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Sirach 1


1 [The Prologue of the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach.] Whereas many and great things have been delivered unto us by the law and the prophets, and by others that have followed their steps, for the which things Israel ought to be commended for learning and wisdom; and whereof not only the readers must needs become skilful themselves, but also they that desire to learn be able to profit them which are without, both by speaking and writing: my grandfather Jesus, when he had much given himself to the reading of the law, and the prophets, and other books of our fathers, and had gotten therein good judgment, was drawn on also himself to write something pertaining to learning and wisdom; to the intent that those which are desirous to learn, and are addicted to these things, might profit much more in living according to the law. Wherefore let me intreat you to read it with favour and attention, and to pardon us, wherein we may seem to come short of some words, which we have laboured to interpret. For the same things uttered in Hebrew, and translated into another tongue, have not the same force in them: and not only these things, but the law itself, and the prophets, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when they are spoken in their own language. For in the eight and thirtieth year coming into Egypt, when Euergetes was king, and continuing there some time, I found a book of no small learning: therefore I thought it most necessary for me to bestow some diligence and travail to interpret it; using great watchfulness and skill in that space to bring the book to an end, and set it forth for them also, which in a strange country are willing to learn, being prepared before in manners to live after the law. All wisdom cometh from the Lord, and is with him for ever.

2 Who can number the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of eternity?

3 Who can find out the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the deep, and wisdom?

4 Wisdom hath been created before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting.

5 The word of God most high is the fountain of wisdom; and her ways are everlasting commandments.

6 To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed? or who hath known her wise counsels?

7 [Unto whom hath the knowledge of wisdom been made manifest? and who hath understood her great experience?]

8 There is one wise and greatly to be feared, the Lord sitting upon his throne.

9 He created her, and saw her, and numbered her, and poured her out upon all his works.

10 She is with all flesh according to his gift, and he hath given her to them that love him.

11 The fear of the Lord is honour, and glory, and gladness, and a crown of rejoicing.

12 The fear of the Lord maketh a merry heart, and giveth joy, and gladness, and a long life.

13 Whoso feareth the Lord, it shall go well with him at the last, and he shall find favour in the day of his death.

14 To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and it was created with the faithful in the womb.

15 She hath built an everlasting foundation with men, and she shall continue with their seed.

16 To fear the Lord is fulness of wisdom, and filleth men with her fruits.

17 She filleth all their house with things desirable, and the garners with her increase.

18 The fear of the Lord is a crown of wisdom, making peace and perfect health to flourish; both which are the gifts of God: and it enlargeth their rejoicing that love him.

19 Wisdom raineth down skill and knowledge of understanding standing, and exalteth them to honour that hold her fast.

20 The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and the branches thereof are long life.

21 The fear of the Lord driveth away sins: and where it is present, it turneth away wrath.

22 A furious man cannot be justified; for the sway of his fury shall be his destruction.

23 A patient man will tear for a time, and afterward joy shall spring up unto him.

24 He will hide his words for a time, and the lips of many shall declare his wisdom.

25 The parables of knowledge are in the treasures of wisdom: but godliness is an abomination to a sinner.

26 If thou desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord shall give her unto thee.

27 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction: and faith and meekness are his delight.

28 Distrust not the fear of the Lord when thou art poor: and come not unto him with a double heart.

29 Be not an hypocrite in the sight of men, and take good heed what thou speakest.

30 Exalt not thyself, lest thou fall, and bring dishonour upon thy soul, and so God discover thy secrets, and cast thee down in the midst of the congregation, because thou camest not in truth to the fear of the Lord, but thy heart is full of deceit.


1 πᾶσα σοφία παρὰ κυρίου καὶ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἐστιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα

2 ἄμμον θαλασσῶν καὶ σταγόνας ὑετοῦ καὶ ἡμέρας αἰῶνος τίς ἐξαριθμήσει

3 ὕψος οὐρανοῦ καὶ πλάτος γῆς καὶ ἄβυσσον καὶ σοφίαν τίς ἐξιχνιάσει

4 προτέρα πάντων ἔκτισται σοφία καὶ σύνεσις φρονήσεως ἐξ αἰῶνος

6 ῥίζα σοφίας τίνι ἀπεκαλύφθη καὶ τὰ πανουργεύματα αὐτῆς τίς ἔγνω

8 εἷς ἐστιν σοφός φοβερὸς σφόδρα καθήμενος ἐπὶ τοῦ θρόνου αὐτοῦ

9 κύριος αὐτὸς ἔκτισεν αὐτὴν καὶ εἶδεν καὶ ἐξηρίθμησεν αὐτὴν καὶ ἐξέχεεν αὐτὴν ἐπὶ πάντα τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ

