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Sirach 51


1 [A Prayer of Jesus the son of Sirach.] I will thank thee, O Lord and King, and praise thee, O God my Saviour: I do give praise unto thy name:

2 For 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:

3 And hast delivered me, according to the multitude of they 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;

4 From the choking of fire on every side, and from the midst of the fire which I kindled not;

5 From the depth of the belly of hell, from an unclean tongue, and from lying words.

6 By an accusation to the king from an unrighteous tongue my soul drew near even unto death, my life was near to the hell beneath.

7 They compassed me on every side, and there was no man to help me: I looked for the succour of men, but there was none.

8 Then 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.

9 Then lifted I up my supplications from the earth, and prayed for deliverance from death.

10 I 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.

11 I will praise thy name continually, and will sing praises with thanksgiving; and so my prayer was heard:

12 For 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.

13 When I was yet young, or ever I went abroad, I desired wisdom openly in my prayer.

14 I prayed for her before the temple, and will seek her out even to the end.

15 Even 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.

16 I bowed down mine ear a little, and received her, and gat much learning.

17 I profited therein, therefore will I ascribe glory unto him that giveth me wisdom.

18 For I purposed to do after her, and earnestly I followed that which is good; so shall I not be confounded.

19 My 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.

20 I 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.

21 My heart was troubled in seeking her: therefore have I gotten a good possession.

22 The Lord hath given me a tongue for my reward, and I will praise him therewith.

23 Draw near unto me, ye unlearned, and dwell in the house of learning.

24 Wherefore are ye slow, and what say ye to these things, seeing your souls are very thirsty?

25 I opened my mouth, and said, Buy her for yourselves without money.

26 Put your neck under the yoke, and let your soul receive instruction: she is hard at hand to find.

27 Behold with your eyes, how that I have but little labour, and have gotten unto me much rest.

28 Get learning with a great sum of money, and get much gold by her.

29 Let your soul rejoice in his mercy, and be not ashamed of his praise.

30 Work your work betimes, and in his time he will give you your reward.


1 ἐξομολογήσομαί σοι κύριε βασιλεῦ καὶ αἰνέσω σε θεὸν τὸν σωτῆρά μου ἐξομολογοῦμαι τῷ ὀνόματί σου

2 ὅτι σκεπαστὴς καὶ βοηθὸς ἐγένου μοι καὶ ἐλυτρώσω τὸ σῶμά μου ἐξ ἀπωλείας καὶ ἐκ παγίδος διαβολῆς γλώσσης ἀπὸ χειλέων ἐργαζομένων ψεῦδος καὶ ἔναντι τῶν παρεστηκότων ἐγένου βοηθὸς καὶ ἐλυτρώσω με

3 κατὰ τὸ πλῆθος ἐλέους καὶ ὀνόματός σου ἐκ βρυγμῶν ἕτοιμον εἰς βρῶμα ἐκ χειρὸς ζητούντων τὴν ψυχήν μου ἐκ πλειόνων θλίψεων ὧν ἔσχον

4 ἀπὸ πνιγμοῦ πυρᾶς κυκλόθεν καὶ ἐκ μέσου πυρός οὗ οὐκ ἐξέκαυσα

5 ἐκ βάθους κοιλίας ᾅδου καὶ ἀπὸ γλώσσης ἀκαθάρτου καὶ λόγου ψευδοῦς

6 βασιλεῖ διαβολὴ γλώσσης ἀδίκου ἤγγισεν ἕως θανάτου ἡ ψυχή μου καὶ ἡ ζωή μου ἦν σύνεγγυς ᾅδου κάτω

7 περιέσχον με πάντοθεν καὶ οὐκ ἦν ὁ βοηθῶν ἐνέβλεπον εἰς ἀντίλημψιν ἀνθρώπων καὶ οὐκ ἦν

8 καὶ ἐμνήσθην τοῦ ἐλέους σου κύριε καὶ τῆς ἐργασίας σου τῆς ἀπ᾽ αἰῶνος ὅτι ἐξαιρῇ τοὺς ὑπομένοντάς σε καὶ σῴζεις αὐτοὺς ἐκ χειρὸς ἐχθρῶν

