Sirac (NAB) 27
27 1 For the sake of profit many sin, and the struggle for wealth blinds the eyes.
2 Like a peg driven between fitted stones, between buying and selling sin is wedged in.
3 Unless you earnestly hold fast to the fear of the LORD, suddenly your house will be thrown down.
4 When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear; so do a man's faults when he speaks.
5 As the test of what the potter molds is in the furnace, so in his conversation is the test of a man.
6 The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so too does a man's speech disclose the bent of his mind.
7 Praise no man before he speaks, for it is then that men are tested.
8 If you strive after justice you will attain it, and put it on like a splendid robe.
9 Birds nest with their own kind, and fidelity comes to those who live by it.
10 As a lion crouches in wait for prey, so do sins for evildoers.
11 Ever wise are the discourses of the devout, but the godless man, like the moon, is inconstant.
12 Limit the time you spend among fools, but frequent the company of thoughtful men.
13 The conversation of the wicked is offensive, their laughter is wanton guilt.
14 Their oath-filled talk makes the hair stand on end, their brawls make one stop one's ears.
15 Wrangling among the haughty ends in bloodshed, their cursing is painful to hear.
16 He who betrays a secret cannot be trusted, he will never find an intimate friend.
17 Cherish your friend, keep faith with him; but if you betray his confidence, follow him not;
18 For as an enemy might kill a man, you have killed your neighbor's friendship.
19 Like a bird released from the hand, you have let your friend go and cannot recapture him;
20 Follow him not, for he is far away, he has fled like a gazelle from the trap.
21 A wound can be bound up, and an insult forgiven, but he who betrays secrets does hopeless damage.
22 He who has shifty eyes plots mischief and no one can ward him off;
23 In your presence he uses honeyed talk, and admires your every word, But later he changes his tone and twists your words to your ruin.
24 There is nothing that I hate so much, and the LORD hates him as well.
25 As a stone falls back on him who throws it up, so a blow struck in treachery injures more than one.
26 As he who digs a pit falls into it, and he who lays a snare is caught in it,
27 Whoever does harm will be involved in it without knowing how it came upon him.
28 Mockery and abuse will be the lot of the proud, and vengeance lies in wait for them like a lion.
29 The trap seizes those who rejoice in pitfalls, and pain will consume them before they die;
30 Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.
28 1 The vengeful will suffer the LORD'S vengeance, for he remembers their sins in detail.
2 Forgive your neighbor's injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
3 Should a man nourish anger against his fellows and expect healing from the LORD?
4 Should a man refuse mercy to his fellows, yet seek pardon for his own sins?
5 If he who is but flesh cherishes wrath, who will forgive his sins?
6 Remember your last days, set enmity aside; remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
7 Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor; of the Most High's covenant, and overlook faults.
8 Avoid strife and your sins will be fewer, for a quarrelsome man kindles disputes,
9 Commits the sin of disrupting friendship and sows discord among those at peace.
10 The more wood, the greater the fire, the more underlying it, the fiercer the fight; The greater a man's strength, the sterner his anger, the greater his power, the greater his wrath.
11 Pitch and resin make fires flare up, and insistent quarrels provoke bloodshed.
12 If you blow upon a spark, it quickens into flame, if you spit on it, it dies out; yet both you do with your mouth!
13 Cursed be gossips and the double-tongued, for they destroy the peace of many.
14 A meddlesome tongue subverts many, and makes them refugees among the peoples; It destroys walled cities, and overthrows powerful dynasties.
15 A meddlesome tongue can drive virtuous women from their homes and rob them of the fruit of their toil;
16 Whoever heeds it has no rest, nor can he dwell in peace.
17 A blow from a whip raises a welt, but a blow from the tongue smashes bones;
18 Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not as many as by the tongue.
19 Happy he who is sheltered from it, and has not endured its wrath; Who has not borne its yoke nor been fettered with its chain;
20 For its yoke is a yoke of iron and its chains are chains of bronze!
21 Dire is the death it inflicts, besides which even the nether world is a gain;
22 It will not take hold among the just nor scorch them in its flame,
23 But those who forsake the LORD will fall victims to it, as it burns among them unquenchably! It will hurl itself against them like a lion; like a panther, it will tear them to pieces.
24 As you hedge round your vineyard with thorns, set barred doors over your mouth;
25 As you seal up your silver and gold, so balance and weigh your words.
26 Take care not to slip by your tongue and fall victim to your foe waiting in ambush.
29 1 He does a kindness who lends to his neighbor, and he fulfills the precepts who holds out a helping hand.
