But he who gives his mind to the law of the Most High, and is occupied in the meditation thereof, will seek out the wisdom of all the ancient, and be occupied in prophecies.
He will keep the sayings of the renowned men; and where subtil parables are, he will also be there.
He will seek out the secrets of grave sentences, and be conversant in dark parables.
He will serve among great men, and appear before princes; he will travel through strange countries; for he has tried the good and the evil among men.
He will give his heart to resort early to the Lord who made him, and will pray before the Most High, and will open his mouth in prayer, and make supplication for his sins.
When the great Lord wills, he will be filled with the Spirit of Understanding; he will pour out wise sentences, and give thanks to the Lord in his prayer.
He will direct his counsel and knowledge, and in his secrets, he will meditate.
He will show forth that which he has learned, and will glory in the law of the covenant of the Lord.
Many will commend his understanding; and so long as the world endures, it will not be blotted out; his memorial will not depart away, and his name will live from generation to generation.
Nations will show forth his wisdom, and the congregation will declare his praise.
If he dies, he will leave a greater name than a thousand; and if he lives, he will increase it.
Yet I have more to say, which I have thought upon; for I am filled as the moon at the full.
Listen to me, you holy children, and bud forth as a rose growing by the brook of the field;
And give a sweet savor as frankincense, and flourish as a lily, send forth a smell, and sing a song of praise, bless the Lord in all His works.
Magnify His name, and show forth His praise with the songs of your lips, and with harps, and in praising Him you will say after this manner;
"All the works of the Lord are exceedingly good, and whatever He commands will be accomplished in due season."
And none may say, "What is this? Why is that?" For at a convenient time they will all be sought out; at His commandment, the waters stood as a heap, and at the words of His mouth, the receptacles of waters.
At His commandment is done whatever pleases Him; and none can hinder, when He will save.
The works of all flesh are before Him, and nothing can be hidden from His eyes.
He sees from everlasting to everlasting; and there is nothing wonderful before Him.
A man does not need to say, "What is this? Why is that?" For He has made all things for their uses.
His blessing covered the dry land as a river, and watered it as a flood.
As He has turned the waters into saltness; so the heathen will inherit His wrath.
As His ways are plain to the holy; so are they stumblingblocks to the wicked.
For the good, are good things created from the beginning; so evil things for sinners.
The principal things for the whole use of man's life are water, fire, iron, and salt, flour of wheat, honey, milk, and the blood of the grape, and oil, and clothing.
All these things are for good to the Godly; so to the sinners they are turned into evil.
There are spirits that are created for vengeance, which in their fury, lay on sore strokes; in the time of destruction, they pour out their force, and appease the wrath of Him who made them.
Fire, and hail, and famine, and death, all these were created for vengeance;
Teeth of wild beasts, and scorpions, serpents, and the sword punishing the wicked to destruction.
They will rejoice in His commandment, and they will be ready upon earth, when need is; and when their time has come, they will not transgress His word.
Therefore from the beginning, I was resolved, and thought upon these things, and have left them in writing.
All the works of the Lord are good; and He will give every needful thing in due season.
So that a man cannot say, "This is worse than that;" For in time, they will all be well approved.
And therefore praise the Lord with the whole heart and mouth, and bless the name of the Lord.
Great travail is created for every man, and a heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam, from the day that they go out of their mother's womb, until the day that they return to the mother of all things.
Their imagination of things to come, and the day of death, [trouble] their thoughts, and [cause] fear of heart;
From him who sits on a throne of glory, to him who is humbled in earth and ashes;
From him who wears purple and a crown, to him who is clothed with a linen frock.
Wrath, and envy, trouble, and unquietness, fear of death, and anger, and strife, and in the time of rest upon his bed, his night sleep, do change his knowledge.
A little or nothing is his rest, and afterward he is in his sleep, as in a day of keeping watch, troubled in the vision of his heart, as if he had escaped out of a battle.
When all is safe, he awakes, and marvels that the fear was nothing.
[Such things happen] to all flesh, both man and beast, and that is sevenfold more upon sinners.
