Sir 16

1You should not rejoice in impious children, if they are successful; nor should you take delight in them, if the fear of God is not in them. 2You should not approve of their life, nor should you look with favor on their labors. 3For one child who fears God is better than one thousand impious children. 4And it is better to die without children, than to leave behind impious children. 5By means one person with understanding, a country will be inhabited. The tribe of the impious will become desolate. 6Many such things my eyes have seen, and greater things than these my ear has heard. 7In the synagogue of sinners, a fire will blaze forth; and amid an unbelieving people, wrath will flare up. 8The giants of antiquity did not obtain pardon for their sins; they were destroyed by trusting in their own abilities. 9And he did not spare the place of Lot’s sojourn, and he abhorred them because of the arrogance of their words. 10He did not take pity on them, destroying an entire people, who even extolled themselves concerning their sins. 11And this was so with six hundred thousand men, who were gathered together in the hardness of their hearts. And if even a single obstinate person had escaped unpunished, it would be a wonder. 12For mercy and wrath are with him. He is powerful in forgiveness, and he pours forth wrath. 13As is his mercy, so also is his correction; he judges a man according to his works. 14The sinner, in his violations, will not escape; but the patience of the One who shows mercy will not be diminished. 15Every mercy will make a place for each man, according to the merit of his works, and according to the understanding of his sojourn. 16You should not say: “I am hidden from God,” or, “Who, from on high, will take note of me?” 17or, “Among a great number of people, I will not be noticed. For what is my soul amid such an immense creation?” 18Behold: the heavens, and the heaven of the heavens, the abyss, and the entire earth, and the things that are within these, will be shaken by his gaze, 19together with mountains and hills, and the foundations of the earth. When God casts his gaze upon them, they will be struck with trembling. 20And concerning all these things, the heart is without understanding; but every heart is understood by him. 21And who will understand his ways, or the tempest, which no eye of man will see? 22For many of his works are concealed. But who will announce the works of his justice? Or who will endure them? For the testament is far from some persons, and the examination of each thing is in its end. 23Whoever diminishes the heart, thinks empty thoughts. For the imprudent and erring man thinks up foolishness. 24Listen to me, son, and learn the discipline of understanding, and attend to my words in your heart. 25And I will speak with equity about discipline, and I will strive to announce wisdom. So attend to my words in your heart, and I will speak with equity of spirit, about the virtues that God has set within his works from the beginning, and I will announce his knowledge in truth. 26With the judgment of God, his works have been done from the beginning; and from their institution, he himself distinguished their parts and set their beginnings, in their kinds. 27He has beautified their works unto eternity. They have neither hungered, nor labored, and they have not ceased from their works. 28Neither will any one of them cause anguish to his neighbor, forever. 29You should not be incredulous at his word. 30Afterward, God looked with favor upon the earth, and he filled it with his goodness. 31The soul of every living thing brought word from before his face, and their return again is to him.
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