2 Lend to your neighbor in his hour of need, and pay back your neighbor when a loan falls due;
3 Keep your promise, be honest with him, and you will always come by what you need.
4 Many a man who asks for a loan adds to the burdens of those who help him;
5 When he borrows, he kisses the lender's hand and speaks with respect of his creditor's wealth; But when payment is due he disappoints him and says he is helpless to meet the claim.
6 If the lender is able to recover barely half, he considers this an achievement; If not, he is cheated of his wealth and acquires an enemy at no extra charge; With curses and insults the borrower pays him back, with abuse instead of honor.
7 Many refuse to lend, not out of meanness, but from fear of being cheated.
8 To a poor man, however, be generous; keep him not waiting for your alms;
9 Because of the precept, help the needy, and in their want, do not send them away empty-handed.
10 Spend your money for your brother and friend, and hide it not under a stone to perish;
11 Dispose of your treasure as the Most High commands, for that will profit you more than the gold.
12 Store up almsgiving in your treasure house, and it will save you from every evil;
13 Better than a stout shield and a sturdy spear it will fight for you against the foe.
14 A good man goes surety for his neighbor, and only the shameless would play him false;
15 Forget not the kindness of your backer, for he offers his very life for you.
16 The wicked turn a pledge on their behalf into misfortune, and the ingrate abandons his protector;
17 Going surety has ruined many prosperous men and tossed them about like waves of the sea,
18 Has exiled men of prominence and sent them wandering through foreign lands.
19 The sinner through surety comes to grief, and he who undertakes too much falls into lawsuits.
20 Go surety for your neighbor according to your means, but take care lest you fall thereby.
21 Life's prime needs are water, bread, and clothing, a house, too, for decent privacy.
22 Better a poor man's fare under the shadow of one's own roof than sumptuous banquets among strangers.
23 Be it little or much, be content with what you have, and pay no heed to him who would disparage your home;
24 A miserable life it is to go from house to house, for as a guest you dare not open your mouth.
25 The visitor has no thanks for filling the cups; besides, you will hear these bitter words:
26 "Come here, stranger, set the table, give me to eat the food you have!
27 Away, stranger, for one more worthy; for my brother's visit I need the room!"
28 Painful things to a sensitive man are abuse at home and insults from his creditors.
30 1 He who loves his son chastises him often, that he may be his joy when he grows up.
2 He who disciplines his son will benefit from him, and boast of him among his intimates.
3 He who educates his son makes his enemy jealous, and shows his delight in him among his friends.
4 At the father's death, he will seem not dead, since he leaves after him one like himself,
5 Whom he looks upon through life with joy, and even in death, without regret:
6 The avenger he leaves against his foes, and the one to repay his friends with kindness.
7 He who spoils his son will have wounds to bandage, and will quake inwardly at every outcry.
8 A colt untamed turns out stubborn; a son left to himself grows up unruly.
9 Pamper your child and he will be a terror for you, indulge him and he will bring you grief.
10 Share not in his frivolity lest you share in his sorrow, when finally your teeth are clenched in remorse.
11 Give him not his own way in his youth, and close not your eyes to his follies.
12 Bend him to the yoke when he is young, thrash his sides while he is still small, Lest he become stubborn, disobey you, and leave you disconsolate.
13 Discipline your son, make heavy his yoke, lest his folly humiliate you.
14 Better a poor man strong and robust, than a rich man with wasted frame.
15 More precious than gold is health and well-being, contentment of spirit than coral.
16 No treasure greater than a healthy body; no happiness, than a joyful heart!
17 Preferable is death to a bitter life, unending sleep to constant illness.
18 Dainties set before one who cannot eat are like the offerings placed before a tomb.
19 What good is an offering to an idol that can neither taste nor smell?
20 So it is with the afflicted man who groans at the good things his eyes behold!
21 Do not give in to sadness, torment not yourself with brooding;
22 Gladness of heart is the very life of man, cheerfulness prolongs his days.
23 Distract yourself, renew your courage, drive resentment far away from you; For worry has brought death to many, nor is there aught to be gained from resentment.
24 Envy and anger shorten one's life, worry brings on premature old age.
25 One who is cheerful and gay while at table benefits from his food.
31 1 Keeping watch over riches wastes the flesh, and the care of wealth drives away rest.