Death, and bloodshed, strife, and sword, calamities, famine, tribulation, and the scourge;
These things are created for the wicked, and for their sake, the flood came.
All things that are of the earth will turn to the earth again; and that which is of the waters returns into the sea.
All bribery and injustice will be blotted out; but true dealing will endure forever.
The goods of the unjust will be dried up like a river, and will vanish with noise, like a great thunder in rain.
While he opens his hand, he will rejoice; so will transgressors come to nothing.
The children of the ungodly will not bring forth many branches; but are as unclean roots upon a hard rock.
The weed growing upon every water and bank of a river will be pulled up before all grass.
Bountifulness is as a most fruitful garden, and mercifulness endures forever.
To labor, and to be content with that a man has, is a sweet life; but he who finds a treasure is above them both.
Children and the building of a city continue a man's name; but a blameless wife is counted above them both.
Wine and music rejoice the heart; but the love of wisdom is above them both.
The pipe and the psaltery make sweet melody; but a pleasant tongue is above them both.
Your eye desires favor and beauty; but more than both, corn while it is green.
A friend and companion never meet amiss; but above both is a wife with her husband.
Brethren and help are against time of trouble; but alms will deliver more than them both.
Gold and silver make the foot stand sure; but counsel is esteemed above them both.
Riches and strength lift up the heart; but the fear of the Lord is above them both; there is no want in the fear of the Lord, and it does not need to seek help.
The fear of the Lord is a fruitful garden, and covers him above all glory.
My son, do not lead a beggar's life; for it is better to die than to beg.
The life of him who depends on another man's table is not to be counted for a life; for he pollutes himself with other men's meat; but a well nurtured wise man will beware thereof.
Begging is sweet in the mouth of the shameless; but in his belly, there will burn a fire.
O death, how bitter is the remembrance of you to a man who lives at rest in his possessions, to the man who has nothing to vex him, and who has prosperity in all things; indeed, to him who is yet able to receive meat!
O death, acceptable is your sentence to the needy, and to him whose strength fails, that is now in the last age, and is vexed with all things, and to him who despairs, and has lost patience!
Do not fear the sentence of death, remember those who have been before you, and who come after; for this is the sentence of the Lord over all flesh.
And why are you against the pleasure of the Most High? There is no inquisition in the grave, whether you have lived ten, or a hundred, or a thousand years.
The children of sinners are abominable children, and those who are conversant in the dwelling of the ungodly.
The inheritance of sinners' children will perish, and their posterity will have a perpetual reproach.
The children will complain of an ungodly father, because they will be reproached for his sake.
Woe to you, ungodly men, who have forsaken the law of the Most High God! For if you increase, it will be to your destruction;
And if you are born, you will be born to a curse; and if you die, a curse will be your portion.
All that are of the earth will turn to earth again; so the ungodly will go from a curse to destruction.
The mourning of men is about their bodies; but an ill name of sinners will be blotted out.
Have regard to your name; for that will continue with you above a thousand great treasures of gold.
A good life has but few days; but a good name endures forever.
My children, keep discipline in peace; for wisdom that is hidden, and a treasure that is not seen, what profit is in them both?
A man who hides his foolishness is better than a man who hides his wisdom.
Therefore be shamefaced according to my word; for it is not good to retain all shamefacedness; neither is it altogether approved in everything.
Be ashamed of whoredom before father and mother; and of a lie before a prince and a mighty man;
Of an offence before a judge and ruler; of iniquity before a congregation and people; of unjust dealing before your partner and friend;
And of theft in regard of the place where you sojourn, and in regard of the truth of God and His covenant; and to lean with your elbow upon the meat; and of scorning to give and take;
And of silence before those who salute you; and to look upon a harlot;
And to turn your face away from your kinsman; or to take away a portion or a gift; or to gaze upon another man's wife.
Or to be overbusy with his maid, and not come near her bed; or of upbraiding speeches before friends; and after you have given, do not upbraid;
Or of iterating and speaking again that which you have heard; and of revealing of secrets.
So you will be truly shamefaced and find favor before all men.
