Sirach - Chapter 40

[Sirach 40]
{40:1} A great occupation was created for all men, and a heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam, from the day of their departure from their mother's womb, even until the day of their burial into the mother of all:
{40:2} their thoughts, and the fears of their heart, their imagined expectations, and the day of their end,
{40:3} from him who sits upon a glorious throne, even to him who is humbled in earth and ashes,
{40:4} from him who wears hyacinth and bears a crown, even to him who is covered with rough linen: wrath, envy, tumult, restlessness, and the fear of death, continual anger and contention.
{40:5} And in the time of rest upon his bed, the sleep of the night changes his knowledge.
{40:6} There is little or no rest, and sleep is taken from him, as if on a day of keeping watch.
{40:7} He is disturbed by a vision of his heart, as if he had escaped in a day of warfare. In the time of his salvation, he rose up and wondered that there was no fear.
{40:8} This is so with all flesh, from man even to cattle, but upon sinners it is seven times as great.
{40:9} Add to this: death, bloodshed, contention, and the spear, oppression, famine, and affliction, and scourges.
{40:10} All these things have been created because of iniquity, and it is due to iniquity that the great flood was made.
{40:11} All things that are of the earth shall return to the earth, and all waters shall return to the sea.
{40:12} All bribery and iniquity will be wiped away, but faith shall stand forever.
{40:13} The substance of the unjust will dry up like a river, and will pass away with a noise like loud thunder in a rainstorm.
{40:14} When he opens his hands, he will rejoice. So will transgressors pass away at the consummation.
{40:15} The descendents of the impious will not produce many branches, for they may be compared to dirty roots at the edge of a rock.
{40:16} The weeds, which grow above every water and beside the banks of the river, will be uprooted before all the grass.
{40:17} Grace is like a paradise of blessings, and mercy continues for eternity.
{40:18} The life of a worker, when content with what is sufficient, will become sweet, and in it you will find a treasure.
{40:19} Sons, and the building of a city, will establish a name, but an immaculate wife will be ranked above these things.
{40:20} Wine and music rejoice the heart, but the love of wisdom is above them both.
{40:21} The flute and the psaltery make a sweet melody, but a pleasant word is above them both.
{40:22} Your eye desires elegance and beauty, but verdant fields are above these things.
{40:23} A friend and a companion meet one another in time, but above them both is a wife with her husband.
{40:24} Brothers are a help in time of tribulation, but mercy will liberate, more so than they will.
{40:25} Gold and silver provide a firm position for the feet, but well-spoken counsel is above them both.
{40:26} Ability and strength lift up the heart, but the fear of the Lord is above these things.
{40:27} There is no loss in the fear of the Lord, and it has no need to ask for assistance.
{40:28} The fear of the Lord is like a paradise of blessings, and they have covered it above all glory.
{40:29} Son, in your lifetime you should not be indigent, for it is better to die than to be destitute.
{40:30} The life of him who looks to another man's table should not be thought of as a way of life. For he feeds his life with another man's food.
{40:31} But a disciplined and well-taught man will take care of himself.
{40:32} Scarcity will seem sweet to the mouth of the imprudent, but a fire will burn in his belly.

 

In Chapter 40 Sirach changes from offering maxims to observations about life, the fear of the Lord, iniquity and the hereafter. What are a few of his observations?

 

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[Sirach 41]