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ECCLESIASTICS   TO INDEX

The wisdom by Jesus Ben Sirach  

             JESUS BEN SIRACH

      Whereas many and great things have been delivered to us by the law and the prophets, and by the others who followed their steps, for which things Israel ought to be commended for learning and wisdom. And wherein the reader not only must acquire skill, but also that it will be of profit to those who hear of it either by voice or letter.  My grandfather Jesus, when he had given himself much unto the law and the prophets and other books of our fathers, and had obtained good judgment, was himself also drawn to write something in respect to the learning of wisdom, to the intend that those who desire to learn, and are addicted to these things, might profit so much the more in living according to the law.

Let me therefore entreat you to read it with favor and attention, and to pardon us wherein we may seem to come short in our labors to interpret.  For one thing spoken in Hebrew and translated into another tongue, does not always have the same force in them.  And not only these things, but also the law itself and the prophets and the rest of the books have no small difference when they are spoken in their own language.  For in the 38th year coming into Egypt, when Euergetes was king and I was so for some time, I found a book of no small learning.  I therefore thought it most needed to bestow some diligence and travail in the interpretation thereof, using great care and skill, in that time to bring the book to an end.  And to make it available for those who in a strange land are willing to learn, being prepared in manners to live according to the law.

 

  CHAPTER 1

All wisdom is of God

1.  All wisdom comes from the Lord God, and is with Him forever.  Who can number the sand of the sea, the drops of rain, or the days of eternity?

2.  Who can measure the heights of the heaven, the width of the earth, or the depth of the sea?  Who has taught God what to make?

3.  His wisdom was before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting.  The word of the Lord Most High is the fountain of wisdom, her ways everlasting commandments.

4.  To whom has the root of wisdom been revealed?  Who can know how to obtain wisdom and her wise counsels?

5.  There is but One wise, the Lord Almighty, the Creator of all things, a mighty King greatly to be feared, who sits upon his throne and rules.

6.  By His own Spirit He created her, He who contemplated all things before hand, and knows them, and measured them.  And He poured His wisdom over all his works and over all flesh according to his grace, and He gives her to such as love Him.

The fear of the Lord - the beginning of wisdom

7.  The fear of the Lord is honor, glory, joy, and a beautiful crown.  The fear of the Lord makes the heart glad, and gives joy with eternal rejoicing.

8.  Whosoever fears the Lord, with him it shall be well in the last end, at last he shall receive the blessing.

9.  To love God is the most beautiful wisdom, whosoever beholds her - will love her; for he beholds what great marvels she performs.

10.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, found only in the hearts of the faithful, and she abides with the chosen women, she is found by the righteous, by these only that believe.

11.  The fear of the Lord is the right wisdom; she makes the hearts righteous, and fills them with her fruit in joy and gladness.

12.  It shall go well with him who fears the Lord, when he is in need of comfort, he shall be blessed.

13.  To fear God is the fullness of wisdom and abundance of her fruit, she fills his whole house with gifts, every room with her treasure.

14.  The fear of the Lord is the crown of wisdom, she makes peace and perfect heath, and she straightens the wise.  Whosoever holds on to her - him she will raise in honor.

15.  To fear the Lord is the root of wisdom, her branches will endure forever.  The fear of the Lord turns from sin, he that is without fear cannot serve God, his boldness shall cast him down.

16.  But a patient man will abide his time to be consoled, for though his cause is suppressed for a time, yet shall the righteous praise his wisdom.

17.  God's word is an abomination to the un-godly, because to them - it is a hidden treasure.

18.  My son if you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord will give her unto you.  For the fear of the Lord is the right wisdom, and instruction, faith and meekness - are His delight.

19.  See to it that your Godliness is not in deceit that you do not serve Him with a false heart.

20.  Seek not glory with deceit by men.  Watch for what you speak, exalt not yourself - lest you fall and be dishonored, and the Lord manifest your secrets, and cast you down openly before them since you did not come truthfully in the fear of the Lord, but with a heart of deceit.

  Chapter 2

Admonition to patience

1.  My son if you come to serve the Lord, prepare your soul for temptation, set your heart aright and endure constantly, make no haste in time of trouble, cleave unto Him and depart not - so that at end you may be increased.

2.  Whatever is brought on you - accept cheerfully, and be patient when you are brought in low estate, for as gold is tried in the fire, so acceptable men in the furnace of adversity.

3.  Believe in Him - and He will help you, order your way correct, and trust in Him.

4.  You that fear the Lord - wait for His mercy, go not aside lest you fall.  You that fear the Lord believe Him, and your reward shall not fail.

5.  You that fear the Lord, keep your hope on His goodness, so you will find everlasting joy and mercy.

6.  Look at the generations of old and see was anyone who trusted in the Lord ever confounded?  Or was ever anyone who abode in His fear forsaken?  Or whom did He ever despise that called upon Him?

7.  For the Lord is full of compassion, of mercy, and of long suffering, very pitiful and forgiving sins, who saves in affliction.

8.  But woe to the fearful hearts and the faint hands, and the sinner that goes two ways.  Woe be to him that is fainthearted, for he believes not, wherefore also he will not be defended.

9.  Woe to you who have lost patience for what will you do when the Lord visits you?

10.  They that fear the Lord will not disobey his word, and they that love Him will keep his ways.

11.  They that fear the Lord will look for what is well pleasing to Him.  And they that love Him - shall be filled with the law.

12.  They that fear the Lord - will prepare their hearts, and humble their souls in his sight saying; we will fall in the hands of the Lord and not in the hands of men, for as is his majesty, so is his mercy.

  Chapter 3

Honor for parents

1.  Hear me O children, your father - and live accordingly, so it may be well with you.

2.  For the Lord desires the fathers to be honored by the children, and the mother's command to the children to be kept.

3.  Whosoever honors his father - atones for his sins by God, and they that honor their mother gather a good treasure.

4.  He who honors his father shall have joy of his children, and when he makes his prayers - they shall be heard.

5.  He that honors his father shall have long life, and he that obeys the Lord will be a comfort to his mother.

6.  He that fears the Lord will honor his father, and serve his parents, and honor them as commanders.

7.  Honor your father and mother both in word and deed - so that a blessing from them may come on you.

8.  For the blessing of the father builds the houses of the children, but the curse of the mother overthrows them.

9.  Scorn not the shortcomings of your father, for such is no honor to you, for your fathers honor is your own honor, and the reproach of your mother is your own shame.

10.  My child, serve your father in his old age, and grieve him not so long as you live.

11.  And if his understanding fails him, be patient with him, do not despise him - you yourself being in full strength.

12.  For the good done to a father shall not be forgotten, and the good will be added unto you even though you are a sinner.

13.  For in the day of your affliction - you will be remembered, and your sins shall melt away like ice before the sun.

14.  He that forsakes his father is like one who blasphemes, and he that grieves his mother, is cursed of the Lord.

To seek humility

15.  My child remain gladly in meekness, for such is better than all that which the world seeks.

16.  The higher you are - so the more humble yourself, and you will find favor in the sight of the Lord.

17.  For many are in high places and of renown, yet it is to the meek that the Lord reveals himself, for the Lord is greater than all, and is honored of the lowly.

18.  Do not seek high positions or anything above your strength, but that which the Lord has commanded - do these with diligence.

19.  And be not ambitious in what is not your profession - for more is already given you than what you are able to perform.

20.  Many are deceived in this after thought, and their boldness has cast them down, for he who approaches danger lightly will fall into it.

21.  The last end of a stubborn man is evil, and they that love danger invite calamity after calamity, for pride is not good and nothing but evil can come from it.

22.  A man of understanding learns gladly Godís word, and an attentive ear is found by them that love wisdom.

23.  Like water quenches fire so alms cover sin, and it will be remembered by the Highest to help him when he falls.

  Chapter 4

Admonition to mercy

1.  My child do not defraud the poor of his living, and let not the eyes of the needy wait too long.

2.  Cause not sorrow to a hungry soul, and provoke not a man in his distress.

3.  Add not sorrow to a grieved heart, and defer not to give the needy their needs.

4.  Do not reject the supplication of the afflicted, and turn not your face from the poor.

5.  Turn not your eyes from the needy lest he should complain about you, for He that has made him hears his prayer when in his oppression he complains against you.

6.  Be not contentious before the court, and keep the judge in honor, nor be grieved to hear the poor, answer him friendly in meekness.

7.  Deliver him who suffers wrong from the hands of oppressors, and be not fainthearted when you must judge.

8.  Be like a father to the fatherless, and to their mother like a husband, so you will be like a son to the Most High, and He shall love you more than the love of your mother.

The great value of wisdom

9.  Wisdom exalts her children, and accepts those that seek her, he that loves her loves life, and he who seeks her diligently - shall have her to much.

10.  He that holds fast to her shall acquire great honor, and the Lord will bless his attempts.

11.  They that serve her - serve the right faith, and they that love her are loved of the Lord.

12.  Whosoever gives ear to wisdom shall be able to teach others, and they that keep her shall live safely.

13. They that trust her shall receive her, and his descendant shall fare well.

14.  And though at first she comes adverse to him, bringing fear and dread on him, grieving him with her rod, trying him with her discipline that she may discover that he is without deceit.

15.   So she will again return to him and comfort him upon straight ways, and reveal her secrets to him.  But if he is found to be false, she will depart from him, and he must perish.

Warning against false shame

16.  Serve yourself of the time my child, beware of unrighteous matters, and let not your soul be ashamed to acknowledge right judgment.

17.  For one can shame himself to therewith sin, and one can also shame himself to gain honor and praise therewith.  Allow no one to move you to your own loss, or to frighten you to your fall.

18.  And when you are called upon, acknowledge the truth openly, for by acknowledgment truth and judgment become known.

19.  Do not speak against the truth, and when you have failed in a matter, bear the dishonor.

20.  Be not ashamed to acknowledge guilt when you have failed, do not strive against the course of the river.

21.  Do not serve a fool in his matter, and look not at his might, but serve truth to death, and the Lord will fight for you.

22.  Be not like those that put forth a big mouth, but who do not perform anything of it, nor be like a lion in your house, or a tyrant against your household.

23. Your hand must not always be open to receive, nor always closed to give, He that has made them hears his prayers when in his oppression he complains against you.

 Chapter 5 

Beware of false trust

1.  Do not set your heart upon your goods, and say not; I have enough for life.  Follow not your strength even though it is in your power to do so.

2.  Do not follow your desires, saying; who is there to oppose me?  For the Lord, the Highest avenger shall reward you.

3.  Think not; I have sinned, and what harm has it done me?  For the Lord is long-suffering, but He will not leave you un-rewarded.

4.  Be not so careless, to think, there has been no reward for my sins or my added sins, as if you could continually proceed in them.

5.  Do not think; God is great in mercy He will not punish me however much I sin, for He can just as quickly become angry, as He is merciful, and His anger upon the ungodly is without end.

6.  Do not therefore postpone turning to the Lord, and do not put off repentance from day to day, for His wrath comes suddenly, and He shall punish and destroy you.

7.  Do not trust in goods unjustly obtained, for they shall not profit you in the day of your vexation.  Watch your tongue.

8.  Be not driven by every wind, and follow not every path as those whose heart are unstable, but be firm in your word, and remain with a single speech.

9.  Be ready to hear, answer that which is right, and hasten not.  If you understand the matter, answer, otherwise put your hand upon your mouth. 

10.  For to speak brings honor, but it can also bring shame, and a man's tongue is his fall.

11.  Be not a talker, and speak not evil with your tongue, to be a thief is shameful, but to speak evil is more abominable.

12.  Count nothing small, be it great or small.  

Chapter 6

Friends and enemies

1.  Let no one move you to become angry with a friend, for such wicked ones will themselves be put to shame.

2.  Think yourself not so wise to reprove everyone, that your leaves do not wither, and your fruits perish not, that not afterwards you become a dry tree.

3.  For such a foolish man destroys himself, he becomes the scorn of his enemies.

4.  But he, who explains all things to their best, gains friends.  He that speaks the good of the matter, of him also the good will be spoken.

5.  Be friendly with everyone, but trust barely one among a thousand.

6.  Trust not a friend lest he is proven in need, for as long as there is sufficient to enjoy, they are friends, but in the day of need they do not abide.

7.  For there are many a friend who will quickly turn to be an enemy announcing the strife to your shame.

8.  And there are table-friends, who when need arises will disappear, they remain with you in your prosperity, and live in your house as if they also own it, but when need arises they arise against you and are nowhere to be found.

9.  Thus, remove yourself from your enemies, and also beware yourself of friends.

10.  A faithful friend is a strong defense he that has such a one has a large treasure.

11.  A faithful friend cannot be bought with money or goods, he is a comfort in life, and they, which fear God, receive such a friend.

12.  For they that fear God shall be blessed in friendship, and like he is, so also will be his friend.

To try for wisdom

13.  Let wisdom instruct you from your youth my child, then you shall become a wise man.

14.  Cleave to her as one who plows and sows expecting her good fruits.  You must labor and toil for her for just a little while, but quite soon you shall enjoy her fruits.

15.  She is bitter for those that are unwise, and such as lack understanding will not remain with her, for to them she is a stone of trial.

16.  Give ear to me my child, despise not my counsel, put your feet in her fetters, your neck in her yoke, bow your shoulders and bear her, be not grieved in her bonds.

17.  Give yourself to her with your whole heart; remain upon her paths with all your strength.

18.  Search for her, seek her out, so you will find her, and when you have found her, let her not from you.

19.  For in the end you will have comfort in her, your sorrow shall be turned into joy; her fetters shall be a strong defense for you, her yoke a glorious garment.

20.  She has a golden crown, with a purple headband, and in that garment you will dress yourself, and that glorious crown you will place upon your head.

21.  If you will follow her my child, then you will be wise, and taking her to heart you will find understanding.

22.  If you hear her gladly, you will receive her, and if you incline your ears you shall become wise.

23.  Be gladly among elders and wherever you find a wise man cleave unto him.  Listen gladly to Gods word, and pay attention to the proverbs of the wise.

24.  Wherever you shall find a man of understanding come unto him with diligence, go and come to him continually.

25.  Keep the commandments of the Lord always, meditate continually upon His words - so He will establish your heart and grant you wisdom like, as you desired.

 Chapter 7

General Conduct

1.  Bring no harm - that no harm comes to you.  Refrain from what is unjust and no harm will come to you.

2.  Sow not upon fields of unrighteousness, lest you reap them sevenfold.

3.   Force not yourself into the services of God, nor seek for pre-eminence with the king.

4.  Do not act before the Lord as if you are sufficiently able, nor by the king that you are more than wise enough.

5.  Do not desire to be a judge, for in your capacity you shall not be able to correct all that is incorrect, you might be unsettled by a mighty one, and allow justice to fall.

6.  Provoke no uproar in the city, lest you be cast down among them.  Collect not one sin upon the other lest you be doubly punished, for there is no one who remains unpunished.

7.  Do not imagine saying; God will look upon my great offerings, and when bring my offer before Him He will accept it.  For God is not to be mocked.

