The vanity of all temporal things.
1 The words of Ecclesiastes, the son of David, king of Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes, vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.
3 What hath a man more of all his labour, that he taketh under the sun?
4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth standeth for ever.
5 The sun riseth and goeth down, and returneth to his place: and there rising again,
6 Maketh his round by the South, and turneth again to the North: the spirit goeth forward, surveying all places round about, and returneth to his circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea doth not overflow: unto the place from whence the rivers come, they return to flow again.
8 All things are hard: man cannot explain them by word. The eye is not filled with seeing, neither is the ear filled with hearing.
9 What is it that hath been? the same thing that shall be. What is it that hath been done? the same that shall be done.
10 Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say: Behold, this is new: for it hath already gone before, in the ages that were before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things: nor indeed of those things which hereafter are to come, shall there be any remembrance with them that shall be in the latter end.
12 I, Ecclesiastes, was king over Israel, in Jerusalem.
13 And I proposed in my mind to seek and search out wisely concerning all things that are done under the sun. This painful occupation hath God given to the children of men, to be exercised therein.
14 I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold all is vanity, and vexation of spirit.
15 The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is infinite.
16 I have spoken in my heart, saying: Behold, I am become great, and have gone beyond all in wisdom, that were before me in Jerusalem: and my mind hath contemplated many things wisely, and I have learned.
17 And I have given my heart to know prudence, and learning, and errors, and folly: and I have perceived that in these also there was labour, and vexation of spirit,
18 Because in much wisdom there is much indignation: and he that addeth knowledge, addeth also labour.
The vanity of pleasures, riches, and worldly labours.
1 I said in my heart: I will go, and abound with delights, and enjoy good things. And I saw that this also was vanity.
2 Laughter I counted error: and to mirth I said: Why art thou vainly deceived?
3 I thought in my heart, to withdraw my flesh from wine, that I might turn my mind to wisdom, and might avoid folly, till I might see what was profitable for the children of men: and what they ought to do under the sun, all the days of their life.
4 I made me great works, I built me houses, and planted vineyards,
5 I made gardens, and orchards, and set them with trees of all kinds.
6 And I made me ponds of water, to water therewith the wood of the young trees,
7 I got me men-servants, and maid-servants, and had a great family: and herds of oxen, and great flocks of sheep, above all that were before me in Jerusalem:
8 *I heaped together for myself silver and gold, and the wealth of kings, and provinces: I made me singing men, and singing women, and the delights of the sons of men, cups and vessels to serve to pour out wine:
9 And I surpassed in riches all that were before me in Jerusalem: my wisdom also remained with me.
10 And whatsoever my eyes desired, I refused them not: and I withheld not my heart from enjoying every pleasure, and delighting itself in the things which I had prepared: and esteemed this my portion, to make use of my own labour.
11 And when I turned myself to all the works which my hands had wrought, and to the labours wherein I had laboured in vain, I saw in all things vanity, and vexation of mind, and that nothing was lasting under the sun.
12 I passed further to behold wisdom, and errors, and folly, (What is man, said I, that he can follow the king his maker?)
13 And I saw that wisdom excelled folly, as much as light differeth from darkness.
14 *The eyes of a wise man are in his head: the fool walketh in darkness: and I learned that they were to die both alike.
15 And I said in my heart: If the death of the fool and mine shall be one, what doth it avail me, that I have applied myself more to the study of wisdom? And speaking with my own mind, I perceived that this also was vanity.
16 For there shall be no remembrance of the wise no more than of the fool for ever, and the times to come shall cover all things together with oblivion: the learned dieth in like manner as the unlearned.
17 And, therefore, I was weary of my life, when I saw that all things under the sun are evil, and all vanity, and vexation of spirit.
18 Again I hated all my application, wherewith I had earnestly laboured under the sun, being like to have an heir after me,
19 Whom I know not whether he will be a wise man or a fool, and he shall have rule over all my labours with which I have laboured and been solicitous: and is there any thing so vain?
20 Wherefore I left off, and my heart renounced labouring any more under the sun.
21 For when a man laboureth in wisdom, and knowledge, and carefulness, he leaveth what he hath gotten to an idle man: so this also is vanity, and a great evil.
22 For what profit shall a man have of all his labour, and vexation of spirit, with which he hath been tormented under the sun?
23 All his days are full of sorrows and miseries, even in the night he doth not rest in mind: and is not this vanity?
24 Is it not better to eat and drink, and to shew his soul good things of his labours? and this is from the hand of God.
25 Who shall so feast and abound with delights as I?
26 God hath given to a man that is good in his sight, wisdom and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he hath given vexation, and superfluous care, to heap up and to gather together, and to give it to him that hath pleased God: but this also is vanity, and a fruitless solicitude of the mind.
8: 3 Kings xii. 4.
14: Prov. xvii. 24.; Infra viii. 1.
All human things are liable to perpetual changes. We are to rest on God's providence, and cast away fruitless cares.
1 All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build.
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
6 A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away.
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
8 A time of love, and a time of hatred. A time of war, and a time of peace.
9 What hath man more of his labour?
10 I have seen the trouble, which God hath given the sons of men, to be exercised in it.
11 He hath made all things good in their time, and hath delivered the world to their consideration, so that man cannot flnd out the work which God hath made from the beginning to the end.
12 And I have known that there was no better thing than to rejoice, and to do well in this life.
13 For every man that eateth and drinketh, and seeth good of his labour, this is the gift of God.
14 I have learned that all the works which God hath made, continue for ever: we cannot add any thing, nor take away from those things which God hath made, that he may be feared.
15 That which hath been made, the same continueth: the things that shall be, have already been: and God restoreth that which is past.
16 I saw under the sun in the place of judgment, wickedness, and in the place of justice, iniquity.
17 And I said in my heart: God shall judge both the just and the wicked, and then shall be the time of every thing.
18 I said in my heart concerning the sons of men, that God would prove them, and shew them to be like beasts.
19 Therefore the death of man, and of beasts is one, and the condition of them both is equal: as man dieth, so they also die: all things breathe alike, and man hath nothing more than beast: all things are subject to vanity,
20 And all things go to one place: of earth they were made, and into earth they return together.
21 Who knoweth if the spirit of the children of Adam ascend upward, and if the spirit of the beasts descend downward?
22 And I have found that nothing is better than for a man to rejoice in his work, and that this is his portion. For who shall bring him to know the things that shall be after him?
Other instances of human miseries.
1 I turned myself to other things, and I saw the oppressions that are done under the sun, and the tears of the innocent, and they had no comforter: and they were not able to resist their violence, being destitute of help from any.
2 And I praised the dead rather than the living:
3 And I judged him happier than them both, that is not yet born, nor hath seen the evils that are done under the sun.
4 Again I considered all the labours of men, and I remarked that their industries are exposed to the envy of their neighhour: so in this also there is vanity, and fruitless care.
5 The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh, saying:
6 Better is a handful with rest, than both hands full with labour, and vexation of mind.
7 Considering I found also another vanity under the sun:
8 There is but one, and he hath not a second, no child, no brother, and yet he ceaseth not to labour, neither are his eyes satisfied with riches, neither doth he reflect, saying: For whom do I labour, and defraud my soul of good things? In this also is vanity, and a grievous vexation.
9 It is better, therefore, that two should be together, than one: for they have the advantage of their society:
10 If one fall, he shall be supported by the other: woe to him that is alone, for when he falleth, he hath none to lift him up.
11 And if two lie together, they shall warm one another: how shall one alone be warmed?
12 And if a man prevail against one, two shall withstand him: a threefold cord is not easily broken.
13 Better is a child that is poor and wise, than a king that is old and foolish, who knoweth not to foresee for hereafter.
14 Because out of prison and chains sometimes a man cometh forth to a kingdom: and another born king is consumed with poverty.
15 I saw all men living, that walk under the sun with the second young man, who shall rise up in his place.
16 The number of the people, of all that were before him, is infinite: and they that shall come afterwards, shall not rejoice in him: but this also is vanity, and vexation of spirit.
17 Keep thy foot, when thou goest into the house of God, and draw nigh to hear. *For much better is obedience, than the victims of fools, who know not what evil they do.
17: 1 Kings xv. 22.; Osee vi. 6.
Caution in words. Vows are to be paid. Riches are often pernicious: the moderate use of them is the gift of God.
1 Speak not any thing rashly, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
2 Dreams follow many cares: and in many words shall be found folly.
3 If thou hast vowed any thing to God, defer not to pay it: for an unfaithful and foolish promise displeaseth him: but whatsoever thou hast vowed, pay it:
4 And it is much better not to vow, than after a vow not to perform the things promised.
5 Give not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin: and say not before the angel: There is no providence; lest God be angry at thy words, and destroy all the works of thy hands.
6 Where there are many dreams, there are many vanities, and words without number: but do thou fear God.
7 If thou shalt see the oppressions of the poor, and violent judgments, and justice perverted in the province, wonder not at this matter: for he that is high hath another higher, and there are others still higher than these:
8 Moreover, there is the king that reigneth over all the land subject to him.
9 A covetous man shall not be satisfied with money: and he that loveth riches, shall reap no fruit from them: so this also is vanity.
10 Where there are great riches, there are also many to eat them. And what doth it profit the owner, but that he seeth the riches with his eyes?
11 Sleep is sweet to a labouring man, whether he eat lttle or much: but the fulness of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
12 *There is also another grievous evil, which I have seen under the sun: riches kept to the hurt of the owner.
13 For they are lost with very great affliction: he hath begotten a son, who shall be in extremity of want.
14 *As he came forth naked from his mother's womb, so shall he return, and shall take nothing away with him of his labour.
15 A most deplorable evil: as he came, so shall he return. What then doth it profit him that he hath laboured for the wind?
16 All the days of his life he eateth in darkness, and in many cares, and in misery, and sorrow.
17 This, therefore, hath seemed good to me, that a man should eat and drink, and enjoy the fruit of his labour, wherewith he hath laboured under the sun, all the days of his life, which God hath given him: and this is his portion.
18 And every man to whom God hath given riches, and substance, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to enjoy his portion, and to rejoice of his labour: this is the gift of God.
19 For he shall not much remember the days of his life, because God entertaineth his heart with delight.
12: Job xx. 20.
14: Job i. 21.; 1 Tim. vi. 7.
The misery of the covetous man.
1 There is also another evil, which I have seen under the sun, and that frequent among men:
2 A man to whom God hath given riches, and substance, and honour, and his soul wanteth nothing of all that he desireth: yet God doth not give him power to eat thereof, but a stranger shall eat it up. This is vanity and a great misery.
3 If a man beget a hundred children, and live many years, and attain to a great age, and his soul make no use of the goods of his substance, and he be without burial: of this man I pronounce, that the untimely born is better than he.
4 For he came in vain, and goeth to darkness, and his name shall be wholly forgotten.
5 He hath not seen the sun, nor known the distance of good and evil:
6 Although he lived two thousand years, and hath not enjoyed good things: do not all make haste to one place?
7 All the labour of man is for his mouth, but his soul shall not be filled.
8 What hath the wise man more than the fool? and what the poor man, but to go thither, where there is life?
9 Better it is to see what thou mayst desire, than to desire that which thou canst not know. But this also is vanity, and presumption of spirit.
10 *He that shall be, his name is already called: and it is known that he is man, and cannot contend in judgment with him that is stronger than himself.
11 There are many words that have much vanity in disputing.
10: 1 Kings xiii. 14. and 3 Kings xiii. 2.
Prescriptions against worldy vanities: mortification, patience, and seeking wisdom.
1 What needeth a man to seek things that are above him, whereas he knoweth not, what is profitable for him in his life, in all the days of his pilgrimage, and the time that passeth like a shadow? Or who can tell him what shall be after him under the sun?
2 *A good name is better than precious ointments: and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
3 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of feasting: for in that we are put in mind of the end of all, and the living thinketh what is to come.
4 Anger is better than laughter: because by the sadness of the countenance the mind of the offender is corrected.
5 The heart of the wise is where there is mourning, and the heart of fools where there is mirth.
6 It is better to be rebuked by a wise man, than to be deceived by the flattery of fools.
7 For as the crackling of thorns burning under a pot, so is the laughter of a fool: now this also is vanity.
8 Oppression troubleth the wise, and shall destroy the strength of his heart.
9 Better is the end of a speech than the beginning. Better is the patient man than the presumptuous.
10 Be not quickly angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of a fool.
11 Say not: What thinkest thou is the cause that former times were better than they are now? for this manner of question is foolish.
12 Wisdom with riches is more profitable, and bringeth more advantage to them that see the sun.
13 For as wisdom is a defence, so money is a defence: but learning and wisdom excel in this, that they give life to him that possesseth them.
14 Consider the works of God, that no man can correct whom he hath despised.
15 In the good day enjoy good things, and beware beforehand of the evil day: for God hath made both the one and the other, that man may not find against him any just complaint.
16 These things also I saw in the days of my vanity: A just man perisheth in his justice, and a wicked man liveth a long time in his wickedness.
17 Be not over just: and be not more wise than is necessary, lest thou become stupid.
18 Be not overmuch wicked: and be not foolish, lest thou die before thy time.
19 It is good that thou shouldst hold up the just, yea and from him withdraw not thy hand: for he that feareth God, neglecteth nothing.
20 Wisdom hath strengthened the wise more than ten princes of the city.
21 *For there is no just man upon earth, that doth good, and sinneth not.
22 But do not apply thy heart to all words that are spoken: lest perhaps thou hear thy servant reviling thee.
23 For thy conscience knoweth, that thou also hast often spoken evil of others.
24 I have tried all things in wisdom. I have said: I will be wise: and it departed farther from me,
25 Much more than it was: it is a great depth; who shall find it out?
26 I have surveyed all things with my mind, to know, and consider, and seek out wisdom, and reason: and to know the wickedness of the fool, and the error of the imprudent:
27 And I have found a woman more bitter than death, who is the hunter's snare, and her heart is a net, and her hands are bands. He that pleaseth God shall escape from her; but he that is a sinner shall be caught by her.
28 Lo, this have I found, said Ecclesiastes, weighing one thing after another, that I might find out the account,
29 Which yet my soul seeketh, and I have not found it. One man among a thousand I have found, a woman among them all I have not found.
30 Only this I have found, that God made man right, and he hath entangled himself with an infinity of questions. Who is as the wise man? and who hath known the resolution of the word?
2: Prov. xxii. 1.
21: 3 Kings viii. 46.; 2 Par. vi. 36.; Prov. xx. 9.; 1 John i. 8.
True wisdom is to observe God's commandments. The ways of God are unsearchable.
1 The wisdom of a man shineth in his countenance, *and the most mighty will change his face.
2 I observe the mouth of the king, and the commandments of the oath of God.
3 Be not hasty to depart from his face, and do not continue in an evil work: for he will do all that pleaseth him:
4 And his word is full of power: neither can any man say to him: Why dost thou so?
5 He that keepeth the commandments, shall find no evil. The heart of a wise man understandeth time and answer.
6 There is a time and opportunity for every business, and great affliction for man:
7 Because he is ignorant of things past, and things to come he cannot know by any messenger.
8 It is not in man's power to stop the spirit, neither hath he power in the day of death, neither is he suffered to rest when war is at hand, neither shall wickedness save the wicked.
9 All these things I have considered, and applied my heart to all the works that are done under the sun. Sometimes one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.
10 I saw the wicked buried: who also, when they were yet living, were in the holy place, and were praised in the city as men of just works: but this also is vanity.
11 For, because sentence is not speedily pronounced against the evil, the children of men commit evils without any fear.
12 But though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and by patience be borne withal, I know from thence that it shall be well with them that fear God, who dread his face.
13 But let it not be well with the wicked, neither let his days be prolonged, but as a shadow let them pass away that fear not the face of the Lord.
14 There is also another vanity, which is done upon the earth. There are just men to whom evils happen, as though they had done the works of the wicked: and there are wicked men, who are as secure, as though they had the deeds of the just: but this also I judge most vain.
15 Therefore I commended mirth, because there was no good for a man under the sun, but to eat, and drink, and be merry: and that he should take nothing else with him of his labour in the days of his life, which God hath given him under the sun.
16 And I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to understand the distraction that is upon earth: for there are some that day and night take no sleep with their eyes.
17 And I understood that man can find no reason of all those works of God that are done under the sun: and the more he shall labour to seek, so much the less shall he find: yea, though the wise man shall say, that he knoweth it, he shall not be able to find it.
1: Supra ii. 14.
Man knows not certainly that he is in God's grace. After death, no more work or merit.
1 All these things have I considered in my heart, that I might carefully understand them: There are just men and wise men, and their works are in the hand of God: and yet man knoweth not whether he be worthy of love, or hatred:
2 But all things are kept uncertain for the time to come, because all things equally happen to the just and to the wicked, to the good and to the evil, to the clean and to the unclean, to him that offereth victims, and to him that despiseth sacrifices. As the good is, so also is the sinner: as the perjured, so he also that sweareth truth.
3 This is a very great evil among all things that are done under the sun, that the same things happen to all men: whereby also the hearts of the children of men are filled with evil, and with contempt while they live, and afterwards they shall be brought down to hell.
4 There is no man that liveth always, or that hopeth for this: a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know nothing more, neither have they a reward any more: for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Their love also, and their hatred, and their envy, are all perished, neither have they any part in this world, and in the work that is done under the sun.
7 Go then, and eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with gladness: because thy works please God.
8 At all times let thy garments be white, and let not oil depart from thy head.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest, all the days of thy unsteady life, which are given to thee under the sun, all the time of thy vanity: for this is thy portion in life, and in thy labour wherewith thou labourest under the sun.
10 Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, do it earnestly: for neither work, nor reason, nor wisdom, nor knowledge, shall be in hell, whither thou art hastening.
11 I turned me to another thing, and I saw that under the sun, the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the learned, nor favour to the skilful: but time and chance in all.
12 Man knoweth not his own end: but as fishes are taken with the hook, and as birds are caught with the snare, so men are taken in the evil time, when it shall suddenly come upon them.
13 This wisdom also I have seen under the sun, and it seemed to me to be very great:
14 A little city, and few men in it: there came against it a great king, and invested it, and built bulwarks round about it, and the siege was perfect.
15 Now there was found in it a man poor and wise, and he delivered the city by his wisdom, and no man afterward remembered that poor man.
16 And I said that wisdom is better than strength: how then is the wisdom of the poor man slighted, and his words not heard?
17 The words of the wise are heard in silence, more than the cry of a prince among fools.
18 *Better is wisdom, than weapons of war: and he that shall offend in one, shall lose many good things.
18: Supra vii. 20.
Observations on wisdom and folly; ambition and detraction.
1 Dying flies spoil the sweetness of the ointment. Wisdom and glory is more precious than a small and short-lived folly.
2 The heart of a wise man is in his right hand, and the heart of a fool is in his left hand.
3 Yea, and the fool, when he walketh in the way, whereas be himself is a fool, esteemeth all men fools.
4 If the spirit of him that hath power, ascend upon thee, leave not thy place: because care will make the greatest sins to cease.
5 There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were by an error proceeding from the face of the prince:
6 A fool set in high dignity, and the rich sitting beneath.
7 I have seen servants upon horses: and princes walking on the ground as servants.
8 *He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it: and he that breaketh a hedge, a serpent shall bite him.
9 He that removeth stones, shall be hurt by them: and he that cutteth trees, shall be wounded by them.
10 If the iron be blunt, and be not as before, but be made blunt, with much labour it shall be sharpened: and after industry shall follow wisdom.
11 If a serpent bite in silence, he is nothing better that backbiteth secretly.
12 The words of the mouth of a wise man are grace: but the lips of a fool shall throw him down headlong.
13 The beginning of his words is folly, and the end of his talk is a mischievous error.
14 A fool multiplieth words. A man cannot tell what hath been before him: and what shall be after him, who can tell him?
15 The labour of fools shall afflict them that know not how to go to the city.
16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and when the princes eat in the morning.
17 Blessed is the land whose king is noble, and whose princes eat in due season for refreshment, and not for riotousness.
18 By slothfulness a building shall be brought down, and through the weakness of hands the house shall drop through.
19 For laughter they make bread, and wine, that the living may feast: and all things obey money.
20 Detract not the king, no not in thy thought; and speak not evil of the rich man in thy private chamber: because even the birds of the air will carry thy voice, and he that hath wings will tell what thou hast said.
8: Prov. xxvi. 27.; Eccli. xxvii. 29.
Exhortation to works of mercy, while we have time, to diligence in good, and to the remembrance of death and judgment.
1 Cast thy bread upon the running waters: for after a long time thou shalt find it again.
2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight: for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.
3 If the clouds be full, they will pour out rain upon the earth. If the tree fall to the south, or to the north, in what place soever it shall fall, there shall it be.
4 He that observeth the wind, shall not sow: and he that considereth the clouds, shall never reap.
5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones are joined together in the womb of her that is with child: so thou knowest not the works of God, who is the maker of all.
6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening let not thy hand cease: for thou knowest not which may rather spring up, this or that: and if both together, it shall be the better.
7 The light is sweet, and it is delightful for the eyes to see the sun.
8 If a man live many years, and have rejoiced in them all, he must remember the darksome time, and the many days: which when they shall come, the things past shall be accused of vanity.
9 Rejoice, therefore, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart be in that which is good in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thy eyes: and know that for all these God will bring thee into judgment.
10 Remove anger from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh. For youth and pleasure are vain.
The Creator is to be remembered in the days of our youth: all worldly things are vain: we should fear God, and keep his commandments.
1 Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the time of affliction come, and the years draw nigh, of which thou shalt say: They please me not:
2 Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars be darkened, and the clouds return after the rain:
3 When the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall stagger, and the grinders shall be idle in a small number, and they that look through the holes shall be darkened:
4 And they shall shut the doors in the street, when the grinder's voice shall be low, and they shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall grow deaf.
5 And they shall fear high things, and they shall be afraid in the way, the almond-tree shall flourish, the locust shall be made fat, and the caper-tree shall be destroyed: because man shall go into the house of his eternity, and the mourners shall go round about in the street.
6 Before the silver cord be broken, and the golden fillet shrink back, and the pitcher be crushed at the fountain, and the wheel be broken upon the cistern,
7 And the dust return into its earth, from whence it was, and the spirit return to God, who gave it.
8 Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes, and all things are vanity.
9 And whereas Ecclesiastes was very wise, he taught the people, and declared the things that he had done: and seeking out, he set forth many parables.
10 He sought profitable words, and wrote words most right, and full of truth.
11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails deeply fastened in, which by the counsel of masters are given from one shepherd.
12 More than these, my son, require not. Of making many books there is no end: and much study is an affliction of the flesh.
13 Let us all hear together the conclusion of the discourse. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is all man:
14 And all things that are done, God will bring into judgment for every error, whether it be good or evil.
SOLOMON'S CANTICLE OF CANTICLES.
The spouse aspires to an union with Christ; their mutual love for one another.
1 Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth: for thy breasts are better than wine,
2 Smelling sweet of the best ointments. Thy name is as oil poured out; therefore young maidens have loved thee.
3 Draw me: we will run after thee to the odour of thy ointments. The king hath brought me into his store-rooms: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, remembering thy breasts more than wine: the righteous love thee.
4 I am black, but beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Cedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
5 Do not consider me that I am brown, because the sun hath altered my colour: the sons of my mother have fought against me, they have made me the keeper in the vineyards: my vineyard I have not kept.
6 Shew me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou liest in the mid-day, lest I begin to wander after the flocks of thy companions.
7 If thou know not thyself, O fairest among women, go forth, and follow after the steps of the flocks, and feed thy kids beside the tents of the shepherds.
8 To my company of horsemen, in Pharao's chariots, have I likened thee, O my love.
9 Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtle dove's, thy neck as jewels.
10 We will make thee chains of gold, inlaid with silver.
11 While the king was at his repose, my spikenard sent forth the odour thereof.
12 A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, he shall abide between my breasts.
13 A cluster of cyprus my love is to me, in the vineyards of Engaddi.
14 Behold thou art fair, O my love, behold thou art fair, thy eyes are as those of doves.
15 Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, and comely. Our bed is flourishing.
16 The beams of our houses are of cedar, our rafters of cypress-trees.
Christ caresses his spouse; he invites her to him.
1 I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the vallies.
2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
3 As the apple-tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate.
4 He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in me.
5 Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I languish with love.
6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me.
7 I adjure you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and the harts of the fields, that you stir not up, nor make the beloved to awake, till she please.
8 The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills.
9 My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices.
10 Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come.
11 For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land:
13 The fig-tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come:
14 My dove in the clifts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely.
15 Catch us the little foxes that destroy the vines: for our vineyard hath flourished.
16 My beloved to me, and I to him who feedeth among the lilies,
17 Till the day break, and the shadows retire. Return: be like, my beloved, to a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.
The spouse seeks Christ. The glory of his humanity.
1 In my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and found him not.
2 I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not.
3 The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him, whom my soul loveth?
4 When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him: and I will not let him go, till I bring him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that bore me.
5 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and the harts of the fields, that you stir not up, nor awake my beloved, till she please.
6 Who is she that goeth up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh, and frankincense, and of all the powders of the perfumer?
7 Behold threescore valiant ones of the most valiant of Israel, surround the bed of Solomon:
8 All holding swords, and most expert in war: every man's sword upon his thigh, because of fears in the night.
9 King Solomon hath made him a litter of the wood of Libanus:
10 The pillars thereof he made of silver, the seat of gold, the going up of purple: the midst he covered with charity for the daughters of Jerusalem.
11 Go forth, ye daughters of Sion, and see king Solomon in the diadem, wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the joy of his heart.
Christ sets forth the graces of his spouse: and declares his love for her.
1 How beautiful art thou, my love, how beautiful art thou! thy eyes are doves' eyes, besides what is hid within. Thy hair is as flocks of goats, which Come up from Mount Galaad.
2 Thy teeth as flocks of sheep, that are shorn, which come up from the washing, all with twins, and there is none barren among them.
3 Thy lips are as a scarlet lace: and thy speech sweet. Thy cheeks are as a piece of a pomegranate, besides that which lieth hid within.
4 Thy neck is as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks: a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of valiant men.
5 Thy two breasts like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.
6 Till the day break, and the shadows retire, I will go to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.
7 Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee.
8 Come from Libanus, my spouse, come from Libanus, come: thou shalt be crowned from the top of Amana, from the top of Sanir and Hermon, from the dens of the lions, from the mountains of the leopards.
9 Thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast wounded my heart with one of thy eyes, and with one hair of thy neck.
10 How beautiful are thy breasts, my sister, my spouse! thy breasts are more beautiful than wine, and the sweet smell of thy ointments above all aromatical spices.
11 Thy lips, my spouse, are as a dropping honey-comb, honey and milk are under thy tongue: and the smell of thy garments, as the smell of frankincense.
12 My sister, my spouse is a garden inclosed, a garden inclosed, a fountain sealed up.
13 Thy plants are a paradise of pomegranates with the fruits of the orchard. Cyprus with spikenard.
14 Spikenard and saffron, sweet cane and cinnamon, with all the trees of Libanus, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief perfumes.
15 The fountain of gardens: the well of living waters, which run with a strong stream from Libanus.
16 Arise, O north wind, and come, O south wind, blow through my garden, and let the aromatical spices thereof flow.
Christ calls his spouse: she languishes with love: and describes him by his graces.
1 Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat the fruit of his apple-trees. I am come into my garden, O my sister, my spouse, I have gathered my myrrh, with my aromatical spices: I have eaten the honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved.
2 I sleep, and my heart watcheth; the voice of my beloved knocking: Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is full of dew, and my locks of the drops of the nights.
3 I have put off my garment, how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them?
4 My beloved put his hand through the key-hole, and my bowels were moved at his touch.
5 I arose up to open to my beloved: my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers were full of the choicest myrrh.
6 I opened the bolt of my door to my beloved: but he had turned aside, and was gone. My soul melted, when he spoke: I sought him, and found him not: I called, and he did not answer me.
7 The keepers that go about the city found me: they struck me: and wounded me: the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.
8 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him that I languish with love.
9 What manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, O thou most beautiful among women? what manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, that thou hast so adjured us?
10 My beloved is white and ruddy, chosen out of thousands.
11 His head is as the finest gold: his locks as branches of palm-trees, black as a raven.
12 His eyes as doves upon brooks of waters, which are washed with milk, and sit beside the plentiful streams.
13 His cheeks are as beds of aromatical spices set by the perfumers. His lips are as lilies dropping choice myrrb.
14 His hands are turned, and as of gold, full of hyacinths. His belly as of ivory, set with sapphires.
15 His legs as pillars of marble, that are set upon bases of gold. His form as of Libanus, excellent as the cedars.
16 His throat most sweet, and he is all lovely: such is my beloved, and he is my friend, O ye daughters of Jerusalem.
17 Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou most beautiful among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside, and we will seek him with thee?
The spouse of Christ is but one: she is fair and terrible.
1 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the bed of aromatical spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
2 I to my beloved, and my beloved to me, who feedeth among the lilies.
3 Thou art beautiful, O my love, sweet and comely as Jerusalem: terrible as an army set in array.
4 Turn away thy eyes from me, for they have made me flee away. Thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from Galaad.
5 Thy teeth as a flock of sheep, which come up from the washing, all with twins, and there is none barren among them.
6 Thy cheeks are as the bark of a pomegranate, beside what is hidden within thee.
7 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and young maidens without number.