Of these things, do not be ashamed, and accept no person to sin thereby;
Of the law of the Most High, and His covenant; and of judgment to justify the ungodly;
Of reckoning with your partners and travellers; or of the gift of the heritage of friends;
Of exactness of balance and weights; or of getting much or little;
And of merchants' indifferent selling; of much correction of children; and to make the side of an evil servant to bleed.
Sure keeping is good, where an evil wife is; and shut up, where many hands are.
Deliver all things in number and weight; and put all in writing that you give out, or receive in.
Do not be ashamed to inform the unwise and foolish, and the extreme aged who contend with those who are young; thus you will be truly learned, and approved of all living men.
The father wakes for the daughter, when no man knows; and the care for her takes away sleep; when she is young, unless she passes away the flower of her age; and being married, unless she should be hated;
In her virginity, unless she should be defiled and gotten with child in her father's house; and having a husband, unless she should misbehave herself; and when she is married, unless she should be barren.
Keep a sure watch over a shameless daughter, unless she makes you a laughingstock to your enemies, and a byword in the city, and a reproach among the people, and make you ashamed before the multitude.
Do not behold every body's beauty, and do not sit in the midst of women.
For from garments comes a moth, and from women, wickedness.
Better is the churlishness of a man than a courteous woman, a woman, I say, who brings shame and reproach.
I will now remember the works of the Lord, and declare the things that I have seen; In the words of the Lord are His works.
The sun that gives light looks upon all things, and the work thereof is full of the glory of the Lord.
The Lord has not given power to the saints to declare all His marvelous works, which the Almighty Lord firmly settled, that whatever is, might be established for His glory.
He seeks out the deep, and the heart, and considers their crafty devices; for the Lord knows all that may be known, and He beholds the signs of the world.
He declares the things that are past, and to come, and reveals the steps of hidden things.
No thought escapes Him, neither is any word hidden from Him.
He has garnished the excellent works of His wisdom, and He is from everlasting to everlasting; to Him may nothing be added, neither can He be diminished, and He has no need of any counselor.
Oh how desirable are all His works! And that a man may see even to a spark.
All these things live and remain forever for all uses, and they are all obedient.
All things are double one against another; and He has made nothing imperfect.
One thing establishes the good of another; and who will be filled with beholding His glory?
The pride of the height, the clear firmament, the beauty of heaven, with His glorious show;
The sun when it appears, declaring at his rising a marvelous instrument, the work of the Most High;
At noon it parches the country, and who can abide the burning heat thereof?
A man blowing a furnace is in works of heat, but the sun burns the mountains three times more; breathing out fiery vapors, and sending forth bright beams, it dims the eyes.
Great is the Lord who made it; and at His commandment, runs hastily.
He made the moon also to serve in her season for a declaration of times, and a sign of the world.
From the moon is the sign of feasts, a light that decreases in her perfection.
The month is called after her name, increasing wonderfully in her changing, being an instrument of the armies above, shining in the firmament of heaven;
The beauty of heaven, the glory of the stars, an ornament giving light in the highest places of the Lord.
At the commandment of the Holy One, they will stand in their order, and never faint in their watches.
Look upon the rainbow, and praise Him who made it; very beautiful it is in the brightness thereof.
It encompasses the heaven about with a glorious circle, and the hands of the Most High have bent it.
By His commandment, He makes the snow to fall aplace, and swiftly sends the lightnings of His judgment.
Through this, the treasures are opened; and clouds fly forth as fowls.
By His great power, He makes the clouds firm, and the hailstones are broken small.
At His sight, the mountains are shaken, and at His will, the south wind blows.
The noise of the thunder makes the earth tremble; so does the northern storm and the whirlwind; as birds flying, He scatters the snow, and the falling down thereof is as the lighting of grasshoppers;
The eye marvels at the beauty of the whiteness thereof, and the heart is astonished at the raining of it.
He also pours the hoarfrost as salt on the earth, and being congealed, it lies on the top of sharp stakes.
When the cold north wind blows, and the water is congealed into ice, it abides upon every gathering together of water, and clothes the water as with a breastplate.
It devours the mountains, and burns the wilderness, and consumes the grass as fire.
