Sirach 38

On physicians

1 Honor doctors for their services, since indeed the Lord created them.
2 Healing comes from the Most High, and the king will reward them.
3 The skill of doctors will make them eminent, and they will be admired in the presence of the great.
4 The Lord created medicines out of the earth, and a sensible person won't ignore them.
5 Wasn't water made sweet by means of wood so that the Lord's strength might be known?
6 And he endowed human beings with skill so that he would be glorified through his marvelous deeds.
7 With those medicines, the doctor cures and takes away pain.
8 Those who prepare ointments will make a compound out of them, and their work will never be finished, and well-being spreads over the whole world from them.
9 My child, when you are sick, don't look around elsewhere, but pray to the Lord, and he will heal you.
10 Stay far from error, direct your hands rightly, and cleanse your heart from all sin.
11 Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice and a memorial of fine flour, and pour an offering of oil, using what you can afford.
12 And give doctors a place, because the Lord created them also, and don't let them leave you, because you indeed need them.
13 There's a time when success is in their hands as well.
14 They will also ask the Lord so that he might grant them rest and healing in order to preserve life.
15 May those who sin against their creator fall into the hands of a doctor.

On mourning

16 My child, let your tears flow for the dead; as one who is suffering terribly, give voice to your sorrow. Lay out their bodies in accordance with their wishes, and don't neglect their burial.
17 Let your crying be bitter and express your sorrow fervently, and make your mourning worthy of them. Mourn for one day or two so that there can be no criticism, and then be comforted from your grief.
18 Too much grief can lead to death, and grief in one's heart will sap one's strength.
19 Grief also lingers in misery, and the life of the poor is a curse upon the heart.
20 Don't give your heart over to grief; stay away from it, remembering your own end.
21 Don't forget that there's no coming back; you won't do them any good, and you will hurt yourself.
22 Remember their sentence, because it's yours also: "Yesterday it was I, and today it's you!"
23 When the dead are at rest, put their memory to rest, and be comforted for them when their spirit has left.

The scribe’s superiority

24 The scribe's wisdom depends on the opportunity for leisure, and whoever lacks busyness will become wise.
25 How will people become wise when they take hold of a plow or pride themselves in how well they handle an ox prod, when they drive cattle and are absorbed with their work, and their conversation is about bulls?
26 Their hearts are given over to plowing furrows, and they lose sleep because they're concerned about supplying heifers with food.
27 So it is also with every craftsperson and master artisan who carries over the day's work into the night, who carves figures on seals and works diligently to make diverse ornamentations. They will devote themselves to producing a lifelike painting, and they lose sleep in order to finish their work.
28 So it is with smiths who sit near an anvil and who closely examine works of iron. The blast of the fire will melt their flesh, and they will struggle with the heat of the furnace. The sound of the hammer will strike their ears again and again, and their eyes are focused on the pattern of the object. They will devote themselves to finishing the work, and they lose sleep in order to complete its decoration.
29 So it is with potters sitting at their work, turning the wheel at their feet. They lie down always feeling anxiety about their work, and every product of theirs is valued.
30 They will mold the clay with their hands and work the wheel with their feet. They will devote themselves to finishing the glazing, and they lose sleep in order to clean the kiln.
31 All of these have relied on their hands, and each one is skilled in their work.
32 Without them a city can't be inhabited, and they neither go abroad to live as immigrants nor travel about. However, they aren't sought out when the people hold a council,
33 and they won't gain prominence in the assembly. They won't sit in the judge's seat, and they won't understand the disposition of a legal case. They will never shed light on instruction and judgment, and their words won't be memorialized in proverbs.
34 But they support the world from its foundations, and their prayer is concerned with their craft. But those who devote themselves and think about the Law of the Most High are the exception.