Ben Sira 24 (New Revised Standard w/ Apocrypha)

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1 Wisdom praises herself, and tells of her glory in the midst of her people. 2 In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, and in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory: 3 "I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and covered the earth like a mist. 4 I dwelt in the highest heavens, and my throne was in a pillar of cloud. 5 Alone I compassed the vault of heaven and traversed the depths of the abyss. 6 Over waves of the sea, over all the earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway. a 7 Among all these I sought a resting place; in whose territory should I abide? 8 "Then the Creator of all things gave me a command, and my Creator chose the place for my tent. He said, "Make your dwelling in Jacob, and in Israel receive your inheritance.' 9 Before the ages, in the beginning, he created me, and for all the ages I shall not cease to be. 10 In the holy tent I ministered before him, and so I was established in Zion. 11 Thus in the beloved city he gave me a resting place, and in Jerusalem was my domain. 12 I took root in an honored people, in the portion of the Lord, his heritage. 13 "I grew tall like a cedar in Lebanon, and like a cypress on the heights of Hermon. 14 I grew tall like a palm tree in En-gedi, b and like rosebushes in Jericho; like a fair olive tree in the field, and like a plane tree beside water c I grew tall. 15 Like cassia and camel's thorn I gave forth perfume, and like choice myrrh I spread my fragrance, like galbanum, onycha, and stacte, and like the odor of incense in the tent. 16 Like a terebinth I spread out my branches, and my branches are glorious and graceful. 17 Like the vine I bud forth delights, and my blossoms become glorious and abundant fruit. d 19 "Come to me, you who desire me, and eat your fill of my fruits. 20 For the memory of me is sweeter than honey, and the possession of me sweeter than the honeycomb. 21 Those who eat of me will hunger for more, and those who drink of me will thirst for more. 22 Whoever obeys me will not be put to shame, and those who work with me will not sin." 23 All this is the book of the covenant of the Most High God, the law that Moses commanded us as an inheritance for the congregations of Jacob. e 25 It overflows, like the Pishon, with wisdom, and like the Tigris at the time of the first fruits. 26 It runs over, like the Euphrates, with understanding, and like the Jordan at harvest time. 27 It pours forth instruction like the Nile, f like the Gihon at the time of vintage. 28 The first man did not know wisdom g fully, nor will the last one fathom her. 29 For her thoughts are more abundant than the sea, and her counsel deeper than the great abyss. 30 As for me, I was like a canal from a river, like a water channel into a garden. 31 I said, "I will water my garden and drench my flower-beds." And lo, my canal became a river, and my river a sea. 32 I will again make instruction shine forth like the dawn, and I will make it clear from far away. 33 I will again pour out teaching like prophecy, and leave it to all future generations. 34 Observe that I have not labored for myself alone, but for all who seek wisdom. h
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