Sirac (NAB) 50
50 1 The greatest among his brethren, the glory of his people, was SIMON the priest, son of Jochanan, In whose time the house of God was renovated, in whose days the temple was reinforced.
2 In his time also the wall was built with powerful turrets for the temple precincts;
3 In his time the reservoir was dug, the pool with a vastness like the sea's.
4 He protected his people against brigands and strengthened his city against the enemy.
5 How splendid he was as he appeared from the tent, as he came from within the veil!
6 Like a star shining among the clouds, like the full moon at the holyday season;
7 Like the sun shining upon the temple, like the rainbow appearing in the cloudy sky;
8 Like the blossoms on the branches in springtime, like a lily on the banks of a stream; Like the trees of Lebanon in summer,
9 like the fire of incense at the sacrifice; Like a vessel of beaten gold, studded with precious stones;
10 Like a luxuriant olive tree thick with fruit, like a cypress standing against the clouds;
11 Vested in his magnificent robes, and wearing his garments of splendor, As he ascended the glorious altar and lent majesty to the court of the sanctuary.
12 When he received the sundered victims from the priests while he stood before the sacrificial wood, His brethren ringed him about like a garland, like a stand of cedars on Lebanon;
13 All the sons of Aaron in their dignity clustered around him like poplars, With the offerings to the LORD in their hands, in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel.
14 Once he had completed the services at the altar with the arranging of the sacrifices for the Most High,
15 And had stretched forth his hand for the cup, to offer blood of the grape, And poured it out at the foot of the altar, a sweet-smelling odor to the Most High God,
16 The sons of Aaron would sound a blast, the priests, on their trumpets of beaten metal; A blast to resound mightily as a reminder before the Most High.
17 Then all the people with one accord would quickly fall prostrate to the ground In adoration before the Most High, before the Holy One of Israel.
18 Then hymns would re-echo, and over the throng sweet strains of praise resound.
19 All the people of the land would shout for joy, praying to the Merciful One, As the high priest completed the services at the altar by presenting to God the sacrifice due;
20 Then coming down he would raise his hands over all the congregation of Israel. The blessing of the LORD would be upon his lips, the name of the LORD would be his glory.
21 Then again the people would lie prostrate to receive from him the blessing of the Most High.
22 And now, bless the God of all, who has done wondrous things on earth; Who fosters men's growth from their mother's womb, and fashions them according to his will!
23 May he grant you joy of heart and may peace abide among you;
24 May his goodness toward us endure in Israel as long as the heavens are above.
25 My whole being loathes two nations, the third is not even a people:
26 Those who live in Seir and Philistia, and the degenerate folk who dwell in Shechem.
27 Wise instruction, appropriate proverbs, I have written in this book, I, Jesus, son of Eleazar, son of Sirach, as they gushed forth from my heart's understanding.
28 Happy the man who meditates upon these things, wise the man who takes them to heart!
29 If he puts them into practice, he can cope with anything, for the fear of the LORD is his lamp.
51 1 I give you thanks, O God of my father; I praise you, O God my savior! I will make known your name, refuge of my life;
2 you have been my helper against my adversaries. You have saved me from death, and kept back my body from the pit, From the clutches of the nether world you have snatched my feet;
3 you have delivered me, in your great mercy From the scourge of a slanderous tongue, and from lips that went over to falsehood; From the snare of those who watched for my downfall, and from the power of those who sought my life; From many a danger you have saved me,
4 from flames that hemmed me in on every side; From the midst of unremitting fire,
5 From the deep belly of the nether world; From deceiving lips and painters of lies,
6 from the arrows of dishonest tongues. I was at the point of death, my soul was nearing the depths of the nether world;
7 I turned every way, but there was no one to help me, I looked for one to sustain me, but could find no one.
8 But then I remembered the mercies of the LORD, his kindness through ages past; For he saves those who take refuge in him, and rescues them from every evil.
9 So I raised my voice from the very earth, from the gates of the nether world, my cry.
10 I called out: O Lord, you are my father, you are my champion and my savior; Do not abandon me in time of trouble, in the midst of storms and dangers.
11 I will ever praise your name and be constant in my prayers to you. Thereupon the LORD heard my voice, he listened to my appeal;
12 He saved me from evil of every kind and preserved me in time of trouble. For this reason I thank him and I praise him; I bless the name of the LORD.
13 When I was young and innocent, I sought wisdom.
14 She came to me in her beauty, and until the end I will cultivate her.
15 As the blossoms yielded to ripening grapes, the heart's joy, My feet kept to the level path because from earliest youth I was familiar with her.
16 In the short time I paid heed, I met with great instruction.
17 Since in this way I have profited, I will give my teacher grateful praise.
18 I became resolutely devoted to her-- the good I persistently strove for.
19 I burned with desire for her, never turning back. I became preoccupied with her, never weary of extolling her. My hand opened her gate and I came to know her secrets.
20 For her I purified my hands; in cleanness I attained to her. At first acquaintance with her, I gained understanding such that I will never forsake her.
21 My whole being was stirred as I learned about her; therefore I have made her my prize possession.
22 The LORD has granted me my lips as a reward, and my tongue will declare his praises.
23 Come aside to me, you untutored, and take up lodging in the house of instruction;
24 How long will you be deprived of wisdom's food, how long will you endure such bitter thirst?
25 I open my mouth and speak of her: gain, at no cost, wisdom for yourselves.
26 Submit your neck to her yoke, that your mind may accept her teaching. For she is close to those who seek her, and the one who is in earnest finds her.
27 See for yourselves! I have labored only a little, but have found much.
28 Acquire but a little instruction; you will win silver and gold through her.
29 Let your spirits rejoice in the mercy of God, and be not ashamed to give him praise.
30 Work at your tasks in due season, and in his own time God will give you your reward.
Sirac (NAB) 50