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This book is so called from a Greek wordA hath beem always with him, and is be
that signifies a Preacher: because, like an excellent preacher, it gives admirable les-fore all time. sons of all virtues. The author wus Jesus 2 Who hath numbered the sand of the the son of Sirach of Jerusalem, who flourish-||sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of ed aboil two hundred years before Christ. the world? Who hath measured the height As it was written after the time of Esdras, of heaven, and the breadth of the arth, it is not in the Jewish Canon : but is re- and the depth of the abyss ? ceived as canonical and divine by the catho. 3 Who hath searched out the wisdom of lic church, instructed by apostolical tradi- God that goeth before all things? tion, and directed by the Spirit of God. I 4 Wisdom hath been created before all was first wrote in the Hebrew, but after things, and the understanding of prudence wards translated into Greek by another Je-l|from everlasting:
the grandson of the author ; whose pro- 5 The word of God on high is the founlogue to this book is the following: tain of wisdom; and her ways are everlast. THE PROLOGUE.
Hling commandments. THE knowledge of many and great things
6 To whom hath the root of wisdom been THE
hath been shewn us by the law, and the revealed, and who hath known her wise prophets, and others that have followed counsels? them: for wbich things Israel is to be com
7 To whom hath the discipline of wismended for doctrine and wisdom : because dom been revealed and made manifest ? and not only they that speak must needs be skil-who hath understood the multiplicity of her ful, but strangers also both speaking and steps ? writing, may by their means become most
8. There is one most high Creator Alleamed. My grandfather Jesus, after he had mighty, and a powerful King, and greatly much given himself to a diligent reading to be feared, who sitteth upon his throne, of the law, and the prophets, and other and is the God of dominion. books, that were delivered to us from oui
9 He created her in the Holy Ghost, and fathers, had a mind also to write something saw her, and numbered her, and measured
her, himself, pertaining to doctrine and wisdom; that such as are desirous to learn, and are
10 And he poured her out upon all his made knowing in these things, may be more works, and upon all filesh according to his and more attentive in mind, and be strength-gift, and hath given her to them that love ened to live according to the law. I en
him. treat you therefore to come with benevo
11 The fear of the Lord is honour, and lence, and to read with attention, and to glory, and gladness, and a crown of joy. pardon us for those things wherein we may
12 The fear of the Lord shall delight the seem, while we follow the image of wisdom, heart
, and shall give joy, and gladness, and to come short in the composition of words : length of days. for the Hebrew words have not the same
13 With him that feareth the Lord, it force in them when translated into another shall go well in the latter end, and in the tongue. And not only these, but the law day of his death he shall be blessed. also itself, and the prophets, and the rest of
14 The love of God is honourable wisdom. the books, have no small difference, when
15 And they to whom she shall shew herthey are spoken in their own language. Forself, love her by the sight, and by the knowin the eighth and thirtieth year coming intoledge of her great works. Egypt, when Ptolemy Evergetes was king,
16 The fear of the Lord is the beginning and continuing there a long time, I found of wisdom, and was created with the faiththere books lett, of no small nor contemptiful in the womb: it walketh with chosen ble learning. Therefore I thought it good, women, and is known with the just and and necessary for me to bestow some dili- taithful. gence and labour to interpret this book :
17 The fear of the Lord is the religiousand with much watching and study in some ness of knowledge. space of time, I brought the book to an end, 18 Religiousness shall keep and justify and set it forth for the service of them thai the heart: it shall give joy and gladness. are willing to apply their mind, and to learn
19 It shall go well with him that feareth how they ought to conduct themselves, who the Lord; and in the days of his end he purpose to lead their life according to the shall be blessed. law of the Lord.
20 To fear God is the fulness of wisdom ;
and fulness is from the fruits thereof. CHAP. I.
21 She shall fill all her house with her Au Wisdom is from God, and is given to them increase, and the storehouses with her that fear and love God.