10 μετὰ πάσης σαρκὸς κατὰ τὴν δόσιν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐχορήγησεν αὐτὴν τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν

11 φόβος κυρίου δόξα καὶ καύχημα καὶ εὐφροσύνη καὶ στέφανος ἀγαλλιάματος

12 φόβος κυρίου τέρψει καρδίαν καὶ δώσει εὐφροσύνην καὶ χαρὰν καὶ μακροημέρευσιν

13 τῷ φοβουμένῳ τὸν κύριον εὖ ἔσται ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτων καὶ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ τελευτῆς αὐτοῦ εὐλογηθήσεται

14 ἀρχὴ σοφίας φοβεῖσθαι τὸν κύριον καὶ μετὰ πιστῶν ἐν μήτρᾳ συνεκτίσθη αὐτοῖς

15 μετὰ ἀνθρώπων θεμέλιον αἰῶνος ἐνόσσευσεν καὶ μετὰ τοῦ σπέρματος αὐτῶν ἐμπιστευθήσεται

16 πλησμονὴ σοφίας φοβεῖσθαι τὸν κύριον καὶ μεθύσκει αὐτοὺς ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῆς

17 πάντα τὸν οἶκον αὐτῶν ἐμπλήσει ἐπιθυμημάτων καὶ τὰ ἀποδοχεῖα ἀπὸ τῶν γενημάτων αὐτῆς

18 στέφανος σοφίας φόβος κυρίου ἀναθάλλων εἰρήνην καὶ ὑγίειαν ἰάσεως

19 καὶ εἶδεν καὶ ἐξηρίθμησεν αὐτήν ἐπιστήμην καὶ γνῶσιν συνέσεως ἐξώμβρησεν καὶ δόξαν κρατούντων αὐτῆς ἀνύψωσεν

20 ῥίζα σοφίας φοβεῖσθαι τὸν κύριον καὶ οἱ κλάδοι αὐτῆς μακροημέρευσις

22 οὐ δυνήσεται θυμὸς ἄδικος δικαιωθῆναι ἡ γὰρ ῥοπὴ τοῦ θυμοῦ αὐτοῦ πτῶσις αὐτῷ

23 ἕως καιροῦ ἀνθέξεται μακρόθυμος καὶ ὕστερον αὐτῷ ἀναδώσει εὐφροσύνη

24 ἕως καιροῦ κρύψει τοὺς λόγους αὐτοῦ καὶ χείλη πολλῶν ἐκδιηγήσεται σύνεσιν αὐτοῦ

25 ἐν θησαυροῖς σοφίας παραβολαὶ ἐπιστήμης βδέλυγμα δὲ ἁμαρτωλῷ θεοσέβεια

26 ἐπιθυμήσας σοφίαν διατήρησον ἐντολάς καὶ κύριος χορηγήσει σοι αὐτήν

27 σοφία γὰρ καὶ παιδεία φόβος κυρίου καὶ ἡ εὐδοκία αὐτοῦ πίστις καὶ πραότης

28 μὴ ἀπειθήσῃς φόβῳ κυρίου καὶ μὴ προσέλθῃς αὐτῷ ἐν καρδίᾳ δισσῇ

29 μὴ ὑποκριθῇς ἐν στόμασιν ἀνθρώπων καὶ ἐν τοῖς χείλεσίν σου πρόσεχε

30 μὴ ἐξύψου σεαυτόν ἵνα μὴ πέσῃς καὶ ἐπαγάγῃς τῇ ψυχῇ σου ἀτιμίαν καὶ ἀποκαλύψει κύριος τὰ κρυπτά σου καὶ ἐν μέσῳ συναγωγῆς καταβαλεῖ σε ὅτι οὐ προσῆλθες φόβῳ κυρίου καὶ ἡ καρδία σου πλήρης δόλου