2 Concern for one's livelihood banishes slumber; more than a serious illness it disturbs repose.
3 The rich man labors to pile up wealth, and his only rest is wanton pleasure;
4 The poor man toils for a meager subsistence, and if ever he rests, he finds himself in want.
5 The lover of gold will not be free from sin, for he who pursues wealth is led astray by it.
6 Many have been ensnared by gold, though destruction lay before their eyes;
7 It is a stumbling block to those who are avid for it, a snare for every fool.
8 Happy the rich man found without fault, who turns not aside after gain!
9 Who is he, that we may praise him? he, of all his kindred, has done wonders,
10 For he has been tested by gold and come off safe, and this remains his glory; He could have sinned but did not, could have done evil but would not,
11 So that his possessions are secure, and the assembly recounts his praises.
12 If you are dining with a great man, bring not a greedy gullet to his table, Nor cry out, "How much food there is here!"
13 Remember that gluttony is evil. No creature is greedier than the eye: therefore it weeps for any cause.
14 Toward what he eyes, do not put out a hand; nor reach when he does for the same dish.
15 Recognize that your neighbor feels as you do, and keep in mind your own dislikes:
16 Behave at table like a favored guest, and be not greedy, lest you be despised.
17 Be the first to stop, as befits good manners; gorge not yourself, lest you give offense.
18 If there are many with you at table, be not the first to reach out your hand.
19 Does not a little suffice for a well-bred man? When he lies down, it is without discomfort.
20 Distress and anguish and loss of sleep, and restless tossing for the glutton! Moderate eating ensures sound slumber and a clear mind next day on rising.
21 If perforce you have eaten too much, once you have emptied your stomach, you will have relief.
22 Listen to me, my son, and scorn me not; later you will find my advice good. In whatever you do, be moderate, and no sickness will befall you.
23 On a man generous with food, blessings are invoked, and this testimony to his goodness is lasting;
24 He who is miserly with food is denounced in public, and this testimony to his stinginess is lasting.
25 Let not wine-drinking be the proof of your strength, for wine has been the ruin of many.
26 As the furnace probes the work of the smith, so does wine the hearts of the insolent.
27 Wine is very life to man if taken in moderation. Does he really live who lacks the wine which was created for his joy?
28 Joy of heart, good cheer and merriment are wine drunk freely at the proper time.
29 Headache, bitterness and disgrace is wine drunk amid anger and strife.
30 More and more wine is a snare for the fool; it lessens his strength and multiplies his wounds.
31 Rebuke not your neighbor when wine is served, nor put him to shame while he is merry; Use no harsh words with him and distress him not in the presence of others.
32 1 If you are chosen to preside at dinner, be not puffed up, but with the guests be as one of themselves; Take care of them first before you sit down;
2 when you have fulfilled your duty, then take your place, To share in their joy and win praise for your hospitality.
3 Being older, you may talk; that is only your right, but temper your wisdom, not to disturb the singing.
4 When wine is present, do not pour out discourse, and flaunt not your wisdom at the wrong time.
5 Like a seal of carnelian in a setting of gold is a concert when wine is served.
6 Like a gold mounting with an emerald seal is string music with delicious wine.
7 Young man, speak only when necessary, when they have asked you more than once;
8 Be brief, but say much in those few words, be like the wise man, taciturn.
9 When among your elders be not forward, and with officials be not too insistent.
10 Like the lightning that flashes before a storm is the esteem that shines on modesty.
11 When it is time to leave, tarry not; be off for home! There take your ease,
12 And there enjoy doing as you wish, but without sin or words of pride.
13 Above all, give praise to your Creator, who showers his favors upon you.
14 He who would find God must accept discipline; he who seeks him obtains his request.
15 He who studies the law masters it, but the hypocrite finds it a trap.
16 His judgment is sound who fears the LORD; out of obscurity he draws forth a clear plan.
17 The sinner turns aside reproof and distorts the law to suit his purpose.
18 The thoughtful man will not neglect direction; the proud and insolent man is deterred by nothing.
19 Do nothing without counsel, and then you need have no regrets.
20 Go not on a way that is set with snares, and let not the same thing trip you twice.
21 Be not too sure even of smooth roads,
22 be careful on all your paths.
23 Whatever you do, be on your guard, for in this way you will keep the commandments.
24 He who keeps the law preserves himself; and he who trusts in the LORD shall not be put to shame.
33 1 No evil can harm the man who fears the LORD; through trials, again and again he is safe.