A present remedy of all is a mist coming speedily, a dew coming after heat refreshes.
By His counsel, He appeases the deep, and plants islands therein.
Those who sail on the sea tell of the danger thereof; and when we hear it with our ears, we marvel thereat.
For therein are strange and wondrous works, a variety of all kinds of beasts and whales created.
By Him, the end of them has prosperous success, and by His word, all things exist.
We may speak much, and yet come short; therefore in sum, He is all.
How will we be able to magnify Him? For He is great above all His works.
The Lord is terrible and very great, and marvelous is His power.
When you glorify the Lord, exalt Him as much as you can; for even yet will He far exceed; and when you exalt Him, put forth all your strength, and do not be weary; for you can never go far enough.
Who has seen Him, that He might tell us? And who can magnify Him as He is?
There are yet greater things hidden than these are, for we have seen but a few of His works.
For the Lord has made all things; and He has given wisdom to the Godly.
Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers who fathered us.
The Lord has done great glory by them through His great power from the beginning.
Such who bore rule in their kingdoms, men renowned for their power, giving counsel by their understanding, and declaring prophecies;
Leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learning, meet for the people, wise and eloquent are their instructions;
Such who found out musical tunes, and recited verses in writing;
Rich men furnished with ability, living peaceably in their habitations;
All these were honored in their generations, and were the glory of their times.
There are of them, who have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported.
And there are some, who have no memorial; who have perished, as though they had never been; and have become as though they had never been born; and their children after them.
But these were merciful men, whose righteousness has not been forgotten.
With their seed will a good inheritance continually remain, and their children are within the covenant.
Their seed stands fast, and their children for their sake.
Their seed will remain forever, and their glory will not be blotted out.
Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name lives forevermore.
The people will tell of their wisdom, and the congregation will show forth their praise.
Enoch pleased the Lord, and was translated, being an example of repentance to all generations.
Noah was found perfect and righteous; in the time of wrath, he was taken in exchange [for the world;] therefore he was left as a remnant to the earth, when the flood came.
An everlasting covenant was made with him, that all flesh should no longer perish by the flood.
Abraham was a great father of many people; there were none like him in glory;
Who kept the law of the Most High, and was in covenant with Him; he established the covenant in his flesh; and when he was tested, he was found faithful.
Therefore He assured him by an oath, that He would bless the nations in his seed, and that He would multiply him as the dust of the earth, and exalt his seed as the stars, and cause them to inherit from sea to sea, and from the river to the utmost part of the land.
With Isaac, He established likewise [for Abraham, his father's sake] the blessing of all men, and the covenant, and made it rest upon the head of Jacob. He acknowledged him in His blessing, and gave him a heritage, and divided his portions; He parted them among the twelve tribes.
And He brought a merciful man out of him, who found favor in the sight of all flesh, even Moses, beloved of God and men, whose memorial is blessed.
He made him like the glorious saints, and magnified him, so that his enemies stood in fear of him.
By His words, He caused the wonders to cease, and He made him glorious in the sight of kings, and gave him a commandment for His people, and showed him part of His glory.
He sanctified him in his faithfuless and meekness, and chose him out of all men.
He made him hear His voice, and brought him into the dark cloud, and gave him commandments before His Face, even the law of life and knowledge, that He might teach Jacob His covenants, and Israel His judgments.
He exalted Aaron, a holy man like him, even his brother, of the tribe of Levi.
He made an everlasting covenant with him and gave him the priesthood among the people; He beautified him with comely ornaments, and clothed him with a robe of glory.
He put perfect glory upon him; and strengthened him with rich garments, with breeches, with a long robe, and the ephod.
And He compassed him with pomegranates, and with many golden bells round about, 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;
With a holy garment, with gold, and blue silk, and purple, the work of the embroidere, with a breastplate of judgment, and with Urim and Thummim;
With twisted scarlet, the work of the cunning workman, with precious stones graven like seals, and set in gold, the work of the jeweller, with a writing engraved for a memorial, after the number of the tribes of Israel.
He set a crown of gold upon the mitre, wherein Holiness was engraved, an ornament of honor, a costly work, the desires of the eyes, goodly and beautiful.
