Sir 391 A wise man will seek the wisdom of all the ancients, and he will be occupied in the prophets. 2 He will preserve the words of renowned men, and he will enter with them into the subtleties of parables. 3 He will search for the hidden meanings of proverbs, and he will become familiar with the mysteries of parables. 4 He will minister in the midst of great men, and he will appear in the sight of the foremost leader. 5 He will pass through the land of foreign nations. For he will test good and evil among men. 6 At first light, he will offer his heart with watchfulness to the Lord who made him, and he will pray in the sight of the Most High. 7 He will open his mouth in prayer, and he will make supplication for his offenses. 8 For if the great Lord is willing, he will fill him with the Spirit of understanding. 9 And he will send forth the eloquence of his wisdom like rain showers, and in his prayer, he will confess to the Lord. 10 And he will direct his counsel and his discipline, and he will meditate on his mysteries. 11 He will make the discipline of his doctrine clear, and he will glory in the law of the covenant of the Lord. 12 Many persons will together praise his wisdom, and it will never be abolished, for all ages. 13 The memory of him will not fade away, and his name will be sought from generation to generation. 14 The peoples will declare his wisdom, and the Church will announce his praise. 15 While he remains, he leaves behind a name greater than a thousand, and when he will rest, it will be to his benefit. 16 I will meditate further, so that I may explain. For I have been filled with a passion. 17 In a voice, he says: Listen to me, divine fruits. You shall bear fruit, like roses planted beside streams of waters. 18 You shall have a sweet fragrance, like the cedars of Lebanon. 19 Blossom with flowers, like the lily, and diffuse a fragrance, and sprout leaves in grace, and give praise with canticles, and bless the Lord in his works. 20 Give magnificence to his name, and confess to him with the voice of your lips and with the canticles of your mouth and with stringed instruments. And in so praising him, you will confess: 21 All the works of the Lord are very good. 22 At his word, the waters stood still, as if piled together. And at the words of his mouth, the waters were contained, as if in basins of water. 23 For it is made pleasing by his precept, and there is no decrease in his salvation. 24 The works of all flesh are in his sight, and there is nothing hidden from his eyes. 25 His gaze is from eternity to eternity, and nothing is a wonder in his sight. 26 Let it not be said: “What is this?” or, “What is that?” For all things will be sought in their time. 27 His blessing has overflowed like a river. 28 In the same way that a flood inundates the dry land, so also will his wrath inherit the peoples that have not sought him. 29 In the same way that he turned the waters into dry land, and made the earth dry, and just as his ways have been directed for their journey, so also will sinners stumble before his wrath. 30 From the beginning, good things were created for those who are good, and similarly, good and evil things are for those who are wicked. 31 The principal things necessary for the life of men are: water, fire, and iron, salt, milk, and flour for bread, and honey, and the grape cluster, and oil, and clothing. 32 All these things will be used for good by those who are holy, but they will be turned to evil use by the impious and by sinners. 33 There are spirits that have been created for vengeance, and they strengthen their torments by their fury. 34 In the time of the consummation, they will pour forth their strength. And they will appease the fury of the One who made them. 35 Fire, hail, famine, and death: all these were created for vengeance. 36 The teeth of wild beasts, and scorpions, and serpents, and the spear: all these take vengeance upon the impious, unto utter destruction. 37 At his command, they will feast. And they will be prepared upon the earth until they are needed. And in their time, they will not ignore his word. 38 For this reason, from the beginning, I was strengthened, and I have meditated, and I have considered, and I have put these things in writing. 39 All the works of the Lord are good, and he will provide for each work in its own hour. 40 Let it not be said: “This is worse than that.” For all things will be tested in their time. 41 And now, with the whole heart and mouth, give praise to him, and bless the name of the Lord.
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