8 One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised her.
9 Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?
10 I went down into the garden of nuts, to see the fruits of the vallies, and to look if the vineyard had flourished, and the pomegranates budded.
11 I knew not: my soul troubled me for the chariots of Aminadab.
12 Return, return, O Sulamitess: return, return, that we may behold thee.
A further description of the graces of the Church, the spouse of Christ.
1 What shalt thou see in the Sulamitess but the companies of camps? How beautiful are thy steps in shoes, O prince's daughter! The joints of thy thighs are like jewels, that are made by the hand of a skilful workman.
2 Thy navel is like a round bowl never wanting cups. Thy belly is like a heap of wheat, set about with lilies.
3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.
4 Thy neck as a tower of ivory. Thy eyes like the fish-pools in Hesebon, which are in the gate of the daughter of the multitude. Thy nose is as the tower of Libanus, that looketh towards Damascus.
5 Thy head is like Carmel: and the hairs of thy head as the purple of the king bound in the channels.
6 How beautiful art thou, and how comely, my dearest in delights!
7 Thy stature is like to a palm-tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
8 I said: I will go up into the palm-tree, and will take hold of the fruit thereof: and thy breasts shall be as the clusters of the vine: and the odour of thy mouth like apples.
9 Thy throat like the best wine, worthy for my beloved to drink, and for his lips and his teeth to ruminate.
10 I to my beloved, and his turning is towards me.
11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field, let us abide in the villages.
12 Let us get up early to the vineyards, let us see if the vineyard flourish, if the flowers be ready to bring forth fruits, if the pomegranates flourish: there will I give thee my breasts.
13 The mandrakes give a smell. In our gates are all fruits: the new and the old, my beloved, I have kept for thee.
The love of the Church to Christ: his love to her.
1 Who shall give thee to me for my brother, sucking the breasts of my mother, that I may find thee without, and kiss thee, and now no man may despise me?
2 I will take hold of thee, and bring thee Into my mother's house: there thou shalt teach me, and I will give thee a cup of spiced wine, and new wine of my pomegranates.
3 His left hand under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me.
4 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you stir not up, nor awake my love till she please.
5 Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved? Under the apple-tree I raised thee up: there thy mother was corrupted, there she was defloured that bore thee.
6 Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm: for love is strong as death: jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are lamps of fire and flames.
7 Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing.
8 Our sister is little, and hath no breasts. What shall we do to our sister in the day when she is to be spoken to?
9 If she be a wall: let us build upon it bulwarks of silver: if she be a door, let us join it together with boards of cedar.
10 I am a wall: and my breasts are as a tower, since I am become in his presence as one finding peace.
11 The peaceable had a vineyard, in that which hath people: he let out the same to keepers, every man bringeth for the fruit thereof a thousand pieces of silver.
12 My vineyard is before me. A thousand are for thee, the peaceable, and two hundred for them that keep the fruit thereof.
13 Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the friends hearken: make me hear thy voice.
14 Flee away, O my beloved, and be like to the roe, and to the young hart upon the mountains of aromatical spices.
THE BOOK OF WISDOM.
An exhortation to seek God sincerely, who cannot be deceived, and desireth not our death.
1 Love justice, *you that are the judges of the earth. Think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in simplicity of heart:
2 *For he is found by them that tempt him not: and he sheweth himself to them that have faith in him.
3 For perverse thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise:
4 For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins.
5 For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee from the deceitful, and will withdraw himself from thoughts that are without understanding, and he shall not abide when iniquity cometh in.
6 *For the spirit of wisdom is benevolent, and will not acquit the evil speaker from his lips: **for God is witness of his reins, and he is a true searcher of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.
7 *For the Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world: and that which containeth all things, hath knowledge of the voice.
8 Therefore he that speaketh unjust things, cannot be hid, neither shall the chastising judgment pass him by.
9 For inquisition shall be made into the thoughts of the ungodly, and the hearing of his words shall come to God, to the chastising of his iniquities.
10 For the ear of jealousy heareth all things, and the tumult of murmuring shall not be hid.
11 Keep yourselves, therefore, from murmuring, which profiteth nothing, and refrain your tongue from detraction, for an obscure speech shall not go for nought: and the mouth that belieth, killeth the soul.
12 Seek not death in the error of your life, neither procure ye destruction by the works of your hands.
13 *For God made not death, neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living.
14 For he created all things, that they might be: and he made the nations of the earth for health: and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor kingdom of hell upon the earth.
15 For justice is perpetual and immortal.
16 But the wicked, with works and words have called it* to them: and esteeming it a friend, have fallen away, and have made a covenant with it: because they are worthy to be of the part thereof.
1: 3 Kings iii. 9.; Isai. lvi. 1.
2: 2 Par. xv. 2.
6: Gal. v. 22. --- ** Jer. xvii. 10.
7: Isai. vi. 3.
13: Ezec. xviii. 32. and xxxiii. 11.
16: Isai. xxviii. 15.
The vain reasonings of the wicked: their persecuting the just, especially the Son of God.
1 For they have said, reasoning with themselves, but not right: *The time of our life is short and tedious, and in the end of a man there is no remedy, and no man hath been known to have returned from hell:
2 For we are born of nothing, and after this we shall be as if we had not been: for the breath in our nostrils is smoke: and speech a spark to move our heart,
3 Which being put out, our body shall be ashes, and our spirit shall be poured abroad as soft air, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist, which is driven away by the beams of the sun, and overpowered with the heat thereof:
4 And our name in time shall be forgotten, and no man shall have any remembrance of our works.
5 *For our time is as the passing of a shadow, and there is no going back of our end: for it is fast sealed, and no man returneth:
6 *Come, therefore, and let us enjoy the good things that are present, and let us speedily use the creatures as in youth.
7 Let us fill ourselves with costly wine, and ointments: and let not the flower of the time pass by us.
8 Let us crown ourselves with roses, before they be withered: let no meadow escape our riot.
9 Let none of us go without his part in luxury: let us every where leave tokens of joy: for this is our portion, and this our lot.
10 Let us oppress the poor just man, and not spare the widow, nor honour the ancient grey hairs of the aged.
11 But let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth.
12 Let us, therefore, lie in wait for the just, because he is not for our turn, and he is contrary to our doings, and upbraideth us with transgressions of the law, and divulgeth against us the sins of our way of life.
13 *He boasteth that he hath the knowledge of God, and calleth himself the son of God.
14 *He is become a censurer of our thoughts.
15 He is grievous unto us, even to behold: for his life is not like other men's, and his ways are very different.
16 We are esteemed by him as triflers, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and he preferreth the latter end of the just, and glorieth that he hath God for his father.
17 Let us see then if his words be true, and let us prove what shall happen to him, and we shall know what his end shall be.
18 *For if he be the true son of God, he will defend him, and will deliver him from the hands of his enemies.
19 Let us examine him by outrages and tortures, that we may know his meekness, and try his patience.
20 *Let us condemn him to a most shameful death: for there shall be respect had unto him by his words.
21 These things they thought, and were deceived: for their own malice blinded them.
22 And they knew not the secrets of God, nor hoped for the wages of justice, nor esteemed the honour of holy souls.
23 *For God created man incorruptible, and to the image of his own likeness he made him.
24 *But by the envy of the devil, death came into the world:
25 And they follow him that are of his side.
1: Job vii. 1. and xiv. 1.
5: 1 Par. xxix. 15.
6: Isai. xxii. 13. and lvi. 12.; 1 Cor. xv. 32.
13: Matt. xxvii. 42.
14: Ps. xxi. 9.
18: Jer. xi. 19.
20: Jer. xi. 19.
23: Gen. i. 27. and ii. 7. and v. 1.; Eccli. xvii. 1.
24: Gen. iii. 1.
The happiness of the just: and the unhappiness of the wicked.
1 But *the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them.
2 In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure was taken for misery:
3 And their going away from us, for utter destruction: but they are in peace.
4 And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality.
5 Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of himself.
6 As gold in the furnace, he hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust, he hath received them, and in time there shall be respect had to them.
7 *The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds.
8 *They shall judge nations, and rule over people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.
9 They that trust in him shall understand the truth: and they that are faithful in love, shall rest in him: for grace and peace are to his elect.
10 But the wicked shall be punished according to their own devices: who have neglected the just, and have revolted from the Lord.
11 For he that rejecteth wisdom, and discipline, is unhappy: and their hope is vain, and their labours without fruit, and their works unprofitable.
12 Their wives are foolish, and their children wicked.
13 Their offspring is cursed: for happy is the barren: and the undefiled, that hath not known bed in sin, she shall have fruit in the visitation of holy souls.
14 *And the eunuch, that hath not wrought iniquity with his hands, nor thought wicked things against God: for the precious gift of faith shall be given to him, and a most acceptable lot in the temple of God.
15 For the fruit of good labours is glorious, and the root of wisdom never faileth.
16 But the children of adulterers shall not come to perfection, and the seed of the unlawful bed shall be rooted out.
17 And if they live long, they shall be nothing regarded, and their last old age shall be without honour.
18 And if they die quickly, they shall have no hope, nor speech of comfort in the day of trial.
19 For dreadful are the ends of a wicked race.
1: Deut. xxxiii. 3.; Infra v. 4.
7: Matt. xiii. 41.
8: 1 Cor. vi. 2.
14: Isai. lvi. 3.
The difference between the chaste and the adulterous generations: and between the death of the just, and the wicked.
1 O how beautiful is the chaste generation with glory: for the memory thereof is immortal: because it is known both with God and with men.
2 When it is present, they imitate it: and they desire it, when it hath withdrawn itself, and it triumpheth crowned for ever, winning the reward of undefiled conflicts.
3 But the multiplied brood of the wicked shall not thrive, and bastard slips shall not take deep root, nor any fast foundation.
4 *And if they flourish in branches for a time, yet standing not fast, they shall be shaken with the wind, and through the force of winds they shall be rooted out.
5 For the branches not being perfect, shall be broken, and their fruits shall be unprofitable, and sour to eat, and fit for nothing.
6 For the children that are born of unlawful beds, are witnesses of wickedness against their parents in their trial.
7 But the just man, if he be prevented with death, shall be in rest.
8 For venerable old age is not that of long time, nor counted by the number of years: but the understanding of a man is grey hairs.
9 And a spotless life is old age.
10 *He pleased God, and was beloved, and living among sinners, he was translated.
11 He was taken away lest wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul.
12 For the bewitching of vanity obscureth good things, and the wandering of concupiscence overturneth the innocent mind.
13 Being made perfect in a short space, he fulfilled a long time.
14 For his soul pleased God: therefore he hastened to bring him out of the midst of iniquities: but the people see this, and understand not, nor lay up such things in their hearts:
15 That the grace of God, and his mercy is with his saints, and that he hath respect to his chosen.
16 But the just that is dead, condemneth the wicked that are living, and youth soon ended, the long life of the unjust.
17 For they shall see the end of the wise man, and shall not understand what God hath designed for him, and why the Lord hath set him in safety.
18 They shall see him, and shall despise him: but the Lord shall laugh them to scorn.
19 And they shall fall after this without honour, and be a reproach among the dead for ever: for he shall burst them puffed up and speechless, and shall shake them from the foundations, and they shall be utterly laid waste: they shall be in sorrow, and their memory shall perish.
20 They shall come with fear at the thought of their sins, and their iniquities shall stand against them to convict them.
4: Jer. xvii. 6.; Matt. vii. 27.
10: Heb. xi. 5.
The fruitless repentance of the wicked in another world: the reward of the just.
1 Then shall the just stand with great constancy against those that have afflicted them, and taken away their labours.
2 These seeing it, shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation,
3 Saying within themselves, repenting, and groaning for anguish of spirit: These are they, whom we had sometime in derision, and for a parable of reproach.
4 *We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honour.
5 Behold how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints.
6 Therefore we have erred from the way of truth, and the light of justice hath not shined unto us, and the sun of understanding hath not risen upon us.
7 We wearied ourselves in the way of iniquity and destruction, and have walked through hard ways, but the way of the Lord we have not known.
8 What hath pride profited us? or what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us?
9 *All those things are passed away like a shadow, and like a post that runneth on,
10 *And as a ship, that passeth through the waves: whereof when it is gone by, the trace cannot be found, nor the path of its keel in the waters:
11 Or as when a bird flieth through the air, of the passage of which no mark can be found, but only the sound of the wings beating the light air, and parting it by the force of her flight: she moved her wings, and hath flown through, and there is no mark found afterwards of her way:
12 Or as when an arrow is shot at a mark, the divided air presently cometh together again, so that the passage thereof is not known:
13 So we also being born, forthwith ceased to be: and have been able to shew no mark of virtue: but are consumed in our wickedness.
14 Such things as these the sinners said in hell:
15 *For the hope of the wicked is as dust, which is blown away with the wind, and as a thin froth which is dispersed by the storm: and a smoke that is scattered abroad by the wind: and as the remembrance of a guest of one day that passeth by.
16 But the just shall live for evermore: and their reward is with the Lord, and the care of them with the Most High.
17 Therefore shall they receive a kingdom of glory, and a crown of beauty at the hand of the Lord: for with his right hand he will cover them, and with his holy arm he will defend them.
18 *And his zeal will take armour, and he will arm the creature for the revenge of his enemies.
19 He will put on justice as a breastplate, and will take true judgment instead of a helmet:
20 He will take equity for an invincible shield:
21 And he will sharpen his severe wrath for a spear, and the whole world shall fight with him against the unwise.
22 Then shafts of lightning shall go directly from the clouds, as from a bow well bent, they shall be shot out, and shall fly to the mark.
23 And thick hail shall be cast upon them from the stone-casting wrath: the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the rivers shall run together in a terrible manner.
24 A mighty wind shall stand up against them, and as a whirlwind shall divide them: and their iniquity shall bring all the earth to a desert, and wickedness shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty.
4: Supra iii. 2.
9: 1 Par. xxix. 15.; Supra ii. 5.
10: Prov. xxx. 19.
15: Ps. i. 4.; Prov. x. 28. and xi. 7.
18: Ps. xvii. 40.; Eph. vi. 13.
An address to princes to seek after wisdom: she is easily found by those that seek her.
1 Wisdom *is better than strength: and a wise man is better than a strong man.
2 Hear, therefore, ye kings, and understand, learn, ye that are judges of the ends of the earth.
3 Give ear, you that rule the people, and that please yourselves in multitudes of nations:
4 *For power is given you by the Lord, and strength by the Most High, who will examine your works: and search out your thoughts:
5 Because being ministers of his kingdom, you have not judged rightly, nor kept the law of justice, nor walked according to the will of God.
6 Horribly and speedily will he appear to you: for a most severe judgment shall be for them that bear rule.
7 For to him that is little, mercy is granted: but the mighty shall be mightily tormented.
8 *For God will not except any man's person, neither will he stand in awe of any man's greatness: for he made the little and the great, and he hath equally care of all.
9 But a greater punishment is ready for the more mighty.
10 To you, therefore, O kings, are these my words, that you may learn wisdom, and not fall from it.
11 For they that have kept just things justly, shall be justified: and they that have learned these things, shall find what to
12 Covet ye, therefore, my words, and love them, and you shall have instruction.
13 Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away, and is easily seen by them that love her, and is found by them that seek her.
14 She preventeth them that covet her, so that she first sheweth herself unto them.
15 He that awaketh early to seek her, shall not labour: for he shall find her sitting at his door.
16 To think, therefore, upon her, is perfect understanding: and he that watcheth for her, shall quickly be secure.
17 For she goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her, and she sheweth herself to them cheerfully in the ways, and meeteth them with all providence.
18 For the beginning of her is the most true desire of discipline.
19 And the care of discipline is love: and love is the keeping of her laws: and the keeping of her laws is the firm foundation of incorruption:
20 And incorruption bringeth near to God.
21 Therefore the desire of wisdom bringeth to the everlasting kingdom.
22 If then your delight be in thrones, and sceptres, O ye kings of the people, love wisdom, that you may reign for ever.
23 Love the light of wisdom, all ye that bear rule over peoples.
24 Now what wisdom is, and what was her origin, I will declare: and I will not hide from you the mysteries of God, but will seek her out from the beginning of her birth, and bring the knowledge of her to light, and will not pass over the truth:
25 Neither will I go with consuming envy: for such a man shall not be partaker of wisdom.
26 Now the multitude of the wise is the welfare of the whole world: and a wise king is the upholding of the people.
27 Receive, therefore, instruction by my words, and it shall be profitable to you.
1: Eccle. ix. 18.
4: Rom. xiii. 1.
8: Deut. x. 17.; 2 Par. xix. 7.; Eccli. xxxv. 15.; Acts x. 34.; Rom. ii. 11.; Gal. ii. 6.; Ephes. vi. 9.; Colos. iii. 25.; 1 Pet. i. 17.
The excellence of wisdom: how she is to be found.
1 I myself also am a mortal man, like all others, and of the race of him, that was first made of the earth, and in the womb of my mother I was fashioned to be flesh.
2 In the time of ten months I was compacted in blood, of the seed of man, *and the pleasure of sleep concurring.
3 And being born, I drew in the common air, and fell upon the earth, that is made alike, and the first voice which I uttered was crying, as all others do.
4 I was nursed in swaddling clothes, and with great cares.
5 For none of the kings had any other beginning of birth.
6 *For all men have one entrance into life, and the like going out.
7 Wherefore I wished, and understanding was given me: and I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came upon me:
8 And I preferred her before kingdoms and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her.
9 *Neither did I compare unto her any precious stone: for all gold, in comparison of her, is as a little sand; and silver, in respect to her, shall be counted as clay.
10 I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for her light cannot be put out.
11 *Now all good things came to me together with her, and innumerable riches through her hands,
12 And I rejoiced in all these: for this wisdom went before me, and I knew not that she was the mother of them all.
13 Which I have learned without guile, and communicate without envy, and her riches I hide not.
14 For she is an infinite treasure to men: which they that use, become the friends of God, being commended for the gift of discipline.
15 And God hath given to me to speak as I would, and to conceive thoughts worthy of those things that are given me: because he is the guide of wisdom, and the director of the wise:
16 For in his hand are both we, and our words, and all wisdom, and the knowledge and skill of works.
17 For he hath given me the true knowledge of the things that are: to know the disposition of the whole world, and the virtues of the elements,
18 The beginning, and ending, and midst of the times, the alterations of their courses, and the changes of seasons,
19 The revolutions of the year, and the dispositions of the stars,
20 The natures of living creatures, and rage of wild beasts, the force of winds, and reasonings of men, the diversities of plants, and the virtues of roots,
21 And all such things as are hid, and not foreseen, I have learned: for wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me.
22 For in her is the spirit of understanding: holy, one, manifold, subtile, eloquent, active, undefiled, sure, sweet, loving that which is good, quick, which nothing hindereth, beneficent,
23 Gentle, kind, steadfast, assured, secure, having all power, overseeing all things, and containing all spirits: intelligible, pure, subtile:
24 For wisdom is more active than all active things; and reacheth every where, by reason of her purity.
25 For she is a vapour of the power of God, and a certain pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty God: and therefore no defiled thing cometh into her.
26 *For she is the brightness of eternal light, and the unspotted mirror of God's Majesty, and the image of his goodness.
27 And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself the same, she reneweth all things, and through nations conveyeth herself into holy souls, she maketh the friends of God and prophets.
28 For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom.
29 For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of the stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it.
30 For after this cometh night, but no evil can overcome wisdom.
2: Job x. 10.
6: Job i. 21.; 1 Tim. vi. 7.
9: Job xxviii. 15.; Prov. viii. 11.
11: 3 Kings iii. 13.; Matt. vi. 33.
26: Heb. i. 3.
Further praises of wisdom: and her fruits.
1 She reacheth, therefore, from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly.
2 Her have I loved, and have sought her out from my youth, and have desired to take for my spouse, and I became a lover of her beauty.
3 She glorifieth her nobility by being conversant with God: yea, and the Lord of all things hath loved her.
4 For it is she that teacheth the knowledge of God, and is the chooser of his works.
5 And if riches be desired in life, what is richer than wisdom, which maketh all things?
6 And if sense do work: who is a more artful worker than she of those things that are?
7 And if a man love justice: her labours have great virtues: for she teacheth temperance, and prudence, and justice, and fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life.
8 And if a man desire much knowledge: she knoweth things past, and judgeth of things to come: she knoweth the subtilties of speeches, and the solutions of arguments: she knoweth signs and wonders before they be done, and the events of times and ages.
9 I purposed, therefore, to take her to me to live with me: knowing that she will communicate to me of her good things, and will be a comfort in my cares and grief.
10 For her sake I shall have glory among the multitude, and honour with the ancients, though I be young:
11 And I shall be found of a quick conceit in judgment, and shall be admired in the sight of the mighty, and the faces of princes shall wonder at me.
12 They shall wait for me when I hold my peace, and they shall look upon me when I speak; and if I talk much, they shall lay their hands on their mouth.
13 Moreover, by the means of her I shall have immortality: and shall leave behind me an everlasting memory to them that come after me.
14 I shall set the people in order: and nations shall be subject to me.
15 Terrible kings hearing, shall be afraid of me: among the multitude I shall be found good, and valiant in war.
16 When I go into my house, I shall repose myself with her: for her conversation hath no bitterness, nor her company any tediousness, but joy and gladness.
17 Thinking these things with myself, and pondering them in my heart, that to be allied to wisdom is immortality,
18 And that there is great delight in her friendship, and inexhaustible riches in the works of her hands, and in the exercise of conference with her, wisdom, and glory in the communication of her words: I went about seeking, that I might take her to myself.
19 And I was a witty child, and had received a good soul.
20 And whereas I was more good, I came to a body undefiled.
21 And as I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it, and this also was a point of wisdom, to know whose gift it was, I went to the Lord, and besought him, and said with my whole heart:
Solomon's prayer for wisdom.
1 God of my fathers,* and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things with thy word,
2 And by thy wisdom hast appointed man, that he should have dominion over the creature that was made by thee,
3 That he should order the world according to equity and justice, and execute justice with an upright heart:
4 Give me wisdom, that sitteth by thy throne, and cast me not off from among thy children:
5 *For I am thy servant, and the son of thy handmaid, a weak man, and of short time, and falling short of the understanding of judgment and laws.
6 For if one be perfect among the children of men, yet if thy wisdom be not with him, he shall be nothing regarded.
7 *Thou hast chosen me to be king of thy people, and a judge of thy sons and daughters:
8 And hast commanded me to build a temple on thy holy mount, and an altar in the city of thy dwelling-place, a resemblance of thy holy tabernacle, which thou hast prepared from the beginning:
9 *And thy wisdom with thee, which knoweth thy works, which then also was present when thou madest the world, and knew what was agreeable to thy eyes, and what was right in thy commandments.
10 Send her out of thy holy heaven, and from the throne of thy majesty, that she may be with me, and may labour with me, that I may know what is acceptable with thee:
11 For she knoweth and understandeth all things, and shall lead me soberly in my works, and shall preserve me by her power.
12 So shall my works be acceptable, and I shall govern thy people justly, and shall be worthy of the throne of my father.
13 *For who among men is he that can know the counsel of God? or who can think what the will of God is?
14 For the thoughts of mortal men are fearful, and our counsels uncertain.
15 For the corruptible body is a load upon the soul, and the earthly habitation presseth down the mind that museth upon many things.
16 And hardly do we guess aright at things that are upon earth: and with labour do we find the things that are before us. But the things that are in heaven, who shall search out?
17 And who shall know thy thought, except thou give wisdom, and send thy holy Spirit from above:
18 And so the ways of them that are upon earth may be corrected, and men may learn the things that please thee?
19 For by wisdom they were healed, whosoever have pleased thee, O Lord, from the beginning.
1: 1 Kings iii. 9.
5: Ps. cxv. 16.
7: 1 Par. xxviii. 4. and 5.; 2 Par. i. 9.
9: Prov. viii. 22. and 27.; John i. 1.
13: Isai. xl. 13.; Rom. xi. 34.; 1 Cor. ii. 16.
What wisdom did for Adam, Noe, Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Joseph, and the people of Israel.
1 She preserved him, *that was first formed by God, the father of the world, when he was created alone,
2 *And she brought him out of his sin, and gave him power to govern all things.
3 *But when the unjust went away from her in his anger, he perished by the fury wherewith he murdered his brother.
4 *For whose cause, when water destroyed the earth, wisdom healed it again, directing the course of the just by contemptible wood.
5 *Moreover, when the nations had conspired together to consent to wickedness, she knew the just, and preserved him without blame to God, and kept him strong against the compassion for his son.
6 *She delivered the just man, who fled from the wicked that were perishing, when the fire came down upon Pentapolis:
7 Whose land, for a testimony of their wickedness, is desolate, and smoketh to this day, and the trees bear fruits that ripen not, and a standing pillar of salt is a monument of an incredulous soul.
8 For regarding not wisdom, they did not only slip in this, that they were ignorant of good things, but they left also unto men a memorial of their folly, so that in the things in which they sinned, they could not so much as lie hid.
9 But wisdom hath delivered from sorrow them that attend upon her.
10 *She conducted the just, when he fled from his brother's wrath, through the right ways, and shewed him the kingdom of God, and gave him the knowledge of the holy things, made him honourable in his labours, and accomplished his labours.
11 In the deceit of them that overreached him, she stood by him, and made him honourable.
12 She kept him safe from his enemies, and she defended him from seducers, and gave him a strong conflict, that he might overcome, and know that wisdom is mightier than all.
13 *She forsook not the just, when he was sold, but delivered him from sinners: she went down with him into the pit.
14 *And in bands she left him not, till she brought him the sceptre of the kingdom, and power against those that oppressed him: and shewed them to be liars that had accused him, and gave him everlasting glory.
15 *She delivered the just people, and blameless seed, from the nations that oppressed them.
16 She entered into the soul of the servant of God, and stood against dreadful kings in wonders and signs.
17 And she rendered to the just the wages of their labours, and conducted them in a wonderful way: and she was to them for a covert by day, and for the light of stars by night:
18 *And she brought them through the Red Sea, and carried them over through a great water.
19 But their enemies she drowned in the sea, and from the depth of hell she brought them out. *Therefore the just took the spoils of the wicked.
20 *And they sung to thy holy name, O Lord, and they praised with one accord thy victorious hand.
21 For wisdom opened the mouth of the dumb, and made the tongues of infants eloquent.
1: Gen. i. 27.
2: Gen. ii. 7.
3: Gen. iv. 8.
4: Gen. vii. 6.
5: Gen. xi. 2.
6: Gen. xix. 17. and 22.
10: Gen. xxviii. 5. and 10.
13: Gen. xxxvii. 28.
14: Gen. xli. 40.; Acts vii. 9.
15: Exod. i. 11.
18: Exod. xiv. 22.; Ps. lxxvii. 13.
19: Exod. xii. 35.
20: Exod. xv. 1.
Other benefits of wisdom to the people of God.
1 She* prospered their works in the hands of the holy prophet.
2 They went through wildernesses that were not inhabited, and in desert places they pitched their tents.
3 *They stood against their enemies, and revenged themselves of their adversaries.
4 *They were thirsty, and they called upon thee, and water was given them out of the high rock, and a refreshment of their thirst out of the hard stone.
5 For by what things their enemies were punished, when their drink failed them, while the children of Israel abounded therewith, and rejoiced:
6 By the same things they in their need were benefited.
7 For instead of a fountain of an ever-running river, thou gavest human blood to the unjust.
8 And whilst they were diminished for a manifest reproof of their murdering the infants, thou gavest to thine abundant water unlooked for:
9 Shewing by the thirst that was then, how thou didst exalt thine, and didst kill their adversaries.
10 For when they were tried, and chastised with mercy, they knew how the wicked were judged with wrath, and tormented.
11 For thou didst admonish and try them as a father: but the others, as a severe king, thou didst examine and condemn.
12 For whether absent or present, they were tormented alike.
13 For a double affliction came upon them, and a groaning for the remembrance of things past.
14 For when they heard that by their punishments the others were benefited, they remembered the Lord, wondering at the end of what was come to pass.
15 For whom they scorned before, when he was thrown out at the time of his being wickedly exposed to perish, him they admired in the end, when they saw the event: their thirsting being unlike to that of the just.
16 But for the foolish devices of their iniquity, *because some being deceived worshipped dumb serpents, and worthless beasts, thou didst send upon them a multitude of dumb beasts for vengeance:
17 That they might know that by what things a man sinneth, by the same also he is tormented.
18 For thy almighty hand, which made the world of matter without form, was not unable to send upon them a multitude of bears, or fierce lions,
19 Or unknown beasts of a new kind, full of rage: either breathing out a fiery vapour, *or sending forth a stinking smoke, or shooting horrible sparks out of their eyes:
20 Whereof not only the hurt might be able to destroy them, but also the very sight might kill them through fear.
21 Yea, and without these, they might have been slain with one blast, persecuted by their own deeds, and scattered by the breath of thy power: but thou hast ordered all things in measure, and number, and weight.
22 For great power always belonged to thee alone: and who shall resist the strength of thy arm?
23 For the whole world before thee is as the least grain of the balance, and as a drop of the morning dew, that falleth down upon the earth.
24 But thou hast mercy upon all, because thou canst do all things, and overlookest the sins of men for the sake of repentance.