22 The fear of the Lord is a crown of || 6 Believe God, and he will recover thee: wisdom, filling up peace and the fruit of and direct thy way, and trust in bim. Keep salvation :
his fear, and grow old therein. 23 And it hath seen, and numbered her: 7 Ye that fear the Lord, wait for his merbut both are the gifts of God.,
cy: and go not aside from him, lest ye fall. 24 Wisdom shall distribute knowledge, 8 Ye that fear the Lord, believe him: and understanding of prudence ; and exalt- and your reward shall not be made void. eth the glory of them that hold her.
9 Ye that fear the Lord, hope in him: 25 The root of wisdom is to fear the and mercy shall come to you for your deLord: and the branches thereofare long lived. light.
26 In the treasures of wisdom is under- 10 Ye that fear the Lord, love him; and standing, and religiousness of knowledge : your hearts shall be enlightened. but to sinners wisdom is an abomination.
11 My children, behold the generations 27 The fear of the Lord driveth out sin : of men : and know ye that no one hati
28 For he that is without fear cannot be hoped in the Lord, and hath been conjustified: for the wrath of his high spirits is founded. his ruin.
12 For who hath continued in his com. 29 A patient man shall bear for a time : mandment, and hath been forsaken? or who and afterwards joy shall be restored to him. Thath called upon him, and he despised him?
30 A good understanding will hide his 13 For God is compassionate and merci. words for a time: and the lips of many shall ful, and will forgive sins in the day of tribu. declare his wisdom.
lation : and he is a protector to all that seek 31 In the treasures of wisdom is the sig-him in truth. nification of discipline :
14 Wo to them that are of a double heart, 32 But the worship of God is an abomina- land to wicked lips, and to the hands that tion to a sinner.
Hdo evil, and to the sidner that goeth on the 33 Son, if thou desire wisdom, keep jus-learth two ways. tice, and God will give her to thee.
15 Wo to them that are faint-hearted, 34 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom who believe not God: and therefore they and discipline: and that which is agreeable shall not be protected by him. to bim,
16 Wo to them that have lost patience, 35 Is faith, and meekness : and he will and that have forsaken the right ways, and fill up his treasures.
have gone aside into crooked ways. 36 Be not incredulous to the fear of the
17 And what will they do, when the Lord Lord; and come not to him with a double shall begin to examine? heart.
18 They that fear the Lord, will not be 37 Be not a hypocrite in the sight of incredulous to his word: and they that love men: and let not thy lips be a stumbling-him, will keep his way. block to thee.
19 They that fear the Lord, will seek 38 Watch over them, lest thou fall, and after the things that are well pleasing to bring dishonour upon thy soul,
hime and they that love him, shall be filled 39 And God discover thy secrets, and cast with his law. thee down in the midst of the congregation: 20 They that fear the Lord, will prepare
40 Because thou camest to the Lord their hearts, and in his sight will sanctify wickedly: and thy heart is full of guile and their souls. deceit.
21 They that fear the Lord, keep his CHAP. II.
commandments, and will have patience even God's servants must look for temptations : until his visitation,
and must arm themselves with patience and 22 Saying: If we do not penance, we confidence in God.
shall fall into the hands of the Lord, and SA VON, when thou comest to the service of not into the hands of men.
God, stand in justice and in fear, and 23 For according to his greatness, so prepare thy soul for temptation.
also is his mercy with him. 2 Humble thy heart, and endure: incline
CHAP. III. thy ear, and receive the words of under-Lessons concerning the honour of parents, standing: and make not baste in the time and humility, and avoiding curiosity. of clouds.
HE sons of wisdom are the church of
slw.it on God with patience : join thy Title sunse i fanci s dlocis generatich, obedie
self to God, and endure, that thy life maylence and love. be increased in the latter end.
2 Children, hear the judgment of your 4 Take all that shall be brought upon father, and so do that you may be saved. thee: and in thy sorrow endure, and in thy 3 For God hath made the father honourhumiliation keep patience :
able to the children: and seeking the judg5 For gold and silver are tried in the ment of the mothers, hath confirmed it upon fire, but acceptable men in the furnace of the children. humiliation.
4 lle that loveth God shall obtain para don for his sins by prayer, and shall refrainand he that loveth danger shall perish in it. himself from them, and shall be heard in the 28 A heart that goeth two ways shall not prayer of days.
have success : and the perverse of heart 5 And he that honoureth his mother is as shall be scandalized therein. one that layeth up a treasure.