8.  And when you pray do not doubt, nor be slack in giving alms.

9.  Laugh not a lame man in the bitterness of his soul to scorn, for there is One who humbles and exalts.

10.  Device no lies against brother or friend, and do not get used to the lie, for such is an abominable habit.

11.  Be not one who talks too much among elders, and when you pray, do not use many words.

12.  Let it not be grievous to you when your labors are hard and your field produces little, for thus has God ordained it.

13.  Do not presume that the hope is large when you commit evil, but rather that punishment is not far off.

14.  Humble yourself greatly therefore, for fire and worms are the reward upon the ungodly.

15.  Sell not your friend for any goods, nor your trusted brother for the finest gold.

16.  Separate yourself not from a virtues and understanding woman, for she is nobler than the finest of gold.

17.  Do not misuse a faithful and diligent servant, but adore him that is found in faith, and hinder him not to gain his liberty.

18.  If you have cattle, keep an eye on it, and if it is of service to you, keep it.

19.  If you have children, instruct them bow their necks from their youth.

20.  If you have daughters, care for her body, and spoil them not.  Give your daughter in marriage and you will have done a great thing, and give her to an understanding man.

21.  If you have a wife that is dear to you, do not allow yourself to become unfamiliar to her, lest she depart, and do not trust one that is hated.

22.  Honor your father with your whole heart, and forget not how much sorrow you have cost your mother.

23.  Remember that you were born of them, and behold what you can do to repay them for what they did for you.

24.  Fear the Lord with all your heart, and honor His priests.  Adore Him who formed you with all your might, and leave not from His servants.

25.  In short; Fear the Lord, honor the priest, and give them their portion from the first fruits as it is commanded you, the sin offering, shoulder offering, and all that is made holy for offerings, all the holy firstlings.

26.  Reach your hand out to the poor so that you may be richly rewarded, and your deeds be pleasing in the sight of the living, yes even to the dead perform your well doing.

27.  Do not withhold comfort from those who mourn, and weep with the weeping, let it not be hard for you to visit the sick, since for these things you will be loved.

28.  In whatever you do think of the end, so you may not perform what is amiss.  

Chapter 8

Conduct with all men

1.  Strife not with a mighty man lest you fall into his hand, nor with a rich man lest he take advantage of you, for many allow themselves to be sold for money, and the hearts of kings are also touched thereby.

2.  Argue not with a great-talker lest you heap wood to his fire.  Do not joke with a rude man lest he disgrace your ancestry.

3.  Reprove not him who repents for his sins, but rather remember that we all bear guilt.

4.  Do not dishonor old age, for we all expect to become old.  And rejoice not when you're enemy dies, but remember rather that we must all die.

5.  Despise not the speech of the wise, but conform yourself rather to his proverbs, for from them you will obtain discipline, how you are to conduct yourself with great men.

6.  Count yourself not wiser than those of old age, for they also learned from their fathers, for from these you can learn how you must answer when the need arises.

7.  Blow not upon the coals of the ungodly, lest you be burned with it.  Rise not up to a slanderer, for he will pervert your words.

8.  Lean not unto him who is mightier than you, and if you do, count it loss.

9.  Be not surety above your means, but if you do, be assured that you will pay.

10. Judge not with the judge, for he makes judgment as he wishes.

11. Walk not with the reckless, lest he bring you in despair, for he acts according to his own will, and you will pay for his folly.

12. Argue not with a hater, and travel not alone with him, for murder means nothing to him, if there is no help for you, he will kill you.

13. Do not consult with fools, for they do not take it to heart, nor act secretly before strangers, for you know not what may come of it.

14. Do not open your heart to everyone, they might only thank you.

  Chapter 9

Conduct with women

1.  Be not jealous over your wife, for such does not bring forth any good, nor allow her might on over you, lest she rule you.

2.  Flee from the whore, lest you fall into her snares, and accustom yourself not to the singers, lest she catches you with her pleasantness.

3.  Look not to the ladies, lest your desires be inflamed concerning her, and give not yourself to prostitutes lest you be robbed of yourself.

4.  Wander not back and forth in the city, nor stand at the corners, turn your face away from beautiful women, and look not upon the form of another man's beauty.

5.  For many have become fools for the beauty of a woman, and like a rushing fire, so evil lust arises from it.

6.  Do not sit with another man's wife, and embrace her not, nor play with her in jest, lest your heart turns to her, and your desires are inflamed within you.

Conduct with friends

7.  Forsake not an old friend, for how will you know if the new is anything like the old?  A new friend is like new wine, let him age, so he will taste better.

8.  Honor not the great glory of a sinner, for you know not what end will come to him.

9.  Take no pleasure in the undertakings of the ungodly, for they shall not fare well - even unto death.

10. Keep yourself far from those who have the power to kill, so you need not fear to be killed.

11. And if you must be in his presence, take care not to default, lest he take your life when you least expect it, consider that you are walking among snares and on stilts.

12.  Learn to know your neighbor with all diligence, and if you require counsel, seek it by the wise.

13.  Seek your counsel from the wise, and order all your works according to the word of God.

14.  Keep company with faithful men, and rejoice, but do so in the fear of the Lord.

15. Deeds praise its master, and a wise king is commended for his actions, one who talks too much is a danger in government, and he that is hasty with his tongue will come to shame.   

Chapter 10

Wisdom qualifies the regents

1.  A wise regent disciplines his people, and where there is prudent government there is order.

2.  Like as the regent is - so also are his officers, and as the town's counsels - so also are its people.

3.  An incompetent king destroys his country and its people, but with prudent rulers a city is well established.

4.  The government of a nation is in the hands of God, who in His time gives to her a capable regent.

5.  The prosperity of a regent is in the hands of God; it is He who glorifies regents.

Vanity of pride

6.  Do not repay your neighbor for all wrongdoings, and do not lose heart when you must rebuke.

7.  Proud men are hated both by God and man, for they commit injustice to both.

8.  Violence, injustice, and greed transplant a country from one people to another.

9.  For even so, kings are merely dust and ashes, while he lives he is mere dust, and though the doctors patch him up time and again, yet in the end it is today king tomorrow dead.  And when a man dies he is eaten by worms, snakes, and other wild beasts.

10.  The cause of all pride is in a man's departure from his God, when his heart departs from his Creator.

11.  For pride leads to every kind of sin, and they, which cleave to it, cause many abominations.

12.  It is therefore that the Lord has always brought His wrath on her, and in the end He will utterly destroy her.

13.  The Lord will cast down the thrones of the proud, and establish the lowly upon them. 

14.  The Lord will destroy the roots of the proud Gentiles nations, and instead establish within them the humble of heart.

15.  The Lord has overthrown the nations of Gentiles, and destroyed them down to the roots, He has caused them to wither, and He wasted them, removing their memorial from the earth.

16.  It is not in God that man is warlike and proud, He did not create man evil.

17.  He who fears the Lord shall exist with honor, but that transgress His commandments shall be a seed of dishonor.

18.  They that fear the Lord keep their regent in honor, but rudeness and pride will be the loss thereof.

19.  The only boast for rich and poor, great or small is that they fear the Lord.

20.  It is not fitting to despise a poor yet prudent man, nor to magnify one rich and ungodly.

21.  Kings officers and regents are in great honor, but none is as great as he that fears the Lord.

22.  A wise servant must be free to serve, and a prudent lord will not begrudge him.

23.  Be not self-wise in your business, nor too proud to have need of someone.  For it is better to labor in your work, and suffice, then pretending to be someone, and be in want of bread.

24.  In all humility regard your soul highly my child, grant her the honors required, for who will justify him that condemns himself?  Or who will honor him who dishonors himself?

25.  The poor man is honored for his wisdom and the rich for his wealth, and thus; if wisdom is so glorious in the poor, how much more will she be in the rich?  And what is unjust for the rich, is so more the more for the poor.

 Chapter 11

Lessons in conduct

1.  Wisdom raises the lowly and brings him among princes, praise therefore one for his great forthcoming, nor despise anyone for his lowly being.

2.  The bee is small among the winged animals, yet she produces the sweetest fruit.

3.  Boast not yourself in your raiment, nor be proud of your high estate, for the Lord is marvelous in his acts and you know not what He will perform.

4.  Many kings have been brought down to the ground, and the one who was not thought of - was given the crown.

5.  Many great men were brought to ruin, and mighty kings have fallen into the hands of others.

6.  Judge no one before you examine the case, know it first, then rebuke, you shall not speak before you have heard the case, and allow everyone to have their speech.

7.  Do not mix yourself in with matters that are strange to you, and do not sit in with an unjust judgment.

Vanity of striving for goods

8.  My child, meddle not with many business matters, for if you place too many handles in the fire you shall not find gain thereby, for though you strive after it - you shall not obtain it, and when you try to escape from it you cannot get away from it.

9.  Many labor bitterly after riches, and yet in all their attempts they only hinder themselves.

10.  Then on the other hand those who go forth quietly requiring help and being weak and poor, these are beheld by God and He brings them forth from their suffering and into honor so that many marvel over them.

11.  Prosperity and adversity, life and death, poverty and riches, all things are of God, and to them that love Him He grants the gifts that remain, which are of everlasting value.

12.  Darkness and error had its beginning with sinners, so likewise it will grow old with them that glory in it.

13.  Many pinch and save, and think to have gained something thereby saying; now I will have a good life eating and drinking from my goods, when they do not realize that now his hour has come and he must die leaving all his goods to others. 

14.  Adhere to Gods word, train yourself in it, continue in your profession, and marvel not at the fact that the ungodly strive after goods.

15.  Trust in God, and remain in your profession, for it is very simple for the Lord to make a poor man rich.

16.  The Lord blesses the things of the righteous, and when their time has come - they rise suddenly.

17.  Say not; "And what good is that to me now, and what will I do meanwhile?"  Nor speak saying; "I have sufficient nothing will harm me."

18.  But rather remember that in days of prosperity adversity can also come, and that when adversity is upon you prosperity can also come again.

19.  For it is an easy thing for the Lord to in death reward a man according to his ways.

20.  In the hour of evil - all pleasures are forgotten, and after a man dies he becomes aware as to how he has lived.

21.  Praise no one before his end, for that which a man has been, will be manifested in his descendants.

22.  Do not invite everyone into your house, for the unfaithful and deceitful are many, for like a bird of prey lures and watches for his prey - so are the hearts of them that are false.

23.  They make the good, which they see out for the worst, and that which is most good they scorn the most.

24.  A large fire may be kindled from a single spark, and the ungodly ones cease not until blood has been spilled.

25.  Watch yourself for such criminals, for they have nothing good in mind, lest they bring an eternal shame on you.

26.  If you take a stranger into your house, he will disturb you and drive you out of your ownership.

  Chapter 12 

Conduct towards the ungodly

1.   If you will do well, then consider to whom you will do well, so that with it you may receive thanks.

2.   Do well to a Godly man and you will be richly rewarded, and if not of him, it will surely be of the Lord.

3.   But those who are evil, who show no gratitude for well doing, there shall be no good to them.

4.   Give to those who fear God, let not your compassion be upon the ungodly, do well to the needy.

5.   Give not to the ungodly, withhold your bread from him, and give him nothing that he may not gain strength therewith to trample you under foot.

6.   For then you will receive twice the evil from him for the good you have done, for the Most High hates the ungodly, and shall punish them.

7.   When a man prospers it is near to impossible to recognize a friend, but in adversity even his enemies cannot hide themselves.

8.    For the prosperity of a man will grieve his enemies, and in his adversity - even his friends will leave him.

9.    Never trust your enemy, for just as iron will again always rust, so he will not forsake his evil habits.

10.   And even though he bows and humbles himself, yet watch out for him and beware of him, for although you polish him like a mirror, yet he rusts again.

11.   Take him not to you, lest he put you aside, and he puts himself in your place.

12.  Place him not next to you, lest he try himself for your seat, and you at end in the spite of your heart must recall my words.

13.   Just as when no one pities a snake charmer when he is bitten, nor those torn by wild beast when they pass among them, so is it with him who keeps company with the ungodly mixing with their sins.

14.   He will remain with you for a while, but when you fall - he will not endure.  The enemy will speak fair words and sorrow greatly over you, and in fact even shed tears, but meanwhile in his heart he considers how he can make you fall into his pit, and given the opportunity he will not be satisfied until he sees blood.

15.   He will be the first when harm is to be done to you, and will pretend as if he is helping you, but undermine you deceitfully, then he will shake his head over you and laugh in his fist, and mock you and look down at you. 

 Chapter 13 

Conduct with the rich

1.   He that touches tar defiles himself therewith, and he who keeps company with the proud - learns pride.

2.   Do not keep company with the rich and mighty, for in so doing you burden yourself with a heavy weight.

3.   For what has a clay pot in common with a copper one?  For when they clash - he breaks in pieces.

4.   The rich man does injustice and is proud of it, but the poor must suffer and say thanks in addition thereto.

5.   As long as you are of value to him he will use you, but as soon as you are of no more service to him he will put you out.

6.   As long as you have something he will eat with you, and it is of no concern to him that you are perishing.

7.   As long as he needs you he will deceive you smiling at you, and promising much will give you the best of words.

8.    He will say; "Do you have need of anything?"  And deceitfully invites you to him two or three times till he has robbed you, and at end laugh you to scorn.

9.    And although he beholds your needs, yet he will let you go shaking his head over you.

10.   See to it therefore that your simplicity does not deceive you to bring you into despair.

11.   If a mighty one invites you - refuse him, so he will impress his invitation the more.

12.   Do not thus push yourself on to him lest he drives you out, but neither flee too far, so that in need they may call on you.

13.   If he ask something of you - refuse him not, but think not that he counts you like himself, for he is merely testing you, tempting you with his friendliness.

14.   For if it becomes unfavorable for him, his friendliness will not remain, and he does not jest regarding punishment and imprisonment.

15.    Watch out for yourself therefore, for you are in great danger, every animal keeps with his own kind, and so with men, let them keep each to their kind.

16.    All flesh has its affection for its own kind, and so men ought to likewise keep with those with whom he is alike.

17.   For it is just as when the wolf joins with the sheep, as when an ungodly joins with the faithful.

18.   Like as a hyena has nothing in common with a dog, so the rich likewise do not fit with the poor.

19.   And like as the lion consumes its prey in the wild, so the rich consume the poor, and like the proud despise that which is lowly, so the rich despise the poor.

20.   When a rich man falls - his friends will lift him up, but when a poor man falls - his friends will put him down.

21.   When a rich man has done something amiss, there are many that will help him, and if he has sinned in his words - everyone has to justify it.

22.   But when a poor man does something amiss - his fault is enlarged, and though the poor man may speak wisely - no one will listen to it.

23.   When the rich man speaks - everyone is silent and his word reaches up to the heavens, but when the poor speak, they say, "Who is he?"  And if he makes a mistake, he will have to pay dearly for it.

24.   Riches are good if one can utilize it without sin, but poverty is evil in the mouth of the ungodly.

25.   The eyes of a man reveal what he has in mind be it good or evil, if it be good - his outlook is contend and joyous, but they that bear deceit cannot find rest.

 Chapter 14

The good and bad of riches 

1.   Blessed is the man that speaks no evil counsel, who has no evil conscience, has not lost his faithfulness.

2.   Riches do not become a stingy man, for what good is money or goods to a scrounge dog?

3.   He that gathers and does not do good to himself - gathers it for others, and they will spend it, or how will a man help others that does not good to himself?