25 For thou lovest all things that are, and hatest none of the things which thou hast made: for thou didst not appoint, or make any thing hating it.
26 And how could any thing endure, if thou wouldst not? or be preserved, if not called by thee.
27 But thou sparest all: because they are thine, O Lord, who lovest souls.
1: Exod. xvi. 1.
3: Exod. xvii. 12.
4: Num. xx. 11.
16: Infra xii. 24.
19: Lev. xxvi. 22.; Infra xvi. 1.; Jer. viii. 17.
God's wisdom and mercy in his proceedings with the Chanaanites.
1 O how good and sweet is thy Spirit, O Lord, in all things!
2 And therefore thou chastisest them that err, by little and little: and admonishest them, and speakest to them, concerning the things wherein they offend: that leaving their wickedness, they may believe in thee, O Lord.
3 *For, those ancient inhabitants of thy holy land, whom thou didst abhor,
4 Because they did works hateful to thee by their sorceries, and wicked sacrifices,
5 And those merciless murderers of their own children, and eaters of men's bowels, and devourers of blood from the midst of thy consecration,
6 And those parents sacrificing with their own hands helpless souls, it was thy will to destroy by the hands of our parents,
7 That the land which of all is most dear to thee, might receive a worthy colony of the children of God.
8 Yet even those thou sparedst as men, and didst send wasps, forerunners of thy host, to destroy them by little and little.
9 Not that thou wast unable to bring the wicked under the just by war, or by cruel beasts, or with one rough word to destroy them at once:
10 *But executing thy judgments by degrees, thou gavest them place of repentance, not being ignorant that they were a wicked generation, and their malice natural, and that their thought could never be changed.
11 For it was a cursed seed from the beginning: neither didst thou for fear of any one give pardon to their sins.
12 For who shall say to thee: What hast thou done? or who shall withstand thy judgment? or who shall come before thee to be a revenger of wicked men? or who shall accuse thee, if the nations perish, which thou hast made?
13 For there is no other God but thou, *who hast care of all, that thou shouldst shew that thou dost not give judgment unjustly.
14 Neither shall king, nor tyrant, in thy sight enquire about them whom thou hast destroyed.
15 For so much then, as thou art just, thou orderest all things justly: thinking it not agreeable to thy power, to condemn him who deserveth not to be punished.
16 For thy power is the beginning of justice: and because thou art Lord of all, thou makest thyself gracious to all.
17 For thou shewest thy power, when men will not believe thee to be absolute in power, and thou convincest the boldness of them that know thee not.
18 But thou being master of power, judgest with tranquillity, and with great favour disposest of us: for thy power is at hand when thou wilt.
19 But thou hast taught thy people by such works, that they must be just and humane, and hast made thy children to be of a good hope: because in judging, thou givest place for repentance for sins.
20 For if thou didst punish the enemies of thy servants, and that deserved to die, with so great deliberation, giving them time and place whereby they might be changed from their wickedness:
21 With what circumspection hast thou judged thy own children, to whose parents thou hast sworn, and made covenants of good promises?
22 Therefore whereas thou chastisest us, thou scourgest our enemies very many ways, to the end that when we judge we may think on thy goodness: and when we are judged, we may hope for thy mercy.
23 Wherefore thou hast also greatly tormented them, who, in their life, have lived foolishly and unjustly, by the same things which they worshipped.
24 *For they went astray for a long time in the ways of error, holding those things for gods which are the most worthless among beasts, living after the manner of children without understanding.
25 Therefore thou hast sent a judgment upon them, as senseless children, to mock them.
26 But they that were not amended by mockeries and reprehensions, experienced the worthy judgment of God.
27 For seeing, with indignation, that they suffered by those very things which they took for gods, when they were destroyed by the same, they acknowledged him the true God, whom in time past they denied that they knew: for which cause the end also of their condemnation came upon them.
3: Deut. ix. 3. and xii. 29. and xviii. 12.
10: Exod. xxv. 30.; Deut. vii. 22.
13: 1 Pet. v. 7.
24: Supra xi. 16.; Rom. i. 23.
Idolaters are inexcusable: and those most of all that worship for gods the works of the hands of men.
1 But *all men are vain, in whom there is not the knowledge of God: and who by these good things that are seen, could not understand him that is, neither by attending to the works have acknowledged who was the workman:
2 *But have imagined either the fire, or the wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the great water, or the sun and moon, to be the gods that rule the world.
3 With whose beauty, if they, being delighted, took them to be gods: let them know how much the Lord of them is more beautiful than they: for the first author of beauty made all those things.
4 Or if they admired their power, and their effects, let them understand by them, that he that made them, is mightier than they:
5 For by the greatness of the beauty, and of the creature, the creator of them may be seen, so as to be known thereby.
6 But yet as to these they are less to be blamed. For they perhaps err, seeking God, and desirous to find him.
7 *For being conversant among his works, they search: and they are persuaded that the things are good which are seen.
8 But then again they are not to be pardoned.
9 For if they were able to know so much, as to make a judgment of the world: how did they not more easily find out the Lord thereof?
10 But unhappy are they, and their hope is among the dead, who have called gods the works of the hands of men, gold and silver, the inventions of art, and the resemblances of beasts, or an unprofitable stone the work of an ancient hand.
11 *Or if an artist, a carpenter, hath cut down a tree proper for his use, in the wood, and skillfully taken off all the bark thereof, and with his art, diligently formeth a vessel profitable for the common uses of life,
12 And useth the chips of his work to dress his meat:
13 And taking what was left thereof, which is good for nothing, being a crooked piece of wood, and full of knots, carveth it diligently when he hath nothing else to do, and by the skill of his art fashioneth it, and maketh it like the image of a man:
14 Or the resemblance of some beast, laying it over with vermilion, and painting it red, and covering every spot that is in it:
15 And maketh a convenient dwelling-place for it, and setting it in a wall, and fastening it with iron,
16 Providing for it, lest it should fall, knowing that it is unable to help itself: for it is an image, and hath need of help.
17 And then maketh prayer to it, enquiring concerning his substance, and his children, or his marriage. And he is not ashamed to speak to that which hath no life:
18 And for health he maketh supplication to the weak, and for life prayeth to that which is dead, and for help calleth upon that which is unprofitable:
19 And for a good journey he petitioneth him that cannot walk: and for getting, and for working, and for the event of all things he asketh him that is unable to do any thing.
1: Rom. i. 18.
2: Deut. iv. 19. and xvii. 3.
7: Rom. i. 21.
11: Isai. xliv. 12.; Jer. x. 3.
The beginning of worshipping idols: and the effects thereof.
1 Again, another designing to sail, and beginning to make his voyage through the raging waves, calleth upon a piece of wood more frail than the wood that carrieth him.
2 For this the desire of gain devised, and the workman built it by his skill.
3 But thy providence, O Father, governeth it: *for thou hast made a way even in the sea, and a most sure path among the waves,
4 Shewing that thou art able to save out of all things, yea, though a man went to sea without art.
5 But that the works of thy wisdom might not be idle: therefore men also trust their lives even to a little wood, and passing over the sea by ship, are saved.
6 *And from the beginning also, when the proud giants perished, the hope of the world fleeing to a vessel, which was governed by thy hand, left to the world seed of generation.
7 For blessed is the wood, by which justice cometh.
8 *But the idol that is made by hands, is cursed, as well it, as he that made it: he because he made it; and it because being frail it is called a god.
9 But to God the wicked and his wickedness are hateful alike.
10 For that which is made, together with him that made it, shall suffer torments.
11 Therefore there shall be no respect had even to the idols of the Gentiles: because the creatures of God are turned to an abomination, and a temptation to the souls of men, and a snare to the feet of the unwise.
12 For the beginning of fornication is the devising of idols: and the invention of them is the corruption of life.
13 For neither were they from the beginning, neither shall they be for ever.
14 For by the vanity of men they came into the world: and therefore they shall be found to come shortly to an end.
15 For a father being afflicted with bitter grief, made to himself the image of his son, who was quickly taken away: and him who then had died as a man, he began now to worship as a god, and appointed him rites and sacrifices among his servants.
16 Then, in process of time, wicked custom prevailing, this error was kept as a law, and statues were worshipped by the commandment of tyrants.
17 And those whom men could not honour in presence, because they dwelt far off, they brought their resemblance from afar, and made an express image of the king, whom they had a mind to honour: that by this their diligence, they might honour as present, him that was absent.
18 And to worshipping of these, the singular diligence also of the artificer helped to set forward the ignorant.
19 For he being willing to please him that employed him, laboured with all his art to make the resemblance in the best manner.
20 And the multitude of men, carried away by the beauty of the work, took him now for a god, that a little before was but honoured as a man.
21 And this was the occasion of deceiving human life: for men serving either their affection, or their kings, gave the incommunicable name to stones and wood.
22 And it was not enough for them to err about the knowledge of God, but whereas they lived in a great war of ignorance, they call so many and so great evils peace.
23 *For either they sacrifice their own children, or use hidden sacrifices, or keep watches full of madness,
24 So that now they neither keep life, nor marriage undefiled, but one killeth another through envy, or grieveth him by adultery:
25 And all things are mingled together, blood, murder, theft, and dissimulation, corruption and unfaithfulness, tumults and perjury, disquieting of the good,
26 Forgetfulness of God, defiling of souls, changing of nature, disorder in marriage, and the irregularity of adultery and uncleanness.
27 For the worship of abominable idols is the cause, and the beginning and end of all evil.
28 For either they are mad when they are merry: or they prophecy lies, or they live unjustly, or easily forswear themselves.
29 For whilst they trust in idols, which are without life, though they swear amiss, they look not to be hurt.
30 But for both these things they shall be justly punished, because they have thought not well of God, giving heed to idols, and have sworn unjustly, in guile despising justice.
31 For it is not the power of them, by whom they swear, but the just vengeance of sinners always punisheth the transgression of the unjust.
3: Exod. xiv. 22.
6: Gen. vi. 4. and vii. 7.
8: Ps. cxiii. 4.; Baruch vi. 3.
23: Deut. xviii. 10.; Jer. vii. 6.
The servants of God praise him who hath delivered them from idolatry; condemning both the makers and the worshippers of idols.
1 But thou, our God, art gracious and true, patient, and ordering all things in mercy.
2 For if we sin, we are thine, knowing thy greatness: and if we sin not, we know that we are counted with thee.
3 For to know thee is perfect justice: and to know thy justice, and thy power, is the root of immortality
4 For the invention of mischievous men hath not deceived us, nor the shadow of a picture, a fruitless labour, a graven figure with divers colours,
5 The sight whereof enticeth the fool to lust after it, and he loveth the lifeless figure of a dead image.
6 The lovers of evil things deserve to have no better things to trust in, both they that make them, and they that love them, and they that worship them.
7 *The potter also tempering soft earth, with labour fashioneth every vessel for our service, and of the same clay he maketh both vessels that are for clean uses, and likewise such as serve to the contrary: but what is the use of these vessels, the potter is the judge.
8 And of the same clay by a vain labour he maketh a god: he who a little before was made of earth himself, and a little after returneth to the same out of which he was taken, when his life, which was lent him, shall be called for again.
9 But his care is, not that he shall labour, nor that his life is short, but he striveth with the goldsmiths and silversmiths: and he endeavoureth to do like the workers in brass, and counteth it a glory to make vain things.
10 For his heart is ashes, and his hope vain earth, and his life more base than clay:
11 Forasmuch as he knew not his maker, and him that inspired into him the soul that worketh, and that breathed into him a living spirit.
12 Yea, and they have counted our life a pastime, and the business of life to be gain, and that we must be getting every way, even out of evil.
13 For that man knoweth that he offendeth above all others, who of earthly matter maketh brittle vessels, and graven gods.
14 But all the enemies of thy people that hold them in subjection, are foolish, and unhappy, and proud beyond measure:
15 *For they have esteemed all the idols of the heathens for gods, which neither have the use of eyes to see, nor noses to draw breath, nor ears to hear, nor fingers of hands to handle, and as for their feet, they are slow to walk.
16 For man made them: and he that borroweth his own breath, fashioned them. For no man can make a god like to himself.
17 For being mortal himself, he formeth a dead thing with his wicked hands. For he is better than they whom he worshippeth, because he indeed hath lived, though he were mortal, but they never.
18 Moreover, they worship also the vilest creatures: but things without sense, compared to these, are worse than they.
19 Yea, neither by sight can any man see good of these beasts. But they have fled from the praise of God, and from his blessing.
7: Rom. ix. 21.
15: Ps. cxiii. 5. and cxxxiv. 16.
God's different dealings with the Egyptians, and with his own people.
1 For these things, and by the like things to these, they were worthily punished, and were destroyed by a multitude of beasts.
2 Instead of which punishment, dealing well with thy people, *thou gavest them their desire of delicious food, of a new taste, preparing for them quails for their meat:
3 To the end, that they indeed desiring food, by means of those things that were shewn and sent among them, might loathe even that which was necessary to satisfy their desire. But these, after suffering want for a short time, tasted a new meat.
4 For it was requisite that inevitable destruction should come upon them that exercised tyranny: but to these it should only be shewn how their enemies were destroyed.
5 *For when the fierce rage of beasts came upon these, they were destroyed with the bitings of crooked serpents.
6 But thy wrath endured not for ever, but they were troubled for a short time for their correction, having a sign of salvation, to put them in remembrance of the commandment of thy law.
7 For he that turned to it, was not healed by that which he saw, but by thee, the Saviour of all.
8 And in this thou didst shew to our enemies, that thou art he who deliverest from all evil.
9 *For the bitings of locusts, and of flies killed them, and there was found no remedy for their life: because they were worthy to be destroyed by such things.
10 But not even the teeth of venomous serpents overcame thy children: for thy mercy came and healed them.
11 For they were examined for the remembrance of thy words, and were quickly healed, lest falling into deep forgetfulness, they might not be able to use thy help.
12 For it was neither herb, nor mollifying plaster, that healed them, but thy word, O Lord, which healeth all things.
13 *For it is thou, O Lord, that hast power of life and death, and leadest down to the gates of death, and bringest back again:
14 A man indeed killeth through malice, and when the spirit is gone forth, it shall not return, neither shall he call back the soul that is received:
15 But it is impossible to escape thy hand:
16 *For the wicked that denied to know thee, were scourged by the strength of thy arm, being persecuted by strange waters, and hail, and rain, and consumed by fire.
17 And which was wonderful, in water, which extinguisheth all things, the fire had more force: for the world fighteth for the just.
18 For at one time, the fire was mitigated, that the beasts which were sent against the wicked might not be burnt, but that they might see, and perceive that they were persecuted by the judgment of God.
19 And at another time the fire, above its own power, burnt in the midst of water, to destroy the fruits of a wicked land.
20 *Instead of which things, thou didst feed thy people with the food of angels, and gavest them bread from heaven, prepared without labour; having in it all that is delicious, and the sweetness of every taste.
21 For thy sustenance shewed thy sweetness to thy children, and serving every man's will, it was turned to what every man liked.
22 *But snow and ice endured the force of fire, and melted not: that they might know that fire, burning in the hail, and flashing in the rain destroyed, the fruits of the enemies.
23 But this same again, that the just might be nourished, did even forget its own strength.
24 For the creature serving thee, the Creator, is made fierce against the unjust for their punishment; and abateth its strength for the benefit of them that trust in thee.
25 Therefore even then it was transformed into all things, and was obedient to thy grace, that nourisheth all, according to the will of them that desired it of thee:
26 That thy children, O Lord, *whom thou lovedst, might know that it is not the growing of fruits that nourisheth men, but thy word preserveth them that believe in thee:
27 For that which could not be destroyed by fire, being warmed with a little sunbeam, presently melted away:
28 That it might be known to all, that we ought to prevent the sun to bless thee, and adore thee at the dawning of the light.
29 For the hope of the unthankful shall melt away as the winter's ice, and shall run off as unprofitable water.
2: Num. xi. 31.
5: Num. xxi. 6.
9: Exod. viii. 24. and x. 4.; Apoc. ix. 7.
13: Deut. xxxii. 39.; 1 K. ii. 6.; Tob. xiii. 2.
16: Ex. ix. 23.
20: Ex. xvi. 14.; Num. xi. 7.; Ps. lxxvii. 25.; Jo. vi. 31.
22: Ex. ix. 24.
26: Deut. viii. 3.; Matt. iv. 4.
The Egyptian darkness.
1 For thy judgments, O Lord, are great, and thy words cannot be expressed: therefore undisciplined souls have erred.
2 *For while the wicked thought to be able to have dominion over the holy nation, they themselves being fettered with the bonds of darkness, and a long night, shut up in their houses, lay there exiled from the eternal providence.
3 And while they thought to lie hid in their obscure sins, they were scattered under a dark veil of forgetfulness, being horribly afraid, and troubled with exceeding great astonishment.
4 For neither did the den that held them, keep them from fear: for noises coming down troubled them, and sad visions appearing to them, affrighted them.
5 And no power of fire could give them light, neither could the bright flames of the stars enlighten that horrible night.
6 But there appeared to them a sudden fire, very dreadful: and being struck with the fear of that face, which was not seen, they thought the things which they saw to be worse:
7 *And the delusions of their magic art were put down, and their boasting of wisdom was reproachfully rebuked.
8 For they who promised to drive away fears and troubles from a sick soul, were sick themselves of a fear worthy to be laughed at.
9 For though no terrible thing disturbed them: yet being scared with the passing by of beasts, and hissing of serpents, they died for fear: and denying that they saw the air, which could by no means be avoided.
10 For whereas wickedness is fearful, it beareth witness of its condemnation: for a troubled conscience always forecasteth grievous things.
11 For fear is nothing else but a yielding up of the succours from thought.
12 And while there is less expectation from within, the greater doth it count the ignorance of that cause which bringeth the torment.
13 But they that during that night, in which nothing could be done, and which came upon them from the lowest and deepest hell, slept the same sleep,
14 Were sometimes molested with the fear of monsters, sometimes fainted away, their soul failing them: for a sudden and unlooked-for fear was come upon them.
15 Moreover, if any of them had fallen down, he was kept shut up in prison without irons.
16 For if any one were a husbandman, or a shepherd, or a labourer in the field, and was suddenly overtaken, he endured a necessity from which he could not fly.
17 For they were all bound together with one chain of darkness. Whether it were a whistling wind, or the melodious voice of birds, among the spreading branches of trees, or a fall of water running down with violence,
18 Or the mighty noise of stones tumbling down, or the running that could not be seen of beasts playing together, or the roaring voice of wild beasts, or a rebounding echo from the highest mountains: these things made them to swoon for fear.
19 For the whole world was enlightened, with a clear light, and none were hindered in their labours.
20 But over them only was spread a heavy night, an image of that darkness which was to come upon them. But they were to themselves more grievous than the darkness.
2: Ex. x. 23.
7: Ex. vii. 22. and viii. 7.
The slaughter of the first-born in Egypt: the efficacy of Aaron's intercession, in the sedition on occasion of Core.
1 But *thy saints had a very great light, and they heard their voice indeed, but did not see their shape. And because they also did not suffer the same things, they glorified thee:
2 And they that before had been wronged, gave thanks, because they were not hurt now: and asked this gift, that there might be a difference.
3 *Therefore they received a burning pillar of fire for a guide of the way which they knew not, and thou gavest them a harmless sun of a good entertainment.
4 The others indeed were worthy to be deprived of light, and imprisoned in darkness, who kept thy children shut up, by whom the pure light of the law was to be given to the world.
5 *And whereas they thought to kill the babes of the just, one child being cast forth, and saved to reprove them, thou tookest away a multitude of their children, **and destroyedst them all together in a mighty water.
6 For that night was known before by our fathers, that assuredly knowing what oaths they had trusted to, they might be of better courage.
7 So thy people received the salvation of the just, and destruction of the unjust.
8 For as thou didst punish the adversaries: so thou didst also encourage and glorify us.
9 For the just children of good men were offering sacrifice secretly, and they unanimously ordered a law of justice: that the just should receive both good and evil alike, singing now the praises of the fathers.
10 But on the other side there sounded an ill-according cry of the enemies, and a lamentable mourning was heard for the children that were bewailed.
11 *And the servant suffered the same punishment as the master, and a common man suffered in like manner as the king.
12 So all alike had innumerable dead, with one kind of death. Neither were the living sufficient to bury them: for in one moment the noblest offspring of them was destroyed.
13 For whereas they would not believe any thing before by reason of the enchantments, then first upon the destruction of the first-born, they acknowledged the people to be of God
14 For while all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course,
15 Thy Almighty word leapt down from heaven from thy royal throne, as a fierce conqueror into the midst of the land of destruction,
16 With a sharp sword carrying thy unfeigned commandment, and he stood and filled all things with death, and standing on the earth, reached even to heaven.
17 Then suddenly visions of evil dreams troubled them, and fears unlooked for came upon them.
18 And one thrown here, another there, half dead, shewed the cause of his death.
19 For the visions that troubled them foreshewed these things, lest they should perish, and not know why they suffered these evils.
20 But the just also were afterwards touched by an assault of death, and there was a disturbance of the multitude in the wilderness: but thy wrath did not long continue.
21 *For a blameless man made haste to pray for the people, bringing forth the shield of his ministry, prayer, and by incense making supplication, withstood the wrath, and put an end to the calamity, shewing that he was thy servant.
22 And he overcame the disturbance, not by strength of body nor with force of arms, but with a word he subdued him that punished them, alleging the oaths and covenant made with the fathers.
23 For when they were now fallen down dead by heaps one upon another, he stood between and stayed the assault, and cut off the way to the living.
24 *For in the priestly robe which he wore, was the whole world: and in the four rows of the stones, the glory of the fathers was graven, and thy Majesty was written upon the diadem of his head.
25 And to these the destroyer gave place, and was afraid of them: for the proof only of wrath was enough.
1: Ex. x. 23.
3: Ex. xiv. 24.; Ps. lxxvii. 14. and civ. 39.
5: Exod. i. 16. and ii. 3. --- ** Exod. xiv. 27.
11: Exod. xii. 29.
21: Num. xvi. 46.
24: Exod. xxviii. 6.
Why God shewed no mercy to the Egyptians. His favour to the Israelites. All creatures obey God's orders for the service of the good, and the punishment of the wicked.
1 But as to the wicked, even to the end there came upon them wrath without mercy. For he knew before also what they would do:
2 For when they had given them leave to depart, and had sent them away with great care, they repented, and pursued after them.
3 *For whilst they were yet mourning, and lamenting at the graves of the dead, they took up another foolish device: and pursued them as fugitives whom they had pressed to be gone:
4 For a necessity, of which they were worthy, brought them to this end: and they lost the remembrance of those things which had happened, that their punishment might fill up what was wanting to their torments:
5 And that thy people might wonderfully pass through, but they might find a new death.
6 For every creature, according to its kind, was fashioned again as from the beginning, obeying thy commandments, that thy children might be kept without hurt.
7 For a cloud overshadowed their camp, and where water was before, dry land appeared, and in the Red Sea a way without hinderance, and out of the great deep a springing field:
8 Through which all the nation passed which was protected with thy hand, seeing thy miracles and wonders.
9 For they fed on their food like horses, and they skipped like lambs, praising thee, O Lord, who hadst delivered them.
10 For they were yet mindful of those things which had been done in the time of their sojourning, how the ground brought forth flies instead of cattle, and how the river cast up a multitude of frogs instead of fishes.
11 *And at length they saw a new generation of birds, when being led by their appetite, they asked for delicate meats.
12 For to satisfy their desire, the quail came up to them from the sea: and punishments came upon the sinners, not without foregoing signs by the force of thunders: for they suffered justly according to their own wickedness.
13 For they exercised a more detestable inhospitality than any: others indeed received not strangers unknown to them, but these brought their guests into bondage that had deserved well of them.
14 And not only so, but in another respect also they were worse: for the others, against their will, received the strangers.
15 But these grievously afflicted them whom they had received with joy, and who lived under the same laws.
16 But they were struck with blindness: *as those others were at the doors of the just man, when they were covered with sudden darkness, and every one sought the passage of his own door.
17 For while the elements are changed in themselves, as in an instrument the sound of the quality is changed, yet all keep their sound: which may clearly be perceived by the very sight.
18 For the things of the land were turned into things of the water: and the things that before swam in the water passed upon the land.
19 The fire had power in water above its own virtue, and the water forgot its quenching nature.
20 On the other side, the flames wasted not the flesh of corruptible animals walking therein, neither did they melt that good food, which was apt to melt as ice. For in all things thou didst magnify thy people, O Lord, and didst honour them, and didst not despise them, but didst assist them at all times, and in every place.
3: Exod. xiv. 5.
11: Exod. xvi. 13.; Num. xi. 31.; Supra xvi. 2.
16: Gen. xix. 11.
All wisdom is from God, and is given to them that fear and love God.
1 All *wisdom is from the Lord God, and hath been always with him, and is before all time.
2 Who hath numbered the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of the world? Who hath measured the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the depth of the abyss?
3 Who hath searched out the wisdom of God, that goeth before all things?
4 Wisdom hath been created before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting.
5 The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom, and her ways are everlasting commandments.
6 To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed, and who hath known her wise counsels?
7 To whom hath the discipline of wisdom been revealed and made manifest? and who hath understood the multiplicity of her steps?
8 There is one most high Creator Almighty, and a powerful King, and greatly to be feared, who sitteth upon his throne, and is the God of dominion.
9 He created her in the Holy Ghost, and saw her, and numbered her, and measured her.
10 And he poured her out upon all his works, and upon all flesh, according to his gift, and hath given her to them that love him.
11 The fear of the Lord is honour, and glory, and gladness, and a crown of joy.
12 The fear of the Lord shall delight the heart, and shall give joy, and gladness, and length of days.
13 With him that feareth the Lord, it shall go well in the latter end, and in the day of his death he shall be blessed.
14 The love of God is honourable wisdom.
15 And they to whom she shall shew herself, love her by the sight, and by the knowledge of her great works.
16 *The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and was created with the faithful in the womb, it walketh with chosen women, and is known with the just and faithful.
17 The fear of the Lord is the religiousness of knowledge.
18 Religiousness shall keep and justify the heart, it shall give joy and gladness.
19 It shall go well with him that feareth the Lord, and in the days of his end he shall be blessed.
20 To fear God is the fulness of wisdom, and fulness is from the fruits thereof.
21 She shall fill all her house with her increase, and the storehouses with her treasures.
22 The fear of the Lord is a crown of wisdom, filling up peace and the fruit of salvation:
23 And it hath seen, and numbered her: but both are the gifts of God.
24 Wisdom shall distribute knowledge, and understanding of prudence: and exalteth the glory of them that hold her.
25 The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord: and the branches thereof are long-lived.
26 In the treasures of wisdom is understanding, and religiousness of knowledge: but to sinners wisdom is an abomination.
27 The fear of the Lord driveth out sin:
28 For he that is without fear, cannot be justified: for the wrath of his high spirits is his ruin.
29 A patient man shall bear for a time, and afterwards joy shall be restored to him.
30 A good understanding will hide his words for a time, and the lips of many shall declare his wisdom.
31 In the treasures of wisdom is the signification of discipline:
32 But the worship of God is an abomination to a sinner.
33 Son, if thou desire wisdom, keep justice, and God will give her to thee.
34 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and discipline: and that which is agreeable to him,
35 Is faith, and meekness: and he will fill up his treasures.
36 Be not incredulous to the fear of the Lord: and come not to him with a double heart.
37 Be not a hypocrite in the sight of men, and let not thy lips be a stumbling-block to thee.
38 Watch over them, lest thou fall, and bring dishonour upon thy soul,
39 And God discover thy secrets, and cast thee down in the midst of the congregation:
40 Because thou camest to the Lord wickedly, and thy heart is full of guile and deceit.
1: 3 Kings iii. 9. and iv. 29.
16: Ps. cx. 10.; Prov. i. 7. and ix. 10.
God's servants must look for temptations: and must arm themselves with patience and confidence in God.
1 Son, *when thou comest to the service of God, stand in justice and in fear, and prepare thy soul for temptation.
2 Humble thy heart, and endure: incline thy ear, and receive the words of understanding: and make not haste in the time of clouds.
3 Wait on God with patience: join thyself to God, and endure, that thy life may be increased in the latter end.
4 Take all that shall be brought upon thee: and in thy sorrow endure, and in thy humiliation keep patience:
5 *For gold and silver are tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.
6 Believe God, and he will recover thee: and direct thy way, and trust in him. Keep his fear, and grow old therein.
7 Ye that fear the Lord, wait for his mercy: and go not aside from him, lest ye fall.
8 Ye that fear the Lord, believe him: and your reward shall not be made void.
9 Ye that fear the Lord, hope in him: and mercy shall come to you for your delight.
10 Ye that fear the Lord, love him, and your hearts shall be enlightened.
11 My children, behold the generations of men: and know ye that no one hath hoped in the Lord, and hath been confounded.
12 *For who hath continued in his commandment, and hath been forsaken? or who hath called upon him, and he despised him?
13 For God is compassionate and merciful, and will forgive sins in the day of tribulation: and he is a protector to all that seek him in truth.
14 Woe to them that are of a double heart, and to wicked lips, and to the hands that do evil, *and to the sinner that goeth on the earth two ways.
