wise before the king.
6 Seek not to be made a judge, unless
21 How very unpleasant is wisdom to the unlearned? and the unwise will not con-thou have strength enough to extirpate initinue with her. quities; lest thou fear the person of the
22 She shall be to them as a mighty stone powerful, and lay a stumbling-block for thy of trial and they will cast her from them integrity. before it be long.
7 Offend not against the multitude of a
23 For the wisdom of doctrine is accord-city, neither cast thyself in upon the people, ing to her name: and she is not manifest|| 8 Nor bind sin to sin: for even in one unto many; but with them to whom she is thou shalt not be unpunished. known, she continueth even to the sight of God.
9 Be not faint-hearted in thy mind: 10 Neglect not to pray, and to give alms. 11 Say not: God will have respect to the multitude of my gifts, and when I offer to
2 Depart from the unjust: and evils shall depart from thee.
3 My son, sow not evils in the furrows of injustice and thou shalt not reap them sevenfold.