501Simon the high priest, the son of Onias, who in his life repaired the house again, and in his days fortified the temple:
2And by him was built from the foundation the double height, the high fortress of the wall about the temple:
3In his days the cistern to receive water, being in compass as the sea, was covered with plates of brass:
4He took care of the temple that it should not fall, and fortified the city against besieging:
5How was he honoured in the midst of the people in his coming out of the sanctuary!
6He was as the morning star in the midst of a cloud, and as the moon at the full:
7As the sun shining upon the temple of the most High, and as the rainbow giving light in the bright clouds:
8And as the flower of roses in the spring of the year, as lilies by the rivers of waters, and as the branches of the frankincense tree in the time of summer:
9As fire and incense in the censer, and as a vessel of beaten gold set with all manner of precious stones:
10And as a fair olive tree budding forth fruit, and as a cypress tree which groweth up to the clouds.
11When he put on the robe of honour, and was clothed with the perfection of glory, when he went up to the holy altar, he made the garment of holiness honourable.
12When he took the portions out of the priests’ hands, he himself stood by the hearth of the altar, compassed about, as a young cedar in Libanus; and as palm trees compassed they him round about.
13So were all the sons of Aaron in their glory, and the oblations of the Lord in their hands, before all the congregation of Israel.
14And finishing the service at the altar, that he might adorn the offering of the most high Almighty,
15He stretched out his hand to the cup, and poured of the blood of the grape, he poured out at the foot of the altar a sweetsmelling savour unto the most high King of all.
16Then shouted the sons of Aaron, and sounded the silver trumpets, and made a great noise to be heard, for a remembrance before the most High.
17Then all the people together hasted, and fell down to the earth upon their faces to worship their Lord God Almighty, the most High.
18The singers also sang praises with their voices, with great variety of sounds was there made sweet melody.
19And the people besought the Lord, the most High, by prayer before him that is merciful, till the solemnity of the Lord was ended, and they had finished his service.
20Then he went down, and lifted up his hands over the whole congregation of the children of Israel, to give the blessing of the Lord with his lips, and to rejoice in his name.
21And they bowed themselves down to worship the second time, that they might receive a blessing from the most High.
22Now therefore bless ye the God of all, which only doeth wondrous things every where, which exalteth our days from the womb, and dealeth with us according to his mercy.
23He grant us joyfulness of heart, and that peace may be in our days in Israel for ever:
24That he would confirm his mercy with us, and deliver us at his time!
25There be two manner of nations which my heart abhorreth, and the third is no nation:
26They that sit upon the mountain of Samaria, and they that dwell among the Philistines, and that foolish people that dwell in Sichem.
27Jesus the son of Sirach of Jerusalem hath written in this book the instruction of understanding and knowledge, who out of his heart poured forth wisdom.
28Blessed is he that shall be exercised in these things; and he that layeth them up in his heart shall become wise.
29For if he do them, he shall be strong to all things: for the light of the Lord leadeth him, who giveth wisdom to the godly. Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever. Amen, Amen.
A Prayer of Jesus the son of Sirach.
511I will thank thee, O Lord and King, and praise thee, O God my Saviour: I do give praise unto thy name:
2For thou art my defender and helper, and has preserved my body from destruction, and from the snare of the slanderous tongue, and from the lips that forge lies, and has been mine helper against mine adversaries:
3And hast delivered me, according to the multitude of thy mercies and greatness of thy name, from the teeth of them that were ready to devour me, and out of the hands of such as sought after my life, and from the manifold afflictions which I had;
4From the choking of fire on every side, and from the midst of the fire which I kindled not;
5From the depth of the belly of hell, from an unclean tongue, and from lying words.
6By an accusation to the king from an unrighteous tongue my soul drew near even unto death, my life was near to the hell beneath.
7They compassed me on every side, and there was no man to help me: I looked for the succour of men, but there was none.
8Then thought I upon thy mercy, O Lord, and upon thy acts of old, how thou deliverest such as wait for thee, and savest them out of the hands of the enemies.
9Then lifted I up my supplications from the earth, and prayed for deliverance from death.
10I called upon the Lord, the Father of my Lord, that he would not leave me in the days of my trouble, and in the time of the proud, when there was no help.
11I will praise thy name continually, and will sing praises with thanksgiving; and so my prayer was heard:
12For thou savedst me from destruction, and deliveredst me from the evil time: therefore will I give thanks, and praise thee, and bless they name, O Lord.
13When I was yet young, or ever I went abroad, I desired wisdom openly in my prayer.
14I prayed for her before the temple, and will seek her out even to the end.
15Even from the flower till the grape was ripe hath my heart delighted in her: my foot went the right way, from my youth up sought I after her.
16I bowed down mine ear a little, and received her, and gat much learning.
17I profited therein, therefore will I ascribe glory unto him that giveth me wisdom.
18For I purposed to do after her, and earnestly I followed that which is good; so shall I not be confounded.
19My soul hath wrestled with her, and in my doings I was exact: I stretched forth my hands to the heaven above, and bewailed my ignorances of her.
20I directed my soul unto her, and I found her in pureness: I have had my heart joined with her from the beginning, therefore shall I not be foresaken.
21My heart was troubled in seeking her: therefore have I gotten a good possession.
22The Lord hath given me a tongue for my reward, and I will praise him therewith.
23Draw near unto me, ye unlearned, and dwell in the house of learning.
24Wherefore are ye slow, and what say ye to these things, seeing your souls are very thirsty?
25I opened my mouth, and said, Buy her for yourselves without money.
26Put your neck under the yoke, and let your soul receive instruction: she is hard at hand to find.
27Behold with your eyes, how that I have but little labour, and have gotten unto me much rest.
28Get learning with a great sum of money, and get much gold by her.
29Let your soul rejoice in his mercy, and be not ashamed of his praise.
30Work your work betimes, and in his time he will give you your reward.