Sirach 51

Prayer of Jesus, Sirach’s son

1 I will give thanks to you, Lord and King, and I will praise you, God my savior. I give thanks to your name,
2 because you have been my protector and helper. You have rescued my body from destruction, from the trap set by a slanderous tongue, from lips that fabricate lies. In the presence of those who stood around me,
3 you were my helper. In line with your abundant mercy and your great name, you rescued me from grinding teeth prepared to devour me, from the power of those who wanted to take my life, from the many troubles that I have had,
4 from choking fire all around me, from the midst of a fire that I didn't start,
5 from the depths of the belly of the grave, and from a polluted tongue and lying words,
6 as well as the arrowlike tongue of the unrighteous. My soul approached death, and my life was on the edge of the grave below.
7 People surrounded me on every side, and no one helped; I looked for assistance from human beings, and there was none.
8 Then I remembered your mercy, Lord, and your charity from long ago, that you raise up those who wait for you and save them from the hands of the wicked.
9 I sent up my prayer from the earth, and I begged to be rescued from death.
10 I called out to the Lord, the father of my master: "Don't desert me in the time of my distress, when I am helpless before the arrogant.
11 I will praise your name continually, and I will sing thanksgiving hymns." My prayer was heard,
12 because you saved me from destruction and you rescued me from an evil time. For this, I will give thanks, praise you, and bless the Lord's name.

Search for Wisdom

13 When I was still young, before I had traveled, I sought Wisdom openly in my prayer.
14 In front of the temple, I asked for her, and I will search for her until I die.
15 From the first blossom to the ripening of the grape clusters, my heart delighted in her; I walked in straight paths; I chased her down from my youth.
16 I paid a little attention, and I received her and found much instruction for myself.
17 I made progress with her; I will give glory to the one who gives me Wisdom.
18 I made up my mind to put Wisdom into practice; I sought the good, and I will never be ashamed.
19 My whole being grappled with her, and I was brought to perfection in my performance of the Law. I spread out my hands toward heaven, and I kept in mind my ignorance of her.
20 I directed my whole being toward her, and in purity I found her. I had a heart for her from the beginning. For this reason I will never be abandoned.
21 My guts were stirred to seek her; for this reason I gained a desired possession.
22 The Lord gave me the power to speak well, as my reward, and I will praise him with it.
23 Draw near to me, you who lack education, and stay in my school.
24 Why are you still lacking in these things; why do you thirst for this?
25 I opened my mouth and said, "Acquire her for yourselves without money.
26 Place your neck under her yoke, and let your soul receive instruction. It is found close at hand."
27 See for yourselves that I have labored a little, and I have found much rest for myself.
28 Invest in your education with a great amount of silver, and with it you will acquire much gold.
29 May your whole being take delight in God's mercy, and may you never be ashamed when you praise him.
30 Accomplish your work in good time, and he will give you your reward in his time.
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