Before him there were none such, neither did any stranger ever put them on, but only his children and his children's children perpetually.
Their sacrifices will continually be wholly consumed every day twice.
Moses consecrated him, and anointed him with holy oil; this was appointed to him by an everlasting covenant, and to his seed, so long as the heavens should remain, that they should minister to him, and execute the office of the priesthood, and bless the people in His name.
He chose him out of all living men to offer sacrifices to the Lord, incense, and a sweet savor, for a memorial, to make reconciliation for His people.
He gave His commandments to him, and authority in the statutes of judgments, that He should teach Jacob the testimonies, and inform Israel in His laws.
Strangers conspired together against him, and maligned him in the wilderness, even the men who were of Dathan's and Abiron's side, and the congregation of Core, with fury and wrath.
The Lord saw this, and it displeased Him, and in His wrathful indignation, they were consumed; He did wonders upon them, to consume them with the fiery flame.
But He made Aaron more honorable, and gave him a heritage, and divided the firstfruits of the increase to him; He especially prepared bread in abundance;
For they eat of the sacrifices of the Lord, which He gave to him and his seed.
Howbeit, in the land of the people, he had no inheritance, neither did he have any portion among the people; for the Lord Himself is his portion and inheritance.
The third in glory is Phinees, the son of Eleazar, because he had zeal in the fear of the Lord, and stood up with good courage of heart; when the people were turned back, and made reconciliation for Israel.
Therefore there was a covenant of peace made with him, that he should be the chief of the sanctuary and of His people, and that he and his posterity should have the dignity of the priesthood forever;
According to the covenant made with David, son of Jesse, of the tribe of Judah, that the inheritance of the king should be to his posterity alone; so the inheritance of Aaron should also be to his seed.
God gives you wisdom in your heart to judge His people in righteousness, that their good things are not abolished, and that their glory may endure forever.
Jesus, the son of a Nave, was valiant in the wars, and was the successor of Moses in prophecies, who according to his name, was made great for the saving of the elect of God, and taking vengeance of the enemies who rose up against them, that he might set Israel in their inheritance.
How great glory he got, when he lifted up his hands, and stretched out his sword against the cities!
Who so stood to it before him? For the Lord Himself brought his enemies to him.
Did the sun not go back by his means? And was one day not as long as two?
He called upon the Most High Lord, when the enemies pressed upon him on every side; and the great Lord heard him.
And with hailstones of mighty power, he made the battle to fall violently upon the nations, and in the descent [of Beth-horon] he destroyed those who resisted, that the nations might know all their strength, because he fought in the sight of the Lord, and he followed the Mighty One.
In the time of Moses, he also did a work of mercy, he and Caleb, the son of Jephunne, in that they withstood the congregation, and withheld the people from sin, and appeased the wicked murmuring.
And of six hundred thousand people on foot, those two were preserved to bring them in to the heritage, even to the land that flows with milk and honey.
The Lord also gave strength to Caleb, which remained with him to his old age; so that he entered upon the high places of the land, and his seed obtained it for a heritage;
That all the Children of Israel might see that it is good to follow the Lord.
And concerning the judges, everyone by name, whose heart did not go whoring, nor depart from the Lord, let their memory be blessed.
Let their bones flourish out of their place, and let the name of those who were honored be continued upon their children.
Samuel, the prophet of the Lord, beloved of his Lord, established a kingdom, and anointed princes over His people.
By the law of the Lord, he judged the congregation, and the Lord had respect to Jacob.
By his faithfulness, he was found a true prophet, and by his word, he was known to be faithful in vision.
He called upon the mighty Lord, when his enemies pressed upon him on every side, when he offered the sucking lamb.
And the Lord thundered from heaven, and with a great noise, made His voice to be heard.
And he destroyed the rulers of the Tyrians, and all the princes of the Philistines.
And before his long sleep, he made protestations in the sight of the Lord and His anointed, I have not taken any man's goods, so much as a shoe; and no man accused him.
And after his death, he prophesied, and showed the king his end, and lifted up his voice from the earth in prophecy, to blot out the wickedness of the people.