15 Woe to them that are faint-hearted, who believe not God: and therefore they shall not be protected by him.
16 Woe to them that have lost patience, and that have forsaken the right ways, and have gone aside into crooked ways.
17 And what will they do, when the Lord shall begin to examine?
18 They that fear the Lord, will not be incredulous to his word: *and they that love him, will keep his way.
19 They that fear the Lord, will seek after the things that are well pleasing to him: and they that love him, shall be filled with his law.
20 They that fear the Lord, will prepare their hearts, and in his sight will sanctify their souls.
21 They that fear the Lord, keep his commandments, and will have patience even until his visitation,
22 Saying: If we do not penance, we shall fall into the hands of the Lord, and not into the hands of men.
23 For according to his greatness, so also is his mercy with him.
1: Mat. iv. 1.; 2 Tim. iii. 12.
5: Wis. iii. 6.
12: Ps. xxx. 1.
14: 3 Kings xviii. 21.
18: John xiv. 23.
Lessons concerning the honour of parents, and humility, and avoiding curiosity.
1 The sons of wisdom are the church of the just: and their generation, obedience and love.
2 Children, hear the judgment of your father, and so do that you may be saved.
3 For God hath made the father honourable to the children: and seeking the judgment of the mothers, hath confirmed it upon the children.
4 He that loveth God, shall obtain pardon for his sins by prayer, and shall refrain himself from them, and shall be heard in the prayer of days.
5 And he that honoureth his mother, is as one that layeth up a treasure.
6 He that honoureth his father, shall have joy in his own children, and in the day of his prayer he shall be heard.
7 He that honoureth his father, shall enjoy a long life: and he that obeyeth the father, shall be a comfort to his mother.
8 He that feareth the Lord, honoureth his parents, and will serve them as his masters that brought him into the world.
9 *Honour thy father in work and word, and all patience,
10 That a blessing may come upon thee from him, and his blessing may remain in the latter end.
11 *The father's blessing establisheth the houses of the children: but the mother's curse rooteth up the foundations.
12 Glory not in the dishonour of thy father: for his shame is no glory to thee.
13 For the glory of a man is from the honour of his father, and a father without honour is the disgrace of the son.
14 Son, support the old age of thy father, and grieve him not in his life:
15 And if his understanding fail, have patience with him, and despise him not when thou art in thy strength: for the relieving of the father shall not be forgotten.
16 For good shall be repaid to thee for the sin of thy mother.
17 And in justice thou shalt be built up, and in the day of affliction thou shalt be remembered: and thy sins shall melt away as the ice in the fair warm weather.
18 Of what an evil fame is he that forsaketh his father: and he is cursed of God that angereth his mother.
19 My son, do thy works in meekness, and thou shalt be beloved above the glory of men.
20 *The greater thou art, the more humble thyself in all things, and thou shalt find grace before God:
21 For great is the power of God alone, and he is honoured by the humble.
22 *Seek not the things that are too high for thee, and search not into things above thy ability: but the things that God hath commanded thee, think on them always, and in many of his works be not curious.
23 For it is not necessary for thee to see with thy eyes those things that are hid.
24 In unnecessary matters be not over-curious, and in many of his works thou shalt not be inquisitive.
25 For many things are shewn to thee above the understanding of men.
26 And the suspicion of them hath deceived many, and hath detained their minds in vanity.
27 A hard heart shall fear evil at the last: and he that loveth danger, shall perish in it.
28 A heart that goeth two ways shall not have success, and the perverse of heart shall be scandalized therein.
29 A wicked heart shall be laden with sorrows, and the sinner will add sin to sin.
30 The congregation of the proud shall not be healed: for the plant of wickedness shall take root in them, and it shall not be perceived.
31 The heart of the wise is understood in wisdom, and a good ear will hear wisdom with all desire.
32 A wise heart, and which hath understanding, will abstain from sins, and in the works of justice shall have success.
33 *Water quencheth a flaming fire, and alms resisteth sins:
34 And God provideth for him that sheweth favour: he remembereth him afterwards, and in the time of his fall he shall find a sure stay.
9: Exod. xx. 12.; Deut. v. 16.; Mat. xv. 4.; Mark vii. 10.; Ephes. vi. 2.
11: Gen. xxvii. 27. and xlix. 2.
20: Phil. ii. 3.
22: Prov. xxv. 27.
33: Dan. iv. 24.
An exhortation to works of mercy, and to the love of wisdom.
1 Son, *defraud not the poor of alms, and turn not away thy eyes from the poor.
2 Despise not the hungry soul: and provoke not the poor in his want.
3 Afflict not the heart of the needy, and defer not to give to him that is in distress.
4 Reject not the petition of the afflicted: and turn not away thy face from the needy.
5 Turn not away thy eyes from the poor, for fear of anger: and leave not to them that ask of thee to curse thee behind thy back.
6 For the prayer of him that curseth thee in the bitterness of his soul, shall be heard: for he that made him, will hear him.
7 Make thyself affable to the congregation of the poor, and humble thy soul to the ancient, and bow thy head to a great man.
8 Bow down thy ear cheerfully to the poor, and pay what thou owest, and answer him peaceable words with mildness.
9 Deliver him that suffereth wrong out of the hand of the proud: and be not faint-hearted in thy soul.
10 In judging, be merciful to the fatherless, as a father, and as a husband to their mother.
11 And thou shalt be as the obedient son of the most High, and he will have mercy on thee more than a mother.
12 Wisdom inspireth life into her children, and protecteth them that seek after her, and will go before them in the way of justice.
13 And he that loveth her, loveth life: and they that watch for her, shall embrace her sweetness.
14 They that hold her fast, shall inherit life: and whithersoever she entereth, God will give a blessing.
15 They that serve her, shall be servants to the holy one: and God loveth them that love her.
16 He that hearkeneth to her, shall judge nations: and he that looketh upon her, shall remain secure.
17 If he trust to her, he shall inherit her, and his generation shall be in assurance.
18 For she walketh with him in temptation, and at the first she chooseth him.
19 She will bring upon him fear, and dread, and trial: and she will scourge him with the affliction of her discipline, till she try him by her laws, and trust his soul.
20 Then she will strengthen him, and make a straight way to him, and give him joy,
21 And will disclose her secrets to him, and will heap upon him treasures of knowledge, and understanding of justice.
22 But if he go astray, she will forsake him, and deliver him into the hands of his enemy.
23 Son, observe the time, and fly from evil.
24 For thy soul, be not ashamed to say the truth.
25 For there is a shame that bringeth sin, and there is a shame that bringeth glory and grace.
26 Accept no person against thy own person, nor against thy soul a lie.
27 Reverence not thy neighbour in his fall:
28 And refrain not to speak in the time of salvation. Hide not thy wisdom in her beauty.
29 For by the tongue wisdom is discerned: and understanding, and knowledge, and learning by the word of the wise, and steadfastness in the works of justice.
30 In no wise speak against the truth, but be ashamed of the lie of thy ignorance.
31 Be not ashamed to confess thy sins, *but submit not thyself to every man for sin.
32 Resist not against the face of the mighty, and do not strive against the stream of the river.
33 Strive for justice for thy soul, and even unto death fight for justice, and God will overthrow thy enemies for thee.
34 Be not hasty in thy tongue: and slack, and remiss in thy works.
35 Be not as a lion in thy house, terrifying them of thy household, and oppressing them that are under thee.
36 Let not thy hand be stretched out to receive, and shut when thou shouldst give.
1: Tobias iv. 7.
31: Infra vi. 6.
We must not presume of our wealth or strength: nor of the mercy of God, to go on in sin: we must be steadfast in virtue and truth.
1 Set not thy heart upon unjust possessions, and say not: I have enough to live on: for it shall be of no service in the time of vengeance and darkness.
2 Follow not in thy strength the desires of thy heart:
3 And say not: How mighty am I? and who shall bring me under for my deeds? for God will surely take revenge.
4 Say not: I have sinned, and what harm hath befallen me? for the most High is a patient rewarder.
5 Be not without fear about sin forgiven, and add not sin upon sin:
6 And say not: The mercy of the Lord is great, he will have mercy on the multitude of my sins.
7 *For mercy and wrath quickly come from him, and his wrath looketh upon sinners.
8 Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day.
9 For his wrath shall come on a sudden, and in the time of vengeance he will destroy thee.
10 *Be not anxious for goods unjustly gotten: for they shall not profit thee in the day of calamity and revenge.
11 Winnow not with every wind, and go not into every way: for so is every sinner proved by a double tongue.
12 Be steadfast in the way of the Lord, and in the truth of thy judgment, and in knowledge, and let the word of peace and justice keep with thee.
13 Be meek to hear the word, that thou mayst understand: and return a true answer with wisdom.
14 If thou have understanding, answer thy neighbour: but if not, let thy hand be upon thy mouth, lest thou be surprised in an unskilful word, and be confounded.
15 Honour and glory is in the word of the wise, but the tongue of the fool is his ruin.
16 Be not called a whisperer, and be not taken in thy tongue, and confounded.
17 For confusion and repentance is upon a thief, and an evil mark of disgrace upon the double-tongued, but to the whisperer hatred, and enmity, and reproach.
18 Justify alike the small, and the great.
7: Prov. x. 6.
10: Prov. xi. 4. and 28.
Of true and false friends: and of the of the fruits of wisdom.
1 Instead of a friend, become not an enemy to thy neighbour: for an evil man shall inherit reproach and shame, so shall every sinner that is envious and double tongued.
2 *Extol not thyself in the thoughts of thy soul like a bull: lest thy strength be quashed by folly,
3 And it eat up thy leaves, and destroy thy fruit, and thou be left as a dry tree in the wilderness.
4 For a wicked soul shall destroy him that hath it, and maketh him to be a joy to his enemies, and shall lead him into the lot of the wicked.
5 A sweet word multiplieth friends, and appeaseth enemies, and a gracious tongue in a good man aboundeth.
6 Be in peace with many, but let one of a thousand be thy counsellor.
7 If thou wouldst get a friend, try him before thou takest him, and do not credit him easily.
8 For there is a friend for his own occasion, and he will not abide in the day of thy trouble.
9 And there is a friend that turneth to enmity; and there is a friend that will disclose hatred and strife, and reproaches.
10 And there is a friend, a companion at the table, and he will not abide in the day of distress.
11 A friend, if he continue steadfast, shall be to thee as thyself, and shall act with confidence among them of thy household.
12 If he humble himself before thee, and hide himself from thy face, thou shalt have unanimous friendship for good.
13 Separate thyself from thy enemies, and take heed of thy friends.
14 A faithful friend is a strong defence: and he that hath found him, hath found a treasure.
15 Nothing can be compared to a faithful friend, and no weight of gold and silver is able to countervail the goodness of his fidelity.
16 A faithful friend is the medicine of life and immortality: and they that fear the Lord, shall find him.
17 He that feareth God, shall likewise have good friendship: because according to him shall his friend be.
18 My son, from thy youth up receive instruction, and even to thy grey hairs thou shalt find wisdom.
19 Come to her as one that plougheth, and soweth, and wait for her good fruits.
20 For in working about her, thou shalt labour a little, and shalt quickly eat of her fruits.
21 How very unpleasant is wisdom to the unlearned, and the unwise will not continue with her.
22 She shall be to them as a mighty stone of trial, and they will cast her from them before it be long.
23 For the wisdom of doctrine is according to her name, and she is not manifest unto many, but with them to whom she is known, she continueth even to the sight of God.
24 Give ear, my son, and take wise counsel, and cast not away my advice.
25 Put thy feet into her fetters, and thy neck into her chains:
26 Bow down thy shoulder, and bear her, and be not grieved with her bands.
27 Come to her with all thy mind, and keep her ways with all thy power.
28 Search for her, and she shall be made known to thee, and when thou hast gotten her, let her not go:
29 For in the latter end thou shalt find rest in her, and she shall be turned to thy joy.
30 Then shall her fetters be a strong defence for thee, and a firm foundation, and her chain a robe of glory:
31 For in her is the beauty of life, and her bands are a healthful binding.
32 Thou shalt put her on as a robe of glory, and thou shalt set her upon thee as a crown of joy.
33 My son, if thou wilt attend to me, thou shalt learn: and if thou wilt apply thy mind, thou shalt be wise.
34 If thou wilt incline thy ear, thou shalt receive instruction: and if thou love to hear, thou shalt be wise.
35 *Stand in the multitude of ancients that are wise, and join thyself from thy heart to their wisdom, that thou mayst hear every discourse of God, and the sayings of praise may not escape thee.
36 And if thou see a man of understanding, go to him early in the morning, and let thy foot wear the steps of his doors.
37 *Let thy thoughts be upon the precepts of God, and meditate continually on his commandments: and he will give thee a heart, and the desire of wisdom shall be given to thee.
2: Rom. xii. 6.; Phil. ii. 3.
35: Infra viii. 9.
37: Ps. i. 2.
Religious and moral duties.
1 Do no evils, and no evils shall lay hold of thee.
2 Depart from the unjust, and evils shall depart from thee.
3 My son, sow not evils in the furrows of injustice, and thou shalt not reap them seven-fold.
4 Seek not of the Lord a pre-eminence, nor of the king the seat of honour.
5 *Justify not thyself before God, for he knoweth the heart: and desire not to appear wise before the king.
6 Seek not to be made a judge, unless thou have strength enough to extirpate iniquities: least thou fear the person of the powerful, and lay a stumbling-block for thy integrity.
7 Offend not against the multitude of a city, neither cast thyself in upon the people,
8 *Nor bind sin to sin: for even in one thou shalt not be unpunished.
9 Be not faint-hearted in thy mind:
10 Neglect not to pray, and to give alms.
11 Say not: God will have respect to the multitude of my gifts, and when I offer to the most high God, he will accept my offerings.
12 Laugh no man to scorn in the bitterness of his soul: *for there is one that humbleth and exalteth, God who seeth all.
13 Devise not a lie against thy brother: neither do the like against thy friend.
14 Be not willing to make any manner of lie: for the custom thereof is not good.
15 Be not full of words in a multitude of ancients, and repeat not the word in thy prayer.
16 Hate not laborious works, nor husbandry ordained by the Most High.
17 Number not thyself among the multitude of the disorderly.
18 Remember wrath, for it will not tarry long.
19 Humble thy spirit very much: for the vengeance on the flesh of the ungodly is fire and worms.
20 Do not transgress against thy friend, deferring money, nor despise thy dear brother for the sake of gold.
21 Depart not from a wise and good wife, whom thou hast gotten in the fear of the Lord: for the grace of her modesty is above gold.
22 *Hurt not the servant that worketh faithfully, nor the hired man that giveth thee his life.
23 Let a wise servant be dear to thee as thy own soul, defraud him not of liberty, nor leave him needy.
24 Hast thou cattle? have an eye to them: and if they be for thy profit, keep them with thee.
25 Hast thou children? instruct them, and bow down their neck from their childhood.
26 Hast thou daughters? have a care of their body, and shew not thy countenance gay towards them.
27 Marry thy daughter well, and thou shalt do a great work, and give her to a wise man.
28 If thou hast a wife according to thy soul, cast her not off: and to her that is hateful, trust not thyself. With thy whole heart,
29 *Honour thy father, and forget not the groanings of thy mother:
30 Remember that thou hadst not been born but through them: and make a return to them as they have done for thee.
31 With all thy soul fear the Lord, and reverence his priests.
32 With all thy strength love him that made thee: and forsake not his ministers.
33 *Honour God with all thy soul, and give honour to the priests, and purify thyself with thy arms.
34 Give them their portion, *as it is commanded thee, of the first-fruits, and of purifications: and for thy negligences purify thyself with a few.
35 Offer to the Lord the gift of thy shoulders, and the sacrifice of sanctification, and the first-fruits of the holy things:
36 And stretch out thy hand to the poor, that thy expiation and thy blessing may be perfected.
37 A gift hath grace in the sight of all the living, and restrain not grace from the dead.
38 *Be not wanting in comforting them that weep, and walk with them that mourn.
39 *Be not slow to visit the sick: for by these things thou shalt be confirmed in love.
40 In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.
5: Job ix. 2.; Ps. cxlii. 2.; Eccle. vii. 7.[17?]; Luke xviii. 11.
8: Infra xii. 7.
12: 1 Kings ii. 7.
22: Lev. xix. 13.
29: Tobias iv. 3.
33: Deut. xii. 18.
34: Lev. ii. 3.; Num. xviii. 15.
38: Rom. xii. 15.
39: Mat. xxv. 36.
Other lessons of wisdom and virtue.
1 Strive not with a powerful man, lest thou fall into his hands.
2 *Contend not with a rich man, lest he bring an action against thee.
3 *For gold and silver hath destroyed many, and hath reached even to the heart of kings, and perverted them.
4 Strive not with a man that is full of tongue, and heap not wood upon his fire.
5 Communicate not with an ignorant man, lest he speak ill of thy family.
6 Despise not a man that turneth away from sin, *nor reproach him therewith: remember that we are all worthy of reproof.
7 *Despise not a man in his old age: for we also shall become old.
8 Rejoice not at the death of thy enemy: knowing that we all die, and are not willing that others should rejoice at our death.
9 *Despise not the discourse of them that are ancient and wise, but acquaint thyself with their proverbs.
10 For of them thou shalt learn wisdom, and instruction of understanding, and to serve great men without blame.
11 Let not the discourse of the ancients escape thee, for they have learned of their fathers:
12 For of them thou shalt learn understanding, and to give an answer in time of need.
13 Kindle not the coals of sinners by rebuking them, lest thou be burnt with the flame of the fire of their sins.
14 Stand not against the face of an injurious person, lest he sit as a spy to entrap thee in thy words.
15 *Lend not to a man that is mightier than thyself: and if thou lendest, count it as lost.
16 Be not surety above thy power: and if thou be surety, think as if thou wert to pay it.
17 Judge not against a judge: for he judgeth according to that which is just.
18 *Go not on the way with a bold man, lest he burden thee with his evils: for he goeth according to his own will, and thou shalt perish together with his folly.
19 *Quarrel not with a passionate man, and go not into the desert with a bold man: for blood is as nothing in his sight, and where there is no help he will overthrow thee.
20 Advise not with fools, for they cannot love but such things as please them.
21 Before a stranger do no matter of counsel: for thou knowest not what he will bring forth.
22 Open not thy heart to every man: lest he repay thee with an evil turn, and speak reproachfully to thee.
2: Mat. xxv. 25.
3: Infra xxxi. 6.
6: 2 Cor. ii. 6.; Gal. vi. 1.
7: Lev. xix. 32.
9: Supra vi. 35.
15: Infra xxix. 4.
18: Gen. iv. 8.
19: Prov. xxii. 24.
Cautions with regard to women, and dangerous conversations.
1 Be not jealous over the wife of thy bosom, lest she shew in thy regard the malice of a wicked lesson.
2 Give not the power of thy soul to a woman, lest she enter upon thy strength, and thou be confounded.
3 Look not upon a woman that hath a mind for many: lest thou fall into her snares.
4 Use not much the company of her that is a dancer, and hearken not to her, lest thou perish by the force of her charms.
5 *Gaze not upon a maiden, lest her beauty be a stumbling-block to thee.
6 *Give not thy soul to harlots in any point: lest thou destroy thyself and thy inheritance.
7 Look not round about thee in the ways of the city, nor wander up and down in the streets thereof.
8 *Turn away thy face from a woman dressed up, and gaze not about upon another's beauty.
9 For many have perished by the beauty of a woman, and hereby lust is enkindled as a fire.
10 Every woman that is a harlot, shall be trodden upon as dung in the way.
11 Many, by admiring the beauty of another man's wife, have become reprobate, for her conversation burneth as fire.
12 Sit not at all with another man's wife, nor repose upon the bed with her:
13 And strive not with her over wine, lest thy heart decline towards her, and by thy blood thou fall into destruction.
14 Forsake not an old friend, for the new will not be like to him.
15 A new friend is as new wine: it shall grow old, and thou shalt drink it with pleasure.
16 Envy not the glory and riches of a sinner, for thou knowest not what his ruin shall be.
17 Be not pleased with the wrong done by the unjust, knowing that even to hell the wicked shall not please.
18 Keep thee far from the man that hath power to kill, so thou shalt not suspect the fear of death.
19 And if thou come to him, commit no fault, lest he take away thy life.
20 Know it to be a communication with death: for thou art going in the midst of snares, and walking upon the arms of them that are grieved.
21 According to thy power beware of thy neighbour, and treat with the wise and prudent.
22 Let just men be thy guests, and let thy glory be in the fear of God.
23 And let the thought of God be in thy mind, and all thy discourse on the commandments of the Highest.
24 Works shall be praised for the hand of the artificers, and the prince of the people for the wisdom of his speech, but the word of the ancients for the sense.
25 A man full of tongue is terrible in his city, and he that is rash in his word shall be hateful.
5: Gen. vi. 2.
6: Prov. v. 2.
8: Gen. xxxiv.; 2 Kings xi. 4. and xiii. 1.; Mat. v. 28.
16: Judges ix. 4.; 2 Kings xv. 10.
The virtues and vices of men in power: the great evil of pride.
1 A wise judge shall judge his people, and the government of a prudent man shall be steady.
2 *As the judge of the people is himself, so also are his ministers: and what manner of man the ruler of a city is, such also are they that dwell therein.
3 *An unwise king shall be the ruin of his people: and cities shall be inhabited through the prudence of the rulers.
4 The power of the earth is in the hand of God, and in his time he will raise up a profitable ruler over it.
5 The prosperity of man is in the hand of God, and upon the person of the scribe he shall lay his honour.
6 Remember not any injury done thee by thy neighbour, *and do thou nothing by deeds of injury.
7 Pride is hateful before God and men: and all iniquity of nations is execrable.
8 *A kingdom is translated from one people to another, because of injustices, and wrongs, and injuries, and divers deceits.
9 But nothing is more wicked than the covetous man. Why is earth and ashes proud?
10 There is not a more wicked thing than to love money: for such a one setteth even his own soul to sale: because while he liveth, he hath cast away his bowels.
11 All power is of short life. A long sickness is troublesome to the physician.
12 The physician cutteth off a short sickness: so also a king is to-day, and to-morrow he shall die.
13 For when a man shall die, he shall inherit serpents, and beasts, and worms.
14 The beginning of the pride of man, is to fall off from God:
15 Because his heart is departed from him that made him: *for pride is the beginning of all sin: he that holdeth it, shall be filled with maledictions, and it shall ruin him in the end.
16 Therefore hath the Lord disgraced the assemblies of the wicked, and hath utterly destroyed them.
17 God hath overturned the thrones of proud princes, and hath set up the meek in their stead.
18 God hath made the roots of proud nations to wither, and hath planted the humble of these nations.
19 The Lord hath overthrown the lands of the Gentiles, and hath destroyed them even to the foundation.
20 He hath made some of them to wither away, and hath destroyed them, and hath made the memory of them to cease from the earth.
21 God hath abolished the memory of the proud, and hath preserved the memory of them that are humble in mind.
22 Pride was not made for men: nor wrath for the race of women.
23 That seed of men shall be honoured, which feareth God: but that seed shall be dishonoured, which transgresseth the commandments of the Lord.
24 In the midst of brethren their chief is honourable: so shall they that fear the Lord, be in his eyes.
25 The fear of God is the glory of the rich, and of the honourable, and of the poor:
26 Despise not a just man that is poor, and do not magnify a sinful man that is rich.
27 The great man, and the judge, and the mighty, is in honour: and there is none greater than he that feareth God.
28 *They that are free, shall serve a servant that is wise: **and a man that is prudent and well instructed, will not murmur when he is reproved: and he that is ignorant, shall not be honoured.
29 Extol not thyself in doing thy work, and linger not in the time of distress:
30 *Better is he that laboureth, and aboundeth in all things, than he that boasteth himself and wanteth bread.
31 My son, keep thy soul in meekness, and give it honour according to its desert.
32 Who will justify him that sinneth against his own soul? and who will honour him that dishonoureth his own soul?
33 The poor man is glorified by his discipline and fear: and there is a man that is honoured for his wealth.
34 But he that is glorified in poverty, how much more in wealth? and he that is glorified in wealth, let him fear poverty.
2: Prov. xxix. 12.
3: 3 Kings xii. 13.
6: Lev. xix. 13.
8: Dan. iv. 14.
15: Prov. xviii. 11.[12.?]
28: Prov. xvii. 2. --- ** 2 Kings xii. 13.
30: Prov. xii. 9.
Lessons of humility and moderation in all things.
1 The *wisdom of the humble shall exalt his head, and shall make him sit in the midst of great men.
2 *Praise not a man for his beauty, neither despise a man for his look.
3 The bee is small among flying things, but her fruit hath the chiefest sweetness.
4 *Glory not in apparel at any time, and be not exalted in the day of thy honour: for the works of the Highest only are wonderful, and his works are glorious, and secret, and hidden.
5 Many tyrants have sat on the throne, and he whom no man would think on hath worn the crown.
6 *Many mighty men have been greatly brought down, and the glorious have been delivered into the hand of others.
7 Before thou inquire, blame no man: and when thou hast inquired, reprove justly.
8 *Before thou hear, answer not a word: and interrupt not others in the midst of their discourse.
9 Strive not in a matter which doth not concern thee, and sit not in judgment with sinners.
10 My son, meddle not with many matters: *and if thou be rich, thou shalt not be free from sin: for if thou pursue after, thou shalt not overtake: and if thou run before, thou shalt not escape.
11 *There is an ungodly man that laboureth, and maketh haste, and is in sorrow, and is so much the more in want.
12 Again, there is an inactive man that wanteth help, is very weak in ability, and full of poverty:
13 *Yet the eye of God hath looked upon him for good, and hath lifted him up from his low estate, and hath exalted his head: and many have wondered at him, and have glorified God.
14 *Good things and evil, life and death, poverty and riches, are from God.
15 Wisdom and discipline, and the knowledge of the law, are with God. Love and the ways of good things are with him.
16 Error and darkness are created with sinners: and they that glory in evil things, grow old in evil.
17 The gift of God abideth with the just, and his advancement shall have success for ever.
18 There is one that is enriched by living sparingly, and this is the portion of his reward.
19 In that he saith: *I have found me rest, and now I will eat of my goods alone:
20 And he knoweth not what time shall pass, and that death approacheth, and that he must leave all to others, and shall die.
21 Be steadfast in thy covenant, and be conversant therein, and grow old in the work of thy commandments.
22 Abide not in the works of sinners. But trust in God, and stay in thy place.
23 For it is easy in the eyes of God on a sudden to make the poor man rich.
24 The blessing of God maketh haste to reward the just, and in a swift hour his blessing beareth fruit.
25 Say not: What need I, and what good shall I have by this?
26 Say not: I am sufficient for myself: and what shall I be made worse by this?
27 *In the day of good things be not unmindful of evils: and in the day of evils be not unmindful of good things:
28 For it is easy before God in the day of death to reward every one according to his ways.
29 The affliction of an hour maketh one forget great delights, and in the end of a man is the disclosing of his works.
30 Praise not any man before death, for a man is known by his children.
31 Bring not every man into thy house: for many are the snares of the deceitful.
32 For as corrupted bowels send forth stinking breath, and as the partridge is brought into the cage, and as the roe into the snare: so also is the heart of the proud, and as a spy that looketh on the fall of his neighbour.
33 For he lieth in wait, and turneth good into evil, and on the elect he will lay a blot.
34 Of one spark cometh a great fire, and of one deceitful man much blood: and a sinful man lieth in wait for blood.
35 Take heed to thyself of a mischievous man, for he worketh evils: lest he bring upon thee reproach for ever.
36 Receive a stranger in, and he shall overthrow thee with a whirlwind, and shall turn thee out of thy own.
1: Gen. xli. 4.; Dan. vi. 3.; John vii. 18.
2: 1 Kings xvi. 17.; 2 Cor. x. 10.; James ii. 1. and 9.
4: Acts xii. 12. and 22.
6: 1 Kings xv. 28.; Esther vi. 7.
8: Prov. xviii. 13.
10: 1 Tim. vi. 9.
11: Eccle. iv. 8.
13: Job xlii. 10.
14: Job ii. 10.
19: Luke xviii. 19.
27: Infra xviii. 25.
We are to be liberal to the just: and not to trust the wicked.
1 If thou do good, know to whom thou dost it, and there shall be much thanks for thy good deeds.
2 Do good to the just, and thou shalt find great recompense: and if not of him, assuredly of the Lord.
3 For there is no good for him that is always occupied in evil, and that giveth no alms: for the Highest hateth sinners, and hath mercy on the penitent.
4 *Give to the merciful, and uphold not the sinner: God will repay vengeance to the ungodly and to sinners, and keep them against the day of vengeance.
5 Give to the good, and receive not a sinner.
6 Do good to the humble, and give not to the ungodly: hold back thy bread, and give it not to him, lest thereby he overmaster thee.
7 For thou shalt receive twice as much evil for all the good thou shalt have done to him: for the Highest also hateth sinners, and will repay vengeance to the ungodly.
8 A friend shall not be known in prosperity, and an enemy shall not be hidden in adversity.
9 In the prosperity of a man, his enemies are grieved: and a friend is known in his adversity.
10 Never trust thy enemy: for as a brass pot his wickedness rusteth:
11 Though he humble himself and go crouching, yet take good heed and beware of him.
12 Set him not by thee, neither let him sit on thy right hand, lest he turn into thy place, and seek to take thy seat: and at the last thou acknowledge my words, and be pricked with my sayings.
