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Ben Sira 43 (New Revised Standard w/ Apocrypha)

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1 The pride of the higher realms is the clear vault of the sky, as glorious to behold as the sight of the heavens. 2 The sun, when it appears, proclaims as it rises what a marvelous instrument it is, the work of the Most High. 3 At noon it parches the land, and who can withstand its burning heat? 4 A man tending a a furnace works in burning heat, but three times as hot is the sun scorching the mountains; it breathes out fiery vapors, and its bright rays blind the eyes. 5 Great is the Lord who made it; at his orders it hurries on its course. 6 It is the moon that marks the changing seasons, b governing the times, their everlasting sign. 7 From the moon comes the sign for festal days, a light that wanes when it completes its course. 8 The new moon, as its name suggests, renews itself; c how marvelous it is in this change, a beacon to the hosts on high, shining in the vault of the heavens! 9 The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven, a glittering array in the heights of the Lord. 10 On the orders of the Holy One they stand in their appointed places; they never relax in their watches. 11 Look at the rainbow, and praise him who made it; it is exceedingly beautiful in its brightness. 12 It encircles the sky with its glorious arc; the hands of the Most High have stretched it out. 13 By his command he sends the driving snow and speeds the lightnings of his judgment. 14 Therefore the storehouses are opened, and the clouds fly out like birds. 15 In his majesty he gives the clouds their strength, and the hailstones are broken in pieces. 17 The voice of his thunder rebukes the earth; 16 when he appears, the mountains shake. At his will the south wind blows; so do the storm from the north and the whirlwind. He scatters the snow like birds flying down, and its descent is like locusts alighting. 18 The eye is dazzled by the beauty of its whiteness, and the mind is amazed as it falls. 19 He pours frost over the earth like salt, and icicles form like pointed thorns. 20 The cold north wind blows, and ice freezes on the water; it settles on every pool of water, and the water puts it on like a breastplate. 21 He consumes the mountains and burns up the wilderness, and withers the tender grass like fire. 22 A mist quickly heals all things; the falling dew gives refreshment from the heat. 23 By his plan he stilled the deep and planted islands in it. 24 Those who sail the sea tell of its dangers, and we marvel at what we hear. 25 In it are strange and marvelous creatures, all kinds of living things, and huge sea-monsters. 26 Because of him each of his messengers succeeds, and by his word all things hold together. 27 We could say more but could never say enough; let the final word be: "He is the all." 28 Where can we find the strength to praise him? For he is greater than all his works. 29 Awesome is the Lord and very great, and marvelous is his power. 30 Glorify the Lord and exalt him as much as you can, for he surpasses even that. When you exalt him, summon all your strength, and do not grow weary, for you cannot praise him enough. 31 Who has seen him and can describe him? Or who can extol him as he is? 32 Many things greater than these lie hidden, for I d have seen but few of his works. 33 For the Lord has made all things, and to the godly he has given wisdom.
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