2 He who hates the law is without wisdom, and is tossed about like a boat in a storm.
3 The prudent man trusts in the word of the LORD, and the law is dependable for him as a divine oracle.
4 Prepare your words and you will be listened to; draw upon your training, and then give your answer.
5 Like the wheel of a cart is the mind of a fool; his thoughts revolve in circles.
6 A fickle friend is like the stallion that neighs, no matter who the rider.
7 Why is one day more important than another, when it is the sun that lights up every day?
8 It is due to the LORD'S wisdom that they differ; it is through him the seasons and feasts come and go.
9 Some he dignifies and sanctifies, and others he lists as ordinary days.
10 So too, all men are of clay, for from earth man was formed;
11 Yet with his great knowledge the LORD makes men unlike; in different paths he has them walk.
12 Some he blesses and makes great, some he sanctifies and draws to himself. Others he curses and brings low, and expels them from their place.
13 Like clay in the hands of a potter, to be molded according to his pleasure, So are men in the hands of their Creator, to be assigned by him their function.
14 As evil contrasts with good, and death with life, so are sinners in contrast with the just;
15 See now all the works of the Most High: they come in pairs, the one the opposite of the other.
16 Now I am the last to keep vigil, like a gleaner after the vintage;
17 Since by the LORD'S blessing I have made progress till like a vintager I have filled my wine press,
18 I would inform you that not for myself only have I toiled, but for every seeker after wisdom.
19 Listen to me, O leaders of the multitude; O rulers of the assembly, give ear!
20 Let neither son nor wife, neither brother nor friend, have power over you as long as you live.
21 While breath of life is still in you, let no man have dominion over you. Give not to another your wealth, lest then you have to plead with him;
22 Far better that your children plead with you than that you should look to their generosity.
23 Keep control over all your affairs; let no one tarnish your glory.
24 When your few days reach their limit, at the time of death distribute your inheritance.
25 Fodder and whip and loads for an ass; the yoke and harness and the rod of his master.
26 Make a slave work and he will look for his rest; let his hands be idle and he will seek to be free.
27 Food, correction and work for a slave; and for a wicked slave, punishment in the stocks.
28 Force him to work that he be not idle, for idleness is an apt teacher of mischief.
29 Put him to work, for that is what befits him; if he becomes unruly, load him with chains.
30 But never lord it over any human being, and do nothing unjust.
31 If you have but one slave, treat him like yourself, for you have acquired him with your life's blood;
32 If you have but one slave, deal with him as a brother, for you need him as you need your life:
33 If you mistreat him and he runs away, in what direction will you look for him?
34 1 Empty and false are the hopes of the senseless, and fools are borne aloft by dreams.
2 Like a man who catches at shadows or chases the wind, is the one who believes in dreams.
3 What is seen in dreams is to reality what the reflection of a face is to the face itself.
4 Can the unclean produce the clean? can the liar ever speak the truth?
5 Divination, omens and dreams all are unreal; what you already expect, the mind depicts.
6 Unless it be a vision specially sent by the Most High, fix not your heart on it;
7 For dreams have led many astray, and those who believed in them have perished.
8 The law is fulfilled without fail, and perfect wisdom is found in the mouth of the faithful man.
9 A man with training gains wide knowledge; a man of experience speaks sense.
10 One never put to the proof knows little, whereas with travel a man adds to his resourcefulness.
11 I have seen much in my travels, learned more than ever I could say.
12 Often I was in danger of death, but by these attainments I was saved.
13 Lively is the courage of those who fear the LORD, for they put their hope in their savior;
14 He who fears the LORD is never alarmed, never afraid; for the LORD is his hope.
15 Happy the soul that fears the LORD! In whom does he trust, and who is his support?
16 The eyes of the LORD are upon those who love him; he is their mighty shield and strong support, A shelter from the heat, a shade from the noonday sun, a guard against stumbling, a help against falling.
17 He buoys up the spirits, brings a sparkle to the eyes, gives health and life and blessing.
18 Tainted his gifts who offers in sacrifice ill-gotten goods! Mock presents from the lawless win not God's favor.
19 The Most High approves not the gifts of the godless, nor for their many sacrifices does he forgive their sins.
20 Like the man who slays a son in his father's presence is he who offers sacrifice from the possessions of the poor.
21 The bread of charity is life itself for the needy; he who withholds it is a man of blood.
22 He slays his neighbor who deprives him of his living: he sheds blood who denies the laborer his wages.
23 If one man builds up and another tears down, what do they gain but trouble?
24 If one man prays and another curses, whose voice will the LORD hear?
25 If a man again touches a corpse after he has bathed, what did he gain by the purification?
26 So with a man who fasts for his sins, but then goes and commits them again: Who will hear his prayer, and what has he gained by his mortification?