13 Who will pity an enchanter struck by a serpent, or any that come near wild beasts? so is it with him that keepeth company with a wicked man, and is involved in his sins.
14 For an hour he will abide with thee: but if thou begin to decline, he will not endure it.
15 *An enemy speaketh sweetly with his lips, but in his heart he lieth in wait to throw thee into a pit.
16 An enemy weepeth with his eyes: but if he find an opportunity he will not be satisfied with blood:
17 And if evils come upon thee, thou shalt find him there first.
18 An enemy hath tears in his eyes, and while he pretendeth to help thee, will undermine thy feet.
19 He will shake his head, and clap his hands, and whisper much, and change his countenance.
4: Gal. vi. 7.
15: Jerem. xli. 6.
Cautions in the choice of company.
1 He *that toucheth pitch, shall be defiled with it: and he that hath fellowship with the proud, shall put on pride.
2 He shall take a burden upon him that hath fellowship with one more honourable than himself. And have no fellowship with one that is richer than thyself.
3 What agreement shall the earthen pot have with the kettle? for if they knock one against the other, it shall be broken.
4 The rich man hath done wrong, and yet he will fume: but the poor is wronged, and must hold his peace.
5 If thou give, he will make use of thee: and if thou have nothing, he will forsake thee.
6 If thou have any thing, he will live with thee, and will make thee bare, and he will not be sorry for thee.
7 If he have need of thee, he will deceive thee; and smiling upon thee, will put thee in hope; he will speak thee fair, and will say: What wantest thou?
8 And he will shame thee by his meats, till he have drawn thee dry twice or thrice, and at last he will laugh at thee: and afterward, when he seeth thee, he will forsake thee, and shake his head at thee.
9 Humble thyself to God, and wait for his hands.
10 Beware that thou be not deceived Into folly, and be humbled.
11 Be not lowly in thy wisdom, lest being humbled thou be deceived into folly.
12 If thou be invited by one that is mightier, withdraw thyself: for so he will invite thee the more.
13 Be not troublesome to him, lest thou be put back: and keep not far from him, lest thou be forgotten.
14 Affect not to speak with him as an equal: and believe not his many words: for by much talk he will sift thee, and smiling, will examine thee concerning thy secrets.
15 His cruel mind will lay up thy words: and he will not spare to do thee hurt, and to cast thee into prison.
16 Take heed to thyself, and attend diligently to what thou hearest: for thou walkest in danger of thy ruin.
17 When thou hearest those things, see as it were in sleep, and thou shalt awake.
18 Love God all thy life, and call upon him for thy salvation.
19 Every beast loveth its like: so also every man him that is nearest to himself.
20 All flesh shall consort with the like to itself, and every man shall associate himself to his like.
21 If the wolf shall at any time have fellowship with the lamb, so the sinner with the just.
22 *What fellowship hath a holy man with a dog, or what part hath the rich with the poor?
23 The wild ass is the lion's prey, in the desert: so also the poor are devoured by the rich.
24 And as humility is an abomination to the proud, so also the rich man abhorreth the poor.
25 When a rich man is shaken, he is kept up by his friends; but when a poor man is fallen down, he is thrust away even by his acquaintance.
26 When a rich man hath been deceived, he hath many helpers: he hath spoken proud things, and they have justified him.
27 The poor man was deceived, and he is rebuked also: he hath spoken wisely, and could have no place.
28 The rich man spoke, and all held their peace; and what he said, they extol even to the clouds.
29 The poor man spoke, and they say: Who is this? and if he stumble, they will overthrow him.
30 Riches are good to him that hath no sin in his conscience: and poverty is very wicked in the mouth of the ungodly.
31 The heart of a man changeth his countenance, either for good, or for evil.
32 The token of a good heart, and a good countenance, thou shalt hardly find, and with labour.
1: Deut. vii. 2.
22: 2 Cor. vi. 14.
The evil of avarice: works of mercy are recommended, and the love of wisdom.
1 Blessed *is the man that hath not slipt by a word out of his mouth, and is not pricked with the remorse of sin.
2 Happy is he that hath had no sadness of his mind, and who is not fallen from his hope.
3 Riches are not comely for a covetous man and a niggard, and what should an envious man do with gold?
4 He that gathereth together by wronging his own soul, gathereth for others, and another will squander away his goods in rioting.
5 He that is evil to himself, to whom will he be good? and he shall not take pleasure in his goods.
6 There is none worse than he that envieth himself, and this is the reward of his wickedness:
7 And if he do good, he doth it ignorantly, and unwillingly: and at the last he discovereth his wickedness.
8 The eye of the envious is wicked: and he turneth away his face, and despiseth his own soul.
9 The eye of the covetous man is insatiable in his portion of iniquity: he will not be satisfied till he consume his own soul, drying it up.
10 An evil eye is towards evil things: and he shall not have his fill of bread, but shall be needy and pensive at his own table.
11 My son, if thou have any thing, do good to thyself, and offer to God worthy offerings.
12 Remember that death is not slow, and that the covenant of hell hath been shewn to thee: for the covenant of this world shall surely die.
13 *Do good to thy friend before thou die; and according to thy ability, stretching out thy hand, give to the poor.
14 Defraud not thyself of the good day, and let not the part of a good gift overpass thee.
15 Shalt thou not leave to others to divide by lot thy sorrows and labours?
16 Give and take, and justify thy soul.
17 Before thy death work justice: for in hell there is no finding food.
18 *All flesh shall fade as grass, and as the leaf that springeth out on a green tree.
19 Some grow, and some fall off: so is the generation of flesh and blood: one cometh to an end, and another is born.
20 Every work that is corruptible, shall fail in the end: and the worker thereof shall go with it.
21 And every excellent work shall be justified: and the worker thereof shall be honoured therein.
22 *Blessed is the man that shall continue in wisdom, and that shall meditate in his justice, and in his mind shall think of the all-seeing eye of God.
23 He that considereth her ways in his heart, and hath understanding in her secrets, who goeth after her as one that traceth and stayeth in her ways:
24 He who looketh in at her windows, and hearkeneth at her door:
25 He that lodgeth near her house, and fastening a pin in her walls, shall set up his tent nigh unto her, where good things shall rest in his lodging for ever:
26 He shall set his children under her shelter, and shall lodge under her branches:
27 He shall be protected under her covering from the heat, and shall rest in her glory.
1: Infra xix. 17.
13: Supra iv. 1.; Tobias iv. 7.; Luke xvi. 9.
18: Isai. xl. 6.; James i. 10.; 1 Pet. i. 24.
22: Psal. i. 2.
Wisdom embraceth them that fear God. God is not the author of sin.
1 He that feareth God, will do good: and he that possesseth justice, shall lay hold on her,
2 And she will meet him as an honourable mother, and will receive him as a wife married of a virgin.
3 With the bread of life and understanding she shall feed him, *and give him the water of wholesome wisdom to drink: and she shall be made strong in him, and he shall not be moved:
4 And she shall hold him fast, and he shall not be confounded: and she shall exalt him among his neighbours,
5 And in the midst of the church she shall open his mouth, and shall fill him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and shall clothe him with a robe of glory.
6 She shall heap upon him a treasure of joy and gladness, and shall cause him to inherit an everlasting name.
7 But foolish men shall not obtain her: and wise men shall meet her, foolish men shall not see her: for she is far from pride and deceit.
8 Lying men shall not be mindful of her: but men that speak truth shall be found with her, and shall advance, even till they come to the sight of God.
9 Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner:
10 For wisdom came forth from God: for praise shall be with the wisdom of God, and shall abound in a faithful mouth, and the sovereign Lord will give praise unto it.
11 Say not: It is through God that she is not with me: for do not thou the things that he hateth.
12 Say not: He hath caused me to err: for he hath no need of wicked men.
13 The Lord hateth all abomination of error, and they that fear him shall not love it.
14 God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his own counsel.
15 He added his commandments and precepts.
16 *If thou wilt keep the commandments, and perform acceptable fidelity for ever, they shall preserve thee.
17 He hath set water and fire before thee: stretch forth thy hand to which thou wilt.
18 *Before man is life and death, good and evil; that which he shall choose shall be given him:
19 For the wisdom of God is great, and he is strong in power, seeing all men without ceasing.
20 *The eyes of the Lord are towards them that fear him, and he knoweth all the work of man.
21 He hath commanded no man to do wickedly, and he hath given no man license to sin:
22 For he desireth not a multitude of faithless and unprofitable children.
3: John iv. 10.
16: Mat. xix. 17.; Jo. viii. 31. and 32.
18: Jerem. xxi. 8.
20: Ps. xxxiii. 17.; Heb. iv. 13.
It is better to have none than many wicked children. Of the justice and mercy of God. His ways are unsearchable.
1 Rejoice not in ungodly children, if they be multiplied: neither be delighted in them, if the fear of God be not with them.
2 Trust not to their life, and respect not their labours.
3 For better is one that feareth God, than a thousand ungodly children.
4 And it is better to die without children, than to leave ungodly children.
5 By one that is wise, a country shall be inhabited; the tribe of the ungodly shall become desolate.
6 Many such things hath my eyes seen, and greater things than these my ear hath heard.
7 *In the congregation of sinners a fire shall be kindled, and in an unbelieving nation wrath shall flame out.
8 *The ancient giants did not obtain pardon for their sins, who were destroyed, trusting to their own strength:
9 And he spared not the place where Lot sojourned, but abhorred them for the pride of their word.
10 He had not pity on them, destroying the whole nation that extolled themselves in their sins.
11 *So did he with the six hundred thousand footmen, who were gathered together in the hardness of their heart: and if one had been stiff-necked, it is a wonder if he had escaped unpunished:
12 For mercy and wrath are with him. He is mighty to forgive, and to pour out indignation:
13 According as his mercy is, so his correction judgeth a man according to his works.
14 The sinner shall not escape in his rapines, and the patience of him that sheweth mercy shall not be put off.
15 *All mercy shall make a place for every man according to the merit of his works, and according to the wisdom of his sojournment.
16 Say not: I shall be hidden from God. and who shall remember me from on high?
17 In such a multitude I shall not be known: for what is my soul in such an immense creation?
18 Behold the heaven, and the heavens of heavens, the deep, and all the earth, and the things that are in them, shall be moved in his sight:
19 The mountains also, and the hills, and the foundations of the earth: when God shall look upon them, they shall be shaken with trembling.
20 And in all these things the heart is senseless: and every heart is understood by him:
21 And his ways who shall understand, and the storm, which no eye of man shall see?
22 For many of his works are hidden: but the works of his justice who shall declare? or who shall endure? for the testament is far from some, and the examination of all is in the end.
23 He that wanteth understanding, thinketh vain things: and the foolish and erring man, thinketh foolish things.
24 Hearken to me, my son, and learn the discipline of understanding, and attend to my words in thy heart.
25 And I will shew forth good doctrine in equity, and will seek to declare wisdom: and attend to my words in thy heart, whilst with equity of spirit I tell thee the virtues that God hath put upon his works from the beginning, and I shew forth in truth his knowledge.
26 The works of God are done in judgment from the beginning, and from the making of them he distinguished their parts, and their beginnings in their generations.
27 He beautified their works for ever; they have neither hungered, nor laboured, and they have not ceased from their works.
28 Nor shall any of them straiten his neighbour at any time.
29 Be not thou incredulous to his word.
30 After this, God looked upon the earth, and filled it with his goods.
31 The soul of every living thing hath shewn forth before the face thereof, and into it they return again.
7: Infra xxi. 10.
8: Gen. vi. 4.
11: Num. xiv. 20. and xxvi. 51.
15: Rom. ii. 6.
The creation and favour of God to man. An exhortation to turn to God.
1 God created man of the earth, *and made him after his own image.
2 And he turned him into it again, and clothed him with strength according to himself.
3 He gave him the number of his days and time, and gave him power over all things that are upon the earth.
4 He put the fear of him upon all flesh, and he had dominion over beasts and fowls.
5 *He created of him a help-mate like to himself: he gave them counsel, and a tongue, and eyes, and ears, and a heart to devise: and he filled them with the knowledge of understanding.
6 He created in them the science of the spirit, he filled their heart with wisdom, and shewed them both good and evil.
7 He set his eye upon their hearts, to shew them the greatness of his works:
8 That they might praise the name which he hath sanctified: and glory in his wondrous acts, that they might declare the glorious things of his works.
9 Moreover, he gave them instructions, and the law of life for an inheritance.
10 He made an everlasting covenant with them, and he shewed them his justice and judgments.
11 And their eye saw the majesty of his glory, and their ears heard his glorious voice, and he said to them: Beware of all iniquity. 12 And he gave to every one of them commandment concerning his neighbour.
13 Their ways are always before him, they are not hidden from his eyes.
14 *Over every nation he set a ruler.
15 And Israel was made the manifest portion of God.
16 And all their works are as the sun in the sight of God: and his eyes are continually upon their ways.
17 Their covenants were not hid by their iniquity: and all their iniquities are in the sight of God.
18 *The alms of a man is as a signet with him, and shall preserve the grace of a man as the apple of the eye:
19 *And afterward he shall rise up, and shall render them their reward, to every one upon their own head, and shall turn them down into the bowels of the earth.
20 But to the penitent he hath given the way of justice, and he hath strengthened them that were fainting in patience, and hath appointed to them the lot of truth.
21 Turn to the Lord, and forsake thy sins:
22 Make thy prayer before the face of the Lord, and offend less.
23 Return to the Lord, and turn away from thy injustice, and greatly hate abomination.
24 And know the justices and judgments of God, and stand firm in the lot set before thee, and in prayer to the most high God.
25 Go to the side of the holy age, *with them that live and give praise to God.
26 Tarry not in the error of the ungodly, give glory before death. Praise perisheth from the dead as nothing.
27 Give thanks whilst thou art living, whilst thou art alive and in health thou shalt give thanks, and shalt praise God, and shalt glory in his mercies.
28 How great is the mercy of the Lord, and his forgiveness to them that turn to him!
29 For all things cannot be in men, because the sun of man is not immortal, and they are delighted with the vanity of evil.
30 What is brighter than the sun? yet it shall be eclipsed. Or what is more wicked than that which flesh and blood hath invented? and this shall be reproved.
31 He beholdeth the power of the height of heaven: and all men are earth and ashes.
1: Gen. i. 27. and v. 1.
5: Gen. ii. 18.
14: Rom. xiii. 1.
18: Infra xxix. 6.
19: Mat. xxv. 35.
25: Psal. vi. 6.; Isai. xxxviii. 19.
God's works are wonderful: we must serve him, and not our lusts.
1 He that liveth for ever, *created all things together. God only shall be justified, and he remaineth an invincible king for ever.
2 Who is able to declare his works?
3 For who shall search out his glorious acts?
4 And who shall shew forth the power of his majesty? or who shall be able to declare his mercy?
5 Nothing may be taken away, nor added, neither is it possible to find out the glorious works of God:
6 When a man hath done, then shall he begin: and when he leaveth off, he shall be at a loss.
7 What is man, and what is his grace? and what is his good, or what is his evil?
8 *The number of the days of men at the most are a hundred years: as a drop of water of the sea are they esteemed: and as a pebble of the sand, so are a few years compared to eternity.
9 Therefore God is patient in them, and poureth forth his mercy upon them.
10 He hath seen the presumption of their heart, that it is wicked, and hath known their end, that it is evil.
11 Therefore hath he filled up his mercy in their favour, and hath shewn them the way of justice.
12 The compassion of man is toward his neighbour: but the mercy of God is upon all flesh.
13 He hath mercy, and teacheth, and correcteth, as a shepherd doth his flock.
14 He hath mercy on him that receiveth the discipline of mercy, and that maketh haste in his judgments.
15 My son, in thy good deeds, make no complaint, and when thou givest any thing, add not grief by an evil word.
16 Shall not the dew assuage the heat? so also the good word is better than the gift.
17 Lo, is not a word better than a gift? but both are with a justified man.
18 A fool will upbraid bitterly: and a gift of one ill taught consumeth the eyes.
19 Before judgment prepare thee justice, and learn before thou speak.
20 Before sickness take a medicine, *and before judgment examine thyself, and thou shalt find mercy in the sight of God.
21 Humble thyself before thou art sick, and in the time of sickness shew thy conversation.
22 Let nothing hinder thee from praying *always, and be not afraid to be justified even to death: for the reward of God continueth for ever.
23 Before prayer prepare thy soul: and be not as a man that tempteth God.
24 *Remember the wrath that shall be at the last day, and the time of repaying, when he shall turn away his face.
25 *Remember poverty is the time of abundance, and the necessities of poverty in the day of riches.
26 From the morning until the evening the time shall be changed, and all these are swift in the eyes of God.
27 A wise man will fear in every thing, and in the days of sins will beware of sloth.
28 Every man of understanding knoweth wisdom, and will give praise to him that findeth her.
29 They that were of good understanding in words, have also done wisely themselves: and have understood truth and justice, and have poured forth proverbs and judgments.
30 *Go not after thy lusts, but turn away from thy own will.
31 If thou give to thy soul her desires, she will make thee a joy to thy enemies.
32 Take no pleasure in riotous assemblies, be they ever so small: for their concertation is continual.
33 Make not thyself poor by borrowing to contribute to feasts when thou hast nothing in thy purse: for thou shalt be an enemy to thy own life.
1: Gen. i. 1.
8: Ps. lxxxix. 10.
20: 1 Cor. xi. 28.
22: Luke xviii. 1.; 1 Thes. v. 17.
24: Supra vii. 18.
25: Supra xi. 27.
30: Rom. vi. 12. 13. and xiii. 14.
Admonitions against sundry vices.
1 A workman that is a drunkard shall not be rich: and he that contemneth small things, shall fall by little and little.
2 *Wine and women make wise men fall off, and shall rebuke the prudent:
3 And he that joineth himself to harlots, will be wicked. Rottenness and worms shall inherit him, and he shall be lifted up for a greater example, and his soul shall be taken away out of the number.
4 *He that is hasty to give credit, is light of heart, and shall be lessened: and he that sinneth against his own soul, shall be despised.
5 He that rejoiceth in iniquity, shall be censured, and he that hateth chastisement, shall have less life: and he that hateth babbling, extinguisheth evil.
6 He that sinneth against his own soul, shall repent: and he that is delighted with wickedness, shall be condemned.
7 Rehearse not again a wicked and harsh word, and thou shalt not fare the worse.
8 Tell not thy mind to friend or foe: and if there be a sin with thee, disclose it not.
9 For he will hearken to thee, and will watch thee, and as it were defending thy sin he will hate thee, and so will he be with thee always.
10 Hast thou heard a word against thy neighbour? let it die within thee, trusting that it will not burst thee.
11 At the hearing of a word the fool is in travail, as a woman groaning in the bringing forth a child.
12 As an arrow that sticketh in a man's thigh: so is a word in the heart of a fool.
13 *Reprove a friend, lest he may not have understood, and say; I did it not: or if he did it, that he may do it no more.
14 Reprove thy neighbour, for it may be he hath not said it: and if he hath said it, that he may not say it again.
15 Admonish thy friend: for there is often a fault committed.
16 And believe not every word. There is one, that slippeth with the tongue, but not from his heart.
17 *For who is there that hath not offended with his tongue? Admonish thy neighbour before thou threaten him.
18 And give place to the fear of the Most High: for the fear of God is all wisdom, and therein is to fear God, and the disposition of the law is in all wisdom.
19 But the learning of wickedness is not wisdom: and the device of sinners is not prudence.
20 There is a subtle wickedness, and the same is detestable: and there is a man that is foolish, wanting in wisdom.
21 Better is a man that hath less wisdom, and wanteth understanding, with the fear of God, than he that aboundeth in understanding, and transgresseth the law of the Most High.
22 There is an exquisite subtilty, and the same is unjust.
23 And there is one that uttereth an exact word, telling the truth. There is one that humbleth himself wickedly, and his interior is full of deceit.
24 And there is one that submitteth himself exceedingly with a great lowliness: and there is one that casteth down his countenance, and maketh as if he did not see that which is unknown:
25 And if he be hindered from sinning for want of power, if he shall find opportunity to do evil, he will do it.
26 A man is known by his look, and a wise man, when thou meetest him, is known by his countenance.
27 The attire of the body, and the laughter of the teeth, and the gait of the man, shew what he is.
28 There is a lying rebuke in the anger of an injurious man: and there is a judgment that is not allowed to be good: and there is one that holdeth his peace, and he is wise.
2: Gen. xix. 33.; 3 Kings xi. 1.
4: Josue ix. 15. and xxii. 11.
13: Lev. xix. 17.; Matt. xviii. 15.; Luke xvii. 3.
17: James iii. 8.
Rules with regard to correction, discretion, and avoiding lies.
1 How much better is it to reprove, than to be angry, and not to hinder him that confesseth in prayer?
2* The lust of an eunuch shall deflower a young maiden:
3 So is he that by violence executeth unjust judgment.
4 How good is it, when thou art reproved, to shew repentance! for so thou shalt escape wilful sin.
5 There is one that holdeth his peace, that is found wise: and there is another that is hateful, that is bold in speech.
6 There is one that holdeth his peace, because he knoweth not what to say: and there is another that holdeth his peace, knowing the proper time.
7 A wise man will hold his peace till he see opportunity: but a babbler, and a fool, will regard no time.
8 He that useth many words shall hurt his own soul: and he that taketh authority to himself unjustly, shall be hated.
9 There is success in evil things to a man without discipline, and there is a finding that turneth to loss.
10 There is a gift that is not profitable: and there is a gift, the recompense of which is double.
11 There is an abasement because of glory: and there is one that shall lift up his head from a low estate.
12 There is that buyeth much for a small price, and restoreth the same sevenfold.
13 A man wise in words shall make himself beloved: but the graces of fools shall be poured out.
14 The gift of the fool shall do thee no good: for his eyes are sevenfold.
15 He will give a few things, and upbraid much: and the opening of his mouth is the kindling of a fire.
16 To day a man lendeth, and to-morrow he asketh it again: such a man as this is hateful.
17 A fool shall have no friend, and there shall be no thanks for his good deeds.
18 For they that eat his bread, are of a false tongue. How often, and how many will laugh him to scorn?
19 For he doth not distribute with right understanding that which was to be had: in like manner also that which was not to be had. 20 The slipping of a false tongue is as one that falleth on the pavement: so the fall of the wicked shall come speedily.
21 A man without grace is as a vain fable, it shall be continually in the mouth of the unwise.
22 A parable coming out of a fool's mouth shall be rejected: for he doth not speak it in due season.
23 There is that is hindered from sinning through want, and in his rest he shall be pricked.
24 There is that will destroy his own soul through shamefacedness, and by occasion of an unwise person he will destroy it: and by respect of person he will destroy himself.
25 There is that for bashfulness promiseth to his friend, and maketh him his enemy for nothing.
26 A lie is a foul blot in a man, and yet it will be continually in the mouth of men without discipline.
27 A thief is better than a man that is always lying: but both of them shall inherit destruction.
28 The manners of lying men are without honour: and their confusion is with them without ceasing.
29 A wise man shall advance himself with his words, and a prudent man shall please the great ones.
30 He that tilleth his land shall make a high heap of corn: and he that worketh justice shall be exalted: and he that pleaseth great men shall escape iniquity.
31 *Presents and gifts blind the eyes of judges, and make them dumb in the mouth, so that they cannot correct.
32 *Wisdom that is hid, and treasure that is not seen: what profit is there in them both?
33 Better is he that hideth his folly, than the man that hideth his wisdom.
2: Infra xxx. 21.
31: Exod. xxiii. 8.; Deut. xvi. 19.
32: Infra xli. 17.
Cautions against sin in general, and some sins in particular.
1 My son, hast thou sinned? do so no more: but for thy former sins also pray that they may be forgiven thee.
2 Flee from sins as from the face of a serpent: for if thou comest near them, they will take hold of thee.
3 The teeth thereof are the teeth of a lion, killing the souls of men.
4 All iniquity is like a two-edged sword, there is no remedy for the wound thereof.
5 Injuries and wrongs will waste riches: and the house that is very rich shall be brought to nothing by pride: so the substance of the proud shall be rooted out.
6 The prayer out of the mouth of the poor shall reach the ears of God, and judgment shall come for him speedily.
7 He that hateth to be reproved walketh in the trace of a sinner: and he that feareth God will turn to his own heart.
8 He that is mighty by a bold tongue is known afar off, but a wise man knoweth to slip by him.
9 He that buildeth his house at other men's charges, is as he that gathereth himself stones to build in the winter.
10 *The congregation of sinners is like tow heaped together, and the end of them is a flame of fire.
11 The way of sinners is made plain with stones, and in their end is hell, and darkness, and pains.
12 He that keepeth justice shall get the understanding thereof.
13 The perfection of the fear of God is wisdom and understanding.
14 He that is not wise in good, will not be taught.
15 But there is a wisdom that aboundeth in evil: and there is no understanding where there is bitterness.
16 The knowledge of a wise man shall abound like a flood, and his counsel continueth like a fountain of life.
17 The heart of a fool is like a broken vessel, and no wisdom at all shall it hold.
18 A man of sense will praise every wise word he shall hear, and will apply it to himself: the luxurious man hath heard it, and it shall displease him, and he will cast it behind his back.
19 The talking of a fool is like a burden in the way: but in the lips of the wise, grace shall be found.
20 The mouth of the prudent is sought after in the church, and they will think upon his words in their hearts.
21 As a house that is destroyed, so is wisdom to a fool: and the knowledge of the unwise is as words without sense.
22 Doctrine to a fool is as fetters on the feet, and like manacles on the right hand.
23 A fool lifteth up his voice in laughter: but a wise man will scarce laugh low to himself.
24 Learning to the prudent is as an ornament of gold, and like a bracelet upon his right arm.
25 The foot of a fool is soon in his neighbour's house: but a man of experience will be abashed at the person of the mighty.
26 A fool will peep through the window into the house: but he that is well taught, will stand without.
27 It is the folly of a man to hearken at the door: and a wise man will be grieved with the disgrace.
28 The lips of the unwise will be telling foolish things: but the words of the wise shall be weighed in a balance.
29 The heart of fools is in their mouth: and the mouth of wise men is in their heart.
30 While the ungodly curseth the devil, he curseth his own soul.
31 The tale-bearer shall defile his own soul, and shall be hated by all: and he that shall abide with him shall be hateful: the silent and wise man shall be honoured.
10: Supra xvi. 7.
Wise sayings on divers subjects.
1 The sluggard is pelted with a dirty stone, and all men will speak of his disgrace.
2 The sluggard is pelted with the dung of oxen: and every one that toucheth him will shake his hands.
3 A son ill taught is the confusion of the father: and a foolish daughter shall be to his loss.
4 A wise daughter shall bring an inheritance to her husband: but she that confoundeth, becometh a disgrace to her father.
5 She that is bold shameth both her father and husband, and will not be inferior to the ungodly: and shall be disgraced by them both.
6 A tale out of time is like music in mourning: but the stripes and instruction of wisdom are never out of time.
7 He that teacheth a fool, is like one that glueth a potsherd together.
8 He that telleth a word to him that heareth not, is like one that waketh a man out of a deep sleep.
9 He speaketh with one that is asleep, who uttereth wisdom to a fool: and in the end of the discourse he saith: Who is this?
10 *Weep for the dead, for his light hath failed: and weep for the fool, for his understanding faileth.
11 Weep but a little for the dead, for he is at rest.
12 For the wicked life of a wicked fool is worse than death.
13 *The mourning for the dead is seven days: but for a fool and an ungodly man all the days of their life.
14 Talk not much with a fool, and go not with him that hath no sense.
15 Keep thyself from him, that thou mayst not have trouble, and thou shalt not be defiled with his sin.
16 Turn away from him, and thou shalt find rest, and shalt not be wearied out with his folly.
17 What is heavier than lead? and what other name hath he but fool?
18 *Sand and salt, and a mass of iron, is easier to bear, than a man without sense, that is both foolish and wicked.
19 A frame of wood bound together in the foundation of a building, shall not be loosed: so neither shall the heart that is established by advised counsel.
20 The thought of him that is wise at all times, shall not be depraved by fear.
21 As pales set in high places, and plasterings made without cost, will not stand against the face of the wind:
22 So also a fearful heart in the imagination of a fool shall not resist against the violence of fear.
23 As a fearful heart in the thought of a fool at all times will not fear, so neither shall he that continueth always in the commandments of God.
24 He that pricketh the eye, bringeth out tears: and he that pricketh the heart, bringeth forth resentment.
25 He that flingeth a stone at birds, shall drive them away: so he that upbraideth his friend, breaketh friendship.
26 Although thou hast drawn a sword at a friend, despair not: for there may be a returning. To a friend,
27 If thou hast opened a sad mouth, fear not, for there may be a reconciliation: except upbraiding, and reproach, and pride, and disclosing of secrets, or a treacherous wound: for in all these cases a friend will flee away.
28 Keep fidelity with a friend in his poverty, that in his prosperity also thou mayst rejoice.
29 In the time of his trouble continue faithful to him, that thou mayst also be heir with him in his inheritance.
30 As the vapour of a chimney, and the smoke of the fire goeth up before the fire: so also injurious words, and reproaches, and threats, before blood.
