The Lord created human beings out of earth, and makes them return to it again.
He gave them a fixed number of days, but granted them authority over everything on the earth.
References for Ben Sira 17:2
He endowed them with strength like his own, and made them in his own image.
References for Ben Sira 17:3
He put the fear of them in all living beings, and gave them dominion over beasts and birds.
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Discretion and tongue and eyes, ears and a mind for thinking he gave them.
He filled them with knowledge and understanding, and showed them good and evil.
He put the fear of him into their hearts to show them the majesty of his works.
References for Ben Sira 17:8
And they will praise his holy name, 9 to proclaim the grandeur of his works.
He bestowed knowledge upon them, and allotted to them the law of life.
References for Ben Sira 17:11
He established with them an eternal covenant, and revealed to them his decrees.
Their eyes saw his glorious majesty, and their ears heard the glory of his voice.
He said to them, "Beware of all evil." And he gave commandment to each of them concerning the neighbor.
Their ways are always known to him; they will not be hid from his eyes.
References for Ben Sira 17:15
He appointed a ruler for every nation, but Israel is the Lord's own portion.
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All their works are as clear as the sun before him, and his eyes are ever upon their ways.
Their iniquities are not hidden from him, and all their sins are before the Lord.
References for Ben Sira 17:20
One's almsgiving is like a signet ring with the Lord, and he will keep a person's kindness like the apple of his eye.
References for Ben Sira 17:22
Afterward he will rise up and repay them, and he will bring their recompense on their heads.
Yet to those who repent he grants a return, and he encourages those who are losing hope.
Turn back to the Lord and forsake your sins; pray in his presence and lessen your offense.
Return to the Most High and turn away from iniquity, and hate intensely what he abhors.
References for Ben Sira 17:26
Who will sing praises to the Most High in Hades in place of the living who give thanks?
From the dead, as from one who does not exist, thanksgiving has ceased; those who are alive and well sing the Lord's praises.
How great is the mercy of the Lord, and his forgiveness for those who return to him!
For not everything is within human capability, since human beings are not immortal.
What is brighter than the sun? Yet it can be eclipsed. So flesh and blood devise evil.
He marshals the host of the height of heaven; but all human beings are dust and ashes.