4.   Nothing is more pitiful than a man who cannot grant himself some good, who does not rejoice in his goods, and it is the right punishment for his evil.

5.  And even if he does some good, he has no recollection of it; at the end he must openly testify to his wickedness.

6.  These are the envious ones who cannot bear to behold some good being done others, who turn away their face and have compassion on no one.

7.  A greedy man is never satisfied with his portion, and his greed prevents him from being successful.

8.  It grieves him who is envious to behold others eating and drinking, it is a sorrow to him when he must lend food or drink.

9.  Do well to yourself of what is yours my child, and grant to the Lord the offerings that belong to Him.

10.  Remember that death tarries not, and you know very well that you have no covenant with death.

11.  Do well to your friends before your end, and grant to the poor according to your ability.

12.  Forget not the poor on your days of feasting so that rejoicing may again return to you like, as you desire.

13.  For is it not a fact that you must leave your hard-earned goods to others, your labors to inheritors?

14.  Give therefore gladly; so you may receive again, and grant your soul its good, for in death you will no longer be able to do so.

15.  All flesh waxes old like a cloth, for this is the old covenant - that we must die, for like a tree of which the leaves fall and others take their place so it is with men, some die while others are born.

16.   All that is not forever must come to an end, and those who partake of it, pass with it to its end.

Blessing of striving after wisdom

17.   Blessed is he who continually deals with the word of God, to learn and to teach the same, who with his whole heart tries himself upon His word, who with all perfection learns to understand it.

18.   Blessed is he who continually searches after wisdom looking where she may be found, who looks through her windows, and listens at her door, who seeks to dwell near her dwelling to fasten his home to her wall.

19.   For she will be a good dwelling to him, and brings even his children under her roof.

20.   Remain under her shadow, for under her you will be protected from the heat, and she will be to you a most glorious dwelling.

Chapter 15

Wisdomís great blessing

1.   But who will remain with wisdom - except him that fears the Lord?  For it is he who keeps himself to His word who will find her.

2.   She will meet him like a mother, receive him as a young bridesmaid, and feed him with the bread of understanding, giving him to drink of the waters of wisdom.

3.   By Her he will be strengthened so that he will stand firm and he will keep himself to her - so that he will not be put to shame.

4.    She will exalt him above his fellows, and open his mouth in the congregation.  She will crown him with joy and gladness, and give him an everlasting name.

5.   But the foolish shall not find her, nor shall the ungodly come to behold her, for she is far from the proud, hypocrites know nothing of her.

6.    The praise of God is not seemly in the mouth of sinners, since it is not of God, for to the right praise belongs wisdom, and also the grace thereto is of the Lord. 

Manís free will

7.   You must not say; "Did I not learn correctly?"  For if indeed you have, it was God's doing with you and that which He hates you must not do. 

8.  You need not say; "He deceived me", for He has no need of the ungodly, and He hates all ungodliness, but they that fear Him, look to themselves to keep from these things. 

9.  He created man, and from the beginning gave him his own free will, and if you so desire, keep his commandments and perform that which pleases Him in true faithfulness. 

10.  He has placed both fire and water before you take of both what you will, for there is both life and death before a man, and what of either or both he desires, shall be given him.

11.  For the wisdom of God is great, and He is mighty, He sees all things, and his eyes are upon them that fear Him, and He knows very well what is done aright or deceitfully. 

12.  He does not command anyone to be ungodly, and grants no one the right to sin. 

  Chapter 16

Ungodliness remains not unpunished

1.   Do not rejoice when you have children that are unfit, and boast not in the multitude of your children when they do not fear God. 

2.   And do not contend yourself presuming they will remain alive, nor trust in their wealth.

3.   For a single faithful child is better than a thousand ungodly ones, it is better to die childless than to have ungodly children. 

4.   A faithful man can rebuild a city, but if many ungodly ones are in it, it will nonetheless be destroyed.

5.   This I have seen many times in my life, and heard of it even more often, for fire consumes the entire multitude of the ungodly, and wrath burns all un-believers.

6.   God did not spare the giants of old, sending them with their strength and all to destruction, nor did He spare those among whom Lot was a sojourner.

7.   But He condemned them for their pride, destroying the people without pity allowing them to perish in their sins.

8.   And so He has destroyed as many as six times a hundred thousand, because they were disobedient, how then shall a single disobedient one remain unpunished?

9.   For the Lord is great in compassion, but He is also wrathful, He allows Himself to forgive, but also punishes terrible, for as great as his compassion is - so great also is his wrath, and He judges everyone according as they deserve.

10.  The ungodly shall not escape in his wickedness, nor shall the hope of the righteous tarry long for them.

11.  All good works shall find their reward, and everyone shall receive as he has earned.

12.  Do not say; "The Lord does not see me, nor is there anyone in heaven that looks at me, or, who will think on me among such a great multitude, or, what am I against such a large world.

13.   For behold the earth and sea tremble, mountains, and valleys shake when He looks on them, shall He then not behold the very interior of your heart?

14.  That which He performs is however not seen by anyone, no man knows the thunder when it is about to be brought forth, and so He is able to do many things that no-one expects, and who can pronounce it, or bear it when He judges?

15.   But such threats are too much for the blind, for when a rough person hears things, he will only remain with his folly, and continue in his error.

16.   But you my child, give your ear unto me, learn wisdom, pay attention at my words, and use diligence; I will give you an honorable doctrine, and teach you correctly.

17.   The Lord ordered his works well from the beginning, and He gave to everyone his labors.

18.   And He maintains them continually in this order, so they may continually perform their professions and not grow weary, nor faint, nor cease with their labors, nor that one thing should hinder the other, but that they at all times be obedient to His command.

19.   Moreover, He beheld the earth, and filled her with the good of his hand, He covers the earth with animals, which again return under the earth.

  Chapter 17

God created man giving him his law

1.   God created man out of the dust, and returns him again into dust, He ordered periods of their lives, and created both, each according to their nature, and formed them after his own image.

2.   He gave it so, that all flesh should fear them, and that they should rule over the beasts and the birds.

3.   He gave them reason, speech, eyes, ears, knowledge, and understanding and showed good and bad to both of them.

4.   He beheld them above all other animals that He might show them His great majesty, and that they might praise his Holy Name, and recounts his great deeds.

5.   He taught them, and gave them a law of life; He made an eternal covenant with them, and revealed His rights to them.

6.   They saw his majesty with their eyes, and with their ears they heard his glorious voice, and He said to them, "Beware of all unrighteousness".

7.   He made everyone responsible for his neighbor, and their works are at all times before Him, nothing is hidden.

8.   In all nations He appointed rulers, but over Israel He Himself became Lord.  The Lord knows and rewards all.

9.   All their works are as clear before Him as the sun, His eyes behold all their doing without ceasing.

10.   Nor are their evil doings hid from Him, all their sins are known to Him, He keeps the well doings of a man like a signet ring, his good works like the apple of the eye.

11.   And in the end He shall rise up and render to everyone as they have earned, but that repent - these He allows to come to his grace, and He comforts those that become weary, so they may not faint.

12.   Turn yourself therefore to the Lord, and leave your sinful life, pray to Him, and leave your evil doings.

13.   Hold fast to the Highest, turn away from what is not right, and hate idolatry with all seriousness, for who will praise the Lord in the grave?

14.   Only the living can praise Him, the dead - when they are no more - cannot praise Him, praise therefore the Lord while you live and have health.

15.   For O how great is the compassion of the Lord, out of mercy He allows Himself to be found by them that repent unto Him, for what can a man possibly be lest he be immortal?

16.   What is clearer than the light of the sun?  And yet she is made dark, and is not all that which is made by flesh and blood - an evil thing?

17.   Man beholds the in-measurable heights of the heaven - him being only earthly and dusts.

Chapter 18

Godís great compassion.

1.   He that lives forever, who made all things, He alone is perfect, the Lord only is righteous, no one is able to pronounce his works.

2.   For who can understand His great miracles, who can measure his might, or declare His great compassion?

3.   One cannot add nor diminish thereof, nor can one understand His great marvels.

4.   Whereas man, even when he has done his best, has yet barely begun, and when he thinks to have finished, there is much lacking.

5.   For what is man?  Unto what good is he?  How can he be of any profit?  Or if he lives long, even to a hundred years, it is but a drop in the sea, or like a grain to the sand of the sea, so few are his years compared to eternity.

6.   Therefore also has the Lord patience with them, and pours forth His compassion on them, He beholds, and knows very well that they must all die, and for that reason His compassion is so much the richer on them.

7.   Man's compassion extends only over his neighbor, but God's compassion extends over the entire world.

8.    He punishes and chastens, He teaches and cares like a shepherd for his flock, He is compassionate upon all who allow themselves to be taught, and who hear His word gladly. 

Doing good to others

9.    My child, if you will do well to someone, don't do it with idle words, and when you give something grieve him not with harsh words.

10.    For like the dew cools the heat, so also a good word is better than a gift, yes even more lovelier is a good word than a great gift, and he who is gracious gives both.

11.    But a man without understanding upbraids the needy, and an un-gracious gift is grievous.

12.     Teach yourself first before you teach others, and help yourself first before you heal others, rebuke first yourself before you judge others, for thus you will find mercy when others are punished.

Timely repentance

13.    Do not postpone repentance until you are ill, but reform yourself while you are still able to sin.

14.    And prepare yourself before you shall pray, nor wait until death to improve your way of life.

15.    And if you desire to serve God, then let it be with diligence, let it be seriously lest you should tempt the Lord, remember the anger which is to come at the end, and the wrath that "must" go forth.

16.    When you are satisfied, then recall that one can again become hungry, and when one is rich, he should reckon that he can again become poor.

17.    For before evening dawns it can change from what is was in the morning, and all this occurs speedily before God.

18.    A wise man is careful in all things, keeping himself from sin while he is still able to sin, he that is wise - accepts such wisdom, and he that acquires her - praises her.

19.    He that has learned such doctrine rightly - will be able to conduct himself wisely, and speak of it to the benefit of others.

20.    Do not follow your evil desires, but break your will, for if you follow your evil desires you will make yourself a laughing-stock by your enemies.

21.   Be not a joker, and make it no habit to relax - lest you should become beggar, and that in having no money you should take to stealing.

 Chapter 19

Lessons for life

1.   A laborer who likes to drink shall not become rich, and he that despises the small thing - will decreasingly end.

2.   Women and wine will make a wise man to a fool, and they who hang out with whores - become irrational, and as wages - will receive moths and worms, and wither as an example to others.

3.   He that believes lightly is light-minded and greatly harms himself to allow himself to be so misled.

4.   He that rejoices because he was able to perform devious things, such a man will be despised, but they who hate such worthless persons will prevent harm to himself.

5.   Do not repeat the evil that you have heard, for the silence shall not hurt you, repeat it therefore not to a friend, declare it not even if you can do so without an evil conscience, for they will indeed hear and pay attention but hate you nonetheless.

6.   If you have heard a thing, let it die with you, in that way you will have a good conscience, for after-all you will not explode from it.

7.   But a fool has sorrows with his secret like a mother with a child about to be born, for a secret word pains the hearts of the fools like an arrow stuck in the hip.

8.   Speak with your neighbor concerning it, it may be that he never spoke the thing, and if he has, speak to him that he may not do it again.

9.   It is good to speak to your friend concerning it; for people are eager to speak lies of others do not therefore believe all that you hear.

10.    Often-times a word may slip out of one's mouth while he did not mean it quite so, for who is there that does not at times speaks amiss, out of whose mouth a word or two may slip?

11.   Speak thus first with your neighbor concerning it, before you argue to reprove, and remember the commands of God.

12.    For the fear of the Lord causes one to conduct himself wisely in all matters, and the commands of God teaches one to deal with understanding in all things.

13.    Cunning is not wisdom, and the tricks of the ungodly are not understanding, but only deceit and idolatry, nothing more than foolishness and lack of understanding.

14.    A small understanding with Godliness is better than much understanding with ungodliness, for many may be sharp in understanding, yet are they deceivers who will turn the matter as they wish to have it.

15.   These deceivers can appear serious and bow their heads, yet it is all deceit.  He turns his eyes downward listening with deaf ears and the moment you are not paying attention to him - he will surprise you, and even though he might be too weak to harm you, yet when he sees his chance, he will come after you.

16.   A man may be known for what he is by beholding him, and a wise man is known by his manners, his attire, his smile, and his way reveals him.

Chapter 20

Self control in word and deed

1.   One reproves his neighbor oftentimes at the wrong moment, and would have done better to be silent.

2.   It is better to reprove openly than to secretly bear hatred, and he that accepts it with thanks, to him it is of benefit.

3.   He that causes violence in judgment is like one who rapes a virgin that was to be safeguarded.

4.   One will keep himself silent and be held wise, while another is hated because he talks too much.

5.   One keeps silent because he knows not how to answer, while another keeps silent to await his time.

6.   A wise man keeps silent until he perceives his time, but a fool cannot abide his time.

7.   He that talks much causes himself to be hated, and he that assumes himself too much authority, over him men will be angry.

8.   Many have good fortune in business matters, but it is to their destruction. 

9.   There are many gifts that produce no benefit, but there are also many that bring double reward.

10.   He that much likes to show off destroys himself therein, while they that humble themselves are raised up.

11.   Many will at first purchase something for very little, and yet pay for it through the nose.

12.   A wise man ads value to his gift by his gracious words, but that which give, is made worthless by their words.

13.  A gift of a fool shall not benefit him, for with one eye he gives, but with seven eyes he looks to see what he can obtain by it.

14.   Such ones give little and complains much, and he declares it forth like a publisher, today he lends tomorrow he wants it back, these men are hated by God and man.

15.   The fool complains that no-one trusts him, that no one thanks him for his good deeds, and that even those who eat of my bread speak nothing good of me.

16.   O how often - and by how many is he mocked.  He falls more dangerously by such words of himself than if he fell from a second story.  And this is the reward for such fools that at end they must fall.

17.   A rough ill-mannered person speaks lightly, babbling whatever falls into his mind, and even if and when a fool speaks something good, it is of no value, for he does not pronounce it at the right moment.

18.   Many are by poverty prevented from doing evil; the benefit that one has of this is that he will have no evil conscience of it.

19.   Many will sooner perform the worst - than to lose their honor, and that (mind you) for the sake of the ungodly.

20.   Many will serve a friend out of shame, and because of it he will gain him for an enemy.

21.   The lie is an awful blot upon a man, and she is common with ill-mannered persons, even a thief is not as evil as one who gives himself to lies, in the end however they both shall inherit the fall.

22.   To speak lies is a very shameful thing for a man, nor on account of it will he never come to honor.

23.   A wise man brings honor to himself by his wise words, and an understanding man is beloved and valued by rulers.

24.   He that diligently works his field - enlarges his hope, and he that so conducts himself by rulers - for-comes much evil.

25.   Presents and gifts blinds the eyes of the wise, it places a bridle in their mouth preventing them from reprove.

26.   The wisdom of a man who does not use her - is a hidden treasure, of which neither one is of any use, better is it when a fool is hidden than he that is wise.

