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Sirach 51

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Sirach 51

1I will give thanks to thee, O Lord and King,

and will praise thee as God my Savior.

I give thanks to thy name,

2for thou hast been my protector and helper

and hast delivered my body from destruction

and from the snare of a slanderous tongue,

from lips that utter lies.

Before those who stood by

thou wast my helper, 3and didst deliver me,

in the greatness of thy mercy and of thy name,

from the gnashings of teeth about to devour me,a

from the hand of those who sought my life,

from the many afflictions that I endured,

4from choking fire on every side

and from the midst of fire which I did not kindle,

5from the depths of the belly of Hades,

from an unclean tongue and lying words-

6the slander of an unrighteous tongue to the king.

My soul drew near to death,

and my life was very near to Hades beneath.

7They surrounded me on every side,

and there was no one to help me;

I looked for the assistance of men,

and there was none.

8Then I remembered thy mercy, O Lord,

and thy work from of old,

that thou dost deliver those who wait for thee

and dost save them from the hand of their enemies.

9And I sent up my supplication from the earth,

and prayed for deliverance from death.

10I appealed to the Lord, the Father of my lord,

not to forsake me in the days of affliction,

at the time when there is no help against the proud.

11I will praise thy name continually,

and will sing praise with thanksgiving.

My prayer was heard,

12for thou didst save me from destruction

and rescue me from an evil plight.

Therefore I will give thanks to thee and praise thee,

and I will bless the name of the Lord.

Autobiographical Poem on Wisdom

13While I was still young, before I went on my travels,

I sought wisdom openly in my prayer.

14Before the temple I asked for her,

and I will search for her to the last.

15From blossom tob ripening grape

my heart delighted in her;

my foot entered upon the straight path;

from my youth I followed her steps.

16I inclined my ear a little and received her,

and I found for myself much instruction.

17I made progress therein;

to him who gives wisdom I will give glory.

18For I resolved to live according to wisdom,c

and I was zealous for the good;

and I shall never be put to shame.

19My soul grappled with wisdom,d

and in my conduct I was strict;e

I spread out my hands to the heavens,

and lamented my ignorance of her.

20I directed my soul to her,

and through purification I found her.

I gained understandingf with her from the first,

therefore I will not be forsaken.

21My heart was stirred to seek her,

therefore I have gained a good possession.

22The Lord gave me a tongue as my reward,

and I will praise him with it.

23Draw near to me, you who are untaught,

and lodge in my school.

24Why do you say you are lacking in these things,g

and why are your souls very thirsty?

25I opened my mouth and said,

Get these thingsh for yourselves without money.

26Put your neck under the yoke,

and let your souls receive instruction;

it is to be found close by.

27See with your eyes that I have labored little

and found for myself much rest.

28Get instruction with a large sum of silver,

and you will gain by it much gold.

29May your soul rejoice in his mercy,

and may you not be put to shame when you praise him.

30Do your work before the appointed time,

and in God'si time he will give you your reward.