Sir 51

1The prayer of Jesus, the son of Sirach: I will confess to you, O Lord and King, and I will give praise to you, O God my Saviour. 2I will acknowledge your name. For you have been my Helper and Protector. 3And you have freed my body from perdition, from the snare of the iniquitous tongue, and from the lips of those who forge lies. And you have been my Helper in the sight of those who stood nearby. 4And you have freed me according to the multitude of the mercy of your name: from those who roared and prepared to devour, 5from the hands of those who sought my life, and from the gates of tribulation that surrounded me, 6from the oppression of the flames that surrounded me, and so I was not burned in the midst of the fire, 7from the depths of the bowels of hell, and from the defiled tongue, and from lying words, from an iniquitous king, and from an unjust tongue. 8My soul shall praise the Lord, even unto death. 9For my life was drawing near to hell below. 10And they surrounded me on every side. And there was no one who would help me. I looked around for the assistance of men, and there was none. 11Then I remembered your mercy, O Lord, and your works, which are from the very beginning. 12For you rescue those who persevere for you, O Lord, and you free them from the hands of the Gentiles. 13You exalted my habitation upon the earth, and I made supplication that death would pass away. 14I called upon the Lord, the Father of my Lord, so that he would not abandon me in the day of my tribulation, nor in the time of arrogance without assistance. 15I will praise your name unceasingly, and I will praise it with thanksgiving, for my prayer was heeded. 16And you freed me from perdition, and you rescued me from the time of iniquity. 17Because of this, I will give thanks and praise to you, and I will bless the name of the Lord. 18When I was still young, before I wandered astray, I sought wisdom openly in my prayer. 19I asked for her before the temple, and even to the very end, I will inquire after her. And she flourished like a newly-ripened grape. 20My heart rejoiced in her. My feet walked in the right path. From my youth, I pursued her. 21I bent my ear a little and accepted her. 22I found much wisdom within myself, and I benefited greatly by her. 23I will give glory to him who gives wisdom to me. 24For I have decided that I should act according to wisdom. I have been zealous for what is good, and so I will not be confounded. 25My soul has struggled for wisdom, and in doing so, I have been confirmed. 26I extended my hands on high, and I mourned my ignorance of her. 27I directed my soul toward her, and I found her within knowledge. 28From the beginning, I held my heart to wisdom. Because of this, I will not be forsaken. 29My stomach was stirred up while seeking her. Because of her, I will hold a good possession. 30The Lord has given me a tongue as my reward, and I will praise him with it. 31Draw near to me, you who are untaught, and gather yourselves into the house of discipline. 32Why are you reluctant? And what do you have to say about these things? Your souls are exceedingly thirsty! 33I have opened my mouth, and I have spoken. Buy wisdom for yourselves without silver, 34and subject your neck to her yoke, and let your soul accept her discipline. For she is close enough to be found. 35See with your own eyes how I have labored only a little, and have found much rest for myself. 36Take up discipline, as if it were a great sum of money, and possess an abundance of gold in her. 37Let your soul rejoice in his mercy. For you will not be confounded by his praise. 38Accomplish your work before the time. And he will give you your reward in his time.
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