 Chapter 21

The way of sin leads to death

1.   My child, if you have sinned, so do it no more, and entreat the Lord that former sins may also be forgiven you.

2.   Flee from sin as from a serpent, for when you come near to her she will bite you and her teeth are like lion teeth that kill a man.

3.   All sin is like a sharp sword, and wounds with such wounds, which no one is able to heal.

4.   He that causes violence and injustice becomes at end a beggar, and he that is proud will at end lose house and home, for as soon as the one that is oppressed calls - God will hear him, and wrath shall rise suddenly.

5.   He that hates to be admonished - is already upon the way of the ungodly, they that fear God - take it to heart.

6.   He that is able to use his tongue well - is known from afar, but one of understanding knows where he fails.

7.   He that builds his house with the goods of others - gathers himself stones for his grave.

8.   The gathering of the ungodly is like a heap of straw - to be burned by fire, for the ungodly travel upon a slippery road, the end of which leads to the pits of hell.

9.   They that keep the law of God do not follow their own mind, and to fear God in all seriousness is wisdom.

10.   They that are without understanding will not accept learning, and some having knowledge - cause much destruction therewith.

11.   The teaching of a wise man runs like a stream, and his counsel as a living fountain, but the heart of a fool is like a leaking vessel, one who cannot retain doctrine.

12.   When the prudent hears a good doctrine - they believe and declare it, but a conceited man when he hears - is displeased, and casts it from him.

13.   The speech of a fool presses like a heavy weight, but when a wise man speaks it is joyous to hear.

14.   At counsels - attention is paid to the speech of the wise, and that which he proclaims is accepted, but the speech of a fool is like a collapsed house, the counsel of the unwise is devoid of sense.

15.   Try and teach a fool and he will act like he is being bound hand and foot, but the wise consider it like golden ornaments, like a bracelet on the right arm.

16.    A fool will walk freely into ones house, while a prudent man restrains himself, a fool will freely peek through one's window, but a prudent man remains outside.

17.    It is not polite to listen at someone's door; the prudent man considers it a disgrace.

18.    Worthless talkers speak that which does not serve the case, while the wise weigh their words in the scales of gold.

19.    Fools have their heart in their mouth, while the wise have their mouth in their heart.

20.   A fool laughs over-loud, while a wise man will laugh only a little, and when an ungodly person curses one who speaks evil - he curses himself.

21.   Whisperers do harm to themselves, and no one will wish to have them near.

  Chapter 22

Right conduct verses wrong

1.   A lazy man is like a stone in mud, he that takes him up is bound to wash his hands.

2.   An ill-mannered son is a dishonor to his father, and a foolish daughter is shame unto him.

3.   A wise daughter shall obtain a man, but an unruly daughter is left and causes her father much heaviness, but one who is lustful - is both her father and her man to dishonor, and will be hated of both.

4.   A speech spoken at the wrong time is like music to those that grieve, punishment, and the teaching of doctrine are to be commenced at proper times.

5.   He who teaches a fool is like one who glues together the bits and pieces of a broken vessel, he is like awakening one from a deep sleep.

6.   He that speaks with a fool - speaks with one, who sleeps, when he is finished he will say; "What did you say?"

7.   Mourning is done for the dead - since they no longer have light, but much greater mourning should be made over a fool - since he lacks understanding.

8.  Do not mourn so much for the dead, for they have come to their rest, while it is the life of a fool that which is worse than death.

9.   Mourning for the dead is made seven days, but for a fool and for the ungodly it is done all their life long.

10.   Do not speak much with a fool, nor abide much with them of no understanding, keep yourself at a distance that you may not be brought into trouble, nor be defiled with his folly, depart from him and you will keep your peace, and not come into need or fear.

11.  What is heavier than lead?  Or how else will one reckon a fool other than lead?  It is easier to bear sand, salt, and steel, than a man of no understanding.

12.  Like unto a house that is well assembled, which the storm will not demolish, so is the heart of him who is assured of his matter, such a one fears not.

13.  Like unto fair plastering on a smooth wall, so is the heart that continues with a wise disposition.

14.   And like a fence set on a high place, which cannot withstand the wind, so the thoughts of a fool in his determination cannot stand against any fear.

Conduct with  friends

15.   When the eye is pressed - tears will come out, and when one is cut to the heart - he will acknowledge it.

16.   He that casts among the birds - chases them away, and he that dishonors a friend - breaks the friendship

17.    Even though you take to your friend as with a sword, do not abandon hope, you may again become friends.

18.    If you have opened your mouth against your friend - be not so troubled, for all things can be forgiven except; slander, pride, evil tricks, and the revealing of secrets, for such things a friend will depart.

19.   Remain faithful to your friend in his poverty that you may rejoice with him in his prosperity.

20.   Abide steadfast with him in times of his trouble that you may also rejoice in his well being.

21.   As the vapor and smoke precede a fire, so reviling precedes the shedding of blood.

22.   Do not shame yourself to defend a friend, nor hide yourself from him, if evil returns to you from him, then all who hear of it - will be aware of him.  

Chapter 23

Prayer for self control

1.  O that I might put a lock on my mouth, a firm seal upon my lips, that I might not fall because of them, that my tongue destroy me not.

2.  O Lord, Father, and Governor of my life let me not come among the slanderers, nor that I should perish among them.

3.  O that I might keep my thoughts under control, and nurture my heart with Gods word.  And that I shall not excuse myself when I fail, so that I might not sin, nor lead into error to increase evil, that I might not fall before my enemies and they should rejoice over me.

4.  O Lord God, Father and Governor of my life, keep me from pride, and turn me from all improper desires, allow no greed nor lust to take hold of me, and keep me from a heart that is un-ashamed.

Warning against oathís

5.  Learn to keep your mouth my child, for those who learn to keep it shall not trespass in words as the ungodly and the slanderers and the proud do that fall thereby.

6.  Do not accustom your mouth to the misuse of the name of God, for just as a servant, having received many lashes, cannot be without the marks thereof, so one cannot be without sin who accustoms himself to the misuse of God's name.

7.  He that swears often - sins often and the plague shall not depart from his house, and though one swears without understanding, yet he sins nonetheless.

8.  And if one understands, but pays no heed thereto, he sins double, and if he swears in vain, he shall not therefore be without sin, and his house will be greatly punished.

Conduct in word and deed

9.  There is also a deadly curse, for which the Lord has safeguarded the house of Jacob, and such as fear God - stay afar from it, and meddle not with such sin.

10.  Do not accustom your mouth to light-minded and filthy speech, for these things are evil.

11.  Do not forget the teachings of your father and of your mother when you are seated among men.  Do not forget them when you are among them, lest you should accustom yourself to foolishness, and in the end you wish you were never born, to curse the day you were born.

12.  He that accustoms himself to foolish and vile speech will not reform himself in all his life.

13.  Two kinds commit much sin, and a third brings along wrath, he that is consumed in his lust, for he is like a burning fire, and will not cease until he has burned himself.

14.  And one who is indecent, for such have no rest in their body until they ignite a fire, to these all bread is sweet, and they will not leave off until they fulfill it.

15.  And a man who commits adultery, who says in his heart; Who will see, for it is dark and there are walls round about which hide me that no-one is able to see me, for whom then shall I fear, nor will the Most High account my sins.

16.  Such persons hide only from the eyes of men, and consider not that the eyes of the Lord are much more clearer than the sun, which see all things that men perform, and what they commit in secret corners.

17.  All things are known to Him before they were formed, and so also after they were perfected, He knows them all.

18.  Such persons shall be punished openly in the city, and he will be caught when he least expects it.

19.  And women will fare likewise, she who leaves her husband and bears children for another.

20.  For first of all she has violated God's command, secondly, she sins against her husband, and thirdly, in her adultery she is bringing forth children of another, Such women will be put out of the congregation, and her children will have to suffer for it.

21.  Her children shall not take root, nor her branches bear fruit, an accursed memorial is what she will leave behind, her shame will never be removed.

22.  For these things, those who come afterwards, will learn that there is nothing better than that one shall fear God, and that there is nothing sweeter to pay heed to the commandments of God.

  Chapter 24

Wisdom of God

1.  Wisdom praises itself, and among the people she glorifies herself, she opens her mouth in the congregation of God, and triumphs in His kingdom.

2.  She proclaims; "I have come of the mouth of the Most High, and hovered over the earth as a cloud, my dwelling was in the highest, my seat in the clouds.

3.  I alone was everywhere as wide as the heavens be, and as deep as the depths everywhere upon the sea and upon the earth among all people and all nations.

4.  By these all I sought a dwelling that I might find me a place, then the Creator of all things, He who created me, gave me a command and appointed a dwelling for me, saying;   "In Jacob your heritage will be.

5.  I was created from the beginning, before the forming of the earth, and I will remain forever, I served Him in the tent, and afterwards received a firm place in Zion.

6.  He has placed me in the holy city that I should rule in Jerusalem; I am rooted in with an honorable people, with the inheritance of the Lord.

7.  I became exalted like a Cedar in Lebanon, and like a Cypress on the mount of Hermon, I became great like a Palm-tree on water's edge, like the Rose plants that are reared in Jericho, and like a fair Olive-tree on a pleasant

8.  I grew up like an Acorn-tree (plane tree) I yielded a pleasant odor like Cinnamon and costly herbs, like the best Myrrh, like Galbanum, Onyx, and sweet Storax, and like the fumes of Frankincense in the tabernacle.

9.  I spread my branches like an Oak-tree, my branches were fair and gracious, I reached forth pleasantly like a vine, and my blossoms brought forth rich and delicious fruits.

10.  Come unto me all you who desire me, and assemble yourself at my fruits, my doctrine is sweeter than honey, my gift more sweet than the honeycomb.

11.  They that eat of me will always hunger for me, and they that drink of me, will always thirst for me.

12.  They that give me ear - shall not be put to shame; they that follow me shall remain innocent.

Where wisdom is found

13.  All this is the book of the covenant, which God the Highest made, namely, the law, which Moses as a treasure commanded to the house of Jacob.

14.  From this the wisdom flowed forth like the river Pison as when she is high, and like the river Tigris when she overflows in the spring.

15.  Out of it came understanding like the Euphrates when she is high, and like the Jordan in harvest, out of her came discipline like the light like as the Nile is in the fall.

16.  He has never existed that knew all of her, nor will he ever be born that will be able to comprehend her, for her reason is richer than any sea, and her words deeper than any depth.

17.  But I have come as a brook from the river, like a watering duct into a desirable garden.

18.  I said.  ďI will water my garden, irrigate my field".  There my brooks became rivers, and my rivers a large sea, for my doctrine is as wide as the light of morning that shines to afar.

19.  And my doctrine pours forth a prophecy that must remain forever; thus you may behold that I do not labor only for myself, but for all that desire wisdom.

  Chapter 25

Praise of harmony

1.  Three things are very beautiful, which pleases both God and man; when brothers are of one mind, when neighbors love each other's, and when a man and woman understand each other.

2.  Three things I abhor from the heart, and their existence is great grief to me; when a poor man is proud, when a rich man like to lie, and when an old fool takes to adultery.

3.  If one does not gather in his youth, what then shall he find when he is old?

4.  O how fair it is when gray heads are wise, the old having understanding, and when rulers are prudent and careful.

5.  For this is the crown of age - when one has experienced much, that it is their honor - to fear God.

6.  There are nine things, which I in my heart praise highly, and a tenth I wish to glory with my mouth; a man who has joy of his children, one who beholds his enemies cast down.

7.  He is to be so blessed who has an understanding wife, one who in his speech causes no harm, one who is not required to serve one that is unworthy.

8.  He who has a faithful friend, he that is wise, who teaches them that hear gladly, for O how marvelous is he that is wise.

9.  But none is as high as him who fears God, for the fear of the Lord is above all, and there is no comparison to be made to one who holds to the fear of the Lord.

The bad women

10.  There is no sorrow as great as the sorrow of the heart, or cunning above that of a woman, there is no trapping above that of a revengeful man, nor revenge above that of enemies.

11. There is no head as cunning as the head of the snake, nor anger like the anger of women.

12.  I would rather live with lions and dragons, than with an evil woman, when she becomes angry she changes her face, and becomes as dark as deep black.

13.  Her husband has to shame himself for her, and if one reproaches him for it, it hurts him to the heart.

14.  All wickedness is small against the wickedness of women; unto her be done what is to be done to the ungodly.

15.  Like a sandy up-hill road is to an old man, so is a talkative woman to a quiet man, deceive not yourself in that she may be beautiful, and do not therefore desire her.

16.  When a woman enriches a man, there will be nothing but argument, despising, and great shame.

17.  An evil woman is a sorrow of the heart and the soul, and cause one's face be downcast.

18.  When a man has a wife in whom he has no pleasure, it causes him to become indifferent towards all things.

19.  Sin came into being because of the woman and for her sake we all must die.

20.  Like as no passage should be given to water breaking through, so an evil woman should not be allowed to work her will, and if she refuses to submit to your hand, then depart from her.  

  Chapter 26

The good and bad women

1.  Blessed is he who has a virtue's woman, for this he will live twice as long.

2.  A good wife is a joy for her husband, and brings him a good and peaceful life.

3.  A virtue's woman is a noble gift, and will be given to such as fear the Lord, be he rich or poor she will be to him a comfort, causing him to be joyful always.

4.  Three things are terrible, and the fourth is most horrible; betrayals, riots, and gossiping, for these are worse than death, but it is a heart-sore when one woman - jealous at another - slanders her to everyone.

5.  When one has an evil woman it is like an uneven pair of oxen, he that receives her - begets a scorpion.

6.  A drunken woman is like a plague, for she is not able to cover her shame, and an adulterous woman is known by her disrespectful face, and by her eyes.

7.  If your daughter is not chaste, keep her on a short leash lest in her she performs her ill will.

8.  When you notice that she looks about unashamed, pay attention, and if you do not, be not amazed when she abuses herself.

9.  For she pants like a thirsty runner, and will drink any water nearest to her, and wherever she finds a stick, there she will put herself down and accepts whatever may become of her.

10.  A gracious woman delights her man, and if she handles him with understanding, she will refresh his heart.

11.  A woman who is able to be silent - is a gift of God, and one who is brought up well - is beyond price.

12.  There is nothing more desired on earth than a woman having shame, and nothing more delicious than a virtues woman.

13.  Like as the sun is a jewel when risen on the Lord's high heaven, so also is a virtue's woman a jewel in her home.

14.  A beautiful woman which is also virtues, is like a clear light upon the candle-stick, and one who is constant in her being, is like golden pillars upon silver footings.  

Chapter 27

Righteous deeds gain honor

1.  Two things grieve me greatly, and a third makes me angry, when at end a warrior suffers poverty, when at end wise counselors are despised, and when one falls away from righteousness into sin, for such a one God has given over to the sword.

2. A buyer cannot likely beware himself of injustice, nor a merchant be free of sin, for because of vain goods many will perform what is unjust, for those who desire to be rich - turn their eyes aside.

3. Like as a nail is wedged between two stones in a wall, so sin is wedged between the buyer and seller, if he does not keep himself diligently in the fear of the Lord, his house will shortly be overthrown.