9 καὶ ἀνύψωσα ἀπὸ γῆς ἱκετείαν μου καὶ ὑπὲρ θανάτου ῥύσεως ἐδεήθην

10 ἐπεκαλεσάμην κύριον πατέρα κυρίου μου μή με ἐγκαταλιπεῖν ἐν ἡμέραις θλίψεως ἐν καιρῷ ὑπερηφανιῶν ἀβοηθησίας αἰνέσω τὸ ὄνομά σου ἐνδελεχῶς καὶ ὑμνήσω ἐν ἐξομολογήσει

11 καὶ εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς μου ἔσωσας γάρ με ἐξ ἀπωλείας καὶ ἐξείλου με ἐκ καιροῦ πονηροῦ

12 διὰ τοῦτο ἐξομολογήσομαί σοι καὶ αἰνέσω σε καὶ εὐλογήσω τῷ ὀνόματι κυρίου

13 ἔτι ὢν νεώτερος πρὶν ἢ πλανηθῆναί με ἐζήτησα σοφίαν προφανῶς ἐν προσευχῇ μου

14 ἔναντι ναοῦ ἠξίουν περὶ αὐτῆς καὶ ἕως ἐσχάτων ἐκζητήσω αὐτήν

15 ἐξ ἄνθους ὡς περκαζούσης σταφυλῆς εὐφράνθη ἡ καρδία μου ἐν αὐτῇ ἐπέβη ὁ πούς μου ἐν εὐθύτητι ἐκ νεότητός μου ἴχνευον αὐτήν

16 ἔκλινα ὀλίγον τὸ οὖς μου καὶ ἐδεξάμην καὶ πολλὴν εὗρον ἐμαυτῷ παιδείαν

17 προκοπὴ ἐγένετό μοι ἐν αὐτῇ τῷ διδόντι μοι σοφίαν δώσω δόξαν

18 διενοήθην γὰρ τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτὴν καὶ ἐζήλωσα τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ οὐ μὴ αἰσχυνθῶ

19 διαμεμάχισται ἡ ψυχή μου ἐν αὐτῇ καὶ ἐν ποιήσει νόμου διηκριβασάμην τὰς χεῖράς μου ἐξεπέτασα πρὸς ὕψος καὶ τὰ ἀγνοήματα αὐτῆς ἐπένθησα

20 τὴν ψυχήν μου κατεύθυνα εἰς αὐτὴν καὶ ἐν καθαρισμῷ εὗρον αὐτήν καρδίαν ἐκτησάμην μετ᾽ αὐτῆς ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς διὰ τοῦτο οὐ μὴ ἐγκαταλειφθῶ

21 καὶ ἡ κοιλία μου ἐταράχθη τοῦ ἐκζητῆσαι αὐτήν διὰ τοῦτο ἐκτησάμην ἀγαθὸν κτῆμα

22 ἔδωκεν κύριος γλῶσσάν μοι μισθόν μου καὶ ἐν αὐτῇ αἰνέσω αὐτόν

23 ἐγγίσατε πρός με ἀπαίδευτοι καὶ αὐλίσθητε ἐν οἴκῳ παιδείας

24 τί ὅτι ὑστερεῖσθαι λέγετε ἐν τούτοις καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ ὑμῶν διψῶσι σφόδρα

25 ἤνοιξα τὸ στόμα μου καὶ ἐλάλησα κτήσασθε ἑαυτοῖς ἄνευ ἀργυρίου

26 τὸν τράχηλον ὑμῶν ὑπόθετε ὑπὸ ζυγόν καὶ ἐπιδεξάσθω ἡ ψυχὴ ὑμῶν παιδείαν ἐγγύς ἐστιν εὑρεῖν αὐτήν

27 ἴδετε ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς ὑμῶν ὅτι ὀλίγον ἐκοπίασα καὶ εὗρον ἐμαυτῷ πολλὴν ἀνάπαυσιν