29 A wicked heart shall be laden with 6 He that honoureth his father shall sorrows, and the sinner will add sin to sin. have joy in his own children: and in thell 30 The congregation of the proud shall day of his prayer he shall be heard. not be healed : for the plant of wickedness
7 He that honoureth his father shall en-shall take root in them, and it shall not be joy a long life: and he that obeyeth the perceived. father shall be a comfort to his mother. 31 The heart of the wise is understood in
8 He that feareth the Lord honoureth wisdom: and a good ear will hear wisdom his parents, and will serve them as his mas- with all desire. ters that brought him into the world. 32 A wise heart, and which hath under
9 Honour thy father, in work and word,| standing, will abstain from sins, and in the and all patience,
works of justice shall have success. 10 That a blessing may come upon thee 33 Water quencheth a flaming fire: and from him, and his blessing may remain in alms resisteth sins : the latter end.
34 And God provideth for him that shew11 The father's blessing establisheth the leth favour: he remembereth him afterhouses of the children : but the mother's wards : and in the time of his fall he shall curse rooteth up the foundation.
find a sure stay. 12 Glory not in the dishonour of thy
CHAP. IV. father: for his shame is no glory to thee. An exhortation to works of mercy, and to the 13 For the glory of a man is from the
love of wisdom. honour of his father : and a father withoutlSturn not away thy eyes from the poor.
ON, defraud not the poor of alms; and honour is the disgrace of the son.
14 Son, support the old age of thy father; 2 Despise not the hungry soul : and proand grieve him not in his life :
voke not the poor in his want. 15 And if his understanding fail, have pa- 3 Afflict not the heart of the needy: and tience with him, and despise him not when defer not to give to him that is in distress. thou art in thy strength : for the relieving 4 Reject not the petition of the afflicted: of the father shall not be forgotten. and turn not away thy face from the needy.
16 For good shall be repaid to thee for 5 Turn not away thy eyes from the poor the sin of thy mother:
for fear of anger : and leave not to them 17 And in justice thou shalt be built up, that ask of thee to curse thee behind thy and in the day of affliction thou shalt be re-back. membered : and thy sins shall melt away as 6 For the prayer of him that curseth thee the ice in the fair warm weather.
in the bitterness of his soul, shall be heard : 18 Of what an evil fame is he that for for he that made him will hear him. saketh his father and he is cursed of God 7 Make thyself affable to the congrega. that angereth his mother.
tion of the poor; and humble thy soul to 19 My son, do thy works in meekness, the ancient; and bow thy head to a great and thou shalt be beloved above the glory|man. of men.
8 Bow down thy ear cheerfully to the 20 The greater thou art, the more hum-poor; and pay what thou owest ; and anble thyself in all things; and thou shalt find swer him peaceable words with mildness. grace before God :
9 Deliver him that suffereth wrong out 21 For great is the power of God alone : of the hand of the proud; and be not faintand he is honoured by the humble. hearted in thy soul.
22 Seek not the things that are too high 10 In judging be merciful to the fatherfor thee, and search not into things aboveless as a father, and as a husband to their thy ability : but the things that God hath mother : commanded thee, think on them always : 11 And thou shalt be as the obedient son and in many of his works be not curious. of the most High, and he will have mercy
23 For it is not necessary for thee to see on thee more than a mother. with thy eyes those things that are hid. 12 Wisdom inspireth life into her chil
24 In unnecessary matters be not over-dren, and protecteth them that seek after curious; and in many of his works thou her, and will go before them in the way of shalt not be inquisitive.
l justice. 25 For many things are shewn to thee 13 And he that loveth her, loveth life : above the understanding of men.
and they that watch for her, shall embrace 26 And the suspicion of them hath de her sweetness. ceived many, and hath detained their minds 14 They that hold her fast, shall inherit in vanity.
life: and whithersoever she entereth, God 27 A hard heart shall fare evil at the last ://will give a blessing,
15 They that serve her, shall be servants)
CHAP. V. to the holy one: and God loveth them that We must not presume on our wealth or love her.