4. When one sifts with a sieve - the refuse remains in it, likewise it is with a man, for in all things that he takes to purpose there is always something unclean remaining.

5. Like as the eyes prove the new vessels, so sorrow tries the sense of a man.

6. By the fruit of the tree is known how well one is reared, so also the speech of a man - declares how it is with his heart.

7. Praise no one before you have heard him, for by his speech a man is known.

8. If you follow righteousness - you will receive her, and put her on like a beautiful garment.

9. All birds seek their own kind, so also truth keeps itself with those who gladly practice her.

10.  Like as a lion lies in wait for prey, so sin at last catches them that work iniquity.

11.  Those that are Godly, always pronounce that which is good, but a fool is as changeable as the moon.

12.  When you are among the indiscreet - observe your time, with the wise you can go forth, but the speech of fools is grievous, their delight is nothing other than sin, and they even caress themselves therewith.

13.  When one hears much swearing - it raises his hairs, and arguments will cause one to put his hands over his ears.

14.  When the proud argue, it ends in the shedding of blood, and how greatly sorrowful it is to hear them thus revile each other. 

15.  He that reveals secrets - loses trust, and will  not ever obtain a faithful friend.

16.  Maintain your friend in honor, keep your word to him, but if you reveal his secrets you will not get him back.

17.  To him who loses his friend comes as much harm as one from whom his enemy escapes him.

18.  Like a bird let lose, so it is when one losses his friend, he will not him again, you need not follow after him, for he is far-gone, escaped like a deer from a trap.

19. Wounds can be healed, and reveling can be forgiven, but with him who reveals secrets - it is the end.

20.  They that wink with the eye have something evil in mind, they that recognize it - will depart from such.

21.  In one's presence such a one will speak sweetly and praise his words, but behind his back he will twists his words, there is nothing of which I am so adverse as of this, and the Lord also hates it.

22.  He that casts up a stone - will receive it upon his own head, and he that wounds secretly wounds himself, he that digs a pit - will himself fall in it, and he that puts out a snare for another catches himself.

23. He that wishes to do harm to another - will receive it upon himself without being aware from where it came.

24. The proud boast and mock, but wrath watches for them like a lion.

25.  He that rejoices when adversity strikes the just will be caught in a snare, and anguish shall consume them before they die.

26.  Anger and malice are abominable, these are ungodly practices.  

Chapter 28

Warning against anger and strive

1.   He that takes revenge shall find vengeance from the Lord, and his sins will surely be remembered.

2.   Forgive your neighbor the hurt that he has done to you, so shall your sins be forgiven when you pray, or will you maintain your anger against your neighbor, and yourself seek mercy from the Lord?

3.   Will one be without mercy for his neighbor, and yet pray for his own sins?  He is mere flesh and blood, and yet he will keep hatred?  For who then will forgive him his sins?

4.   Remember the end, let go of the hatred, remember death and the destruction keep yourself with the commandments.

5.   Think on the commandments, bear no malice to your neighbor, remember the covenant of the Most High, forgive the ignorance.

6.   Keep yourself from strife that many sins may stay behind, for an angry man is bound to kindle strife, the sinful causes enmity between friends to put those who are at peace one against the other.

7.   When there is much wood - the fire will burn high, and where there are strong men - the wrath is greater, and where men are rich - anger will be that much more vehement, and when strife continues - the more they will be inflamed.

8.   Being quick to strife - kindles the fire, and being hasty to battle - sheds blood, if you blow on a spark - it will become a fire, but if you spit on a spark - it will be quenched, and both come out of your mouth.

The slanderous tongue

9.   False tongues and whisperers are cursed, for they destroy many that are at peace.

10.   A backbiting tongue causes many to be at odds, and drives them from one to another; it destroys firm foundations and nations.

11.   A backbiting tongue drives away brave women depriving them of all that they have labored for, they that give ear to it, shall never find rest, nor ever dwell in peace.

12.   The whip causes marks, but a backbiting tongue destroys bones inclusive, many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but by far not as many as by backbiting tongues.

13.   Blessed is he who is kept from the evil tongue, who is not plagued by her, who need nor carry her yoke, nor is caught in her snares.

14.   For her yoke is steel, and her snares copper, her plague is more bitter than death, worse than the grave, but she will not oppress those that fear God, nor will they burn in her fire.

15.   They that leave the law - shall fall unto her, and burn within her, and it will not be quenched, she will overtake them as a lion, and destroy them like a leopard.

16.   You construct fences around your property, but why not much rather put locks and doors upon your mouth?

17.   You weigh your gold and your silver, why then not weigh your words according to the scales of gold?

18.   Beware of yourself that you do not slip in these, to fall before your enemies who lie in wait for you.  

Chapter 29 

Lending to oneís neighbor

1.   He that lends to his neighbor - performs an act of mercy, and they, which have goods - ought to do so.

2.   Lend to your neighbor when he has need thereof, and you also who receives repay in due season.

3.   Keep that which you have spoken, do not deal falsely with him, so you will always obtain also your needs.

4.   Many a person consider it as found - that which they borrowed, causing grief to those who helped them.

5.   He will kiss a man's hand when he borrows, and speak very submissively for his neighbor's money.

6.   But when it is time to repay - he postpones and complains that the times are bad, and though he is able to repay, he returns barely the half thereof, and counts the rest as gain.

7.   And even if he is not able, he will still rob him of his money, wherefore one has bought himself an enemy with his own money, one who repays him with cursing and slander and reproaching words as thanks.

8.   For this reason many will scarcely lend fearing they will be robbed, yet have patience with your neighbor in need, and delay not to show him mercy.

9.   Help the poor for sake of the commandment do not when he is in need allow him to depart from you empty.

10.   Lose rather your money for sake of your neighbor; do not bury it under a stone where it will be of no use anyway.

11.   Gather to yourself a treasure according to the commandments of God, this will be much better to you than any gold.

12.   Leave your gifts at special places, they will save you from much harm, and they will battle for you against your enemies better than any shield or spear.

Surety for one's neighbor. 

13.   A just man will sponsor his neighbor, but an impudent man will forsake his sponsor.

14.   Forget not the good deed of your sponsor, for he placed himself as surety for you.

15.   The impudent will bring his sponsor into shame, and the ungrateful leaves his deliverer.

16.   To become surety has caused many good men to become undone, and caused them to be cast back and forth like the waves of the sea, it has caused many great men to be driven away to wander in strange lands.

17.   And the impudent, when he has become surety, who tries to twist himself out of it with evil tricks, shall not escape the punishment.

Modesty in life

18.   Help your neighbor as much as you can, but see to it that in the same you do not bring yourself to harm.

19.   It is enough in this life that one has water, bread, clothing, and a home with which he can cover his needs.

20.   A modest means under a simple roof is better than being at a costly table among strangers.

21.   Whether you have much or little - be contend therewith, for it is disgraceful to go from house to house, and where one is a stranger - he dares not open his mouth.

22.   He is forced to allow others in with him, and to give food and drink gratitude, and on top of all he must listen to bitter words as go stranger, prepare the table, and let me eat of whatever you have.

23.   Or; get out of the house, for I have an important guest arriving, or; I have need of the house, my brother is coming to be with me.

24.   Such things are grievous to a man of understanding, that for lodging he has to swallow such words, and that if he has borrowed, he is reproached for it.  

Chapter 30

Discipline admonished

1.  They that love their children discipline them continually so that in the end they may have joy of them.

2. He that chastens his child - will rejoice over him, and not be ashamed before acquaintances.

3.  When he dies, it will be as had he not died, for he left his likeness after him.

4.  While he lived he beheld his desire, rejoicing in him, and his worries will be none after he has passed on, for he left behind a covert against his enemies, one who can again serve his friends.

5.  But he that is soft with his son - will mourn for his wounds, and be troubled each time he cries.

6.  A spoiled child becomes headstrong like unto a wild horse, if you spoil your child - you will fear for him afterwards, play with him - and afterwards he will cause you sorrow.

7.  Do not joke with him, lest you must sorrow with him, and in the end be made to gnash your teeth.

8.  Allow him not his own will in his youth, justify not his folly, bow his neck while he is young, and use the rod wisely while he is yet little, lest he become stiff-necked, and disobedient to you.

9. Chastise your child; allow him not to be empty-handed, so you will not be put to shame on account of him.

Blessings of health

10.  It is better to be poor, strong, and healthy, than to be rich and unhealthy.

11.  Health and strength are better than gold, and a healthy body better than a great fortune, for there are no riches to be compared to health, nor any joy to the joy of heart.

12.  Death is better than a life of continual illness, for this is just as when good food is placed before a mouth that cannot eat, or, as food that is placed in graveyards for the dead.

13.  Or what good is a food offering to an idol, since it can neither eat nor smell it.  Likewise it is with the rich whom God causes to be ill, they see it with their eyes - and sigh for it.  Or like a castrated person who lies with a maid - and sighs.

14.  Do not bring sorrow upon yourself, nor plague yourself with your thoughts, for a joyful heart is a man's life, and gladness - his long life.

15.  Do something good for yourself, comfort your heart, and remove sorrow from you, for sorrow kills many a person, and serves no purpose anyway.

16.  Continual labor and anger - shortens life, and worry causes one to grow old before his time, but all things are delicious for him who is joyful.

  Chapter  31

Dangers of riches

1.  Watching for riches consumes the flesh, and the care thereof drives away sleep, for when one lies down with cares he constantly awakens like a recurring sickness.

2.  But he is rich, he that labors, and having gathered his wage - he stops and enjoys it, but he is poor, he who labors but gathers nothing, and ceasing he is still a beggar.

3.  He who loves money - shall not be without sin, they that seek what is not eternal - shall perish with it.

4.  Many come into trouble for the sake of money, destroying themselves before their own eyes, they that sacrifice unto it - will be cast down by it, and the careless are taken with it.

5.  Blessed is the rich man who will not be found guilty, he who does not seek after money, but where will he be found?  For if so, we will praise him, for such a one does great things among his people.

6.  He who shall be tried in this, and be found upright, shall with all rights be praised, for he had opportunity to evil, but did it not, he had ability to do harm, but did no such thing, therefore his goods will remain, and the people will praise his alms. 

Eating and drinking

7. When you sit at the table of the rich, do not open youíre mouth wide, think not; O but here is much to eat, but consider rather that the eye of envy an evil thing, and that it sheds tears to behold its food being consumed.

8. Take not that on which someone else has his eye, nor that which lies before him in the dish, but consider within yourself what it is that your neighbor likes or dislikes.

9. Keep yourself with understanding in all things, eat that which is placed before you, as it becomes you, and gabble not, lest you be hated.

10.  For manner sake, and for courtesy, be the first to stop, be no insatiable glut, thus you will not be offensive.

11.  When you sit down with many on a table, be not the first to reach forth, for a well-mannered person satisfies himself with little, and need not bloat upon his bed.

12.  For when one eats moderately, he will sleep soundly, and be able to awaken early in the morning feeling well, but a glutton has cramps and pains in his belly, and cannot sleep well.

13.  If you have eaten too much, get up and depart, lay yourself down to rest.

14.  Hear me my child; despise me not, lest in the end my words will catch up with you, summon yourself to perform some labor, so that sickness may not overtake you.

15. A man that is generous with his food - will be praised, of him it will be said that he is gracious, but a stingy man is known by the whole city as being evil, and so they speak rightly of him.

16.  Be not a wine-bibber, for wine destroys many, like steel is caged from the furnace dipped in water, so wine cages the ill taken hearts when they be drunken.

17.  Wine refreshes man in his life - if he takes it in modesty, or what is life without wine?  For wine was created to make man glad.

18.  Drunkenness increases a fool's rage, his brawling, and his boasting, until he awakens beaten and wounded.

19.  Rebuke not your neighbor when he is full of wine, nor reproach him in his gladness, do not speak to him with despiteful words, nor press him to pay for that which he is indebted to you.

Chapter 32 

Conduct at feasts

1. If you are made master of a feast, do not exalt yourself for it, but be as the rest of them, first care for them, then you sit down after you have completed what is required of you, that you may be merry with them, and be honored for it.

2. The eldest ought to speak first, for thus it becomes him if he is experienced.  And do not hinder the musicians, nor speak while songs are sung, save your wisdom for another time.  For like a ruby set in fine gold, so a song enhances a meal, and like an emerald upon pure gold, so songs beautify with good wine.

3. Those that are young may also once or twice speak when it is required of them, but he must keep it brief and conduct himself as one knowing little, as one who would rather be silent, and not count himself equal with the greater.

4. And when the elder speaks do not babble the while, for as the lightning precedes the thunder, so courtesy gains much favor.

5. Rise up betimes, be not the last to rise, but timely depart for home, there take your pastime and do as you will, as long as you perform nothing evil, be proud against anyone.

6. But in all things thank Him who created you, who satisfied you with his good things

Godís word the right guide

7. He that fears the Lord lets himself be instructed, and he that gives himself thereto shall find mercy.

8. He that seeks after the word of God shall richly receive it, but he who does not take it seriously will be for the worse.

9. He that fears the Lord has touched upon the right doctrine, and will cause righteousness to shine like a light.

10. A sinful man will not accept reprove, and in his aims he utilizes the examples of others.

11.  A man of understanding does not despise just counsel, but a wild and proud man fears nothing, and if he has done something, he is unable to counsel himself.

12.  Perform nothing without counsel, lest afterwards it grieves you, do not proceed where one is likely to fall, nor where you might wound yourself on stones.

13. Be not so confident that the road will be smooth, and watch out even for your own children, in all that you take to perform be confident in yourself, for that also is in the keeping of God's command.

14. He that believes in the word of God - keeps His commandments and he that trusts in the Lord - shall have no want.

 Chapter 33 

The Lord the keeper

1. He that fears the Lord receives no sorrows, and when vexation comes to him, he will be delivered thereof.

2. A wise man allows not the word of God to be used against him, but hypocrites are like a ship on stormy sea.

3. A man of understanding holds himself to the word of God; to him it is a certainty, like a clear statement.

4. First be certain of your matter, then speak of it, first let yourself be taught, then you may answer.

5.  The heart of the fool is like the spokes of a wheel, his thoughts run continually around the axle.

6. And like a stallion that sneezes under every rider, so is a friend whose lust is mockery.

7.  Why is it that one day excels the other while the sun forms every day of the year alike?  The wisdom of the Lord did thus separate them, He caused the times of the year, and the feasts to be so ordained.

8.  Some He chose to be holy above others, for like all men are of the earth and Adam of the dust thereof, the Lord nevertheless distinguishes them according to His manifold wisdom.

9. He ordained diverse ways among men, some He blessed and exalted, and hallowed them to come into His service, and some He cursed, lowering them, casting them out of their estate.

10. For man is in His hand - as clay in the hands of the potter, He performs all things as it pleases Him.

11. Thus is a man in the hand of Him who made him, and He gives to everyone, as He thinks best.

12.  So also good is placed over against evil, and life over against death, and the God-fearing to the ungodly.

13.  So behold the works of the Lord, the Highest, there are always two by two, the one over against the other.

Word of the writer

14.  I am one who was last awakened, as one who gathers in the fall, and God has given me a blessing upon it, that I might fill my winepress as in full autumn.

