Sir 401 A great occupation was created for all men, and a heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam, from the day of their departure from their mother’s womb, even until the day of their burial into the mother of all: 2 their thoughts, and the fears of their heart, their imagined expectations, and the day of their end, 3 from him who sits upon a glorious throne, even to him who is humbled in earth and ashes, 4 from him who wears hyacinth and bears a crown, even to him who is covered with rough linen: wrath, envy, tumult, restlessness, and the fear of death, continual anger and contention. 5 And in the time of rest upon his bed, the sleep of the night changes his knowledge. 6 There is little or no rest, and sleep is taken from him, as if on a day of keeping watch. 7 He is disturbed by a vision of his heart, as if he had escaped in a day of warfare. In the time of his salvation, he rose up and wondered that there was no fear. 8 This is so with all flesh, from man even to cattle, but upon sinners it is seven times as great. 9 Add to this: death, bloodshed, contention, and the spear, oppression, famine, and affliction, and scourges. 10 All these things have been created because of iniquity, and it is due to iniquity that the great flood was made. 11 All things that are of the earth shall return to the earth, and all waters shall return to the sea. 12 All bribery and iniquity will be wiped away, but faith shall stand forever. 13 The substance of the unjust will dry up like a river, and will pass away with a noise like loud thunder in a rainstorm. 14 When he opens his hands, he will rejoice. So will transgressors pass away at the consummation. 15 The descendents of the impious will not produce many branches, for they may be compared to dirty roots at the edge of a rock. 16 The weeds, which grow above every water and beside the banks of the river, will be uprooted before all the grass. 17 Grace is like a paradise of blessings, and mercy continues for eternity. 18 The life of a worker, when content with what is sufficient, will become sweet, and in it you will find a treasure. 19 Sons, and the building of a city, will establish a name, but an immaculate wife will be ranked above these things. 20 Wine and music rejoice the heart, but the love of wisdom is above them both. 21 The flute and the psaltery make a sweet melody, but a pleasant word is above them both. 22 Your eye desires elegance and beauty, but verdant fields are above these things. 23 A friend and a companion meet one another in time, but above them both is a wife with her husband. 24 Brothers are a help in time of tribulation, but mercy will liberate, more so than they will. 25 Gold and silver provide a firm position for the feet, but well-spoken counsel is above them both. 26 Ability and strength lift up the heart, but the fear of the Lord is above these things. 27 There is no loss in the fear of the Lord, and it has no need to ask for assistance. 28 The fear of the Lord is like a paradise of blessings, and they have covered it above all glory. 29 Son, in your lifetime you should not be indigent, for it is better to die than to be destitute. 30 The life of him who looks to another man’s table should not be thought of as a way of life. For he feeds his life with another man’s food. 31 But a disciplined and well-taught man will take care of himself. 32 Scarcity will seem sweet to the mouth of the imprudent, but a fire will burn in his belly.
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