And after him, Nathan rose up to prophesy in the time of David.
As is the fat taken away from the peace offering, so was David chosen out of the Children of Israel.
He played with lions as with kids, and with bears as with lambs.
Did he not slay a giant, when he was yet but young? And did he not take away reproach from the people, when he lifted up his hand with the stone in the sling, and beat down the boasting of Goliath?
For he called upon the Most High Lord; and He gave him strength in his right hand to slay that mighty warrior, and set up the horn of His people.
So the people honored him with ten thousands, and praised him in the blessings of the Lord, in that He gave him a crown of glory.
For he destroyed the enemies on every side, and brought the Philistines, his adversaries, to nothing, and broke their horn in sunder to this day.
In all his works, he praised the Holy One Most High with words of glory; with his whole heart, he sung songs, and loved Him who made him.
He set singers also before the altar, that by their voices, they might make a sweet melody, and sing daily praises in their songs.
He beautified their feasts, and set the solemn times in order until the end, that they might praise His holy name, and that the temple might sound from morning.
The Lord took away his sins, and exalted his horn forever; He gave him a covenant of kings, and a throne of glory in Israel.
After him, a wise son rose up, and for his sake, he dwelt at large.
Solomon reigned in a peaceable time, and was honored; for God made all quiet round about him, that he might build a house in His name, and prepare His sanctuary forever.
How wise were you in your youth and, as a flood, filled with understanding!
Your soul covered the whole earth, and you filled it with dark parables.
Your name went far to the islands; and for your peace, you were beloved.
The countries marveled at you for your songs, and proverbs, and parables, and interpretations.
By the name of the Lord God, which is called the Lord God of Israel, you gathered gold as tin and multiplied silver as lead.
You bowed your loins to women, and by your body, you were brought into subjection.
You stained your honor, and polluted your seed; so that you brought wrath upon your children, and were grieved for your folly.
So the kingdom was divided, and out of Ephraim, a rebellious kingdom ruled.
But the Lord will never leave off His mercy, neither will any of His works perish, neither will He abolish the posterity of His elect, and the seed of him who loves Him, He will not take away; therefore He gave a remnant to Jacob, and out of him, a root to David.
Thus Solomon rested with his fathers, and of his seed, he left Roboam behind him, even the foolishness of the people, and one who had no understanding, who turned the people away through his counsel. There was also Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin, and showed Ephraim the way of sin;
And their sins were multiplied exceedingly, that they were driven out of the land.
For they sought out all wickedness, until the vengeance came upon them.
Then Elijah the prophet stood up as fire, and his word burned like a lamp.
He brought a sore famine upon them, and by his zeal, he diminished their number.
By the word of the Lord, he shut up the heaven, and also brought down fire three times.
O Elijah, how were you honored in your wondrous deeds! And who may glory like you!
Who raised up a dead man from death, and his soul from the place of the dead, by the word of the Most High;
Who brought kings to destruction, and honorable men from their bed;
Who heard the rebuke of the Lord in Sinai, and the judgment of vengeance in Horeb;
Who annointed kings to take revenge, and prophets to succeed after him;
Who was taken up in a whirlwind of fire, and in a chariot of fiery horses;
Who were ordained for reproofs in their times, to pacify the wrath of the Lord's judgment, before it broke forth into fury, and to turn the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob.
Blessed are those who saw you, and slept in love; for we will surely live.
Elijah it was, who was covered with a whirlwind; and Eliseus was filled with his spirit; while he lived, he was not moved with the presence of any prince, neither could any bring him into subjection.
No word could overcome him; and after his death, his body prophesied.
He did wonders in his life, and at his death, his works were marvelous.
For all this, the people did not repent, neither did they depart from their sins, until they were spoiled and carried out of their land, and were scattered through all the earth; yet there remained a small people, and a ruler in the house of David;
Of whom some did that which was pleasing to God, and some multiplied sins.
Ezekiel fortified his city, and brought in water into the midst thereof; he dug the hard rock with iron, and made wells for waters.
