Sirach 40

Life’s joys and miseries

1 Hard work was created for every person, and a heavy yoke lies upon human beings, from the day when they leave their mother's womb until the day when they return to the mother of all.
2 Anxious expectation—the day of death— fills their inner musings and plants fear in their hearts.
3 From the person who sits upon a glorious throne down to the person brought low in dust and ashes,
4 from the person who wears purple and a crown down to the person dressed in rough linen—
5 there exists anger, envy, confusion, unrest, fear of death, fury, and conflict. Even when they rest in bed, nighttime dreams disturb their mind.
6 They get little or no rest; they even toil in their dreams, just as they do in the day, being troubled by images in their mind, as one who escapes from war.
7 They wake up at the most desperate moment and are astonished that they were afraid for nothing.
8 To all flesh, both human and animal, but to sinners seven times more so,
9 come death, blood, strife, sword, catastrophes, famine, ruin, and disease.
10 All these things were created for the lawless, and because of such people the flood happened.
11 Everything that's from earth; returns to the earth; everything that's from water returns to the sea.
12 All bribery and injustice will be wiped out, but good faith will last forever.
13 The money of the unjust will dry up like a river, and it will crash like loud thunder in a rainstorm.
14 Generous people will rejoice, but those who sin will ultimately fail.
15 The offspring of the ungodly won't produce many branches, and they are polluted roots on sheer rock.
16 A reed by any water or riverbank will be pulled up before any grass.
17 Kindness is like an orchard of blessings, and an act of charity will last forever.
18 Life will be sweet for the self-reliant and the hardworking, but better than both is the person who finds a treasure.
19 Children and building a city establish one's name, but better than both is a wife who is considered blameless.
20 Wine and music make the heart glad, but better than both is the love of wisdom.
21 A flute and a harp make sweet melodies, but better than both is a pleasant voice.
22 The eye will desire grace and beauty, but better than both are the first shoots of a crop.
23 A friend and a companion encounter each other at an opportune moment, but better than both is a woman with her husband.
24 Relatives and help in a time of distress are good, but acts of charity will rescue one better than both.
25 Gold and silver make one stand firm, but more highly esteemed than both is good advice.
26 Money and strength will lift up one's heart, but fearing the Lord is better than both. If you fear the Lord, you'll lack nothing; if you have it, there's no reason to look for help.
27 Fear of the Lord is like an orchard of blessing, and it covers a person more fully than any glory.
28 My child, don't live the life of a beggar; it's better to die than to beg.
29 When people look to another person's table, their way of life cannot be considered a life. They pollute themselves by eating someone else's food, but a person who is intelligent and educated will guard against that.
30 In the mouth of the shameless, begging is sweet, but a fire will burn inside of them.
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