Simon Son of Onias
1The leader of his brethren and the pride of his peoplea
was Simon the high priest, son of Onias,
who in his life repaired the house,
and in his time fortified the temple.
2He laid the foundations for the high double walls,b
the high retaining walls for the temple enclosure.
3In his days a cistern for water was quarried out,c
a reservoir like the sea in circumference.
4He considered how to save his people from ruin,
and fortified the city to withstand a siege.
5How glorious he was when the people gathered round him
as he came out of the inner sanctuary!d
6Like the morning star among the clouds,
like the moon when it is full;
7like the sun shining upon the temple of the Most High,
and like the rainbow gleaming in glorious clouds;
8like roses in the days of the first fruits,
like lilies by a spring of water,
like a green shoot on Leb'anone on a summer day;
9like fire and incense in the censer,
like a vessel of hammered gold
adorned with all kinds of precious stones;
10like an olive tree putting forth its fruit,
and like a cypress towering in the clouds.
11When he put on his glorious robe
and clothed himself with superb perfection
and went up to the holy altar,
he made the court of the sanctuary glorious.
12And when he received the portions from the hands of the priests,
as he stood by the hearth of the altar
with a garland of brethren around him,
he was like a young cedar on Leb'anon;
and they surrounded him like the trunks of palm trees,
13all the sons of Aaron in their splendor
with the Lord's offering in their hands,
before the whole congregation of Israel.
14Finishing the service at the altars,
and arranging the offering to the Most High, the Almighty,
15he reached out his hand to the cup
and poured a libation of the blood of the grape;
he poured it out at the foot of the altar,
a pleasing odor to the Most High, the King of all.
16Then the sons of Aaron shouted,
they sounded the trumpets of hammered work,
they made a great noise to be heard
for remembrance before the Most High.
17Then all the people together made haste
and fell to the ground upon their faces
to worship their Lord,
the Almighty, God Most High.
18And the singers praised him with their voices
in sweet and full-toned melody.f
19And the people besought the Lord Most High
in prayer before him who is merciful,
till the order of worship of the Lord was ended;
so they completed his service.
20Then Simong came down, and lifted up his hands
over the whole congregation of the sons of Israel,
to pronounce the blessing of the Lord with his lips,
and to glory in his name;
21and they bowed down in worship a second time,
to receive the blessing from the Most High.
22And now bless the God of all,
who in every way does great things;
who exalts our days from birth,
and deals with us according to his mercy.
23May he give ush gladness of heart,
and grant that peace may be in our days in Israel,
as in the days of old.
24May he entrust to us his mercy!
And let him deliver us in ouri days!
25With two nations my soul is vexed,
and the third is no nation:
26Those who live on Mount Se'ir,j and the Philistines,
and the foolish people that dwell in Shechem.
27Instruction in understanding and knowledge
I have written in this book,
Jesus the son of Sirach, son of Elea'zar,k of Jerusalem,
who out of his heart poured forth wisdom.
28Blessed is he who concerns himself with these things,
and he who lays them to heart will become wise.
29For if he does them, he will be strong for all things,
for the light of the Lord is his path.