In his time, Sennacherib came up, and sent Rabsaces, and lifted up his hand against Zion, and boasted proudly.
Then their hearts and hands trembled, and they were in pain, as women in travail.
But they called upon the Lord who is Merciful, and stretched out their hands toward Him; and immediately the Holy One heard them out of heaven, and delivered them by the ministry of Esay.
He smote the host of the Assyrians, and His angel destroyed them.
For Ezekiel had done the thing that pleased the Lord, and was strong in the ways of David his father, as Esay the prophet, who was great and faithful in his vision, had commanded him.
In his time, the sun went backward, and he lengthened the king's life.
He saw by an excellent spirit what should come to pass at the last, and he comforted those who mourned in Zion.
He showed what should come to pass forever, and secret things or ever they came.
The remembrance of Josiah is like the composition of the perfume that is made by the art of the apothecary; it is sweet as honey in all mouths, and as music at a banquet of wine.
He behaved himself uprightly in the conversion of the people, and took away the abominations of iniquity.
He directed his heart to the Lord, and in the time of the ungodly, he established prostration to God.
All, except David and Ezekiel and Josiah, were defective; for they forsook the law of the Most High, even the kings of Judah failed.
Therefore He gave their power to others, and their glory to a strange nation.
They burnt the chosen city of the sanctuary, and made the streets desolate, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah. *17:5
For they entreated him evil, who nevertheless was a prophet, sanctified in his mother's womb, that He might root out, and afflict, and destroy; and that He might build up also, and plant.
It was Ezekiel who saw the glorious vision, which was shown him upon the chariot of the cherubims.
For he made mention of the enemies under the figure of the rain, and directed those who went right.
And of the twelve prophets, let the memorial be blessed, and let their bones flourish again out of their place; for they comforted Jacob, and delivered them by assured hope.
How will we magnify Zorobabel? Even he was as a signet on the right hand;
So was Jesus, the son of Josedec; who in their time, built the House, and set up a holy temple to the Lord, which was prepared for everlasting glory.
And among the elect was Nehemiah, whose renown is great, who raised up for us the walls that had fallen, *Nehemiah 2:17, *Nehemiah 6:15 and set up the gates and the bars, and raised up our ruins again.
But upon the earth was no man created like Enoch; for he was taken from the earth.
Neither was there a young man born like Joseph, a governor of his brethren, a stay of the people, whose bones were regarded of the Lord.
Sem and Seth were in great honor among men, and so was Adam above every living thing in creation.
Simon the high priest, the son of Onias, who, in his life, repaired the House again, and in his days, fortified the temple;
And by him, the double height was built from the foundation, the high fortress of the wall about the temple;
In his days, the cistern to receive water, being measured as the sea, was covered with plates of brass;
He took care of the temple that it should not fall, and fortified the city against besieging;
How he was honored in the midst of the people in his coming out of the sanctuary!
He was as the morning star in the midst of a cloud, and as the moon at the full;
As the sun shining upon the temple of the Most High, and as the rainbow giving light in the bright clouds;
And as the flower of roses in the spring of the year, as lilies by the rivers of waters, and as the branches of the frankincense tree in the time of summer;
As fire and incense in the censer, and as a vessel of beaten gold set with all manner of precious stones;
And as a fair olive tree budding forth fruit, and as a cypress tree which grows up to the clouds.
When he put on the robe of honor, and was clothed with the perfection of glory, when he went up to the holy altar, he made the garment of holiness honorable.
When he took the portions out of the priests' hands, he himself stood by the hearth of the altar, encompassed about, as a young cedar in Libanus; and as palm trees, they encompassed him round about.
So were all the sons of Aaron in their glory, and the oblations of the Lord in their hands, before all the congregation of Israel.
And finishing the service at the altar, that he might adorn the offering of the Most High Almighty,
He stretched out his hand to the cup, and poured of the blood of the grape, he poured out a sweetsmelling savor at the foot of the altar to the Most High King of all.
Then the sons of Aaron shouted, and sounded the silver trumpets, and made a great noise to be heard, for a remembrance before the Most High.
Then all the people hasted together, and fell down to the earth upon their faces to prostrate to their Lord God Almighty, *48:29 the Most High.