28 μετάσχετε παιδείας ἐν πολλῷ ἀριθμῷ ἀργυρίου καὶ πολὺν χρυσὸν κτήσασθε ἐν αὐτῇ

29 εὐφρανθείη ἡ ψυχὴ ὑμῶν ἐν τῷ ἐλέει αὐτοῦ καὶ μὴ αἰσχυνθείητε ἐν αἰνέσει αὐτοῦ

30 ἐργάζεσθε τὸ ἔργον ὑμῶν πρὸ καιροῦ καὶ δώσει τὸν μισθὸν ὑμῶν ἐν καιρῷ αὐτοῦ


1 Oratio Jesu filii Sirach. [Confitebor tibi, Domine rex,
et collaudabo te Deum salvatorem meum.

2 Confitebor nomini tuo,
quoniam adjutor et protector factus es mihi,

3 et liberasti corpus meum a perditione:
a laqueo linguæ iniquæ, et a labiis operantium mendacium:
et in conspectu astantium factus es mihi adjutor.

4 Et liberasti me, secundum multitudinem misericordiæ nominis tui,
a rugientibus præparatis ad escam:

5 de manibus quærentium animam meam,
et de portis tribulationum quæ circumdederunt me;

6 a pressura flammæ quæ circumdedit me,
et in medio ignis non sum æstuatus;

7 de altitudine ventris inferi,
et a lingua coinquinata, et a verbo mendacii,
a rege iniquo, et a lingua injusta.

8 Laudabit usque ad mortem anima mea Dominum,

9 et vita mea appropinquans erat in inferno deorsum.

10 Circumdederunt me undique, et non erat qui adjuvaret:
respiciens eram ad adjutorium hominum, et non erat.

11 Memoratus sum misericordiæ tuæ Domine,
et operationis tuæ, quæ a sæculo sunt:

12 quoniam eruis sustinentes te, Domine,
et liberas eos de manibus gentium.

13 Exaltasti super terram habitationem meam,
et pro morte defluente deprecatus sum.

14 Invocavi Dominum patrem Domini mei,
ut non derelinquat me in die tribulationis meæ,
et in tempore superborum, sine adjutorio.

15 Laudabo nomen tuum assidue,
et collaudabo illud in confessione:
et exaudita est oratio mea,

16 et liberasti me de perditione,
et eripuisti me de tempore iniquo.

17 Propterea confitebor, et laudem dicam tibi,
et benedicam nomini Domini.]

18 [Cum adhuc junior essem, priusquam oberrarem,
quæsivi sapientiam palam in oratione mea.

19 Ante templum postulabam pro illis,
et usque in novissimis inquiram eam:
et effloruit tamquam præcox uva.

20 Lætatum est cor meum in ea:
ambulavit pes meus iter rectum:
a juventute mea investigabam eam.

21 Inclinavi modico aurem meam,
et excepi illam.

22 Multam inveni in meipso sapientiam,
et multum profeci in ea.

23 Danti mihi sapientiam dabo gloriam:

24 consiliatus sum enim ut facerem illam.
Zelatus sum bonum, et non confundar.

25 Colluctata est anima mea in illa,
et in faciendo eam confirmatus sum.

26 Manus meas extendi in altum,
et insipientiam ejus luxi;

27 animam meam direxi ad illam,
et in agnitione inveni eam.

28 Possedi cum ipsa cor ab initio:
propter hoc, non derelinquar.

29 Venter meus conturbatus est quærendo illam:
propterea bonam possidebo possessionem.

30 Dedit mihi Dominus linguam mercedem meam,
et in ipsa laudabo eum.

31 Appropiate ad me, indocti,
et congregate vos in domum disciplinæ.

32 Quid adhuc retardatis? et quid dicitis in his?
animæ vestræ sitiunt vehementer.

33 Aperui os meum, et locutus sum:
Comparate vobis sine argento,

34 et collum vestrum subjicite jugo:
et suscipiat anima vestra disciplinam:
in proximo est enim invenire eam.

35 Videte oculis vestris, quia modicum laboravi,
et inveni mihi multam requiem.

36 Assumite disciplinam in multo numero argenti,
et copiosum aurum possidete in ea.

37 Lætetur anima vestra in misericordia ejus,
et non confundemini in laude ipsius.

38 Operamini opus vestrum ante tempus,
et dabit vobis mercedem vestram in tempore suo.]

Next: Prayer of Azariah 1