15.  Behold how I did not labor for only myself, but for all who are glad to learn, hear thus to me you great men, and you regents of the people, and take it to heart.

Conduct at home

16.  Do not allow your son, your wife, brother, or your friend power on over you while you breathe, and grant not your goods to anyone, lest it come to grieve you, and you are made to pray them in return for it.

17.  Do not give yourself to another person while you live, and have breath, it is better that your children have need of you, than that you should have to see to their hands.

18.  Remain pre-eminent in your own business, let not your honor be taken from you, when your end has come to depart from here, then distribute your goods.

19.  The ass belongs to the one who feeds him, and the whip and burdens as well belong to it, so also is bread to the servant, and his rod, and labors.

20.  Keep your servant at labor - that you may have rest of him, let him not be idle to seek folly.

21.  The yoke and ropes bow the neck, and rod and stick an unwilling servant, put him to labor, lest he be idle, for idleness teaches much evil.

22.  Place work on him as is fit for him, and if he refuses place him in bonds, but be not excessive towards anyone, keep good measure in all things.

23.  If you have a servant, then treat him as yourself, for what is done to him - is done to your own life and body.

24.  If you have a servant, think of him as yourself, for you have need of him as your own life, and if you do not treat him well, he will get up and depart from you, and then where will you find him?

 Chapter 34

Trust only in God

1.  The person of folly deceives himself with vain hopes, and fools rely on dreams.

2.  He that looks after dreams - reaches for shadows, he is trying to catch wind, for dreams are nothing more than an image without substance.

3.  And that which is unclean, how shall it be clean?  Or that which is false, how can it be true?

4.  Self-divination and signs and dreams are vain, and cause one nothing but heavy thoughts, for if they are not from inspiration of the Highest - they are nothing, for dreams have deceived many, and they that bank on them shall fail.

5.  One does not require lies to keep the commandments, and the word of God is sufficient to teach right doctrine.

6.  He that has traveled much knows many things, and he that has much experience is able to declare wisdom, but he who has no experience understands little, but having traveled much teaches prudence.

7.  And since I have traveled much, I can teach much, and I know more than I pronounce.  I have often been in despair of death, but was delivered thereof.

8.  The spirit of the God-fearing shall remain alive, for their hope is on Him who is able to help them.

9.  He that fears the Lord, need not fear anything else, nor be astonished, for the Lord is his trust.

10.  Blessed is he who fears the Lord, for on whom does he depend?  And who is his trust?  For the eyes of the Lord are upon them that love Him.

11.  The Lord is a mighty covert, a great strength, protection against the heat, a cover from the midday sun, a keeper against stumbling, a help in the fall, who rejoices the heart, and brings gladness upon one's face, who gives health, life, and blessings.

  The false offering

12.  He who offers stolen goods, his offering is blasphemy and mockery, the Lord has no pleasure in such mockery of the ungodly, the gifts of the ungodly are not at-all acceptable to Him, and their sins are not to be forgiven for many offerings.

13.  He that offers from the goods of the poor is as one who kills a son before his father's eyes.

14.  The poor have nothing except a little bread, and he that robs him of that is a murderer, he that withholds a man his living - kills his neighbor, and he that does not give the laborer his wage, is a bloodhound.

15.  If one builds and again tears down, then what good are his labors?  One prays while the other curses, and unto whose voice shall the Lord listen?

16.  He who after having touched the dead, and having washed himself again touches the dead, unto what purpose shall his washing be?

17.  So is it with a man who fasts for his sins, and again sins, for who shall hear his prayer?  And to what purpose shall his fasting be?

 Chapter 35

The right offering

1.  To keep the law of the Lord is a right offering, and to reckon them highly is the right thank offering.

2.  To thank God - is the right meal offering, and to have compassion - the right praise offering.

3.  To depart from sin is a service pleasing to Him, and to stop doing injustice is a right sin offering.

4.  Yet you shall not therefore appear empty before the Lord, for this also you must perform according to the law of God.

5.  The offerings of the upright causes the altar to be rich, and its savor is sweet unto the Most High.

6.  The offering of the righteous is acceptable, and he will never be forgotten, grant the Lord His portion with joyful eyes, and your first-fruits without abrasion.

7.  That which you give, give it with gladness, and hallow your tenths joyfully, give to the Highest according as He has lend to you, and that which you are able to perform - do it with joy.

8.  For the Lord who is a rewarder, will reward you sevenfold, and do not trim your gifts, for such is not pleasing nor acceptable.

9.  Seek no gain when you offer, for the Lord is an avenger, and by Him there is no respect of persons.

10.  He helps the poor not looking to their person, and He hears the prayer of those who suffer injustice.

11.  He does not despise the prayer of the orphan, nor of the widow when she complains, the tears of widows do indeed fall down along her cheeks, but they call upwards to Him who formed them to fall.

12.  He that serves the Lord with desire - is pleasing, and his prayer reaches into the clouds, the prayer of the afflicted comes up to the clouds, and do not rest until they pierce through, nor cease until the Highest shall hear them.

13.  And the Lord will judge rightly, and punish, and not postpone, nor any longer suffer it till He has broken the bones of the unmerciful, and avenged Himself to destroy all such persons.

14.  He will cast down the brutality of the unrighteous, and reward everyone according to his works, and to their wages as they have earned, He will avenge His people, and cause them to rejoice in His mercy.

15.  Even as the rain is welcomed in a parched place, so compassion will come when needed at the right time.

Chapter 36

Prayer for Israel.

1.  Lord Almighty God, be merciful to us, hear us, sent Thy fear upon all nations, lift up Thy hand on all strange nations, that they might behold Thy power.

2. As Thou O Lord were sanctified in us before them, so magnify Thyself to them before our eyes, that they might acknowledge, like as we acknowledged, that there is no other God like Thee.

3.  Create new signs and wonders O Lord, show Thy hand, Thy right hand most gloriously.

4.  Arise in wrath, and pour forth Thy anger, obliterate the oppressors, destroy the enemy, and hasten O Lord, remember Thy oath that men may praise Thy wondrous deeds.

5.  Let the rage of the fire consume them that live so carelessly, may they perish who cause so much grief to Thy people.

6.  Bring the heads of the rulers who are at enmity with us - to nothing, who proclaim; we are it.

7.  Gather together all the tribes of Jacob, let them be Thy heritage as it was in the beginning.

8.  Have mercy O Lord upon Thy people, which received their name from Thee, Israel whom Thou did call Thy first-born son.

9.  Have mercy O Lord upon Jerusalem Thy holy city, the place of Thy rest, Let Zion again be raised, that from her Thy word may go forth, and Thy honor be made great among the people.

10.  Grant Thy testimony to those who from the beginning were Thy own, fulfill the prophecies which were proclaimed in Thy name.

11.  Reward those O Lord who wait on Thee, that Thy prophecies may be found truthful.

12.  Hear O Lord the prayer of those that call on Thee according to the blessings of Aaron upon Thy people, that all who live on the earth may acknowledge that Thou O Lord art the eternal God. 

Praise of the good wife

13. The belly will accept all sorts of food, still, one is better than the other, and like the tongue samples the meat, so a heart of understanding discerns what is false in words.

14.  A deceitful man is able to bring one into trouble, but he who is experienced knows how to care for himself against it.

15.  A woman must accept any man, but among the daughters - one is preferred above another.

16.  A beautiful woman is a joy for her man, and if in addition she is also friendly and virtues, you will not find that man's equal.

17.  For he who has a virtue's wife - begets a treasure, and has himself a good help, a pillar to rest upon.

18.  Where there is no hedge - goods will be spoiled, and where there is not a good wife - the household will suffer.

19.  Just as the wanderer who goes from town to town is not trusted, so he also who is without a home, who must lodge wheresoever the night finds him.  

Chapter 37 

Knowing friends

1. Every friend will say; I am also a friend.  But some are only so in name, and when enmity arises between friends, anger will remain until death.

2. O thing of evil, from where did it come to cover the earth with deceit?

3. When it goes well with a friend, his companions will rejoice with him, but in time of trouble - they become his enemies.

4. They bother themselves with him for their belly sake, but when need arises they hide as behind a shield, forget however not your friend when you are glad, and think of him when you have prospered.

Good and bad counselors

5.  Every counselor is ready to counsel, but some only to their own gain, beware therefore of counselors, consider if what he says is good, or if he may not be counseling for himself, and to let you take the gamble.

6.  He will say; you are upon the right path, yet he stands opposed, watching to see if you will fall or succeed.

7.  Do not ask counsel of anyone who is not favorable to you, or anyone who envies you.

8.  For it is like asking a woman how to be friendly to her enemy, or like asking a coward how to make war, or like a merchant to ask him the price of your wares.

9.  Or like asking a buyer for how much you should sell, or an angry man how to do good, or the unmerciful how to have mercy.  Or a lazy man how much labor can be done, or to ask a day-laborer who has no home, how the work may be brought to an end, or a slow servant concerning much work.

10. Do not take such persons as counselors, but keep yourself with God-fearing people of whom you know to keep the commandments of God, those whose frame of mind is like yours, who have compassion on you when you stumble.

11. Keep yourself by their counsel, for you will not find more trustworthy counsel, and they are able to discern things better than seven men on watchtowers.

12. Yet in all these things call also on the Lord Most High, that He may grant you success, and not cause you to fall.

13.  Before you begin something, ask first, and before you take to perform, take counsel thereto.

14.  For when one takes to perform something new, one of four things must be, that it becomes good or evil, that life or death will follow it, and all this is ruled with the tongue.

15.  Many are able to counsel others, yet are unprofitable to themselves, while others who counsel rightly - are not heard, and remain a beggar, for it was not of the Lord to grant him the grace thereto, there is no wisdom in him.

16. Many are wise in their own experience, having success with their counsel, and in reaching their goal - are commended.

17. A wise man is able to teach his people, his counsel is to their profit, nor will the fruits fail.

18. A wise man is highly honored, everyone that sees him praises him.

19. The duration of the life of every man is numbered, but to Israel it is without number.

20. A wise man is reckoned highly among his fellows, and his name will remain forever.

Bodily health

21. Prove what is good for the body my child, and consider what may be unhealthy, and do not furnish it with that, for not all things are for everyone, nor does everyone chose the same things.

22.  Do not gorge yourself with delicacies, for over-eating brings illness, and the over-full stomach causes pain, many have eaten themselves to death, but he who eats modestly - will live that much longer.

  Chapter 38 

Honor to medicine

1. Honor the physician with the honor due to him, that he may be of service to you in time of need.

2. For the Lord has created him, as also the medicine are of the Most High, and kings honor him.

3. The skill of the physician exalts him, and causes him to be honored by rulers and great men.

4. The Lord causes medicines to sprout forth out of the earth, and he that has understanding does not despise them.

5. Did not the bitter water become sweet by the mere wood, that men might know His power?

6. And He has given men such skills that He might be praised in His wondrous works.

7.  It is by means of these that He heals to drive away sorrows, and the pharmacist makes his medicines by these means.

8.  In short, One cannot declare all the works of the Lord, and all that is good upon the earth - is of Him.

Conduct during sickness

9.  My child, when you are sick, do not despise it, but pray to the Lord that He may heal you.

10.  Depart from sin, cause your hands to be justified, cleanse your heart from all wrong, and offer a pleasing savor, a memorial offering of fine flower, and offer a fat offering as though you were departing.

11. Then let the physician come to you, for the Lord has created him, and let him not depart from you while you have need of him.

12.  For the time may come that only in that way may you be helped of your illness, when they pray to the Lord that you may again be well, and be healed of your illness to live longer.

13.  He, who sins against his Maker, may fall into the hands of the physician.

Just measure in mourning

14.  My child, if someone has died, mourn him, cry for him as when a great sorrow has come on you, bind him up according to custom, and bury him honorably.

15.  You ought to weep bitterly and sorrow truly for a least a few days after he has passed away, lest evil be spoken of you, but then again comfort yourself of your sorrow.

16.  For sorrow causes death, and the grief of the heart diminishes strength, in vexation there is also sorrow, and poverty will touch upon the heart.

17.  Give no room to sorrow in your heart, but dismiss it, think of the end, forget it not, for there is no return, sorrow does not serve the dead, but it does harm you.

18.  Remember my judgment, for as he died, so also will you, for today it was him, tomorrow it will be you.

19.  And since the dead are at rest, so also cease to concern yourself for him, and console yourself concerning him when his spirit is departed.

Teachers of the scriptures

20.  He who shall teach the law cannot be sated with hand-labor, and he who is to be instructed should have nothing else to perform.

21.  For how can he inspire himself to learn something when he must plow in the field, or who is eager to drive the oxen, to perform all sorts of labors, and knows to speak of nothing but oxen?

22.  He must consider to care for the fields, and feed the cattle both early and late, and so also with the carpenters and stonecutter, who labor day and night.

23.  They must take diligence to construct forms, and all sorts of works, they must think on how to perform well, and early or late be at their task to bring it to completion.

24.  So also with the blacksmith who must be at his anvil caring for his works of iron, the fire causes him to sweat, and her wearies himself at the oven, the sound of the hammer deafens his ear.  He watches how he shall do his work aright, and his mind must be on how he shall complete his work, and be at it early or late to bring it to fulfilling.

25.  The potter also must be at his work driving the wheel with his foot, with care he must continually perform his labor to fill the day's work.  With his arms he fashions the vessels of clay, and with weariness he must reach down to his feet, and apply himself to glaze well, and be at his over early or late.

26.  All these console themselves in the works of their hands, and take diligence to know their profession well, they are indispensable in the city, but they cannot be sent as ambassadors, nor be in care of public posts, nor rule the congregation.

27. They cannot have the understanding to instruct from the scriptures, nor preach righteousness and justice, wise proverbs are not found with them, but they care for the timely things, and think no further than what is required for the reward of their labors.

  Chapter 39 

The task of the preacher

1.  But he who give himself to learn the law of the Most High must inquire into the wisdom of the elders, and train himself in prophecy.

2.  He must consider the records of the well-known persons, and think on them what they mean and teach, he must learn spiritual proverbs, and train himself dark sayings.

3.  Such a man can serve rulers, and be with great men, he can be sent to foreign lands, for he already knows by experience what persons are good or not.

4.  He considers how he shall rise early to seek the Lord who created him, and to pray to Him.

5.  He boldly opens his mouth, and prays for his sins, and when the Lord be pacified, He will richly give to him the Spirit of wisdom, so that he will be able to give wise counsel, and learning in abundance.

6.  For this he thanks God in his prayers, and the Lord will give him His blessings so that his counsel and his teachings may proceed.

7.  He first meditates beforehand; afterwards he gives his counsel and his teachings with evidence from the scriptures.

8.  And many will marvel at his wisdom, and it shall never be done under, he will never be forgotten, his name will remain forever and always.

9.  That which he has taught - will again be taught further, and the congregation will praise him.

10.  While he lives he has a name greater than thousands, and after his death, his name remains.

Praising God

11.  There is more that I wish to say, for I am yet full of thoughts, like as the full moon, thus hear unto me you holy children, rise forth like a rose planted on waters edge.