strength; nor on the mercy of God to go on 16 He that hearkeneth to her, shall judge in sin: we must be stedfast in virtue and nations : and he that looketh upon her, shall truth. remain secure.
not thy heart unjust posses
maine de trest to her, he shall inherit her, S Estonot think het nu pot have enough
and his generation shall be in assurance. to live on : for it shall be of no service in
18 For she walketh with him in tempta- the time of vengeance and darkness. tion ;* and at the first she chooseth him. 2 Follow not in thy strength the desires
19 She will bring upon him fear, and of thy heart : dread, and trial : and she will scourge him 3 And say not: How mighty am I? and with the affliction of her discipline, till she who shall bring me under for my deeds? try him by her laws, and trust his soul. for God will surely take revenge.
20 Then she will strengthen him, and 4 Say not: I have sinned, and what harm make a straight way to him, and give him hath befallen me ? for the most High is a joy.
patient rewarder, 21 And will disclose her secrets to him, 5 Be not without fear about sin forgiven ; and will heap upon him treasures of know and add not sin upon sin : ledge and understanding of justice.
6 And say not: The mercy of the Lord 22 But if he go astray, she will forsake is great: he will have mercy on the multihim, and deliver him into the hands of his tude of my sins. enemy.
7 For mercy and wrath quickly come from 23 Son, observe the time, and fly from him: and his wrath looketh upon sinners. evil,
8 Delay not to be converted to the Lord, 24 For thy soul be not ashamed to say and defer it not from day to day. the truth.
9 For his wrath shall come on a sudden; 25 For there is a shame that bringeth' and in the time of vengeance he will dessin: and there is a shame that bringeth troy thee. glory and grace.
1o Be not anxious for goods unjustly got26 Accept no person against thy own ten : for they shall not profit thee in the person, nor against thy soul a lie.
day of calamity and revenge. 27 Reverence not thy neighbour in his 11 Winnow not with every wind, and go fall :
not into every way: for so is every sinner 28 And refrain not to speak in the time proved by a double tongue. of salvation. Hide not thy wisdom in her 12 Be stedfast in the way of the Lord, beauty.
and in the truth of thy judgment, and in 29 For by the tongue wisdom is discern- knowledge : and let the word of peace and ed; and understanding, and knowledge, justice keep with thee. and learning, by the word of the wise, and 13 Be meek to hear the word, that thou stedfastness in the works of justice. mayst understand : and return a true an
30 In no wise speak against the truth :"swer with wisdom. but be ashamed of the lie of thy ignorance. 14 If thou have understanding, answer
31 Be not ashamed to confess thy sins ; thy neighbour : but if not, let thy hand be but submit not thyself to every man for upon thy mouth, lest thou be surprised in sin.
an unskilful word, and be confounded. 32 Resist not against the face of the 15 Honour and glory is in the word of the mighty, and do not strive against the stream wise, but the tongue of the fool is his ruin. of the river.
16 Be not called a whisperer: and be 33 Strive for justice for thy soul; and not taken in thy tongue and confounded: even unto death fight for justice, and God 17 For confusion and repentance is upon will overthrow thy enemies for thee. a thief, and an evil mark of disgrace upon
34 Be not hasty in thy tongue: and slack, the double-tongued, but to the whisperer and remiss in thy works.
hatred and enmity, and reproach. 35 Be not as a lion in thy house, terrify- 18 Justify alike the small and the great. ing them of thy household, and oppressing
CHAP. VI. them that are under thee.
Of true and false friends : and of the fruits 36 Let not thy hand be stretched out to
of wisdom. receive, and shut when thou shouldst give. TNSTEAD of a friend become not an ene.
my to thy neighbour : for an evil man * In temptation, &c. The meaning is, shall inherit reproach and shame : so shall that before wisdom will choose any for her every sinner that is envious and double. favourite, she will try them by leading tongued. them through contradictions, afflictions, and 2 Extol not thyself in the thoughts of thy temptations, the usual noviceship of the soul like a bull; lest thy strength be quashchildren of God.
Hed by folly.
3 And it eat up thy leaves and destroy) 25 Put thy feet into her fetters, and thy thy fruit, and thou be left as a dry tree in neck into her chains : the wilderness.