31 I will not be ashamed to salute a friend, neither will I hide myself from his face: and if any evil happen to me by him, I will bear it.
32 But every one that shall hear it, will beware of him.
33 *Who will set a guard before my mouth, and a sure seal upon my lips, that I fall not by them, and that my tongue destroy me not?
10: Infra xxxviii. 16.
13: Gen. l. 10.
18: Prov. xxvii. 3.
33: Ps. cxl. 3.
A prayer for grace to flee sin: cautions against profane swearing and other vices.
1 O Lord Father, and Sovereign Ruler of my life, leave me not to their counsel: nor suffer me to fall by them.
2 Who will set scourges over my thoughts, and the discipline of wisdom over my heart, that they spare me not in their ignorances, and that their sins may not appear:
3 Lest my ignorance increase, and my offences be multiplied, and my sins abound, and I fall before my adversaries, and my enemy rejoice over me?
4 O Lord Father, and God of my life, leave me not to their devices.
5 Give me not haughtiness of my eyes, and turn away from me all coveting.
6 Take from me the greediness of the belly, and let not the lusts of the flesh take hold of me, and give me not over to a shameless and foolish mind.
7 Hear, O ye children, the discipline of the mouth: and he that will keep it, shall not perish by his lips, nor be brought to fall into most wicked works.
8 A sinner is caught in his own vanity, and the proud and the evil speakers shall fall thereby.
9 *Let not thy mouth be accustomed to swearing: for in it there are many falls.
10 And let not the naming of God be usual in thy mouth, and meddle not with the names of saints, for thou shalt not escape free from them.
11 For as a slave daily put to the question, is never without a blue mark: so every one that sweareth, and nameth, shall not be wholly pure from sin.
12 A man that sweareth much, shall be filled with iniquity, and a scourge shall not depart from his house.
13 And if he make it void, his sin shall be upon him: and if he dissemble it, he offendeth double:
14 And if he swear in vain, he shall not be justified: for his house shall be filled with his punishment.
15 There is also another speech opposite to death, let it not be found in the inheritance of Jacob.
16 For from the merciful all these things shall be taken away, and they shall not wallow in sins.
17 Let not thy mouth be accustomed to indiscreet speech: for therein is the word of sin.
18 Remember thy father and thy mother, for thou sittest is the midst of great men;
19 Lest God forget thee in their sight, and thou, by thy daily custom, be infatuated and suffer reproach: and wish that thou hadst not been born, and curse the day of thy nativity.
20 *The man that is accustomed to opprobrious words, will never be corrected all the days of his life.
21 Two sorts of men multiply sins, and the third bringeth wrath and destruction.
22 A hot soul is a burning fire, it will never be quenched, till it devour something.
23 And a man that is wicked in the mouth of his flesh, will not leave off till he hath kindled a fire.
24 To a man that is a fornicator, all bread is sweet; he will not be weary of sinning unto the end.
25 Every man that passeth beyond his own bed, despising his own soul, and saying: *Who seeth me?
26 Darkness compasseth me about, and the walls cover me, and no man seeth me: whom do I fear? the Most High will not remember my sins.
27 And he understandeth not that his eye seeth all things, for such a man's fear driveth from him the fear of God, and the eyes of men fearing him:
28 And he knoweth not that the eyes of the Lord are far brighter than the sun, beholding round about all the ways of men, and the bottom of the deep, and looking into the hearts of men, into the most hidden parts.
29 For all things were known to the Lord God before they were created: so also, after they were perfected, he beholdeth all things.
30 This man shall be punished in the streets of the city, and he shall be chased as a colt: and where he suspected not, he shall be taken.
31 And he shall be in disgrace with all men, because he understood not the fear of the Lord.
32 *So every woman also that leaveth her husband, and bringeth in an heir by another:
33 For first she hath been unfaithful to the law of the Most High: and secondly, she hath offended against her husband: thirdly, she hath fornicated in adultery, and hath gotten her children of another man.
34 This woman shall be brought into the assembly, and inquisition shall be made of her children.
35 Her children shall not take root, and her branches shall bring forth no fruit.
36 She shall leave her memory to be cursed, and her infamy shall not be blotted out.
37 And they that remain shall know, that there is nothing better than the fear of God: and that there is nothing sweeter than to have regard to the commandments of the Lord.
38 It is great glory to follow the Lord: for length of days shall be received from him.
9: Ex. xx. 7.; Matt. v. 33.
20: 2 K. xvi. 7.
25: Is. xxix. 15.
32: Lev. xx. 10.; Deut. xxii. 21.
Wisdom praiseth herself: her origin, her dwelling, her dignity, and her fruits.
1 Wisdom shall praise her own self, and shall be honoured in God, and shall glory in the midst of her people,
2 And shall open her mouth in the churches of the Most High, and shall glorify herself in the sight of his power,
3 And in the midst of her own people she shall be exalted, and shall be admired in the holy assembly,
4 And in the multitude of the elect she shall have praise, and among the blessed she shall be blessed, saying:
5 I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the first-born before all creatures:
6 I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never faileth, and as a cloud I covered all the earth:
7 I dwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of a cloud.
8 I alone have compassed the circuit of heaven, and have penetrated into the bottom of the deep, and have walked in the waves of the sea,
9 And have stood in all the earth: and in every people,
10 And in every nation I have had the chief rule:
11 And by my power I have trodden under my feet the hearts of all the high and low: and in all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord.
12 Then the creator of all things commanded, and said to me: and he that made me, rested in my tabernacle,
13 And he said to me: Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in my elect.
14 *From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling-place I have ministered before him.
15 And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem.
16 And I took root in an honourable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints.
17 I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a cypress-tree on Mount Sion.
18 I was exalted like a palm-tree in Cades, and as a rose-plant in Jericho:
19 As a fair olive-tree in the plains, and as a plane-tree by the water in the streets, was I exalted.
20 I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon, and aromatical balm: I yielded a sweet odour like the best myrrh:
21 And I perfumed my dwelling as storax, and galbanum, and onyx, and aloes, and as the frankincense not cut, and my odour is as the purest balm.
22 I have stretched out my branches as the turpentine-tree, and my branches are of honour and grace.
23 As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odour: and my flowers are the fruit of honour and riches.
24 I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope.
25 In me is all grace of the way, and of the truth; in me is all hope of life and of virtue.
26 Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.
27 For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb.
28 My memory is unto everlasting generations.
29 *They that eat me shall yet hunger: and they that drink me, shall yet thirst.
30 He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin.
31 They that explain me, shall have life everlasting.
32 All these things are the book of life, and the covenant of the Most High, and the knowledge of truth.
33 Moses commanded a law in the precepts of justices, and an inheritance to the house of Jacob, and the promises to Israel.
34 He appointed to David, his servant, to raise up of him a most mighty king, and sitting on the throne of glory for ever.
35 *Who filleth up wisdom as the Phison, and as the Tigris in the days of the new fruits.
36 Who maketh understanding to abound as the Euphrates, *who multiplieth it as the Jordan in the time of harvest.
37 Who sendeth knowledge as the light, and riseth up as Gehon in the time of the vintage.
38 Who first hath perfect knowledge of her, and a weaker shall not search her out.
39 For her thoughts are more vast than the sea, and her counsels more deep than the great ocean.
40 I wisdom have poured out rivers.
41 I like a brook out of a river of a mighty water, I like a channel of a river, and like an aqueduct came out of paradise.
42 I said: I will water my garden of plants, and I will water abundantly the fruits of my meadow.
43 And behold my brook became a great river, and my river became near to a sea:
44 For I make doctrine to shine forth to all as the morning light, and I will declare it afar off.
45 I will penetrate to all the lower parts of the earth, and will behold all that sleep, and will enlighten all that hope in the Lord.
46 I will yet pour out doctrine as prophecy, and will leave it to them that seek wisdom, and will not cease to instruct their offspring even to the holy age.
47 *See ye that I have not laboured for myself only, but for all that seek out the truth.
14: Prov. viii. 22.
29: John vi. 35.
35: Gen. ii. 11.
36: Jos. iii. 15.
47: Infra xxxiii. 18.
Documents of wisdom on several subjects.
1 With three things my spirit is pleased, which are approved before God and men:
2 The concord of brethren, and the love of neighbours, and man and wife that agree well together.
3 Three sorts my soul hateth, and I am greatly grieved at their life:
4 A poor man that is proud: a rich man that is a liar: an old man that is a fool, and doting.
5 The things that thou hast not gathered in thy youth, how shalt thou find them in thy old age?
6 O how comely is judgment for a grey head, and for ancients to know counsel!
7 O how comely is wisdom for the aged, and understanding and counsel to men of honour!
8 Much experience is the crown of old men, and the fear of God is their glory.
9 Nine things that are not to be imagined by the heart have I magnified, and the tenth I will utter to men with my tongue.
10 A man that hath joy of his children: and he that liveth and seeth the fall of his enemies.
11 *Blessed is he. that dwelleth with a wise woman, *and that hath not slipped with his tongue, and that hath not served such as are unworthy of him.
12 Blessed is he that findeth a true friend: and that declareth justice to an ear that heareth.
13 How great is he that findeth wisdom and knowledge! but there is none above him that feareth the Lord.
14 The fear of God hath set itself above all things:
15 Blessed is the man, to whom it is given to have the fear of God: he that holdeth it, to whom shall he be likened?
16 The fear of God is the beginning of his love: and the beginning of faith is to be fast joined unto it.
17 The sadness of the heart is every plague: and the wickedness of a woman is all evil.
18 And a man will choose any plague, but the plague of the heart:
19 And any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman:
20 And any affliction, but the affliction from them that hate him:
21 And any revenge, but the revenge of enemies.
22 There is no head worse than the head of a serpent:
23 And there is no anger above the anger of a woman. *It will be more agreeable to abide with a lion and a dragon, than to dwell with a wicked woman.
24 The wickedness of a woman changeth her face: and she darkeneth her countenance as a bear: and sheweth it like sackcloth. In the midst of her neighbours,
25 Her husband groaned, and hearing, he sighed a little.
26 All malice is short to the malice of a woman: let the lot of sinners fall upon her.
27 As the climbing of a sandy way is to the feet of the aged, so is a wife full of tongue to a quiet man.
28 Look not upon a woman's beauty, and desire not a woman for beauty.
29 *A woman's anger, and impudence, and confusion is great.
30 A woman, if she have superiority, is contrary to her husband.
31 A wicked woman abateth the courage, and maketh a heavy countenance and a wounded heart.
32 Feeble hands, and disjointed knees, a woman that doth not make her husband happy.
33 *From the woman came the beginning of sin, and by her we all die.
34 Give no issue to thy water, no, not a little: nor to a wicked woman liberty to gad abroad.
35 If she walk not at thy hand, she will confound thee in the sight of thy enemies.
36 Cut her off from thy flesh, lest she always abuse thee.
11: Infra xxvi. 1. --- ** Supra xiv. 1. and xix. 16.; James iii. 2.
23: Prov. xxi. 19.
29: Infra xlii. 6
33: Gen. iii. 6.
Of good and bad women.
1 Happy is the husband of a good wife: for the number of his years is double.
2 A virtuous woman rejoiceth her husband, and shall fulfill the years of his life in peace.
3 A good wife is a good portion: she shall be given in the portion of them that fear God, to a man for his good deeds:
4 Rich or poor, if his heart is good, his countenance shall be cheerful at all times.
5 Of three things my heart hath been afraid, and at the fourth my face hath trembled:
6 The accusation of a city, and the gathering together of the people:
7 And a false calumny, all are more grievous than death.
8 A jealous woman is the grief and mourning of the heart.
9 With a jealous woman is a scourge of the tongue which communicateth with all.
10 As a yoke of oxen that is moved to and fro, so also is a wicked woman: he that hath hold of her, is as he that taketh hold of a scorpion.
11 A drunken woman is a great wrath: and her reproach and shame shall not be hid.
12 The fornication of a woman shall be known by the haughtiness of her eyes, and by her eye-lids.
13 *On a daughter that turneth not away herself, set a strict watch: lest finding an opportunity she abuse herself.
14 Take heed of the impudence of her eyes, and wonder not if she slight thee.
15 She will open her mouth as a thirsty traveller to the fountain, and will drink of every water near her, and will sit down by every hedge, and open her quiver against every arrow, until she fail.
16 The grace of a diligent woman shall delight her husband, and shall fatten his bones.
17 Her discipline is the gift of God.
18 Such is a wise and silent woman, and there is nothing so much worth as a well instructed soul.
19 A holy and shamefaced woman is grace upon grace.
20 And no price is worthy of a continent soul.
21 As the sun, when it riseth to the world in the high places of God, so is the beauty of a good wife for the ornament of her house.
22 As the lamp shining upon the holy candlestick, so is the beauty of the face in a ripe age.
23 As golden pillars upon bases of silver, so are the firm feet upon the soles of a steady woman.
24 As everlasting foundations upon a solid rock, so the commandments of God In the heart of a holy woman.
25 At two things my heart is grieved, and the third bringeth anger upon me:
26 A man of war fainting through poverty: and a man of sense despised:
27 And he that passeth over from justice to sin, God hath prepared such an one for the sword.
28 Two sorts of callings have appeared to me hard and dangerous: a merchant is hardly free from negligence: and a huckster shall not be justified from the sins of the lips.
13: Infra xlii. 11.
Dangers of sin from several heads: the fear of God is the best preservative. He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it.
1 Through poverty many have sinned: and he that seeketh to be enriched, turneth away his eye.
2 As a stake sticketh fast in the midst of the joining of stones, so also in the midst of selling and buying, sin shall stick fast.
3 Sin shall be destroyed with the sinner.
4 Unless thou hold thyself diligently in the fear of the Lord, thy house shall quickly be overthrown.
5 As when one sifteth with a sieve, the dust will remain: so will the perplexity of a man in his thoughts.
6 The furnace trieth the potter's vessels, and the trial of affliction just men.
7 As the dressing of a tree sheweth the fruit thereof, so a word out of the thought of the heart of man.
8 Praise not a man before he speaketh, for this is the trial of men.
9 If thou followest justice, thou shalt obtain her: and shalt put her on as a long robe of honour, and thou shalt dwell with her: and she shall protect thee for ever, and in the day of acknowledgment thou shalt find a strong foundation.
10 Birds resort unto their like: so truth will return to them that practise her.
11 The lion always lieth in wait for prey: so do sins for them that work iniquities.
12 A holy man continueth in wisdom as the sun: but a fool is changed as the moon.
13 In the midst of the unwise keep in the word till its time: but be continually among men that think.
14 The discourse of sinners is hateful, and their laughter is at the pleasures of sin.
15 The speech that sweareth much shall make the hair of the head stand upright: and its irreverence shall make one stop his ears.
16 In the quarrels of the proud is the shedding of blood: and their cursing is a grievous hearing.
17 He that discloseth the secret of a friend, loseth his credit, and shall never find a friend to his mind.
18 Love thy neighbour, and be joined to him with fidelity.
19 But if thou discover his secrets, follow no more after him.
20 For as a man that destroyeth his friend, so also is he that destroyeth the friendship of his neighbour.
21 And as one that letteth a bird go out of his hand, so hast thou let thy neighbour go, and thou shalt not get him again.
22 Follow after him no more, for he is gone afar off, he is fled, as a roe escaped out of the snare: because his soul is wounded.
23 Thou canst no more bind him up. And of a curse there is reconciliation:
24 But to disclose the secrets of a friend leaveth no hope to an unhappy soul.
25 He that winketh with the eye forgeth wicked things, and no man will cast him off:
26 In the sight of thy eyes he will sweeten his mouth, and will admire thy words: but at the last he will writhe his mouth, and on thy words he will lay a stumbling-block.
27 I have hated many things, but not like him, and the Lord will hate him.
28 If one cast a stone on high, it will fall upon his own head: and the deceitful stroke will wound the deceitful.
29 He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it: and he that setteth a stone for his neighbour, shall stumble upon it: and he that layeth a snare for another, shall perish in it.
30 A mischievous counsel shall be rolled back upon the author, and he shall not know from whence it cometh to him.
31 Mockery and reproach are of the proud, and vengeance as a lion shall lie in wait for him.
32 They shall perish in a snare that are delighted with the fall of the just: and sorrow shall consume them before they die.
33 Anger and fury are both of them abominable, and the sinful man shall be subject to them.
Lessons against revenge and quarrels. The evils of the tongue.
1 He *that seeketh to revenge himself, shall find vengeance from the Lord, and he will surely keep his sins in remembrance.
2 Forgive thy neighbour if he hath hurt thee: and then shall thy sins be forgiven to thee when thou prayest.
3 Man to man reserveth anger, and doth he seek remedy of God?
4 He hath no mercy on a man like himself, and doth he entreat for his own sins?
5 He that is but flesh, nourisheth anger, and doth he ask forgiveness of God? who shall obtain pardon for his sins?
6 Remember thy last things, and let enmity cease:
7 For corruption and death hang over in his commandments.
8 Remember the fear of God, and be not angry with thy neighbour.
9 Remember the covenant of the most High, and overlook the ignorance of thy neighbour.
10 Refrain from strife, and thou shalt diminish thy sins:
11 For a passionate man kindleth strife, and a sinful man will trouble his friends, and bring in debate in the midst of them that are at peace.
12 For as the wood of the forest is, so the fire burneth: and as a man's strength is, so shall his anger be, and according to his riches he shall increase his anger.
13 A hasty contention kindleth a fire: and a hasty quarrel sheddeth blood: and a tongue that beareth witness bringeth death.
14 If thou blow the spark, it shall burn as a fire: and if thou spit upon it, it shall be quenched: both come out of the mouth.
15 The whisperer and the double-tongued is accursed: for he hath troubled many that were at peace.
16 The tongue of a third person hath disquieted many, and scattered them from nation to nation.
17 It hath destroyed the strong cities of the rich, and hath overthrown the houses of great men.
18 It hath cut in pieces the forces of people, and undone strong nations.
19 The tongue of a third person hath cast out valiant women, and deprived them of their labours.
20 He that hearkeneth to it, shall never have rest, neither shall he have a friend in whom he may repose.
21 The stroke of a whip maketh a blue mark: but the stroke of the tongue will break the bones.
22 Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not so many as have perished by their own tongue.
23 Blessed is he that is defended from a wicked tongue, that hath not passed into the wrath thereof, and that hath not drawn the yoke thereof, and hath not been bound in its bands.
24 For its yoke is a yoke of iron: and its bands are bands of brass.
25 The death thereof is a most evil death: and hell is preferable to it.
26 Its continuance shall not be for a long time, but it shall possess the ways of the unjust: and the just shall not be burnt with its flame.
27 They that forsake God shall fall into it, and it shall burn in them, and shall not be quenched, and it shall be sent upon them as a lion, and as a leopard it shall tear them.
28 Hedge in thy ears with horns, hear not a wicked tongue, and make doors and bars to thy mouth.
29 Melt down thy gold and silver, and make a balance for thy words, and a just bridle for thy mouth:
30 And take heed lest thou slip with thy tongue, and fall in the sight of thy enemies who lie in wait for thee, and thy fall be incurable unto death.
1: Deut. xxxii. 35.; Mat. vi. 14.; Mark xi. 25.; Rom. xii. 19.
Of charity in lending money, and justice in repaying. Of alms, and of being surety.
1 He that sheweth mercy, lendeth to his neighbour: and he that is stronger in hand keepeth the commandments.
2 Lend to thy neighbour in the time of his need, and pay thou thy neighbour again in due time.
3 Keep thy word, and deal faithfully with him: and thou shalt always find that which is necessary for thee.
4 Many have looked upon a thing lent as a thing found, and have given trouble to them that helped them.
5 Till they receive, they kiss the hands of the lender, and in promises they humble their voice:
6 But when they should repay, they will ask time, and will return tedious and murmuring words, and will complain of the time:
7 And if he be able to pay, he will stand off, he will scarce pay one half, and will count it as if he had found it.
8 But if not, he will defraud him of his money, and he shall get him for an enemy without cause:
9 And he will pay him with reproaches and curses, and instead of honour and good turn will repay him injuries.
10 Many have refused to lend, not out of wickedness, but they were afraid to be defrauded without cause.
11 But yet towards the poor be thou more hearty, and delay not to shew him mercy.
12 Help the poor because of the commandment: and send him not away empty-handed because of his poverty.
13 Lose thy money for thy brother and thy friend: and hide it not under a stone to be lost.
14 *Place thy treasure in the commandments of the most High, and it shall bring thee more profit than gold.
15 Shut up alms in the heart of the poor, and it shall obtain help for thee against all evil.
16 Better than the shield of the mighty, and better than the spear:
17 It shall fight for thee against thy enemy.
18 A good man is surety for his neighbour: and he that hath lost shame, will leave him to himself.
19 Forget not the kindness of thy surety: for he hath given his life for thee.
20 The sinner and the unclean fleeth from his surety.
21 A sinner attributeth to himself the goods of his surety: and he that is of an unthankful mind will leave him that delivered him.
22 A man is surety for his neighbour: and when he hath lost all shame, he shall forsake him.
23 Evil suretyship hath undone many of good estate, and hath tossed them as a wave of the sea.
24 It hath made powerful men to go from place to place round about, and they have wandered in strange countries.
25 A sinner that transgresseth the commandment of the Lord shall fall into an evil suretyship: and he that undertaketh many things shall fall into judgment.
26 Recover thy neighbour according to thy power, and take heed to thyself that thou fall not.
27 The chief thing for man's life is water and bread, and clothing, and a house to cover shame.
28 *Better is the poor man's fare under a roof of boards, than sumptuous cheer abroad in another man's house.
29 Be contented with little instead of much, and thou shalt not hear the reproach of going abroad.
30 It is a miserable life to go as a guest from house to house: for where a man is a stranger, he shall not deal confidently, nor open his mouth.
31 He shall entertain, and feed, and give drink to the unthankful, and moreover he shall hear bitter words.
32 Go, stranger, and furnish the table, and give others to eat what thou hast in thy hand.
33 Give place to the honourable presence of my friends: for I want my house, my brother being to be lodged with me.
34 These things are grievous to a man of understanding: the upbraiding of house-room, and the reproaching of the lender.
14: Tobias iv. 10.; Supra xvii. 18.
28: Infra xxxix. 31.
Of correction of children. Health is better than wealth. Excessive grief is hurtful.
1 He *that loveth his son, frequently chastiseth him, that he may rejoice in his latter end, and not grope after the doors of his neighbours.
2 He that instructeth his son shall be praised in him, and shall glory in him in the midst of them of his household.
3 *He that teacheth his son, maketh his enemy jealous, and in the midst of his friends he shall glory in him.
4 His father is dead, and he is as if he were not dead: for he hath left one behind him that is like himself.
5 While he lived he saw and rejoiced in him: and when he died he was not sorrowful, neither was he confounded before his enemies.
6 For he left behind him a defender of his house against his enemies, and one that will requite kindness to his friends.
7 For the souls of his sons he shall bind up his wounds, and at every cry his bowels shall be troubled.
8 A horse not broken becometh stubborn, and a child left to himself will become headstrong.
9 Give thy son his way, and he shall make thee afraid: play with him, and he shall make thee sorrowful.
10 Laugh not with him, lest thou have sorrow, and at the last thy teeth be set on edge.
11 Give him not liberty in his youth, and wink not at his devices.
12 *Bow down his neck while he is young, and beat his sides while he is a child, lest he grow stubborn, and regard thee not, and so be a sorrow of heart to thee.
13 Instruct thy son, and labour about him, lest his lewd behaviour be an offence to thee.
14 Better is a poor man who is sound, and strong of constitution, than a rich man who is weak, and afflicted with evils.
15 Health of the soul in holiness of justice, is better then all gold and silver: and a sound body, than immense revenues.
16 There is no riches above the riches of the health of the body: and there is no pleasure above the joy of the heart.
17 Better is death than a bitter life: and everlasting rest, than continual sickness.
18 Good things that are hidden in a mouth that is shut, are as messes of meat set about a grave.
19 *What good shall an offering do to an idol? for it can neither eat, nor smell:
20 So is he that is persecuted by the Lord, bearing the reward of his iniquity:
21 *He seeth with his eyes, and groaneth, as an eunuch embracing a virgin, and sighing.
22 *Give not up thy soul to sadness, and afflict not thyself in thy own counsel.
23 The joyfulness of the heart, is the life of a man, and a never failing treasure of holiness: and the joy of a man is length of life.
24 Have pity on thy own soul, pleasing God, and contain thyself: gather up thy heart in his holiness: and drive away sadness far from thee.
25 *For sadness hath killed many, and there is no profit in it.
26 Envy and anger shorten a man's days, and pensiveness will bring old age before the time.
27 A cheerful and good heart is always feasting: for his banquets are prepared with diligence.
1: Prov. xiii. 24. and xxiii. 13.
3: Deut. vi. 7.
12: Supra vii. 25.
19: Dan. xiv. 6.
21: Supra xx. 2.
22: Prov. xii. 25. and xv. 13. and xvii. 22.
25: 2 Cor. vii. 10.
Of the desire of riches, and of moderation in eating and drinking.
1 Watching for riches consumeth the flesh, and the thought thereof driveth away sleep.
2 The thinking beforehand turneth away the understanding, and a grievous sickness maketh the soul sober.
3 The rich man hath laboured in gathering riches together, and when he resteth he shall be filled with his goods.
4 The poor man hath laboured in his low way of life, and in the end he is still poor.
5 He that loveth gold, shall not be justified: and he that followeth after corruption, shall be filled with it.
6 *Many have been brought to fall for gold, and the beauty thereof hath been their ruin.
7 Gold is a stumbling-block to them that sacrifice to it: woe to them that eagerly follow after it, and every fool shall perish by it.
8 Blessed is the rich man that is found without blemish: and that hath not gone after gold, nor put his trust in money nor in treasures.
9 Who is he, and we will praise him? for he hath done wonderful things in his life.
10 Who hath been tried thereby, and made perfect, he shall have glory everlasting. He that could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed: and could do evil things, and hath not done them:
11 Therefore are his goods established in the Lord, and all the church of the saints shall declare his alms.
12 Art thou set at a great table? be not the first to open thy mouth upon it.
13 Say not: There are many things which are upon it.
14 Remember that a wicked eye is evil.
15 What is created more wicked than an eye? therefore shall it weep over all the face when it shall see.
16 Stretch not out thy hand first, lest being disgraced with envy thou be put to confusion.
17 Be not hasty in a feast.
18 Judge of the disposition of thy neighbour by thyself.
19 Use as a frugal man the things that are set before thee: lest if thou eatest much, thou be hated.
20 Leave off first, for manners sake: and exceed not, lest thou offend.
21 And if thou sittest among many, reach not thy hand out first of all: and be not the first to ask for drink.
22 How sufficient is a little wine for a man well taught, and in sleeping thou shalt not be uneasy with it, and thou shalt feel no pain.
23 Watching, and choler, and gripes, are with an intemperate man:
24 Sound and wholesome sleep with a moderate man: he shall sleep till morning, and his soul shall be delighted with him.
25 And if thou hast been forced to eat much, arise, go out, and vomit: and it shall refresh thee, and thou shalt not bring sickness upon thy body.
26 Hear me, my son, and despise me not: and in the end thou shalt find my words.
27 In all thy works be quick, and no infirmity shall come to thee.
28 The lips of many shall bless him that is liberal of his bread, and the testimony of his truth is faithful.
29 Against him that is niggardly of his bread, the city will murmur, and the testimony of his niggardliness is true.
30 Challenge not them that love wine: *for wine hath destroyed very many.
31 Fire trieth hard iron: so wine drunk to excess shall rebuke the hearts of the proud.
32 Wine taken with sobriety is equal life to men: if thou drink it moderately, thou shalt be sober.
33 What is his life, who is diminished with wine?
34 What taketh away life? death.
35 *Wine was created from the beginning to make men joyful, and not to make them drunk.
36 Wine drunken with moderation is the joy of the soul, and the heart.
37 Sober drinking is health to soul and body.
38 Wine drunken with excess raiseth quarrels, and wrath, and many ruins.
39 Wine drunken with excess is bitterness of the soul.
40 The heat of drunkenness is the stumbling-block of the fool, lessening strength, and causing wounds.
41 Rebuke not thy neighbour in a banquet of wine: and despise him not in his mirth.
42 Speak not to him words of reproach: and press him not in demanding again.
6: Supra viii. 3.
30: Judith xiii. 4.
35: Ps. ciii. 15.; Prov. xxxi. 4.
Lessons for superiors and inferiors. Advantages of fearing God, and doing nothing without counsel.
1 Have they made thee ruler? be not lifted up: be among them as one of them.
2 Have care of them, and so sit down, and when thou hast acquitted thyself of all thy charge, take thy place:
3 That thou mayst rejoice for them, and receive a crown as an ornament of grace, and get the honour of the contribution.
4 Speak, thou that art elder: for it becometh thee,
5 To speak the first word with careful knowledge, and hinder not music.
6 Where there is no hearing, pour not out words, and be not lifted up out of season with thy wisdom.
7 A concert of music in a banquet of wine is as a carbuncle set in gold.
8 As a signet of an emerald in a work of gold: so is the melody of music with pleasant and moderate wine.
9 Hear in silence, and for thy reverence good grace shall come to thee.
10 Young man, scarcely speak in thy own cause.
11 If thou be asked twice, let thy answer be short.
12 In many things, be as if thou wert ignorant, and hear in silence, and withal seeking.
13 In the company of great men take not upon thee: and when the ancients are present, speak not much.
14 Before a storm goeth lightning: and before shamefacedness goeth favour: and for thy reverence good grace shall come to thee.