12.   Give a pleasant savor like frankincense, and flower like the lilies, be sweet smelling.

13.  Sing gloriously, and praise the Lord in all His works, praise His name marvelously and deliciously.

14. Thank Him, and praise Him with sounds and songs, speak like this in your thanks;

15.  All the works of the Lord are extremely good, and that which He commands occurs upon its time, and no one need say why or what for.

16.  For in their own time all things come as desired, as also by His command the waters stood like walls, by His word the waters stood as if poured into something.

17.  For that which He performs by His command is pleasant, and no one need complain for lack of His help.

18.  The works of all men are before Him, before His eyes nothing is hidden, He sees all things from the beginning of the earth to its end, for Him there is nothing new.

19.  One need not say; why this, or unto what is that?  For He created each part that it should have its service.

20.  His blessings flow like a river, and drenches the earth like a flood, and His anger also touches the nations to dry up a land filled with water.

21.  His performance is just with the holy ones, but the ungodly do not take it to consideration.

22.  All that has been created since the beginning is good for the just - but harmful to the unjust.

23.  Man for his life requires; fire, iron, salt, flower, honey, milk, wine, and clothing, all these are good to the Godly, but harm to the ungodly.

24.  The wind also in part is created for wrath, to bring harm in their fury, and in time of punishment they bring forth their forces to execute the anger of Him who created them.

25.  Fire, hail, hunger, and death, all these were created for wrath, likewise the wild beasts, scorpions, snakes, and the sword, these all were created to vengeance to destroy the ungodly.

26.  And they obey His command with joy, they stand ready wheresoever He may need them on earth, and when the hour arrives they turn not back.

27.  This is what I began when I thought to write, namely; to pronounce that all the works of God are good, and all things have their use in due season.

28.  And no one need say; that not all is good, for all things are well in their time, and for all these one ought always to praise and thank the Lord with heart and mouth.

Chapter 40

The misery of man's life.

1.  The life of a man is a miserable and grievous thing, from the bosom of a mother till the day he is buried in the earth, the mother of us all.

2.   There are always care, fear, and hope, and at an end - death, it comes to them that are seated in high places as well as to the least that are upon the earth.  To them that wear a crown and purple lace, as well as to him who goes in sackcloth.

3.  There is always wrath, envy, adversity, trouble, fear of death, anger, and strife, and when one lays himself to rest at night, many thoughts come to him.

4.  And though he rests a little, it is to no avail, for he is troubled in his dreams as if enemies come upon him, and as he awakens he realizes that he is safe, as one who escaped, and glad that the fear was for nothing.

5.  This happens to all flesh, both man and beast, but to the ungodly sevenfold.

6.  Death, bloodshed, strife, sword, calamities, hunger, destruction, and plague are made for the ungodly; for it was also for them that the flood came.

7.  All that comes of the earth must again return to the earth, just as all rivers run into the sea.

Meaning of earthly goods.

8.  All gifts and unrighteous goods must fail, but truth remains forever, the goods of the unjust will dry out like a small stream, like the thunder that dissipates in the storm.

9.  They rejoice as long as gifts are given in their hands, but at end they will come to nothing, for the descendants of the unjust shall not branch out, and the root of the unrighteous are upon hard rock.

10.  And though they become moist, or even if they stood on water's edge, they will be uprooted like all grass, but doing well is like a blessed garden, and compassion remains forever.

11.  He that occupies himself with his labors and is content will have a restful life, which is a treasure found beyond all others.

12.  To beget children and to build cities ensures a lasting memorial, but a blameless wife - more than both.

13.  Wine and music rejoices the heart, but wisdom is lovelier than both of these.

14.  The pipe and harp give beautiful sounds, but a pleasant tongue is better than both.

15.  The eye is fond to behold that which is fair and lovely, but a green field yet more so.

16.  One friend will come to the need of another, but with man and woman this is so much the more.

17.  A brother will help another in his need, but compassion is yet greater help.

18.  Gold and silver will keep a man, but good counsel yet more.

19.  In the fear of the Lord there is nothing lacking, nor does she require help, the fear of the Lord is a blessed garden, and nothing is as beautiful as she.

Against begging

20.  Do not give yourself to begging my child, for it is better to die than to beg.

21.  He that comes to depend on another man's table - is not keeping himself with honor, for he pollutes himself with strange food, a wise man bewares himself of this.

22.  Begging is sweet in the mouth of the shameless, but in the end he will receive pains like a burning plague.

Chapter 41

Fear of death.

1. O death how bitter you are in the mind of a man who lives at rest in his possessions, who is without care, who prospers having sufficient foods.

2. O death how blessed you are to the needy, the old and weak, who have cares, for whom there is nothing better to look for.

3. Fear not the sentence of death, but consider that it is so ordained of the Lord for all flesh, for them that were before you, as well as those that are to come after you.

4. Or why should you refuse the will of God?  For whether you lived ten years, or a hundred or a thousand years, there is no inquisition in the grave after how long you have lived. 

Curse of the ungodly

5.  The children of the unjust, who keep company with the ungodly become abominable, their inheritance will perish, and their descendants are despised.

6.  The children must complain concerning their ungodly father, for because of him they are despised.

7.  Woe to you ungodly person, who has forsaken the law of the Most High, whether you live or die - you are cursed.

8.  Like as all things that come from the earth return again to the earth, so also the ungodly come from the curse - unto judgment.

9.  A man may suffer all his life, but the name of the unjust is to destruction, for they are worth to nothing.

10.  See to it that you keep a good name, for that is more assured than a thousand large treasures of gold.

11.  Whether it is good or bad, life endures for only a while, but a good name is forever.

The right shame.

12.  My child, when you prosper see to it that you remain in the fear of God, be therefore not ashamed for what I say to you.

13.  One often shames himself for that for which he must not be ashamed, in which one will often allow what is not to be allowed.

14.  Father and mother must shame themselves - for adultery, and a lord and ruler - for lies, a judge and counselor - for injustice, the people and the congregation - for disobedience, a partner and friend - for causing grief, and a neighbor - for stealing.

15.  Be ashamed to with your arm cover the bread on the table be ashamed to exist poorly, and having to account for yourself, and in not saluting when you are greeted.

16.  Shame yourself to look upon prostitutes, or to turn your face from kinfolkís.

17.  Be ashamed to squander dowry and inheritance, or to desire another man's wife, shame yourself to covet the maidservant of another, or to stand by her bed.

18.  Shame yourself for false speech before a friend, or that after you have loaned him - that you should upbraid him for it.

19.  Shame yourself to repeat all that you hear, or to reveal secret words entrusted to you.

20.  If you do these, you shall shame yourself rightly, and you will have favor and value with men.

Chapter 42 

For which not to shame one-self.

1.   But do not shame yourself for any of these, nor commit injustice for anyone, namely, for the law, the covenant of the Highest, and in judgment to defend the God-fearing.

2.   To be faithful to friends and neighbors, to give inheritance to friends, to be diligent, to keep just measure and weight, to be content whether you have little or much.

3.   To act rightly in buying and selling, to chastise children with diligence, or to punish an evil servant, to keep yourself from an evil woman, to put behind locks what you are to give out, or where there are many hands.

4.   To write down all income and expenses, to teach the foolish and them that lack understanding and also old persons that they do not argue with the young.

5.   Perform these, and you will become a well-nurtured person, and be approved by all.

Care for daughters.

6.   An unmarried daughter causes her father much care, and loss of his sleep in watching for her, both when she is young, as well as when she ages.

7.   And when she has a man - that she will not be hated of him, or when she is a virgin - that she be defiled, to be found with child in her father's house.

8.   Or when she is with her man - that she conducts herself rightly when he cannot obtain a child by her.

9.   If your daughter is not shameful, keep her strict lest she causes you to be mocked by your enemies, and the whole city talks of you to hear reproach, wherein you must shame yourself before everyone.

10.   Do not look at everyone's beauty, nor be eager to be among women, for just as the moth comes out of garments, so there comes much evil from women.

11.   It is safer to be with an angry man, than with a friendly woman that will bring him to reproach and shame.

God's glory in nature.

12.   I will now praise the works of the Lord, to declare what I have seen.  By His word were all His works made, the sun gives light to the whole world, all the works of the Lord are full of his glory.

13.   It has never been given by the Lord to the holy ones that they should be able to pronounce all His works, for the Almighty Lord made them very great, and all things are too rich to praise them according to their value.

14.   He alone searches out the abyss, and the hearts of men, He knows what they think, for the Lord knows all things, and He beholds at what moment all things shall occur.

15.   He declares what is past, and what is in the future, and reveals what is hidden, He understands all things that are secret, nor is anything hidden from Him.

16.   He shows His wisdom most gloriously, and He is from ever till forever, one cannot enlarge Him nor diminish Him, He requires no counselor.

17.   How lovely are all His works of which we barely understand a spark, all things live, and all things remain forever and unto that for which He has need of them, and unto that they are always obedient.

18. There are always two to two, one against the other, and whatsoever He forms - therein is nothing lacking, and all things are made that one should serve the other.

Chapter 43

1.   Who can ever get enough to behold His marvels?  His glory is beheld by the immeasurable height, and the clear firmament in the lovely sky.

2.   The sun in its rising brings in the day, she is a marvel of the Most High, at midday she dries the earth, and who can withstand her heat?  She brings more heat than many ovens, and scorches the mountains.

3.   She pours forth her heat, and her glow so brilliant to blind the eye, He is a great Lord who created her and commanded her to run so swiftly. 

4.   And the moon is made to shine in the whole earth, she is a sign of feasts, light that decreases to perfection, a light that waxes and wanes wonderfully, she is an instrument of the armies above shining in the heavens.

5.    And the bright stars beautify the heavens, for thus did the Lord from on High command to light the world, for by His word they keep their order, and never faint in their watches.

6.   Behold the rainbow - and praise Him, who made her, she is very beautiful in colors; it compasses the heaven with a glorious circle, the hands of the Lord that bend it.

7.   By His word snow falls in abundance, and the lightning comes swiftly at His command, by Him the treasures are opened, and clouds fly like fowls.

8.   By His power the clouds are made firm so that they bring forth hail like stones, His thunder frightens the earth, and the mountains tremble at it.

9.   By His will the southward blows, and the northward also, and like the birds fly so the winds turn and blow snow to pile it on heaps like as when locusts descend.

10.   Her beauty is so white as to blind the eye, and the hearts of men marvel as such a marvelous rain.

11.   He brings the mist upon the earth like fine salt, and when it is frozen - it holds upon sharp stakes.

12.   And when the cold northward blows - the water congeals into ice, wherever there is water it passes to turn it into a breastplate.

13.   He consumes the mountains, scorches the deserts, and withers all that is green like as in fire.

14.   But then on the other hand, a thick fog, the dew after the heat - refreshes all things again.

15.   By His word He appeases the sea, and sowed islands into her, and them that sail upon the sea speak of her dangers, while we who hear thereof marvel at it.

16.   There are also rare and marvelous wonders, many sorts of animals, and whales, and among them - men sail.

17.   All things exist by His word, and however much we may speak thereof we still cannot reach all, and to summarize it; "God is all".  And no matter how high we praise - He is yet higher than all His works.

18.   The Lord is great beyond speech, and His might most marvelous, Sing to and praise then the Lord as high as you can, for He is higher still.

19.   Praise Him with all your strength and without ceasing, and still you would not reach, and who has ever seen Him, that he could truly describe Him?

20.   Who can praise Him as high is He is?  And we behold only the small part of His works, for many greater things are hidden to us, for all that is made of the Lord, and He gives it to understand to those who fear Him.

Chapter 44 

Praise of the fathers

1.   And now let us praise the famous men and our fathers, one after the other, for the Lord did many marvelous things by them from the beginning in His might.

2.   They ruled their kingdoms well, doing wonderful deeds; they spoke wisely and prophesied.

3.   They ruled people and nations with counsel and with understanding, they taught music and recited holy songs.

4.   Also they were rich, having many possessions, and they abided in peace for as long as they lived.

5.   All these were honored in their generations, and were the glory of their times, they left honorable names after them.

6.   But others had no fame, perishing as if they never were, while they lived - they lived not, and likewise for their children.

7.   But the holy ones whose righteousness shall not be forgotten, obtained a good heritage, and their children also.

8.   Their descendants remained with the covenant, and for their sake their children also continued to remain, nor shall their honor vanish.

9.   They were buried in peace, while their names live forever, the people speak of their wisdom, the congregation declares their praise.

Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.

10.   Enoch pleased the Lord and was taken up that he should be an admonition to the world for repentance.

11.   Noah was found perfect finding grace in time of wrath, he being left when the flood overcame the world, he received a covenant that never again all flesh should perish with a flood.

12.   But in honor there is none like Abraham, the high honored father of all nations, he kept the law of the Most High.

13.   And God made a covenant with him, establishing it in his flesh, and being tried - he was found faithful.

14.   Therefore also did God promise him with an oath that in his seed all nations should be blessed, and that he would multiply like the sand of the sea.

15.   And that his seed would be exalted as the stars, and become inheritors from sea to sea, and from the water to the ends of the earth.

16.  And with Isaac also He established the same blessing for all men, and the covenant for the sake of Abraham, and he made it rest upon Jacob.

17.   He graciously blessed him, and gave him the heritage dividing in him the twelve tribes.

Chapter 45

Moses.

1.   Of him He brought forth a merciful man, being in favor with both God and man, namely, Moses, whose name has been highly praised.

2.   He honored Him as the holy fathers, and exalted him so that his enemies feared for him, and caused him to perform many signs with words.

3.  He made him glorious before kings, and gave him commandments for his people, and showed to him part of His glory.

4.  For his faithfulness and for his meekness He chose him from out of all peoples to a holy calling.

5.   He allowed him to hear His voice, and brought him into the dark cloud, and within His presence He gave him commandments, namely; the law of life and of wisdom, that it might teach Jacob his covenant, and Israel His rights.

Aaron.

6.   He raised up Aaron his brother of the tribe of Levi, choosing him to make with him an eternal covenant of the priesthood among the people.

7.   He clothed him gloriously, putting on him a most marvelous robe with many divers ornaments.

8.   He gave him costly stones, the breeches, the long robe, and the Ephod, and adored him with golden pomegranates, and bells round about so that they sounded as he went in and out.

9.   That it might be heard in the temple, as a memorial to the people, with a holy garment, embroidered with gold, and blue silk and purple, and a breastplate of judgment with Urim and Thummim.

10.   And with scarlet, the work of the cunning workman, with precious stones graven like seals, these set in gold, the work of jewelers with engraved writing for a memorial after the twelve tribes of Israel.

11.   He set a crown of gold upon the hat, wherein was engraved; Holy is the Lord, an ornament of honor, a costly work, goodly, beautiful to behold.

12.   Never before was anything so beautiful seen, nor was it for anyone to put on, except for his children, and their children continually.

13.  His offerings were brought twice daily; Moses filled his hands and anointed him with holy oil.

14.  This covenant was made with him and his sons forever for as long as heaven was to endure, to serve Him, to be priests, and to bless the people in His name.

15.  He chose him out from all the living that he should offer to the Lord, meal-offerings and incense for a sweet savor, and for a memorial to reconcile the people.