35 1 To keep the law is a great oblation, and he who observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
2 In works of charity one offers fine flour, and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise.
3 To refrain from evil pleases the LORD, and to avoid injustice is an atonement.
4 Appear not before the LORD empty-handed, for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts.
5 The just man's offering enriches the altar and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High.
6 The just man's sacrifice is most pleasing, nor will it ever be forgotten.
7 In generous spirit pay homage to the LORD, be not sparing of freewill gifts.
8 With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
9 Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means.
10 For the LORD is one who always repays, and he will give back to you sevenfold.
11 But offer no bribes, these he does not accept! Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion,
12 For he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites.
13 Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed.
14 He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint;
15 Do not the tears that stream down her cheek cry out against him that causes them to fall?
16 He who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens.
17 The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal,
18 Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right.
19 God indeed will not delay, and like a warrior, will not be still
20 Till he breaks the backs of the merciless and wreaks vengeance upon the proud;
21 Till he destroys the haughty root and branch, and smashes the scepter of the wicked;
22 Till he requites mankind according to its deeds, and repays men according to their thoughts;
23 Till he defends the cause of his people, and gladdens them by his mercy.
24 Welcome is his mercy in time of distress as rain clouds in time of drought.
36 1 Come to our aid, O God of the universe, and put all the nations in dread of you!
2 Raise your hand against the heathen, that they may realize your power.
3 As you have used us to show them your holiness, so now use them to show us your glory.
4 Thus they will know, as we know, that there is no God but you.
5 Give new signs and work new wonders; show forth the splendor of your right hand and arm;
6 Rouse your anger, pour out wrath, humble the enemy, scatter the foe.
7 Hasten the day, bring on the time;
8 Let raging fire consume the fugitive, and your people's oppressors meet destruction.
9 9) crush the heads of the hostile rulers.
10 Gather all the tribes of Jacob, that they may inherit the land as of old,
11 Show mercy to the people called by your name; Israel, whom you named your first-born.
12 Take pity on your holy city, Jerusalem, your dwelling place.
13 Fill Zion with your majesty, your temple with your glory.
14 Give evidence of your deeds of old; fulfill the prophecies spoken in your name,
15 Reward those who have hoped in you, and let your prophets be proved true.
16 Hear the prayer of your servants, for you are ever gracious to your people;
17 Thus it will be known to the very ends of the earth that you are the eternal God.
18 The throat can swallow any food, yet some foods are more agreeable than others;
19 As the palate tests meat by its savor, so does a keen mind insincere words.
20 A deceitful character causes grief, but an experienced man can turn the tables on him.
21 Though any man may be accepted as a husband, yet one girl will be more suitable than another:
22 A woman's beauty makes her husband's face light up, for it surpasses all else that charms the eye;
23 And if, besides, her speech is kindly, his lot is beyond that of mortal men.
24 A wife is her husband's richest treasure, a helpmate, a steadying column.
25 A vineyard with no hedge will be overrun; a man with no wife becomes a homeless wanderer.
26 Who will trust an armed band that shifts from city to city?
27 Or a man who has no nest, but lodges where night overtakes him?
37 1 Every friend declares his friendship, but there are friends who are friends in name only.
2 Is it not a sorrow unto death when your bosom companion becomes your enemy?
3 "Alas, my companion! Why were you created to blanket the earth with deceit?"
4 A false friend will share your joys, but in time of trouble he stands afar off.
5 A true friend will fight with you against the foe, against your enemies he will be your shield-bearer.
6 Forget not your comrade during the battle, and neglect him not when you distribute your spoils.
7 Every counselor points out a way, but some counsel ways of their own;
8 Be on the alert when one proffers advice, find out first of all what he wants. For he may be thinking of himself alone; why should the profit fall to him?
9 He may tell you how good your way will be, and then stand by to watch your misfortune.
10 Seek no advice from one who regards you with hostility; from those who envy you, keep your intentions hidden.
11 Speak not to a woman about her rival, nor to a coward about war, to a merchant about business, to a buyer about value, to a miser about generosity, to a cruel man about mercy, to a lazy man about work, to a seasonal laborer about the harvest, to an idle slave about a great task: pay no attention to any advice they give.