15 And at the time of rising be not slack: but be first to run home to thy house, and there withdraw thyself, and there take thy pastime.
16 And do what thou hast a mind, but not in sin or proud speech.
17 And for all these things bless the Lord, that made thee, and that replenisheth thee with all his good things.
18 He that feareth the Lord, will receive his discipline: and they that will seek him early, shall find a blessing.
19 He that seeketh the law, shall be filled with it: and he that dealeth deceitfully, shall meet with a stumbling-block therein.
20 They that fear the Lord, shall find just judgment, and shall kindle justice as a light.
21 A sinful man will flee reproof, and will find an excuse according to his will.
22 A man of counsel will not neglect understanding, a strange and proud man will not dread fear:
23 Even after he hath done with fear without counsel, he shall be controlled by the things of his own seeking.
24 My son, do thou nothing without counsel, and thou shalt not repent when thou hast done.
25 Go not in the way of ruin, and thou shalt not stumble against the stones: trust not thyself to a rugged way, lest thou set a stumbling-block to thy soul.
26 And beware of thy own children, and take heed of them of thy household.
27 In every work of thine regard thy soul in faith: for this is the keeping of the commandments.
28 He that believeth God, taketh heed to the commandments: and he that trusteth in him, shall fare never the worse.
The fear of God is the best security. Times and men are in the hands of God. Take care of thyself as long as thou livest, and look to thy servants.
1 No evils shall happen to him that feareth the Lord, but in temptation God will keep him, and deliver him from evils.
2 A wise man hateth not the commandments and justices, and he shall not be dashed in pieces as a ship in a storm.
3 A man of understanding is faithful to the law of God, and the law is faithful to him.
4 He that cleareth up a question, shall prepare what to say, and so having prayed he shall be heard, and shall keep discipline, and then he shall answer.
5 *The heart of a fool is as a wheel of a cart: and his thoughts are like a rolling axle-tree.
6 A friend that is a mocker, is like a stallion horse: he neigheth under every one that sitteth upon him.
7 Why doth one day excel another, and one light another, and one year another year, when all come of the sun?
8 By the knowledge of the Lord they were distinguished, the sun being made, and keeping his commandment.
9 And he ordered the seasons, and holidays of them, and in them they celebrated festivals at an hour.
10 Some of them God made high and great days, and some of them he put in the number of ordinary days. And all men are from the ground, *and out of the earth, from whence Adam was created.
11 With much knowledge the Lord hath divided them, and diversified their ways.
12 Some of them hath he blessed, and exalted: and some of them hath he sanctified, and set near himself: and some of them hath he cursed and brought low, and turned them from their station.
13 *As the potter's clay is in his hand, to fashion and order it.
14 All his ways are according to his ordering: so man is in the hand of him that made him, and he will render to him according to his judgment.
15 Good is set against evil, and life against death: so also is the sinner against a just man. And so look upon all the works of the most High. Two and two, and one against another.
16 And I awaked last of all, and as one that gathereth after the grape-gatherers.
17 In the blessing of God I also have hoped: and as one that gathereth grapes, have I filled the wine-press.
18 *See that I have not laboured for myself only, but for all that seek discipline.
19 Hear me, ye great men, and all ye people, and hearken with your ears, ye rulers of the church.
20 Give not to son or wife, brother or friend, power over thee while thou livest; and give not thy estate to another: lest thou repent, and thou entreat for the same.
21 As long as thou livest, and hast breath in thee, let no man change thee.
22 For it is better that thy children should ask of thee, than that thou look toward the hands of thy children.
23 In all thy works keep the pre-eminence.
24 Let no stain sully thy glory. In the time when thou shalt end the days of thy life, and in the time of thy decease, distribute thy inheritance.
25 Fodder, and a wand, and a burden, are for an ass: bread, and correction, and work, for a slave.
26 He worketh under correction, and seeketh to rest: let his hands be idle, and he seeketh liberty.
27 The yoke and the thong bend a stiff neck, and continual labours bow a slave.
28 Torture and fetters are for a malicious slave: send him to work, that he be not idle:
29 For idleness hath taught much evil.
30 Set him to work: for so it is fit for him. And if he be not obedient, bring him down with fetters, but be not excessive towards any one: and do no grievous thing without judgment.
31 *If thou have a faithful servant, let him be to thee as thy own soul: treat him as a brother: because in the blood of thy soul thou hast gotten him.
32 If thou hurt him unjustly, he will run away:
33 And if he rise up and depart, thou knowest not whom to ask, and in what way to seek him.
5: Supra xxi. 17.
10: Gen. ii. 7.
13: Rom. ix. 11.
18: Supra xxiv. 47.
31: Supra vii. 21.
The vanity of dreams. The advantage of experience, and of the fear of God.
1 The hopes of a man that is void of understanding are vain and deceitful: and dreams lift up fools.
2 The man that giveth heed to lying visions, is like to him that catcheth at a shadow, and followeth after the wind.
3 The vision of dreams is the resemblance of one thing to another: as when a man's likeness is before the face of a man.
4 What can be made clean by the unclean? and what truth can come from that which is false?
5 Deceitful divinations and lying omens, and the dreams of evil doers, are vanity:
6 And the heart fancieth as that of a woman in travail: except it be a vision sent forth from the Most High, set no thy heart upon them.
7 For dreams have deceived many, and they have failed that put their trust in them.
8 The word of the law shall be fulfilled without a lie, and wisdom shall be made plain in the mouth of the faithful.
9 What doth he know, that hath not been tried? A man that hath much experience, shall think of many things: and he that hath learned many things, shall shew forth understanding.
10 He that hath no experience, knoweth little: and he that hath been experienced in many things, multiplieth prudence.
11 He that hath not been tried, what manner of things doth he know? he that hath been surprised, shall abound with subtlety.
12 I have seen many things by travelling, and many customs of things.
13 Sometimes I have been in danger of death for these things, and I have been delivered by the grace of God.
14 The spirit of those that fear God, is sought after, and by his regard shall be blessed.
15 For their hope is on him that saveth them, and the eyes of God are upon them that love him.
16 He that feareth the Lord shall tremble at nothing, and shall not be afraid: for he is his hope.
17 The soul of him that feareth the Lord is blessed.
18 To whom doth he look, and who is his strength?
19 *The eyes of the Lord are upon them that fear him, he is their powerful protector, and strong stay, a defence from the heat, and a cover from the sun at noon.
20 A preservation from stumbling, and a help from falling; he raiseth up the soul, and enlighteneth the eyes, and giving health, and life, and blessing.
21 *The offering of him that sacrificeth of a thing wrongfully gotten, is stained; and the mockeries of the unjust are not acceptable. 22 The Lord is only for them that wait upon him in the way of truth and justice.
23 *The Most High approveth not the gifts of the wicked: neither hath he respect to the oblations of the unjust, nor will he be pacified for sins by the multitude of their sacrifices.
24 He that offereth sacrifice of the goods of the poor, is as one that sacrificeth the son in the presence of his father.
25 The bread of the needy is the life of the poor: he that defraudeth them thereof, is a man of blood.
26 He that taketh away the bread gotten by sweat, is like him that killeth his neighbour.
27 He that sheddeth blood, *and he that defraudeth the labourer of his hire, are brothers.
28 When one buildeth up, and another pulleth down: what profit have they but the labour?
29 When one prayeth, and another curseth: whose voice will God hear?
30 He that washeth himself after touching the dead, if he toucheth him again, what doth his washing avail?
31 *So a man that fasteth for his sins, and doth the same again, what doth his humbling himself profit him? who will hear his prayer?
19: Ps. xxxiii. 16.
21: Prov. xxi. 27.
23: Prov. xv. 8.
27: Deut. xxiv. 14.; Supra vii. 22.
31: 2 Pet. ii. 21.
What sacrifices are pleasing to God.
1 He that keepeth the law, multiplieth offerings.
2 *It is a wholesome sacrifice to take heed to the commandments, and to depart from all iniquity.
3 And to depart from injustice, is to offer a propitiatory sacrifice for injustices, and a begging of pardon for sins.
4 He shall return thanks that offereth fine flour: and he that doth mercy offereth sacrifice.
5 *To depart from iniquity, is that which pleaseth the Lord, and to depart from injustice, is an entreaty for sins.
6 *Thou shalt not appear empty in the sight of the Lord.
7 For all these things are to be done, because of the commandment of God.
8 The oblation of the just maketh the altar fat, and is an odour of sweetness in the sight of the Most High.
9 The sacrifice of the just is acceptable, and the Lord will not forget the memorial thereof.
10 Give glory to God with a good heart: and diminish not the first-fruits of thy hands.
11 *In every gift shew a cheerful countenance, and sanctify thy tithes with joy.
12 Give to the Most High according to what he hath given to thee, and with a good eye do according to the ability of thy hands:
13 For the Lord maketh recompense, and will give thee seven times as much.
14 *Do not offer wicked gifts, for such he will not receive.
15 And look not upon an unjust sacrifice, for the Lord is judge, *and there is not with him respect of person.
16 The Lord will not accept any person against a poor man, and he will hear the prayer of him that is wronged.
17 He will not despise the prayers of the fatherless: nor the widow, when she poureth out her complaint.
18 Do not the widow's tears run down the cheek, and her cry against him that causeth them to fall?
19 For from the cheek they go up even to heaven, and the Lord that heareth will not be delighted with them.
20 He that adoreth God with joy, shall be accepted, and his prayer shall approach even to the clouds.
21 The prayer of him that humbleth himself shall pierce the clouds: and till it come nigh he will not be comforted: and he will not depart till the Most High behold.
22 And the Lord will not be slack, but will judge for the just, and will do judgment: and the Almighty will not have patience with them, that he may crush their back:
23 And he will repay vengeance to the Gentiles, till he have taken away the multitude of the proud, and broken the sceptres of the unjust,
24 Till he have rendered to men according to their deeds: and according to the works of Adam, and according to his presumption.
25 Till he have judged the cause of his people, and he shall delight the just with his mercy.
26 The mercy of God is beautiful in the time of affliction, as a cloud of rain in the time of drought.
2: 1 Kings xv. 22.
5: Jer. vii. 3. and xxvi. 13.
6: Ex. xxiii. 15. and xxxiv. 20.; Deut. xvi. 16.
11: 2 Cor. ix. 7.; Tob. iv. 9.
14: Lev. xxii. 21.; Deut. xv. 21.
15: Deut. x. 17.; 2 Par. xix. 7.; Job xxxiv. 19.; Wisd. vi. 8.; Rom. ii. 11.; Gal. ii. 6.; Col. iii. 25.; Acts x. 34.; 1 Pet. i. 17.
A prayer for the church of God. Of a good heart, and a good wife.
1 Have mercy upon us, O God of all, and behold us, and shew us the light of thy mercies:
2 And send thy fear upon the nations, that have not sought after thee: that they may know that there is no God beside thee, and that they may shew forth thy wonders.
3 Lift up thy hand over the strange nations, that they may see thy power.
4 For as thou hast been sanctified in us in their sight, so thou shalt be magnified among them in our presence,
5 That they may know thee, as we also have known thee, that there is no God beside thee, O Lord.
6 Renew thy signs, and work new miracles.
7 Glorify thy hand, and thy right arm.
8 Raise up indignation, and pour out wrath.
9 Take away the adversary, and crush the enemy.
10 Hasten the time, and remember the end, that they may declare thy wonderful works.
11 Let him that escapeth be consumed by the rage of the fire: and let them perish that oppress thy people.
12 Crush the head of the princes of the enemies, that say: There is no other beside us.
13 Gather together all the tribes of Jacob: that they may know that there is no God besides thee, and may declare thy great works: and thou shalt inherit them as from the beginning.
14 Have mercy on thy people, upon whom thy name is invoked: and upon Israel, *whom thou hast raised up to be thy first-born.
15 Have mercy on Jerusalem, the city which thou hast sanctified, the city of thy rest.
16 Fill Sion with thy unspeakable words, and thy people with thy glory.
17 Give testimony to them that are thy creatures from the beginning, and raise up the prophecies which the former prophets spoke in thy name.
18 Reward them that patiently wait for thee, that thy prophets may be found faithful: and hear the prayers of thy servants,
19 *According to the blessing of Aaron over thy people, and direct us into the way of justice, and let all know that dwell upon the earth, that thou art God, the beholder of all ages.
20 The belly will devour all meat, yet one is better than another.
21 The palate tasteth venison, and the wise heart false speeches.
22 A perverse heart will cause grief, and a man of experience will resist it.
23 A woman will receive every man: yet one daughter is better than another.
24 The beauty of a woman cheereth the countenance of her husband, and a man desireth nothing more.
25 If she have a tongue that can cure, and likewise mitigate and shew mercy: her husband is not like other men.
26 He that possesseth a good wife, beginneth a possession: she is a help like to himself, and a pillar of rest.
27 Where there is no hedge, the possession shall be spoiled: and where there is no wife, he mourneth that is in want.
28 Who will trust him that hath no rest, and that lodgeth wheresoever the night taketh him, as a robber well appointed, that skippeth from city to city.
14: Exod. iv. 22.
19: Num. vi. 24.
Of the choice of friends and counsellors.
1 Every friend will say: I also am his friend: but there is a friend, that is only a friend in name. Is not this a grief even to death?
2 But a companion and a friend shall be turned to an enemy.
3 O wicked presumption, whence camest thou to cover the earth with thy malice, and deceitfulness?
4 There is a companion who rejoiceth with his friend in his joys, but in the time of trouble he will be against him.
5 There is a companion who condoleth with his friend for his belly's sake, and he will take up a shield against enemy.
6 Forget not thy friend in thy mind, and be not unmindful of him in thy riches.
7 Consult not with him that layeth a snare for thee, and hide thy counsel from them that envy thee.
8 Every counsellor giveth out counsel, but there is one that is a counsellor for himself.
9 Beware of a counsellor. And know before what need he hath: for he will devise to his own mind:
10 Lest he thrust a stake into the ground, and say to thee:
11 Thy way is good; and then stand on the other side to see what shall befall thee.
12 Treat not with a man without religion concerning holiness, nor with an unjust man concerning justice, nor with a woman touching her of whom she is jealous, nor with a coward concerning war, nor with a merchant about traffic, nor with a buyer of selling, nor with an envious man of giving thanks,
13 Nor with the ungodly of piety, nor with the dishonest of honesty, nor with the field-labourer of every work,
14 Nor with him that worketh by the year of the finishing of the year, nor with an idle servant of much business: give no heed to these in any matter of counsel.
15 But be continually with a holy man, whomsoever thou shalt know to observe the fear of God,
16 Whose soul is according to thy own soul: and who, when thou shalt stumble in the dark, will be sorry for thee.
17 And establish within thyself a heart of good counsel: for there is no other thing of more worth to thee than it.
18 The soul of a holy man discovereth sometimes true things, more than seven watchmen that sit in a high piece to watch.
19 But above all these things pray to the Most High, that he may direct thy way in truth.
20 In all thy works let the true word go before thee, and steady counsel before every action.
21 A wicked word shall change the heart: out of which four manner of things arise, good and evil, life and death: and the tongue is continually the ruler of them. There is a man that is subtle and a teacher of many, and yet is unprofitable to his own soul.
22 A skilful man hath taught many, and is sweet to his own soul.
23 He that speaketh sophistically, is hateful: he shall be destitute of every thing.
24 Grace is not given him from the Lord: for he is deprived of all wisdom.
25 There is a wise man that is wise to his own soul: and the fruit of his understanding is commendable.
26 A wise man instructeth his own people, and the fruits of his understanding are faithful.
27 A wise man shall be filled with blessings, and they that see shall praise him.
28 The life of a man is in the number of his days: but the days of Israel are innumerable.
29 A wise man shall inherit honour among his people, and his name shall live forever.
30 My son, prove thy soul in thy life: and if it be wicked, give it no power:
31 For all things are not expedient for all, and every kind pleaseth not every soul.
32 Be not greedy in any feasting, and pour not out thyself upon any meat:
33 For in many meats there will be sickness, and greediness will turn to choler.
34 By surfeiting many have perished: but he that is temperate, shall prolong life.
Of physicians and medicines: what is to be done in sickness, and how we are to mourn for the dead. Of the employments of labourers and artificers.
1 Honour the physician for the need thou hast of him: for the Most High hath created him.
2 For all healing is from God, and he shall receive gifts of the king.
3 The skill of the physician shall lift up his head, and in the sight of great men he shall be praised.
4 The Most High hath created medicines out of the earth, and a wise man will not abhor them.
5 *Was not bitter water made sweet with wood?
6 The virtue of these things is come to the knowledge of men, and the Most High hath given knowledge to men, that he may be honoured in his wonders.
7 By these he shall cure and shall allay their pains, and of these the apothecary shall make sweet confections, and shall make up ointments of health, and of his works there shall be no end.
8 For the peace of God is over all the face of the earth.
9 *My son, in thy sickness neglect not thyself, but pray to the Lord, and he shall heal thee.
10 Turn away from sin, and order thy hands aright, and cleanse thy heart from all offence.
11 Give a sweet savour, and a memorial of fine flour, and make a fat offering, and then give place to the physician.
12 For the Lord created him: and let him not depart from thee, for his works are necessary.
13 For there is a time when thou must fall into their hands:
14 And they shall beseech the Lord, that he would prosper what they give for ease and remedy, for their conversation.
15 He that sinneth in the sight of his Maker, shall fall into the hands of the physician.
16 My son, shed tears over the dead, and begin to lament as if thou hadst suffered some great harm, and according to judgment cover his body, and neglect not his burial.
17 And for fear of being ill spoken of, weep bitterly for a day, and then comfort thyself in thy sadness.
18 And make mourning for him according to his merit, for a day or two, for fear of detraction.
19 *For of sadness cometh death, and it overwhelmeth the strength, and the sorrow of the heart boweth down the neck.
20 In withdrawing aside, sorrow remaineth: and the substance of the poor is according to his heart.
21 Give not up thy heart to sadness, but drive it from thee: and remember the latter end.
22 Forget it not: for there is no returning, and thou shalt do him no good, and shalt hurt thyself.
23 Remember my judgment: for thine also shall be so: yesterday for me, and to-day for thee.
24 *When the dead is at rest, let his remembrance rest, and comfort him in the departing of his spirit.
25 The wisdom of a scribe cometh by his time of leisure: and he that is less in action, shall receive wisdom.
26 With what wisdom shall he be furnished that holdeth the plough, and that glorieth in the goad, that driveth the oxen therewith, and is occupied in their labours, and his whole talk is about the offspring of bulls?
27 He shall give his mind to turn up furrows, and his care is to give the kine fodder.
28 So every craftsman and workmaster that laboureth night and day, he who maketh graven seals, and by his continual diligence varieth the figure: he shall give his mind to the resemblance of the picture, and by his watching shall finish the work.
29 So doth the smith sitting by the anvil, and considering the iron-work. The vapour of the fire wasteth his flesh, and he fighteth with the heat of the furnace:
30 The noise of the hammer is always in his ears, and his eye is upon the pattern of the vessel he maketh.
31 He setteth his mind to finish his work, and his watching to polish them to perfection.
32 So doth the potter sitting at his work, turning the wheel about with his feet, who is always carefully set to his work, and maketh all his work by number:
33 He fashioneth the clay with his arm, and boweth down his strength before his feet.
34 He shall give his mind to finish the glazing, and his watching to make clean the furnace.
35 All these trust to their hands, and every one is wise in his own art.
36 Without these a city is not built.
37 And they shall not dwell nor walk about therein, and they shall not go up into the assembly.
38 Upon the judges' seat they shall not sit, and the ordinance of judgment they shall not understand, neither shall they declare discipline and judgment, and they shall not be found where parables are spoken:
39 But they shall strengthen the state of the world, and their prayer shall be in the work of their craft, applying their soul, and searching in the law of the Most High.
5: Exod. xv. 25.
9: Isai. xxxviii. 3.
19: Prov. xv. 13. and xvii. 22.
24: 2 Kings xii. 21.
The exercises of the wise man. The Lord is to be glorified for his works.
1 The wise men will seek out the wisdom of all the ancients, and will be occupied in the prophets.
2 He will keep the sayings of renowned men, and will enter withal into the subtilties of parables.
3 He will search out the hidden meanings of proverbs, and will be conversant in the secrets of parables.
4 He shall serve among great men, and: appear before the governor.
5 He shall pass into strange countries: for he shall try good and evil among men:
6 He will give his heart to resort early to the Lord, that made him, and he will pray in the sight of the Most High.
7 He will open his mouth in prayer, and will make supplication for his sins.
8 For if it shall please the great Lord, he will fill him with the spirit of understanding:
9 And he will pour forth the words of his wisdom as showers, and in his prayer he will confess to the Lord.
10 And he shall direct his counsel, and his knowledge, and in his secrets shall he meditate.
11 He shall shew forth the discipline he hath learned, and shall glory in the law of the covenant of the Lord.
12 Many shall praise his wisdom, and it shall never be forgotten.
13 The memory of him shall not depart away, and his name shall be in request from generation to generation.
14 Nations shall declare his wisdom, and the church shall shew forth his praise.
15 If he continue, he shall leave a name above a thousand: and if he rest, it shall be to his advantage.
16 I will yet meditate, that I may declare: for I am filled as with a holy transport.
17 By a voice he saith: Hear me, ye divine offspring, and bud forth as the rose planted by the brooks of waters.
18 Give ye a sweet odour as frankincense.
19 Send forth flowers, as the lily, and yield a smell, and bring forth leaves in grace, and praise with canticles, and bless the Lord in his works.
20 Magnify his name, and give glory to him with the voice of your lips, and with the canticles of your mouths, and with harps: and in praising him, you shall say in this manner:
21 *All the works of the Lord are exceeding good.
22 *At his word the waters stood as a heap: and at the words of his mouth the receptacles of waters:
23 For at his commandment favour is shewn, and there is no diminishing of his salvation.
24 The works of all flesh are before him, and there is nothing hid from his eyes.
25 He seeth from eternity to eternity, and there is nothing wonderful before him.
26 There is no saying: What is this, or what is that? for all things shall be sought in their time.
27 His blessing hath overflowed like a river:
28 *And as a flood hath watered the earth; so shall his wrath inherit the nations that have not sought after him:
29 *Even as he turned the waters into a dry land, and the earth was made dry: and his ways were made plain for their journey: so to sinners they are stumbling-blocks in his wrath.
30 Good things were created for the good from the beginning; so for the wicked, good and evil things.
31 *The principal things necessary for the life of men, are: water, fire, and iron, salt, milk, and bread of flour, and honey, and the cluster of the grape, and oil, and clothing.
32 All these things shall be for good to the holy; so to the sinners, and the ungodly, they shall be turned into evil.
33 There are spirits that are created for vengeance, and in their fury they lay on grievous torments:
34 In the time of destruction they shall pour out their force: and they shall appease the wrath of him that made them.
35 Fire, hail, famine, and death: all these were created for vengeance.
36 The teeth of beasts, and scorpions, and serpents, and the sword taking vengeance upon the ungodly unto destruction.
37 In his commandments they shall feast, and they shall be ready upon earth when need is, and when their time is come, they shall not transgress his word.
38 Therefore, from the beginning I was resolved, and I have meditated and thought on these things, and left them in writing.
39 *All the works of the Lord are good, and he will furnish every work in due time.
40 It is not to be said: This is worse than that: for all shall be well approved in their time.
41 Now, therefore, with the whole heart and mouth praise ye him, and bless the name of the Lord.
21: Gen. i. 31.; Mark vii. 37.
22: Gen. viii. 3.
28: Gen. vii. 21.
29: Exod. xiv. 21.
31: Supra xxix. 28.
39: Gen. i. 31.; Mark vii. 37.
The miseries of the life of man are relieved by the grace of God and his fear.
1 Great labour is created for all men, and a heavy yoke is upon the children of Adam, from the day of their coming out of their mother's womb, until the day of their burial into the mother of all.
2 Their thoughts, and fears of the heart, their imagination of things to come, and the day of their end:
3 From him that sitteth on a glorious throne, unto him that is humbled in earth and ashes:
4 From him that weareth purple, and beareth the crown, even to him that is covered with rough linen: wrath, envy, trouble, unquietness, and the fear of death, continual anger and strife,
5 And in the time of rest upon his bed, the sleep of the night changeth his knowledge.
6 A little and as nothing is his rest, and afterward in sleep, as in the day of keeping watch.
7 He is troubled in the vision of his heart, as if he had escaped in the day of battle. In the time of his safety he rose up, and wondereth that there is no fear:
8 Such things happen to all flesh, from man even to beast, and upon sinners are sevenfold more.
9 *Moreover, death and bloodshed, strife and sword, oppressions, famine, and affliction, and scourges:
10 All these things are created for the wicked, *and for their sakes came the flood.
11 *All things that are of the earth shall return to the earth again, **and all waters shall return to the sea.
12 All bribery and injustice shall blotted out, and fidelity shall stand for ever.
13 The riches of the unjust shall be dried up like a river, and shall pass away a noise like a great thunder in rain.
14 While he openeth his hands, he shall rejoice: but transgressors shall pine away in the end.
15 The offspring of the ungodly shall not bring forth many branches, and make a noise as unclean roots upon the top of a rock.
16 The weed growing over every water, and at the bank of the river, shall be pulled up before all grass.
17 Grace is like a paradise in blessings, and mercy remaineth for ever.
18 The life of a labourer, that is content with what he hath, shall be sweet, and in it thou shalt find a treasure.
19 Children, and the building of a city, shall establish a name; but a blameless wife shall be counted above them both.
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 tongue is above them both.
22 Thy eye desireth favour and beauty, but more than these green sown fields.
23 A friend and companion meeting together, in season; but above them both, is a wife with her husband.
24 Brethren are a help in the time of trouble, but mercy shall deliver more than they.
25 Gold and silver make the feet stand sure: but wise counsel is above them both.
26 Riches and strength lift up the heart, but above these is the fear of the Lord.
27 There is no want in the fear of the Lord, and it needeth not to seek for help.
28 The fear of the Lord is like a paradise of blessing, and they have covered it above all glory.
29 My son, in thy life-time be not indigent; for it is better to die than to want.
30 The life of him that looketh toward another man's table, is not to be counted a life: for he feedeth his soul with another man's meat.
31 But a man, well instructed and taught, will look to himself.
32 Begging will be sweet in the mouth of the unwise, but in his belly there shall burn a fire.
9: Supra xxxix. 35. and 36.
10: Gen. vii. 10.
11: Infra xli. 13. --- ** Eccle. i. 7.
Of the remembrance of death: of an evil and of a good name: of what things we ought to be ashamed.
1 O death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that hath peace in his possessions!
2 To a man that is at rest, and whose ways are prosperous in all things, and that is yet able to take meat!
3 O death, thy sentence is welcome to the man that is in need, and to him whose strength faileth:
4 Who is in a decrepit age, and that is in care about all things: and to the distrustful that loseth patience!
5 Fear not the sentence of death. Remember what things have been before thee, and what shall come after thee: this sentence is from the Lord upon all flesh.
6 And what shall come upon thee by the good pleasure of the Most High? whether ten, or a hundred, or a thousand years.
7 For among the dead there is no accusing of life.
8 The children of sinners become children of abominations, and they that converse near the houses of the ungodly.
9 The inheritance of the children of sinners shall perish, and with their posterity shall be a perpetual reproach.
10 The children will complain of an ungodly father, because for his sake they are a reproach.
11 Woe to you, ungodly men, who have forsaken the law of the most high Lord.
12 And if you be born, you shall be born in malediction: and if you die, in malediction shall be your portion.
13 *All things that are of the earth, shall return into the earth: so the ungodly shall from malediction to destruction.
14 The mourning of men is about their body, but the name of the ungodly shall be blotted out.
15 Take care of a good name: for this shall continue with thee more than a thousand treasures, precious and great.
16 A good life hath its number of days: but a good name shall continue for ever.
17 My children, keep discipline in peace: *for wisdom that is hid, and a treasure that is not seen, what profit is there in them both?
18 Better is the man that hideth his folly, than the man that hideth his wisdom.
19 Wherefore, have a shame of these things I am now going to speak of.
20 For it is not good to keep all shamefacedness, and all things do not please all men, in opinion.
21 Be ashamed of fornication before father and mother; and of a lie before a governor and a man in power;
22 Of an offence before a prince and a judge; of iniquity before a congregation and a people;
23 Of injustice before a companion and friend: And in regard to the place where thou dwellest,
24 Of theft, and of the truth of God, and the covenant; of leaning with thy elbow over meat, and of deceit in giving and taking;
25 Of silence before them that salute thee; of looking upon a harlot; and of turning away thy face from thy kinsman.
26 Turn not sway thy face from thy neighbour; and of taking away a portion, and not restoring.
27 *Gaze not upon another man's wife, and be not inquisitive after his handmaid, and approach not her bed.
28 Be ashamed of upbraiding speeches before friends; and after thou hast given, upbraid not.
13: Supra xl. 11.
17: Supra xx. 32.
27: Matt. v. 28.
Of what things we ought not to be ashamed. Cautions with regard to women. The works and greatness of God.