The singers also sang praises with their voices, with great variety of sounds, a sweet melody was made.
And the people besought the Lord, the Most High, by prayer before Him who is Merciful, until the solemnity of the Lord had ended, and they had finished His service.
Then he went down, and lifted up his hands over the whole congregation of the Children of Israel, to give the blessing of the Lord with his lips, and to rejoice in His name.
And they bowed themselves down to prostrate the second time, that they might receive a blessing from the Most High.
Now therefore, bless the God of all, who only does wondrous things everywhere, who exalts our days from the womb, and deals with us according to His mercy.
He grants us joyfulness of heart, and that peace may be in our days in Israel forever;
That He would confirm His mercy with us, and deliver us at His time!
There are two manner of nations which my heart abhors, and the third is no nation;
Those who sit upon the mountain of Samaria, and those who dwell among the Philistines, and that foolish people who dwell in Sichem.
Jesus, the son of Sirach of Jerusalem, has written in this book, the instruction of understanding and knowledge, who, out of his heart, poured forth wisdom.
Blessed is he who will be exercised in these things; and he who lays them up in his heart will become wise.
For if he does them, he will be strong to all things; for the light of the Lord leads him, who gives wisdom to the Godly. Blessed is the name of the Lord forever. Amen, Amen.
[A Prayer of Jesus, the son of Sirach.] I will thank You, O Lord and King, and praise You, O God my Savior; I give praise to Your name;
For You are my defender and helper, and have preserved my body from destruction, and from the snare of the slanderous tongue, and from the lips that forge lies, and have been my helper against my adversaries;
And have delivered me, according to the multitude of the mercies and greatness of Your name, from the teeth of those who were ready to devour me, and out of the hands of such who sought after my life, and from the manifold afflictions which I had;
From the choking of fire on every side, and from the midst of the fire which I did not kindle;
From the depth of the belly of Hell, from an unclean tongue, and from lying words.
By an accusation to the king from an unrighteous tongue, my soul drew near even to death, my life was near to Hell beneath.
They encompassed me on every side, and there was no man to help me; I looked for the succour of men, but there was none.
Then I thought upon Your mercy, O Lord, and upon Your acts of old, how You deliver such who wait for You, and save them out of the hands of the enemies.
Then I lifted up my supplications from the earth, and prayed for deliverance from death.
I called upon the Lord, the Father of my lord, that He would not leave me in the days of my trouble, and in the time of the proud, when there was no help.
I will praise Your name continually, and will sing praises with thanksgiving; and so my prayer was heard;
For You saved me from destruction, and delivered me from the evil time; therefore I will give thanks, and praise You, and bless Your name, O Lord.
When I was yet young, or ever I went abroad, I desired wisdom openly in my prayer.
I prayed for her before the temple, and will seek her out even to the end.
Even from the flower until the grape was ripe, my heart has delighted in her; my foot went the right way, from my youth up, I sought after her.
I bowed down my ear a little, and received her, and got much learning.
I profited therein, therefore I will ascribe glory to Him who gives me wisdom.
For I purposed to do after her, and I earnestly followed that which is good; so I will not be confounded.
My soul has wrestled with her, and in my doings, I was exact; I stretched forth my hands to the heaven above, and bewailed my ignorances of her.
I directed my soul to her, and I found her in pureness; I have had my heart joined with her from the beginning, therefore I will not be forsaken.
My heart was troubled in seeking her; therefore I have gotten a good possession.
The Lord has given me a tongue for my reward, and I will praise Him therewith.
Draw near to me, you unlearned, and dwell in the house of learning.
Why are you slow, and what do you say to these things, seeing your souls are very thirsty?
I opened my mouth, and said, "Buy her for yourselves without money.
Put your neck under the yoke, and let your soul receive instruction; she is hard at hand to find."
Behold with your eyes, how I have but little labor, and have gotten much rest to me.
Get learning with a great sum of money, and get much gold by her.
Let your soul rejoice in His mercy, and do not be ashamed of His praise.
Work your work in season, and in his time, He will give you your reward.