Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sirach 14

1. Blessed is a man who does not slip and fall because of his mouth,
And is not stung with pain caused by his sin.

2. Blessed is he whose soul does not condemn him,
And who has not fallen away from his hope.+

3. Wealth is not fitting for a small-minded man,
And to what end is wealth for an envious man?+

4. For he who gathers for himself, gathers for others,
And others will live in luxury with his goods.

5. If a man does evil to himself, for whom shall he do good?
And he will not rejoice in his wealth.

*Warnings of Vices*
6. When a man envies himself, there is no one worse off,
And this is the reward for his vice.

7. Even if he does good, he does it unintentionally,
And in the end he reveals his vice.

8. He who envies with his eye is evil;
He turns away his face and despises souls.

9. The eye of a greedy man is not satisfied with his share,
And useless wrongdoing dries up the soul.

10. The evil eye of a man is envious over his bread;
Thus it is lacking at his table.

11. My son, whatever you have, treat yourself well,
And offer sacrifices worthily to the Lord.

12. Remember that death does not delay,
And the covenant of Hades has not been shown to you.+

13. Before you die, do good to a friend,
And reach out and give to him based on your ability.

14. Do not let a day go by without doing something good,
And do not let any of your desire for doing good escape you.

15. Will you not leave all your hard work to another,
And all your hard work to be divided by lot?

16. Give and receive and deprive yourself,
Because in Hades there is nowhere to seek luxury.

17. All flesh becomes old like a garment,
For the covenant from of old is, "You shall die by death."

18. Like flourishing leaves on a thick tree,
Which sheds some leaves and puts forth others,
So also is the generation of flesh and blood;
One dies and another is born.

19. Every work of man decays and fails,
And he who made it will depart with it.

*The Blessings of Wisdom*
20. Blessed is the man who practices wisdom
And discovers with insight.+

21. Whoever ponders the ways of wisdom in his heart,
Will also reflect on her secrets.

22. Pursue wisdom like a tracker
And lie in wait on her paths.

23. He who looks intently through her windows
Will also listen at her doors.

24. He who lodges near her house
Will also fasten his tent peg to her walls.

25. He will establish his home according to her will,
And so lodge in a good dwelling place.

26. He will put his children in her shelter
And lodge under her branches.

27. He will be sheltered by her from the burning heat
And will dwell in her glory.

OSB Notes:

+14:2 - See 1Jn 3:21

+14:3-7 - A small-minded, stingy man is not fit to be wealthy, for he will not help others. Such a person only does good accidentally (v. 7).

+14:12 - Death makes no contract or covenant with anyone to come at the time we might prefer. (See 14:17, and also Gn 2:17, 3:19 for the eternal covenant of death.)

+14:20 - 15:1 - The pursuit of wisdom is portrayed, with many vibrant metaphors, as the primary goal of life - keeping in mind that wisdom is ultimately and fully embodied in Christ.


  1. Lots of wonderful advice. I like how this chapter urges us to be good to people and not just INTEND to do good. And also the first verse was quite a warning.

    22. Pursue wisdom like a tracker
    And lie in wait on her paths.

    It's often interesting how wisdom is made out to be something we hunt down when James tell us if we lack wisdom ask God and He gives liberally and without scolding. I suppose this means we can ask for wisdom,but we should pursue it also because we often don't take as good a care of things we are given vs. things we get for ourselves. (e.g. if we earn money for a car vs. if we are just given one by doting parents.)

    Happy Saturday! Thank you for your recent comments on my Quran post especially re: the jinn. You always have interesting tidbits to add.

    And I hope you didn't mind the question I asked yesterday on your birthday post. I've been curious about that and thought "why not ask?" so I did. :)

  2. Susanne,

    I always took it to mean that God grants the wisdom, but we still have to seek it out in the first place. If we don't ask He doesn't give it, right?

    What's that line... 'heaven helps those who help themselves'.

    Hah. My information is mostly random. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...