1 Repeat not the word which thou hast heard, and disclose not the thing that is secret; so shalt thou be truly without confusion, and shall find favour before all men: be not ashamed of any of these things, *and accept no person to sin thereby.
2 Of the law of the Most High, and of his covenant, and of judgment to justify the ungodly.
3 Of the affair of companions and travellers, and of the gift of the inheritance of friends.
4 Of exactness of balance and weights, of getting much or little.
5 Of the corruption of buying, and of merchants, and of much correction of children, and to make the side of a wicked slave to bleed.
6 Sure keeping is good over a wicked wife.
7 Where there are many hands, shut up, and deliver all things in number and weight; and put all in writing that thou givest out or receivest in.
8 Be not ashamed to inform the unwise and foolish, and the aged, that are judged by young men: and thou shalt be well instructed in all things, and well approved in the sight of all men living.
9 The father waketh for the daughter when no man knoweth, and the care for her taketh away his sleep, when she is young, lest she pass away the flower of her age, and when she is married lest she should be hateful:
10 In her virginity, lest she should be corrupted, and be found with child in her father's house; and having a husband, lest she should misbehave herself, or at the least become barren.
11 Keep a sure watch over a shameless daughter; lest at any time she make thee become a laughing-stock to thy enemies, and a bye-word in the city, and a reproach among the people, and she make thee ashamed before all the multitude.
12 Behold not every body's beauty: and tarry not among women.
13 For from garments cometh a moth, and from a woman the iniquity of a man.
14 For better is the iniquity of a man, than a woman doing a good turn, and a woman bringing shame and reproach.
15 I will now remember the works of the Lord, and I will declare the things I have seen. By the words of the Lord are his works.
16 The sun giving light hath looked upon all things, and full of the glory of the Lord is his work.
17 Hath not the Lord made the saints to declare all his wonderful works, which the Lord Almighty hath firmly settled to be established for his glory?
18 He hath searched out the deep, and the heart of men, and considered their crafty devices.
19 For the Lord knoweth all knowledge, and hath beheld the signs of the world, he declareth the things that are past, and the things that are to come, and revealeth the traces of hidden things.
20 No thought escapeth him, and no word can hide itself from him.
21 He hath beautified the glorious works of his wisdom: and he is from eternity to eternity, and to him nothing may be added,
22 Nor can he be diminished, and he hath no need of any counsellor.
23 O how desirable are all his works, and what we can know is but as a spark!
24 All these things live and remain for ever, and for every use all things obey him.
25 All things are double, one against another, and he hath made nothing defective.
26 He hath established the good things of every one. And who shall be filled with beholding his glory?
1: Lev. xix. 15.; Deut. i. 17. and xvi. 19.; Prov. xxiv. 23.; James ii. 1.
The works of God are exceedingly glorious and wonderful: no man is able sufficiently to praise him.
1 The firmament on high is his beauty, the beauty of heaven with its glorious shew.
2 The sun, when he appeareth shewing forth at his rising, an admirable instrument, the work of the Most High.
3 At noon he burneth the earth; and who can abide his burning heat? As one keeping a furnace in works of heat:
4 The sun three times as much, burneth the mountains, breathing out fiery vapours, and shining with his beams, he blindeth the eyes.
5 Great is the Lord that made him, and at his words he hath hastened his course.
6 And the moon in all in her season, is for a declaration of times and a sign of the world.
7 From the moon is the sign of the festival-day, a light that decreaseth in her perfection.
8 The month is called after her name, increasing wonderfully in her perfection.
9 Being an instrument of the armies on high, shining gloriously in the firmament of heaven.
10 The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven; the Lord enlighteneth the world on high.
11 By the words of the holy one they shall stand in judgment, and shall never fail in their watches.
12 Look upon the rainbow, and bless him that made it: *it is very beautiful in its brightness.
13 It encompasseth the heaven about with the circle of its glory, the hands of the Most High have displayed it.
14 By his commandment he maketh the snow to fall apace, and sendeth forth swiftly the lightnings of his judgment.
15 Through this are the treasures opened, and the clouds fly out like birds.
16 By his greatness he hath fixed the clouds, and the hailstones are broken.
17 At his sight shall the mountains be shaken, and at his will the south wind shall blow.
18 The noise of his thunder shall strike the earth, so doth the northern storm, and the whirlwind:
19 And as the birds lighting upon the earth, he scattereth snow, and the falling thereof is as the coming down of locusts.
20 The eye admireth at the beauty of the whiteness thereof, and the heart is astonished at the shower thereof.
21 He shall pour frost as salt upon the earth: and when it freezeth, it shall become like the tops of thistles.
22 The cold north wind bloweth, and the water is congealed into crystal: upon every gathering together of waters it shall rest, and shall clothe the waters as a breastplate.
23 And it shall devour the mountains, and burn the wilderness, and consume all that is green as with fire.
24 A present remedy of all is the speedy coming of a cloud, and a dew that meeteth it, by the heat that cometh, shall overpower it.
25 At his word the wind is still, and with his thought he appeaseth the deep, and the Lord hath planted islands therein.
26 Let them that sail on the sea, tell the dangers thereof: and when we hear with our ears, we shall admire.
27 There are great and wonderful works: a variety of beasts, and of all living things, and the monstrous creatures of whales.
28 Through him is established the end of their journey, and by his word all things are regulated.
29 We shall say much, and yet shall want words: but the sum of our words is, He is all.
30 What shall we be able to do to glorify him: for the Almighty himself is above all his works.
31 The Lord is terrible, and exceeding great, and his power is admirable.
32 Glorify the Lord as much as ever you can, for he will yet far exceed, and his magnificence is wonderful.
33 Blessing the Lord, exalt him as much as you can: for he is above all praise.
34 When you exalt him, put forth all your strength, and be not weary: for you can never go far enough.
35 *Who shall see him, and declare him? and who shall magnify him as he is from the beginning?
36 There are many things hidden from us that are greater than these: for we have seen but a few of his works.
37 But the Lord hath made all things, and to the godly he hath given wisdom.
12: Gen. ix. 13.
35: Ps. cv. 2.
The praises of the holy fathers, in particular of Henoch, Noe, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
1 Let us now praise men of renown, and our fathers in their generation.
2 The Lord hath wrought great glory through his magnificence, from the beginning.
3 Such as have borne rule in their dominions, men of great power, and endued with their wisdom, shewing forth in the prophets the dignity of prophets,
4 And ruling over the present people, and by the strength of wisdom instructing the people in most holy words.
5 Such as by their skill sought out musical tunes, and published canticles of the scriptures.
6 Rich men in virtue, studying beautifulness: living at peace in their houses.
7 All these have gained glory in their generations, and were praised in their days.
8 They that were born of them have left a name behind them, that their praises might be related:
9 And there are some, of whom there is no memorial: who are perished, as if they had never been: and are born, as if they had never been born, and their children with them.
10 But these were men of mercy, whose godly deeds have not failed:
11 Good things continue with their seed,
12 Their posterity are a holy inheritance, and their seed hath stood in the covenants:
13 And their children for their sakes remain for ever: their seed and their glory shall not be forsaken.
14 Their bodies are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto generation and generation.
15 Let the people shew forth their wisdom, and the church declare their praise.
16 *Henoch pleased God, and was translated into paradise, that he may give repentance to the nations.
17 *Noe was found perfect, just, and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation.
18 Therefore was there a remnant left to the earth, when the flood came.
19 *The covenants of the world were made with him, that all flesh should no more be destroyed with the flood.
20 *Abraham was the great father of a multitude of nations, and there was not found the like to him in glory, who kept the law of the Most High, and was in covenant with him.
21 *In his flesh he established the covenant, **and in temptation he was found faithful.
22 Therefore, by an oath he gave him glory in his posterity, that he should increase as the dust of the earth,
23 And that he would exalt his seed as the stars, and they should inherit from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.
24 And he did in like manner with Isaac, for the sake of Abraham, his father.
25 The Lord gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed his covenant upon the head of Jacob.
26 He acknowledged him in his blessings, and gave him an inheritance, and divided him his portion in twelve tribes.
27 And he preserved for him men of mercy, that found grace in the eyes of all flesh.
16: Gen. v. 24.; Heb. xi. 5.
17: Gen. vi. 9.
19: Gen. ix. 11.; Heb. xi. 7.
20: Gen. xii. 2. xv. 5. and xvii. 4.
21: Gen. xvii. 10.; Gal. iii. 6. --- ** Gen. xxii. 2.
The praises of Moses, of Aaron, and of Phinees.
1 Moses *was beloved of God, and men: whose memory is in benediction.
2 He made him like the saints in glory, and magnified him in the fear of his enemies, and with his words he made prodigies to cease.
3 *He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him commandments in the sight of his people, and shewed him his glory.
4 *He sanctified him in his faith, and meekness, and chose him out of all flesh.
5 For he heard him, and his voice, and brought him into a cloud.
6 And he gave him commandments before his face, and a law of life and instruction, that he might teach Jacob his covenant, and Israel his judgments.
7 He exalted Aaron, his brother, and like to himself of the tribe of Levi:
8 He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him the priesthood of the nation, and made him blessed in glory,
9 And he girded him about with a glorious girdle, and clothed him with a robe of glory, and crowned him with majestic attire.
10 He put upon him a garment to the feet, and breeches, and an ephod, and he compassed him with many little bells of gold all round about,
11 *That as he went there might be a sound, and a noise made that might be heard in the temple, for a memorial to the children of his people.
12 He gave him a holy robe of gold, and blue, and purple, a woven work, of a wise man, endued with judgment and truth:
13 Of twisted scarlet, the work of an artist, with precious stones cut and set in gold, and graven by the work of a lapidary, for a memorial, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
14 And a crown of gold upon his mitre, wherein was engraved Holiness, an ornament of honour: a work of power, and delightful to the eyes for its beauty.
15 Before him there were none so beautiful, even from the beginning.
16 No stranger was ever clothed with them, but only his children alone, and his grand-children for ever.
17 His sacrifices were consumed with fire every day.
18 *Moses filled his hands, and anointed him with holy oil.
19 This was made to him for an everlasting testament, and to his seed as the days of heaven, to execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praise, and to glorify his people in his name.
20 He chose him out of all men living, to offer sacrifice to God, incense, and a good savour, for a memorial to make reconciliation for his people:
21 And he gave him power in his commandments, in the covenants of his judgments, that he should teach Jacob his testimonies, and give light to Israel in his law.
22 *And strangers stood up against him, and through envy, the men that were with Dathan and Abiron, compassed him about in the wilderness, and the congregation of Core, in their wrath.
23 The Lord God saw, and it pleased him not, and they were consumed in his wrathful indignation.
24 He wrought wonders upon them, and consumed them with a flame of fire.
25 And he added glory to Aaron, and gave him an inheritance, and divided unto him the first-fruits of the increase of the earth.
26 He prepared them bread in the first place unto fulness: for the sacrifices also of the Lord they shall eat, which he gave to him, and to his seed.
27 But he shall not inherit among the people in the land, and he hath no portion among the people: for he himself is his portion and inheritance.
28 *Phinees, the son of Eleazar, is the third in glory, by imitating him in the fear of the Lord:
29 And he stood up in the shameful fall of the people: in the goodness and readiness of his soul, he appeased God for Israel.
30 Therefore he made to him a covenant of peace, to be the prince of the sanctuary, and of his people, that the dignity of priesthood should be to him and to his seed for ever.
31 And a covenant to David, the king, the son of Jesse, of the tribe of Juda, an inheritance to him and to his seed, that he might give wisdom into our heart to judge his people in justice, that their good things might not be abolished, and he made their glory in their nation everlasting.
1: Exod. xi. 3.
3: Exod. vi. 7. and 8.
4: Num. xii. 3. and 7.; Heb. iii. 2. and 5.
11: Exod. xxviii. 35.
18: Lev. viii. 12.
22: Num. xvi. 1. and 3.
28: Num. xxv. 7.; 1 Mac. ii. 26. 54.
The praise of Josue, of Caleb, and of Samuel.
1 Valiant in war was Jesus, the son of Nave, who was successor of Moses among the prophets, who was great according to his name,
2 Very great for the saving the elect of God, to overthrow the enemies that rose up against them, that he might get the inheritance for Israel.
3 How great glory did he gain when he lifted up his hands, and stretched out swords against the cities?
4 Who before him hath so resisted? for the Lord himself brought the enemies.
5 *Was not the sun stopped in his anger, and one day made as two?
6 He called upon the most high Sovereign, when the enemies assaulted him on every side, and the great and holy God heard him by hailstones of exceeding great force.
7 He made a violent assault against the nation of his enemies, and in the descent he destroyed the adversaries,
8 That the nations might know his power, that it is not easy to fight against God. And he followed the mighty one:
9 *And in the days of Moses he did a work of mercy, he and Caleb, the son of Jephone, in standing against the enemy, and withholding the people from sins, and appeasing the wicked murmuring.
10 And they two being appointed, were delivered out of the danger, from among the number of six hundred thousand men on foot, to bring them into their inheritance, into the land that floweth with milk and honey.
11 And the Lord gave strength also to Caleb, and his strength continued even to his old age, so that he went up to the high places of the land, and his seed obtained it for an inheritance:
12 That all the children of Israel might see, that it is good to obey the holy God.
13 Then all the judges, every one by name, whose heart was not corrupted: who turned not away from the Lord,
14 That their memory might be blessed, and their bones spring up out of their place,
15 And their name continue for ever, the glory of the holy men remaining unto their children.
16 Samuel, the prophet of the Lord, the beloved of the Lord, his God, established a new government, and anointed princes over his people.
17 By the law of the Lord he judged the congregation, and the God of Jacob beheld, and by his fidelity he was proved a prophet.
18 And he was known to be faithful in his words, because he saw the God of light:
19 *And called upon the name of the Lord Almighty, in fighting against the enemies who beset him on every side, when he offered a lamb without blemish.
20 And the Lord thundered from heaven, and with a great noise made his voice to be heard.
21 And he crushed the princes of the Tyrians, and all the lords of the Philistines:
22 *And before the time of the end of his life in the world, he protested before the Lord, and his anointed; money, or any thing else, *even to a shoe, he had not taken of any man, and no man did accuse him.
23 And after this he slept, *and he made known to the king, and shewed him the end of his life, and he lifted up his voice from the earth in prophecy, to blot out the wickedness of the nation.
5: Josue x. 14.
9: Num. xiv. 6.
19: 1 Kings vii.
22: 1 Kings xii. --- ** Gen. xiv. 23.
23: 1 Kings xxviii. 18.
The praise of Nathan, of David, and of Solomon: of his fall and punishment.
1 Then Nathan, *the prophet, arose in the days of David.
2 And as the fat taken away from the flesh, so was David chosen from among the children of Israel.
3 *He played with lions as with lambs: and with bears he did in like manner as with the lambs of the flock, in his youth.
4 *Did not he kill the giant, and take away reproach from his people?
5 In lifting up his hand, with the stone in the sling, he beat down the boasting of Goliath:
6 For he called upon the Lord, the Almighty, and he gave strength in his right hand, to take away the mighty warrior, and to set up the horn of his nation.
7 *So in ten thousand did he glorify him, and praised him in the blessings of the Lord, in offering to him a crown of glory:
8 For he destroyed the enemies on every side, and extirpated the Philistines, the adversaries unto this day: he broke their horn for ever.
9 In all his works he gave thanks to the holy One, and to the Most High, with words of glory.
10 With his whole heart he praised the Lord, and loved God that made him: and he gave him power against his enemies.
11 And he set singers before the altar, and by their voices he made sweet melody.
12 And to the festivals he added beauty, and set in order the solemn times, even to the end of his life, that they should praise the holy name of the Lord, and magnify the holiness of God in the morning.
13 *The Lord took away his sins, and exalted his horn for ever: and he gave him a covenant of the kingdom, and a throne of glory in Israel.
14 After him arose up a wise son, and for his sake he cast down all the power of the enemies.
15 *Solomon reigned in days of peace, and God, brought all his enemies under him, that he might build a house in his name, and prepare a sanctuary for ever: O how wise wast thou in thy youth!
16 *And thou wast filled as a river with wisdom, and thy soul covered the earth.
17 And thou didst multiply riddles in parables: thy name went abroad to the islands far off, and thou wast beloved in thy peace.
18 The countries wondered at thee for thy canticles, and proverbs, and parables, and interpretations,
19 And at the name of the Lord God, whose surname is, God of Israel.
20 *Thou didst gather gold as copper, and didst multiply silver as lead,
21 And thou didst bow thyself to women: and by thy body thou wast brought under subjection.
22 Thou hast stained thy glory, and defiled thy seed, so as to bring wrath upon thy children, and to have thy folly kindled,
23 That thou shouldst make the kingdom to be divided, *and out of Ephraim a rebellious kingdom to rule.
24 But God will not leave off his mercy, and he will not destroy, nor abolish his own works, neither will he cut up by the roots the offspring of his elect: and he will not utterly take away the seed of him that loveth the Lord.
25 Wherefore he gave a remnant to Jacob, and to David, of the same stock.
26 And Solomon had an end with his fathers.
27 And he left behind him of his seed, the folly of the nation,
28 Even Roboam, that had little wisdom, who turned away the people through his counsel:
29 *And Jeroboam, the son of Nabat, who caused Israel to sin, and shewed Ephraim the way of sin, and their sins were multiplied exceedingly.
30 They removed them far away from their land.
31 And they sought out all iniquities, till vengeance came upon them, and put an end to all their sins.
1: 1 Kings xii. 1.
3: 1 Kings xvii. 31.
4: 1 Kings xvii. 49.
7: 1 Kings xviii. 7.
13: 2 Kings xii. 13.
15: 3 Kings iii. 1.
16: 3 Kings iv. 31.
20: 3 Kings x. 27.
23: 3 Kings xii. 16.
29: 3 Kings xii. 28.
The praise of Elias, of Eliseus, of Ezechias, and of Isaias.
1 And *Elias, the prophet, stood up, as a fire, and his word burnt like a torch.
2 He brought a famine upon them, and they that provoked him in their envy, were reduced to a small number, for they could not endure the commandments of the Lord.
3 *By the word of the Lord he shut up the heaven, and he brought down fire from heaven thrice.
4 Thus was Elias magnified in his wondrous works. And who can glory like to thee?
5 *Who raisedst up a dead man from below, from the lot of death, by the word of the Lord God.
6 Who broughtest down kings to destruction, and brokest easily their power in pieces, and the glorious from their bed.
7 Who hearest judgment in Sina, and in Horeb the judgments of vengeance.
8 Who anointedst kings to penance, and madest prophets successors after thee.
9 *Who wast taken up in a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot of fiery horses.
10 Who art registered in the judgments of times to appease the wrath of the Lord, *to reconcile the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob.
11 Blessed are they that saw thee, and were honoured with thy friendship.
12 For we live only in our life, but after death our name shall not be such.
13 *Elias was indeed covered with the whirlwind, and his spirit was filled up in Eliseus: in his days he feared not the prince, and no man was more powerful than he.
14 No word could overcome him, *and after death his body prophesied.
15 In his life he did great wonders, and in death he wrought miracles.
16 For all this the people repented not, neither did they depart from their sins, till they were cast out of their land, and were scattered through all the earth.
17 And there was left but a small people, and a prince in the house of David.
18 Some of these did that which pleased God: but others committed many sins.
19 Ezechias fortified his city, and brought in water into the midst thereof, and he digged a rock with iron, and made a well for water.
20 *In his days Sennacherib came up, and sent Rabsaces, and lifted up his hand against them, and he stretched out his hand against Sion, and became proud through his power.
21 Then their hearts and hands trembled: and they were in pain as women in travail.
22 And they called upon the Lord, who is merciful, and spreading their hands, they lifted them up to heaven: and the holy Lord God quickly heard their voice.
23 He was not mindful of their sins, neither did he deliver them up to their enemies, but he purified them by the hand of Isaias, the holy prophet.
24 *He overthrew the army of the Assyrians, and the angel of the Lord destroyed them.
25 For Ezechias did that which pleased God, and walked valiantly in the way of David, his father, which Isaias, the great prophet, and faithful in the sight of God, had commanded him.
26 *In his days the sun went backward, and he lengthened the king's life.
27 With a great spirit he saw the things that are to come to pass at last, and comforted the mourners in Sion.
28 He shewed what should come to pass for ever, and secret things before they came.
1: 3 Kings xvii. 1.
3: 3 Kings xvii. 1.; 4 Kings i. 10 and 12.
5: 3 Kings xvii. 22.
9: 4 Kings ii. 11.
10: Malac. iv. 6.
13: 4 Kings ii. 12.
14: 4 Kings xiii. 21.
20: 4 Kings xviii. 13.
24: 4 Kings xix. 35.; Tobias i. 21.; Isai. xxxvii. 36.; 1 Mac. vii. 41.; 2 Mac. viii. 19.
26: 4 Kings xx. 11.; Isai. xxxviii. 8.
The praise of Josias, of Jeremias, Ezechiel, and the twelve prophets. Also of Zorobabel, Jesus, the son of Josedech, Nehemias, Enoch, Joseph, Seth, Sem, and Adam.
1 The *memory of Josias is like the composition of a sweet smell made by the art of a perfumer:
2 His remembrance shall be sweet as honey in every mouth, and as music at a banquet of wine.
3 He was directed by God unto the repentance of the nation, and he took away the abominations of wickedness.
4 And he directed his heart towards the Lord, and in the days of sinners he strengthened godliness.
5 Except David, and Ezechias, and Josias, all committed sin.
6 For the kings of Juda forsook the law of the Most High, and despised the fear of God.
7 So they gave their kingdom to others, and their glory to a strange nation.
8 *They burnt the chosen city of holiness, and made the streets thereof desolate, according to the prediction of Jeremias.
9 For they treated him evil, who was consecrated a prophet from his mother's womb, to overthrow, and pluck up, and destroy, and to build again, and renew.
10 *It was Ezechiel that saw the glorious vision, which was shewn him upon the chariot of cherubims.
11 For he made mention of the enemies under the figure of rain, and of doing good to them that shewed right ways.
12 And may the bones of the twelve prophets spring up out of their place: for they strengthened Jacob, and redeemed themselves by strong faith.
13 *How shall we magnify Zorobabel? for he was as a signet on the right hand:
14 *In like manner Jesus, the son of Josedec? who in their days built the house, and set up a holy temple to the Lord, prepared for everlasting glory.
15 And let Nehemias be a long time remembered, who raised up for us our walls that were cast down, and set up the gates and the bars, who rebuilt our houses.
16 No man was born upon earth like Henoch: for he also was taken up from the earth.
17 *Nor as Joseph, who was a man born prince of his brethren, the support of his family, the ruler of his brethren, the stay of the people:
18 And his bones were visited, and after death they prophesied.
19 *Seth, and Sem, obtained glory among men: and above every soul Adam in the beginning.
1: 4 Kings xxii. 1.
8: 4 Kings xxv. 9.
10: Ez. i. 4.
13: 1 Esd. iii. 2.; Agg. i. 14. and ii. and iii. 5. and xxii. 24.
14: Zach. iii. 1.
17: Gen. xli. 40. xlii. 3. xlv. 5. and l. 20.
19: Gen. iv. 25.
The praises of Simon, the high priest. The conclusion.
1 Simon, *the high priest, the son of Onias, who in his life propped up the house, and in his days fortified the temple.
2 By him also the height of the temple was founded, the double building, and the high walls of the temple.
3 In his days the wells of water flowed out, and they were filled as the sea above measure.
4 He took care of his nation, and delivered it from destruction.
5 He prevailed to enlarge the city, and obtained glory in his conversation with the people: and enlarged the entrance of the house, and the court.
6 He shone in his days as the morning star in the midst of a cloud, and as the moon at the full.
7 And as the sun when it shineth, so did he shine in the temple of God.
8 And as the rainbow giving light in the bright clouds, and as the flower of roses in the days of the spring, and as the lilies that are on the brink of the water, and as the sweet smelling frankincense in the time of summer.
9 As a bright fire, and frankincense burning in the fire.
10 As a massy vessel of gold, adorned with every precious stone.
11 As an olive-tree budding forth, and a cypress-tree rearing itself on high, when he put on the robe of glory, and was clothed with the perfection of power.
12 When he went up to the holy altar, he honoured the vesture of holiness.
13 And when he took the portions out of the hands of the priests, he himself stood by the altar. And about him was the ring of his brethren: and as the cedar planted in Mount Libanus,
14 And as branches of palm-trees, they stood round about him, and all the sons of Aaron, in their glory.
15 And the oblation of the Lord was in their hands, before all the congregation of Israel: and finishing his service, on the altar, to honour the offering of the Most High King,
16 He stretched forth his hand to make a libation, and offered of the blood of the grape.
17 He poured out at the foot of the altar a divine odour to the Most High Prince.
18 Then the sons of Aaron shouted, they sounded with beaten trumpets, and made a great noise, to be heard for a remembrance before God.
19 Then all the people together made haste, and fell down to the earth upon their faces, to adore the Lord, their God, and to pray to the Almighty God, the Most High.
20 And the singers lifted up their voices, and in the great house the sound of sweet melody was increased.
21 And the people in prayer besought the Lord, the Most High, until the worship of the Lord was perfected, and they had finished their office.
22 Then coming down, he lifted up his hands over all the congregation of the children of Israel, to give glory to God with his lips, and to glory in his name:
23 And he repeated his prayer, willing to shew the power of God.
24 And now pray ye to the God of all, who hath done great things in all the earth, who hath increased our days from our mother's womb, and hath done with us according to his mercy:
25 May he grant us joyfulness of heart, and that there be peace in our days in Israel for ever:
26 That Israel may believe that the mercy of God is with us, to deliver us in his days.
27 There are two nations which my soul abhorreth: and the third is no nation, which I hate:
28 They that sit on Mount Seir, and the Philistines, and the foolish people that dwell in Sichem.
29 Jesus, the son of Sirach, of Jerusalem, hath written in this book the doctrine of wisdom and instruction, who renewed wisdom from his heart.
30 Blessed is he that is conversant in these good things: and he that layeth them up in his heart shall be wise always.
31 For if he do them, he shall be strong to do all things: because the light of God guideth his steps.
1: 1 Mac. xii. 6.; 2 Mac. iii. 4.
A prayer of praise and thanksgiving.
1 A prayer of Jesus, the son of Sirach. I will give glory to thee, O Lord, O King, and I will praise thee, O God, my Saviour.
2 I will give glory to thy name: for thou hast been a helper and protector to me.
3 And hast preserved my body from destruction, from the snare of an unjust tongue, and from the lips of them that forge lies, and in the sight of them that stood by, thou hast been my helper.
4 And thou hast delivered me according to the multitude of the mercy of thy name, from them that did roar, prepared to devour.
5 Out of the hands of them that sought my life, and from the gates of afflictions, which compassed me about:
6 From the oppression of the flame which surrounded me, and in the midst of the fire I was not burnt.
7 From the depth of the belly of hell, and from an unclean tongue, and from lying words, from an unjust king, and from a slanderous tongue:
8 My soul shall praise the Lord even to death:
9 And my life was drawing near to hell beneath.
10 They compassed me on every side, and there was no one that would help me. I looked for the succour of men, and there was none.
11 I remembered thy mercy, O Lord, and thy works, which are from the beginning of the world.
12 How thou deliverest them that wait for thee, O Lord, and savest them out of the hands of the nations.
13 Thou hast exalted my dwelling-place upon the earth and I have prayed for death to pass away.
14 I called upon the Lord, the Father of my Lord, that he would not leave me in the day of my trouble, and in the time of the proud, without help.
15 I will praise thy name continually, and will praise it with thanksgiving, and my prayer was heard.
16 And thou hast saved me from destruction, and hast delivered me from the evil time.
17 Therefore, I will give thanks, and praise thee, and bless the name of the Lord.
18 When I was yet young, before I wandered about, I sought for wisdom openly in my prayer.
19 I prayed for her before the temple, and unto the very end I will seek after her, and she flourished as a grape soon ripe.
20 My heart delighted in her, my foot walked in the right way, from my youth up I sought after her.
21 I bowed down my ear a little, and received her.
22 I found much wisdom in myself, and I profited much therein.
23 To him that giveth me wisdom, will I give glory.
24 For I have determined to follow her: I have had a zeal for good, and shall not be confounded.
25 My soul hath wrestled for her, and in doing it I have been confirmed.
26 I stretched forth my hands on high, and I bewailed my ignorance of her.
27 I directed my soul to her, and in knowledge I found her.
28 I possessed my heart with her from the beginning: therefore I shall not be forsaken.
29 My entrails were troubled in seeking her: therefore shall I possess a good possession.
30 The Lord hath given me a tongue for my reward: and with it I will praise him.
31 Draw near to me, ye unlearned, and gather yourselves together into the house of discipline.
32 Why are ye slow? and what do you say of these things? your souls are exceedingly thirsty.
33 I have opened my mouth, and have spoken: buy her for yourselves without silver,
34 And submit your neck to the yoke, and let your soul receive discipline: for she is near at hand to be found.
35 Behold with your eyes how I have laboured a little, and have found much rest to myself.
36 Receive ye discipline as a great sum of money, and possess abundance of gold by her.
37 Let your soul rejoice in his mercy, and you shall not be confounded in his praise.
38 Work your work before the time, and he will give you your reward in his time.