26 Bow down thy shoulder, and bear 4 For a wicked soul shall destroy him her; and be not grieved with her bands. that hath it, and maketh him to be a joy to 27 Come to her with all thy mind; and his enemies, and shall lead him into the lot keep her ways with all thy power. of the wicked.
28 Search for her, and she shall be made 5 A sweet word multiplieth friends, and known to thee; and when thou hast gotten appeaseth enemies: and a gracious tonguejher, let her not go : in a good man aboundeth,
29 For in the latter end thou shalt find 6 Be in peace with many: but let one of rest in ber, and she shall be turned to thy a thousand be thy counsellor.
joy. 7 If thou wouldst get a friend, try him be. 30 Then shall her fetters be a strong defore thou takest him, and do not credit fence for thee, and a firm foundation, and him easily.
her chain a robe of glory: 8 For there is a friend for his own occa- 31 For in her is the beauty of life, and sion : and he will not abide in the day of her bands are a healthful binding. thy trouble.
32 Thou shalt put her on as a robe of 9 And there is a friend that turneth to glory : and thou shalt set her upon thee as enmity : and there is a friend that will dis- a crown of joy. close hatred, and strife, and reproaches. 33 My son, if thou wilt attend to me,
10 And there is a friend a companion at thou shalt learn: and if thou wilt apply thy the table; and he will not abide in the day mind, thou shalt be wise. of distress.
34 If thou wilt incline thy ear, thou shalt 11 A friend if he continue stedfast, shall receive instruction: and if thou love to hear, be to thee as thyself, and shall act with con-I thou shalt be wise. fidence among them of thy household. 35 Stand in the multitude of ancients that
12 If he humble himself before thee, and are wise, and join thyself from thy heart to hide himself from thy face, thou shalt have their wisdom, that thou mayst hear every unanimous friendship for good.
discourse of God, and the sayings of praise 13 Separate thyself from thy enemies, may not escape thee. and take heed of thy friends.
36 And if thou see a man of understand. 14 A faithful friend is a strong defence :ling, go to him early in the morning; and let and he that hath found him, hath found athy foot wear the steps of his doors. treasure.
37 Let thy thoughts be upon the pre15 Nothing can be compared to a faith-cepts of God, and meditate continually on ful friend : and no weight of gold and silver his commandments: and he will give thee a is able to countervail the goodness of his heart, and the desire of wisdom shall be fidelity.
given to thee. 16 A faithful friend is the medicine of
CHAP. VII. life and immortality : and they that fear Religious and moral duties. the Lord, shall find him. 17 He that feareth God, shall likewise D no evils
, and no evils shall lay hold of have good friendship: because according 2 Depart from the unjust: and evils shall to him shall his friend be.
depart from thee. 18 My son, from thy youth up receive in. 3 My son, sow not evils in the furrows of struction; and even to thy gray hairs thoujinjustice: and thou shalt not reap them shalt find wisdom.
sevenfold. 19 Come to her as one that ploagheth, 4 Seek not of the Lord a pre-eminence, and soweth, and wait for her good fruits. nor of the king the seat of honour.
20 For in working about her thou shalt 5 Justify not thyself before God, for he labour a little, and shalt quickly eat of her knoweth the heart: and desire not to apfruits.
pear wise before the king. 21 How very unpleasant is wisdom to the 6 Seek not to be made a judge, unless unlearned ? and the unwise will not con-l|thou have strength enough to extirpate initinue with her.
quities; lest thou fear the person of the 22 She shall be to them as a mighty stone powerful, and lay a stumbling-block for thy of trial: and they will cast her from them integrity. before it be long.
7 Offend not against the multitude of a 23 For the wisdom of doctrine is accord-||city, neither cast thyself in upon the people, ing to her name : and she is not manifest 8 Nor bind sin to sin : for even in one unto many; but with them to whom she is thou shalt not be unpunished. known, she continueth even to the sight 9 Be not faint-bearted in thy mind : of God.
10 Neglect not to pray, and to give alms. 24 Give ear, my son, and take wise coun- 11 Say not: God will have respect to the sel, and cast not away my advice. Ilmultitude of my gifts, and when I offer to