Sirach 38

Sirach 38

1The Lord chose some people
to be doctors, so honor them
for helping others get well.
2God Most High gave them
the ability to heal,
and they are rewarded
by the king.
3Their skills
make them important,
and they are admired
by powerful people.
4Medicines are part
of the Lord's creation,
and if you are sensible,
you will use them.
5 # Ex 15.23-25. One time even a piece of wood
made water fit to drink,
and this showed God's power.
6He gives knowledge to humans
so that we will praise him
for his amazing creations.
* 7Doctors relieve pain
and bring healing
by mixing medicines
from things that God created.
8God will always be at work
bringing health
to everyone on earth.
9Students, if you get sick,
quickly pray to the Lord,
and you will be healed.
10Give up all your sins
and decide to do right.
11Offer a sacrifice of fine flour
and as much olive oil
as you can afford,#38.11 as much olive oil as you can afford: One possible meaning for the difficult text.
and the smell of the smoke
will be pleasing to God.
12But God also created doctors,
and you need their help,
so don't reject them.
13Someday your life
will be in their hands,
14and they will ask the Lord
how to make you well
and relieve your pain.
15Those who sin against God,
their Creator,
will also reject doctors.#38.15 will also reject doctors: Hebrew; Greek “will have doctors as their only hope.”
16 # Si 22.11,12. When someone dies,
you should mourn and weep
as though you were in pain.
Prepare the body to be buried,
and attend the funeral.
17Weep bitterly to show respect
for the dead.
If you don't grieve at all,
you will be criticized,
but don't mourn for longer
than a day or two.
18If you don't stop grieving,
you will grow weak
and die.
19After a funeral, sorrow remains,
but don't let it drag you down
into poverty.#38.19 After a funeral … poverty: One possible meaning for the difficult text.
20Put away your grief
and enjoy what is left
of your own life.
21You cannot bring back
those who have died.
Grieving won't help them,
and it can harm you.
22Just remember that in the past,
death caught up with them,
and in the future,
it will catch up with you.
23The dead are at rest,
so be strong
and stop thinking about them
all the time.
Teachers of Wisdom
24If teachers are to become wise,
they need lots of time to study
and freedom from other work.
* 25Who has time to study wisdom?
Not farmers!
All day long they guide oxen
to plow 26in straight lines.
Then they work at night
feeding their livestock.
Farmers talk about cattle,
not wisdom.
27Who has time to study wisdom?
Not artists who carve designs
on rings and other jewelry.
These artists work with care
night and day, making sure
each design is different
and leaves a perfect pattern
when pressed in soft wax.#38.27 carve designs … soft wax: Instead of signing agreements and other documents, a person would drip hot wax onto it and then press their own special ring into the soft wax.
28Who has time to study wisdom?
Not the blacksmith,
soaked in sweat from the heat
of the furnace,
going deaf from the noise
as he hammers the red-hot iron,
shaping it on his anvil.
He wants to finish this piece,
and will work late to see
all its decorations completed.
29Who has time to study wisdom?
A potter doesn't.
His feet must always move
to spin the pottery wheel.
He keeps his mind on his work—
so many pieces to make,
30and so much to do.
He works the clay with his feet
to make it soft,
then shapes it with his hands
before baking it.
And then at night,
he cleans out the furnace.
31All these are skilled people
who work with their hands.
32Without them in a town,
no one would live there
or even visit.
But they are not asked to serve
on public committees,
33and they don't become leaders
in the town council.
They are not judges
and cannot explain
the decisions of the court.
They cannot even tell stories
that teach lessons.
34But they do pray
about their work,
and they keep life going
for everyone else.
Teachers who study the Law
of God Most High
are different.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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