16.  He gave him His word to command that he might teach Jacob His testimonies, and instruct Israel in His law.

17.  There were those who stood up against him, envying him in the desert, them that were with Dathan and Abiram, and with that wild rot of Korach.

18.  But the Lord saw it, and it did not please Him, and they were destroyed in the fierce wrath.

19.  He showed a terrible wonder, and consumed them with fire.  And He honored Aaron further granting him an inheritance, namely, the first fruits given to him.

20.  Above all others God gave them bread in plenty, for they were to eat of the sacrifice of the Lord, which He gave unto him and his seed.

21.  In the land however they had no part, nor among the people, for the Lord is their part and inheritance.

Phinees.

22.  Phinees, the son of Eleazar, was third in glory, for he had zeal in the fear of God, and when the people fell away he remained faithful, and with courage made reconciliation for Israel.

23.  Therefore also was the covenant of peace awarded him, that he should be chief of the sanctuary and of the people, and that he and his posterity should have the dignity of the priesthood forever.

24.  Even as it was also made with David, the son of Jesse of the tribe of Judah, that the inheritance of the king should be to his posterity alone.

25.  So also the inheritance of Aaron was to his seed, to teach wisdom to his people, and to judge rightly among his people, that their estate should not be abolished, but remain with them forever.

Chapter 46

Joshua, and Caleb.

1.  Joshua the son of Nun, was valiant in battle, and a prophet after Moses, who obtained great victories for the chosen of God, even as his name implied.

2.  He avenged their enemies that rose up against them, so that Israel might obtain its inheritance.

3.  He obtained honor when he stretched forth his hand and brought the sword against the cities.

4.  Who has ever stood so valiantly?  He caught the enemies of the Lord, and for his sake the sun stood still, one day becoming as two.

5.  He called upon the Most High Lord when the enemies pressed upon him from side, and the Lord the Highest heard him, and caused large hailstones to fall upon them.

6.  He destroyed the opposition when they rose up, so that the nations might know how great a covert was with them, the Lord himself being present at the battle, for he followed the Lord faithfully.

7.  And during the time of Moses, he, and also the son of Jephunne, did a good work, they withstood the congregation, withholding the people from sin, appeasing the wicked murmuring.

8.  Among the six thousand men therefore these two were preserved and brought the people into their heritage, a land flowing with milk and honey.

9.  And the Lord gave Caleb his bodily strength to remain with him into his old age, so that he entered upon the high places of the land.

10.  And his seed possessed its heritage, so that all the children of Israel might behold that it is good to obey the Lord.

The judges, and Samuel.

11.  And concerning the judges, everyone by name who did not commit idolatry, that did not depart from the Lord, let their remembrance be blessed.

12.  Their bones still flourish where they are placed, their names honored in their children in their inheritance.

13.  And Samuel the prophet, beloved of the Lord, established a kingdom, anointing princes over His people.

14.  He judged the congregation according to the law of the Lord, and the Lord again looked upon Jacob.

15.  The prophet was found true and faithful, and his prophecies were acknowledged as truthful.

16.  He called upon the Lord the Mighty One when his enemies pressed upon him offering a young lamb, and the Lord thundered from heaven, letting His voice be heard in a great storm, and destroyed the enemy, its rulers and all the mighty of the Philistines.

17.  And before his departure, before he died, he testified before the Lord and His anointed, that he had not taken any money, not even a shoe of any man, and no one could convict him of anything.

18.  And after his death he prophesied, showing the king his end, he lifted up his voice from the earth in a prophecy to blot out the ungodly from the earth. 

Chapter 47 

David.

1.  After this, in the times of David, Nathan rose up to prophecy, and as the fat of the offering is bestowed upon the Lord, so David was chosen of the children of Israel.

2.  He did with lions as if he played with kids, and with bears as if with lambs, in his youth he slew a giant, taking away the shame of the people, he lifted his hand, and with a stone in the sling - slew the boaster Goliath.

3.  For he called upon the Lord Most High, who strengthened his hand, that he should kill the mighty warrior and raise up the horn of his people.

4.  He caused him to obtain the likes of ten thousand men, and blessed him with Godly blessings to receive the royal crown.

5.  He slew the enemies from all sides destroying his adversaries the Philistines, and broke their horn, which is so unto this day.

6.  In everything he praised the Lord the Highest with beautiful psalms, with his whole heart he loved Him, and sung to Him who made Him.

7.  He set singers by the altar, letting them sing his lovely songs, thus beautifying the feasts as a solemn occasion to keep throughout the year in reverence that they might praise His holy name, and sing in the morning in the holy place.

8.  The Lord forgave him his sins, and raised his horn forever, and made a covenant with him that the kingdom and the throne of Israel shall remain in him.

9.  After him, his wise son Solomon became king, unto whom the Father, the Lord gave rest, so that he might reign in peace, for the Lord had made everything quiet around him, so he might build a house for Him, to raise a holy sanctuary that would remain forever.

10.  O how well he learned in his youth, being full of understanding, like covering the land, and he filled everything with parables and teachings.

11.  His name became renowned to the far islands, for his speech he became beloved and was held in honor.

12.  All nations marveled at your songs, parables, proverbs, and interpretations, and praised the Lord whose name is the God of Israel.

13.  You gathered gold like tin, and silver like lead, your heart went out to your wives, and you allowed yourself to be led foolishly by them, staining your honor, causing wrath upon your children.

14.  The anger upon your descendants came as punishment for your foolishness when the kingdom was divided in two, and a rebellious kingdom stood up in Ephraim.

15.  But the Lord did not turn from His mercy, nor did He change the things, which He had promised, nor did He all at once destroy the descendants of his chosen one.

16.   He did not cast off the seed of them that loved Him, but He kept a remnant of the people, a root in David.

Rehoboam, and Jeroboam.

17.  And Solomon slept with his fathers leaving of his seed Rehoboam, a man with no knowledge to rule the people, one without understanding, who in his folly turned away the people.

18.  And there was also Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who brought Israel to idolatry, and let Ephraim into sin.

19.  And their sins were many so that in the end they were driven out of their land, for they conceived all sorts of wickedness till wrath came on them.

Chapter 48 

Elijah and Elisha.

1.  Then stood up the prophet Elijah, and his word burned like a lamp, he brought a sore famine upon them, in his zeal he diminished their number, for by the word of God he shut the heavens, and three times he brought down fire.

2.  O Elijah, how great you are in your wondrous deeds, who may glory as you?  By the word of the Lord you raised the dead bringing him back from the grave.

3.  You brought down proud kings taking them out of their bed, and destroying them, at mount Sinai you heard the rebuke of the Lord, and in Horeb the vengeance.

4.  You anointed kings to take revenge, and ordered prophets to succeed you, you were taken away in a whirlwind of fire, with a fiery chariot and horses.

5.  You were ordained for rebuke at its times, to still the anger before the wrath would come forth, and to turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and to restore again the tribes of Jacob.

6.  Blessed are they who saw you - and slept in love, for we shall surely live.

7.  And when Elijah disappeared in the whirlwind, the Spirit came richly upon Elisha.

8.  In his time he was not afraid of any prince, and no one was able to overcome him, nothing was to difficult for him.

9.  And when he died, his body prophesied still, when he lived he performed signs, and at his death did marvelous works.

Hezekiah, and Isaiah

10.  Yet at all this the people did not repent, neither did they depart from their sins until they were driven from their land, scattered to all nations.

11.  Yet a remnant remained, and a prince, in the house of David among which some did what was pleasing to God, while others multiplied sins.

12.  Hezekiah fortified his city and brought water into it, he caused wells to be made, dug out of the rocks.

13.  In his time Sennacherib arose and sent Rabsaces, who lifted his hand up against Zion, boasting proudly.

14.  Then their hearts trembled, they were afraid like women in travail, and they called on the merciful Lord, lifting their hands to Him.

15.  And immediately the Holy One heard them out of heaven, and rescued them by Isaiah, He smote the Assyrians, His angel destroyed them.

16.  For Hezekiah did what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord and was strong in the way of David his father, as also Isaiah who was a true and great prophet, had instructed him.

17.  In his time the sun went backwards, and he added days to the life of the king, he prophesied with a rich Spirit of that which was to come in the end, and he comforted them that were in Zion.

18.  He showed them what was to come, and what was hidden - before it came.

Chapter 49

Josiah and Jeremiah.

1.  The remembrance of Josiah is like a composition of perfume made by the art of apothecary; he is as sweet as honey in the mouth, and as music with wine.

2.  He received great grace to return the people, and to take away the abominations of the idolatry.

3.  He turned his whole heart to the Lord, and reestablished the Godly service when the land was full of ungodliness.

4.  All the kings, except for David, Hezekiah, and Josiah were defective, for they left the law of the Most High.

5.  After this - the kings of Judah failed, having to leave their kingdom to others, their glory to a strange nation.

6.  And they burned the chosen city of the sanctuary, making her streets desolate, as also Jeremiah the prophet had prophesied.

7.  But they treated him badly, him who from his mother's womb was chosen to be a prophet, that he root-out, afflict, and destroy and again build up and plant.

Ezekiel.

8.  Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord in a vision of the chariot of the Cherubims.

9.  He prophesied against the enemies and declared comfort to those who act rightly.

10. The bones of the twelve prophets still flourish where they are laid, for they comforted Jacob, giving them an assured hope.

Zerubabel, Jesus, and Nehemiah.

11.  And how shall we praise Zerubabel who was like a signet on the right hand?

12.  And Jesus, the son of Josedec, who in their time build the temple setting up the holy house to the Lord, which was to remain for everlasting glory.

13. And Nehemiah is always to be praised who raised up the fallen walls, and put locks on the gates, and rebuild our homes.

14.  But upon earth was no one like Enoch, for he was taken from the earth, nor anyone like Joseph, who became a ruler over his brothers, and a savior of his people, whose bones were regarded by the Lord.

15.  Seth, and Shem were in great honor among their people, but Adam is honored above all that lives, for he was first created by God.

Chapter 50 

Simon the high priest

1.  Simon the high priest, the son of Onias, who in his time repaired the house again and fortified the temple, who from its foundation raised it to double the height, and repaired the fortress round about the temple.

2.  In his time, the vessel that receives the water, in size like a sea, was fitted in brass, he cared for the hurt of the people and fortified the city against enemies.

3.  How glorious he appeared in the midst of his people when he came from the sanctuary, he was like the morning-star through the clouds, or like the full moon, or the sun shining on the temple of the Most High.

4.  And like the rainbow in its full colors, or like a rose in spring, or like a lily on the water, like a frankincense tree in spring, or like incense burning in its censer, or like a vessel of beaten gold with all manner of precious stones, or like a fair olive tree, and like a high cypress tree.

5.  When he put on the long robe with all the ornaments, and went forth to the holy altar, he made the garments of holiness honorable.

6.  And when he took the portions of the hand of the priests, and stood by the fire of the altar, his brothers surrounded him like cedars of Lebanon, like palm branches all around.

7.  So were all the sons of Aaron in their glory with the oblations of the Lord in their hands before all the congregation of Israel.

8.  And in his service with the altar that he might adorn the offerings of the Lord, he reached forth his hand with the drink offering, the red wine, pouring it at the foot of the altar as a sweet savor to the Most High, the King of all.

9.  Then the sons of Aaron shouted aloud, and sounded the silver trumpet's causing a great sound to be heard for the remembrance of the Most High.

10.  Then all the people together hasted to bow their faces down to the earth, and prayed to the Lord the Almighty, the Highest God.

11.  And the singers also sang praises, making sweet melody with variety of sounds, and the people prayed to the Lord that He might be merciful to them, till at end the solemnity of the Lord was ended, and the service completed.

12.  Then he went and lifted up his hands over the whole congregation of the children of Israel, to with his lips give them the blessing of the Lord, and to rejoice in His name.

13.  And the people bowed accepting the blessings of the Most High God.

14.  Let than all of you bless the Lord, the Lord who performs great things everywhere, who has kept us alive from the womb of our mother, doing good to all.

15.  May He grants us joyfulness of heart, and peace in Israel forever, and that His mercy may be with us always, and that He deliver us as long as we live.

EPILOGUE

16.  Jesus, son of Sirach of Jerusalem, wrote these instructions, in wisdom writing these in this book, from his heart flowed good doctrine.

17.  Blessed is he who will exercise himself therein, and he who shall take it to heart - shall become wise, and if he shall act accordingly - he shall become able to all things, for the light of the Lord shall lead him.

18.  And he said; There are two kinds of people, which I abhor, and a third is no nation; those of the mountain of Seir, the Philistines, and that foolish people that dwells in Sichem.

Prayer of Jesus Ben Sirach

19.  I thank Thee O Lord my King, and praise Thee O God my Savior, I thank Thy name that Thou art my covert and my help, that Thou has delivered my body from the snare of the false tongue, and from the mouth that speaks lies.

20.  Thou has been my helper against my enemies, and delivered me to Thy great compassion from the teeth of them that were ready to devour me, out of the hand of those who sought after my life, and from my manifold afflictions.

21.  From the fire, which had surrounded me, out of the midst thereof, out of the depth of the mouth of death, and from the false tongue, from the liars accusing me before the king, and from unjust judgment.

22.  I was near to death, my life was nearly to hell beneath, I was surrounded with no one to help me, I sought help with men - but found none.

23.  Then I sought on Thee O Lord, on Thy compassion, and how Thou has always helped, for Thou saves them that wait on Thee, rescuing them from the hands of the nations.

24.  I prayed to God against their wrath, and begged Him to deliver me from death, I called upon the Lord, my Father and Lord, that He leave me not in my trouble, in the time of the proud ones when there was no help.

25. I will praise Thy name continually, and I praise and thank Thee for my prayer being heard, Thou delivered me from destruction, and from all evil, therefore will I thank Thee Lord and glorify Thy name praising Thee.

The example of Jesus Ben Sirach

26.  When I was young, before I was led astray, I openly sought after wisdom in my prayer.

27.  I prayed for her in the temple, and unto the end I will seek her, my heart rejoices over her as when the grapes ripen.

28.  I went straight out unto her, from my youth I sought her, then I learned well, and gained much by her.

29.  Therefore also do I thank Him who granted wisdom to me, I purposed to act after her, to perform the good, and I was not put to shame for it.

30.  I strove after her with all my heart and with diligence, I stretched forth my hands to heaven, and wisdom enlightened my soul that I might know my folly.

31.  I took earnestly to her, from the beginning I had my heart joined to her, wherefore I shall not be forsaken.

32.  My heart yearned for her, and I received a good treasure, by her the Lord has given me a new tongue, and with it I will praise Him. 

33.  Draw near to me you who are unlearned, come to my house of learning, that which you lack you shall learn here, for surely you must be thirsty.

34. I have opened my mouth and taught, consider now and purchase wisdom while she is to be obtained without money, put your neck into her yoke and let yourself be taught, for she is near to you.

35. Look at me, I had to labor and suffer a little for her, but found great rest, accept her teaching as a great treasure of silver, and keep her as a great sum of gold.

36.  Rejoice in God's mercy, shame not yourself to praise Him, and perform that which is commanded while you have yet time to do so, and He will reward you in His time.

End.