Multorum nobis et magnorum per legem, et prophetas, aliosque qui secuti sunt illos, sapientia demonstrata est, in quibus oportet laudare Israël doctrinæ et sapientiæ causa, quia non solum ipsos loquentes necesse est esse peritos, sed etiam extraneos posse et dicentes et scribentes doctissimos fieri. Avus meus Jesus, postquam se amplius dedit ad diligentiam lectionis legis, et prophetarum, et aliorum librorum qui nobis a parentibus nostris traditi sunt, voluit et ipse scribere aliquid horum quæ ad doctrinam et sapientiam pertinent, ut desiderantes discere, et illorum periti facti, magis magisque attendant animo, et confirmentur ad legitimam vitam. Hortor itaque venire vos cum benevolentia, et attentiori studio lectionem facere, et veniam habere in illis, in quibus videmur, sequentes imaginem sapientiæ, deficere in verborum compositione. Nam deficiunt verba hebraica, quando fuerint translata ad alteram linguam: non autem solum hæc, sed et ipsa lex, et prophetæ, ceteraque aliorum librorum non parvam habent differentiam quando inter se dicuntur. Nam in octavo et trigesimo anno temporibus Ptolemæi Evergetis regis, postquam perveni in Ægyptum, et cum multum temporis ibi fuissem, inveni ibi libros relictos, non parvæ neque contemnendæ doctrinæ. Itaque bonum et necessarium putavi et ipse aliquam addere diligentiam et laborem interpretandi librum istum: et multa vigilia attuli doctrinam in spatio temporis, ad illa quæ ad finem ducunt, librum istum dare, et illis qui volunt animum intendere, et discere quemadmodum oporteat instituere mores, qui secundum legem Domini proposuerint vitam agere. [Omnis sapientia a Domino Deo est:
et cum illo fuit semper, et est ante ævum.

2 Arenam maris, et pluviæ guttas,
et dies sæculi, quis dinumeravit?
altitudinem cæli, et latitudinem terræ,
et profundum abyssi, quis dimensus est?

3 sapientiam Dei præcedentem omnia, quis investigavit?

4 Prior omnium creata est sapientia,
et intellectus prudentiæ ab ævo.

5 Fons sapientiæ verbum Dei in excelsis,
et ingressus illius mandata æterna.

6 Radix sapientiæ cui revelata est?
et astutias illius quis agnovit?

7 disciplina sapientiæ cui revelata est et manifestata?
et multiplicationem ingressus illius quis intellexit?

8 Unus est altissimus, Creator omnipotens,
et rex potens et metuendus nimis,
sedens super thronum illius, et dominans Deus.

9 Ipse creavit illam in Spiritu Sancto,
et vidit, et dinumeravit, et mensus est:

10 et effudit illam super omnia opera sua,
et super omnem carnem, secundum datum suum,
et præbuit illam diligentibus se.]

11 [Timor Domini gloria, et gloriatio,
et lætitia, et corona exsultationis.

12 Timor Domini delectabit cor,
et dabit lætitiam, et gaudium, et longitudinem dierum.

13 Timenti Dominum bene erit in extremis,
et in die defunctionis suæ benedicetur.

14 Dilectio Dei honorabilis sapientia:

15 quibus autem apparuerit in visu diligunt eam in visione,
et in agnitione magnalium suorum.

16 Initium sapientiæ timor Domini:
et cum fidelibus in vulva concreatus est:
cum electis feminis graditur,
et cum justis et fidelibus agnoscitur.

17 Timor Domini scientiæ religiositas:

18 religiositas custodiet et justificabit cor;
jucunditatem atque gaudium dabit.

19 Timenti Dominum bene erit,
et in diebus consummationis illius benedicetur.

20 Plenitudo sapientiæ est timere Deum,
et plenitudo a fructibus illius.

21 Omnem domum illius implebit a generationibus,
et receptacula a thesauris illius.

22 Corona sapientiæ timor Domini,
replens pacem et salutis fructum:

23 et vidit, et dinumeravit eam:
utraque autem sunt dona Dei.

24 Scientiam et intellectum prudentiæ sapientia compartietur,
et gloriam tenentium se exaltat.

25 Radix sapientiæ est timere Dominum,
et rami illius longævi.

26 In thesauris sapientiæ intellectus et scientiæ religiositas:
execratio autem peccatoribus sapientia.

27 Timor Domini expellit peccatum:

28 nam qui sine timore est non poterit justificari:
iracundia enim animositatis illius subversio illius est.

29 Usque in tempus sustinebit patiens,
et postea redditio jucunditatis.

30 Bonus sensus usque in tempus abscondet verba illius,
et labia multorum enarrabunt sensum illius.

31 In thesauris sapientiæ significatio disciplinæ:

32 execratio autem peccatori cultura Dei.

33 Fili, concupiscens sapientiam, conserva justitiam,
et Deus præbebit illam tibi.

34 Sapientia enim et disciplina timor Domini:
et quod beneplacitum est illi,

35 fides et mansuetudo,
et adimplebit thesauros illius.

36 Ne sis incredibilis timori Domini,
et ne accesseris ad illum duplici corde.

37 Ne fueris hypocrita in conspectu hominum,
et non scandalizeris in labiis tuis.

38 Attende in illis, ne forte cadas,
et adducas animæ tuæ inhonorationem:

39 et revelet Deus absconsa tua,
et in medio synagogæ elidat te:

40 quoniam accessisti maligne ad Dominum,
et cor tuum plenum est dolo et fallacia.]

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