Sir 511 The 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. 2 I will acknowledge your name. For you have been my Helper and Protector. 3 And 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. 4 And you have freed me according to the multitude of the mercy of your name: from those who roared and prepared to devour, 5 from the hands of those who sought my life, and from the gates of tribulation that surrounded me, 6 from the oppression of the flames that surrounded me, and so I was not burned in the midst of the fire, 7 from 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. 8 My soul shall praise the Lord, even unto death. 9 For my life was drawing near to hell below. 10 And 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. 11 Then I remembered your mercy, O Lord, and your works, which are from the very beginning. 12 For you rescue those who persevere for you, O Lord, and you free them from the hands of the Gentiles. 13 You exalted my habitation upon the earth, and I made supplication that death would pass away. 14 I 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. 15 I will praise your name unceasingly, and I will praise it with thanksgiving, for my prayer was heeded. 16 And you freed me from perdition, and you rescued me from the time of iniquity. 17 Because of this, I will give thanks and praise to you, and I will bless the name of the Lord. 18 When I was still young, before I wandered astray, I sought wisdom openly in my prayer. 19 I 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. 20 My heart rejoiced in her. My feet walked in the right path. From my youth, I pursued her. 21 I bent my ear a little and accepted her. 22 I found much wisdom within myself, and I benefited greatly by her. 23 I will give glory to him who gives wisdom to me. 24 For 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. 25 My soul has struggled for wisdom, and in doing so, I have been confirmed. 26 I extended my hands on high, and I mourned my ignorance of her. 27 I directed my soul toward her, and I found her within knowledge. 28 From the beginning, I held my heart to wisdom. Because of this, I will not be forsaken. 29 My stomach was stirred up while seeking her. Because of her, I will hold a good possession. 30 The Lord has given me a tongue as my reward, and I will praise him with it. 31 Draw near to me, you who are untaught, and gather yourselves into the house of discipline. 32 Why are you reluctant? And what do you have to say about these things? Your souls are exceedingly thirsty! 33 I have opened my mouth, and I have spoken. Buy wisdom for yourselves without silver, 34 and subject your neck to her yoke, and let your soul accept her discipline. For she is close enough to be found. 35 See with your own eyes how I have labored only a little, and have found much rest for myself. 36 Take up discipline, as if it were a great sum of money, and possess an abundance of gold in her. 37 Let your soul rejoice in his mercy. For you will not be confounded by his praise. 38 Accomplish your work before the time. And he will give you your reward in his time.
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