12 Instead, associate with a religious man, who you are sure keeps the commandments; Who is like-minded with yourself and will feel for you if you fall.
13 Then, too, heed your own heart's counsel; for what have you that you can depend on more?
14 A man's conscience can tell him his situation better than seven watchmen in a lofty tower.
15 Most important of all, pray to God to set your feet in the path of truth.
16 A word is the source of every deed; a thought, of every act.
17 The root of all conduct is the mind; four branches it shoots forth:
18 Good and evil, death and life, their absolute mistress is the tongue.
19 A man may be wise and benefit many, yet be of no use to himself.
20 Though a man may be wise, if his words are rejected he will be deprived of all enjoyment.
21 When a man is wise to his own advantage, the fruits of his knowledge are seen in his own person;
22 When a man is wise to his people's advantage, the fruits of his knowledge are enduring:
23 Limited are the days of one man's life, but the life of Israel is days without number.
24 One wise for himself has full enjoyment, and all who see him praise him;
25 One wise for his people wins a heritage of glory, and his name endures forever.
26 My son, while you are well, govern your appetite so that you allow it not what is bad for you;
27 For not every food is good for everyone, nor is everything suited to every taste.
28 Be not drawn after every enjoyment, neither become a glutton for choice foods,
29 For sickness comes with overeating, and gluttony brings on biliousness.
30 Through lack of self-control many have died, but the abstemious man prolongs his life.
38 1 Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you, and God it was who established his profession.
2 From God the doctor has his wisdom, and the king provides for his sustenance.
3 His knowledge makes the doctor distinguished, and gives him access to those in authority.
4 God makes the earth yield healing herbs which the prudent man should not neglect;
5 Was not the water sweetened by a twig that men might learn his power?
6 He endows men with the knowledge to glory in his mighty works,
7 Through which the doctor eases pain and the druggist prepares his medicines;
8 Thus God's creative work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth.
9 My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you:
10 Flee wickedness; let your hands be just, cleanse your heart of every sin;
11 Offer your sweet-smelling oblation and petition, a rich offering according to your means.
12 Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; for you need him too.
13 There are times that give him an advantage,
14 and he too beseeches God That his diagnosis may be correct and his treatment bring about a cure.
15 He who is a sinner toward his Maker will be defiant toward the doctor.
16 My son, shed tears for one who is dead with wailing and bitter lament; As is only proper, prepare the body, absent not yourself from his burial:
17 Weeping bitterly, mourning fully, pay your tribute of sorrow, as he deserves,
18 One or two days, to prevent gossip; then compose yourself after your grief,
19 For grief can bring on an extremity and heartache destroy one's health.
20 Turn not your thoughts to him again; cease to recall him; think rather of the end.
21 Recall him not, for there is no hope of his return; it will not help him, but will do you harm.
22 Remember that his fate will also be yours; for him it was yesterday, for you today.
23 With the departed dead, let memory fade; rally your courage, once the soul has left.
24 The scribe's profession increases his wisdom; whoever is free from toil can become a wise man.
25 How can he become learned who guides the plow, who thrills in wielding the goad like a lance, Who guides the ox and urges on the bullock, and whose every concern is for cattle?
26 His care is for plowing furrows, and he keeps a watch on the beasts in the stalls.
27 So with every engraver and designer who, laboring night and day, Fashions carved seals, and whose concern is to vary the pattern. His care is to produce a vivid impression, and he keeps watch till he finishes his design.
28 So with the smith standing near his anvil, forging crude iron. The heat from the fire sears his flesh, yet he toils away in the furnace heat. The clang of the hammer deafens his ears, His eyes are fixed on the tool he is shaping. His care is to finish his work, and he keeps watch till he perfects it in detail.
29 So with the potter sitting at his labor, revolving the wheel with his feet. He is always concerned for his products, and turns them out in quantity.
30 With his hands he molds the clay, and with his feet softens it. His care is for proper coloring, and he keeps watch on the fire of his kiln.
31 All these men are skilled with their hands, each one an expert at his own task;
32 Without them no city could be lived in, and wherever they stay, they need not hunger.
33 They do not occupy the judge's bench, nor are they prominent in the assembly; They set forth no decisions or judgments, nor are they found among the rulers;
34 Yet they maintain God's ancient handiwork, and their concern is for exercise of their skill.
Sirac (NAB) 27