Prayer of Jesus, Sirach’s son
1I will give thanks to you,
Lord and King,
and I will praise you, God my savior.
I give thanks to your name,
2because you have been
my protector and helper.
You have rescued my body
from destruction,
from the trap set
by a slanderous tongue,
from lips that fabricate lies.
In the presence of those who stood around me,
3you were my helper.
In line with your abundant mercy
and your great name,
you rescued me from grinding teeth prepared to devour me,
from the power of those
who wanted to take my life,
from the many troubles that I have had,
4from choking fire all around me,
from the midst of a fire
that I didn’t start,
5from the depths of the belly
of the grave,#LXX Hades
and from a polluted tongue
and lying words,
6as well as the arrowlike
tongue of the unrighteous.
My soul approached death,
and my life was on the edge of the grave#LXX Hades below.
7People surrounded me on every side,
and no one helped;
I looked for assistance from human beings, and there was none.
8Then I remembered your mercy, Lord,
and your charity#Some Gk manuscripts work; Heb faithful loyalty from long ago,
that you raise up those who wait for you
and save them from the hands
of the wicked.
9I sent up my prayer from the earth,
and I begged to be rescued from death.
10I called out to the Lord,
the father of my master:#Heb I cried out to the Lord, You are my father.
"Don’t desert me in the time
of my distress,
when I am helpless before the arrogant.
11I will praise your name continually,
and I will sing thanksgiving hymns."
My prayer was heard,
12because you saved me from destruction
and you rescued me from an evil time.
For this, I will give thanks, praise you,
and bless the Lord’s name.#Between 51:12 and 13, Heb adds a long doxology.
Search for Wisdom
13When I was still young,
before I had traveled,
I sought Wisdom openly in my prayer.
14In front of the temple, I asked for her,
and I will search for her until I die.
15From the first blossom
to the ripening of the grape clusters,
my heart delighted in her;
I walked in straight paths;
I chased her down from my youth.
16I paid a little attention, and I received her
and found much instruction for myself.
17I made progress with her;
I will give glory to the one
who gives me Wisdom.
18I made up my mind
to put Wisdom into practice;
I sought the good,
and I will never be ashamed.
19My whole being grappled with her,
and I was brought to perfection
in my performance of the Law.
I spread out my hands
toward heaven,
and I kept in mind#Some Gk manuscripts I mourned because of
my ignorance of her.
20I directed my whole being toward her,
and in purity I found her.
I had a heart for her#or I acquired a heart with her
from the beginning.
For this reason
I will never be abandoned.
21My guts were stirred to seek her;
for this reason I gained
a desired possession.
22The Lord gave me the power
to speak well, as my reward,
and I will praise him with it.
23Draw near to me,
you who lack education,
and stay in my school.
24Why are you still lacking in these things;
why do you#Or your soul thirst for this?
25I opened my mouth and said,
"Acquire#Heb adds Wisdom. her for yourselves
without money.
26Place your neck under her yoke,
and let your soul
receive instruction.
It is found close at hand."
27See for yourselves that I have labored
a little,
and I have found much rest for myself.
28Invest in your education
with a great amount of silver,
and with it you will acquire much gold.#Heb Listen to a little of my instruction, and you will acquire silver and gold through me.
29May your whole being take delight
in God’s mercy,
and may you never be ashamed
when you praise him.
30Accomplish your work in good time,
and he will give you your reward
in his time.
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