Sirach 39

1 They will seek out the wisdom of all the ancestors, and they will be occupied with prophecies.
2 They will preserve the stories of famous people, and they will penetrate the subtle turns of parables.
3 They will seek out the hidden meanings of proverbs, and will live with the puzzles of parables.
4 They will serve among the great and appear before rulers. They will travel in foreign lands, because they will test what's good and what's evil in people.
5 They will commit themselves to rise early, to seek the Lord who made them, and to pray to the Most High. They will open their mouth in prayer and ask forgiveness for their sins.
6 If the great Lord is willing, they will be filled with a spirit of understanding; they will pour forth words of wisdom, and they will give thanks to the Lord in prayer.
7 Their reasoning and knowledge will remain on course, and they will ponder God's mysteries.
8 They will bring to light the learning of their instruction, and they will make the laws of the Lord's covenant their boast.
9 Many will praise their understanding, and it will never be forgotten. The remembrance of them will never disappear, and their name will live for generations upon generations.
10 The nations will speak of their wisdom, and the congregation will proclaim their praise.
11 If they live a long time, they will leave behind a name greater than a thousand names, and if they find rest, it will be enough for them.

Praise of the creator

12 I'll speak of other things I've been thinking, since I was filled like the full moon.
13 Listen to me, faithful children, and blossom like a rose growing near a running stream.
14 Send forth a fragrant aroma like incense, and bloom with blossoms like a lily. Raise your voice, give praise together, and bless the Lord for all his works.
15 Tell of the greatness of his name, and give thanks when you praise him with songs on your lips and with harps. And this is what you will say when you give thanks:
16 All the works of the Lord are very good. Every command of his will be carried out in its proper time.
17 It's not for us to say, "What's this?" or "For what purpose is that?" Everything will be examined at its proper time. At his command water piled up in a heap, and by his spoken word reservoirs of water stood erect.
18 His command accomplishes his good pleasure, and no one can diminish the deliverance he intends.
19 The works of all living beings are before him; nothing can hide from his eyes.
20 He sees from one end of eternity to the other, and nothing is too wondrous for him.
21 It's not for us to say, "What's this?" or "For what purpose is that?" All things were created for their own purpose.
22 His blessing covers like a river and soaks the dry land like a flood.
23 Similarly, his anger will overtake the nations, as he changed fresh waters into brine.
24 For the godly, his paths are straight, but for the lawless, there are obstacles.
25 From the beginning, good things have been made for good people, but bad things for sinners.
26 Basic to all the necessities of human life are water, fire, iron, salt, fine flour, milk, honey, wine, oil, and clothing.
27 For the godly, all these things are for good, but for sinners, they will turn into evil.
28 There are winds that have been created for vengeance, and they whip with strength in their wrath. At the moment of consummation, they will pour out their strength, and they will calm the wrath of their maker.
29 Fire, hail, famine, and death— all have been created for vengeance—
30 the teeth of wild beasts, scorpions, vipers, and a sword punishing the ungodly with destruction.
31 These things gladly do what he commands. They will be ready for his service on the earth, and they won't violate his word when their time comes.
32 Because of this, I've been steadfast from the beginning: I've thought things out and left them in writing.
33 All the works of the Lord are good, and he will supply every need in its time.
34 It's not for us to say, "This is worse than that," since everything will prove its worth at the proper moment.
35 And now, sing hymns with all your heart and voice, and bless the Lord's name.
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