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3 For while they supposed to lie hid in their secret sins, they were scattered under a dark vail of forgetfulness, be



Why Egypt was punished with darkness, 5 and with the death of their children. 18 They themselves saw the cause thereof. 20 God also plagued his own people. 21 By what means that plague was stayed.

TEVERTHELESS thy saints had a very great light,

ng horribly astonished, and troubled with [strange] ap-N whose voice they hearing, and not seeing their shape


4 For neither might the corner that held them keep them from fear: but noises [as of waters] falling down sounded about them, and sad visions appeared unto them with heavy countenances.

5 No power of the fire might give them light: neither could the bright flames of the stars endure to lighten that horrible night.

6 Only there appeared unto them a fire kindled of itself, very dreadful: for being much terrified, they thought the things which they saw to be worse than the sight they saw


7 As for the illusions of art magic, they were put down, and their vaunting in wisdom was reproved with disgrace.

8 For they that promised to drive away terrors and troubles from a sick soul, were sick themselves of fear, worthy to be laughed at.

9 For though no terrible thing did fear them; yet being scared with beasts that passed by, and hissing of serpents,

10 They died for fear, denying that they saw the air, which could of no side be avoided.

11 For wickedness, condemned by her own witness, is very timorous, and being pressed with conscience, always forecasteth grievous things.

12 For fear is nothing else but a betraying of the succours which reason offereth.

13 And the expectation from within, being less, counteth the ignorance more than the cause which bringeth the


14 But they sleeping the same sleep that night, which was indeed intolerable, and which came upon them out of the bottoms of inevitable hell,

15 Were partly vexed with monstrous apparitions, and partly fainted, their heart failing them: for a sudden fear, and not looked for, came upon them.

16 So then whosoever there fell down was straitly kept, shut up in a prison without iron bars.

17 For whether he were husbandman, or shepherd, or a labourer in the field, he was overtaken, and endured that necessity, which could not be avoided: for they were all bound with one chain of darkness.

18 Whether it were a whistling wind, or a melodious noise of birds among the spreading branches, or a pleasing fall of water running violently,

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because they also had not suffered the same things, they counted them happy.

2 But for that they did not hurt them now, of whom they had been wronged before, they thanked them, and besought them pardon for that they had been enemies.

3 Instead whereof thou gavest them a burning pillar of fire, both to be a guide of the unknown journey, and an harmless sun to entertain them honourably.

4 For they were worthy to be deprived of light, and imprisoned in darkness, who had kept thy sons shut up, by whom the uncorrupt light of the law was to be given unto the world.

5 And when they had determined to slay the babes of the saints, one child being cast forth, and saved, to reprove them, thou tookest away the multitude of their children, and destroyedst them altogether in a mighty water.

6 Of that night were our fathers certified afore, that assuredly knowing unto what oaths they had given credence, they might afterward be of good cheer.

7 So of thy people was accepted both the salvation of the righteous, and destruction of the enemies.

8 For wherewith thou didst punish our adversaries, by the same thou didst glorify us, whom thou hadst called.

9 For the righteous children of good men did sacrifice secretly, and with one consent made a holy law, that the saints should be alike partakers of the same good and evil, the fathers now singing out the songs of praise.

10 But on the other side there sounded an ill-according cry of the enemies, and a lamentable noise was carried abroad for children that were bewailed.

11 The master and the servant were punished after one manner; and like as the king, so suffered the common person.

12 So they all together had innumerable dead with one kind of death: neither were the living sufficient to bury them for in one moment the noblest offspring of them was destroyed.

13 For whereas they would not believe any thing by reason of the enchantments; upon the destruction of the first-born, they acknowledged this people to be the sons of God.

14 For while all things were in quiet silence, and that night was in the midst of her swift course,

15 Thine Almighty word leaped down from heaven out of thy royal throne, as a fierce man of war into the midst

19 Or a terrible sound of stones cast down, or a run-of a land of destruction, ning that could not be seen of skipping beasts, or a roaring voice of most savage wild beasts, or a rebounding echo from the hollow mountains; these things made them to swoon for fear.

20 For the whole world shined with clear light, and none were hindered in their labour :

21 Over them only was spread an heavy night, an image of that darkness which should afterward receive them: but yet were they unto themselves more grievous than the


16 And brought thine unfeigned commandment as a sharp sword, and standing up filled all things with death; and it touched the heaven, but it stood upon the earth.

17 Then suddenly visions of horrible dreams troubled them sore, and terrors came upon them unlooked for. 18 And one thrown here, and another there, half dead, shewed the cause of his death.

19 For the dreams that troubled them did foreshew this, lest they should perish, and not know why they were





20 Yea, the tasting of death touched the righteous also, || Red Sea a way without impediment; and out of the and there was a destruction of the multitude in the wild-violent stream a green field; erness but the wrath endured not long.

21 For then the blameless man made haste, and stood forth to defend them; and bringing the shield of his proper ministry, even prayer, and the propitiation of incense, set himself against the wrath, and so brought the calamity to an end, declaring that he was thy servant.

22 So he overcame the destroyer, not with strength of body, nor force of arms, but with a word subdued he him that punished, alleging the oaths and covenants made with the fathers.

23 For when the dead were now fallen down by heaps one upon another, standing between, he stayed the wrath, and parted the way to the living.

8 Wherethrough all the people went that were defended with thy hand, seeing thy marvellous strange wonders. 9 For they went at large like horses, and leaped like lambs, praising thee, O Lord, who hadst delivered them. 10 For they were yet mindful of the things that were done while they sojourned in the strange land, how the ground brought forth flies instead of cattle, and how the river cast up a multitude of frogs instead of fishes.

11 But afterward they saw a new generation of fowls, when, being led with their appetite, they asked delicate meats.

12 For quails came up unto them from the sea, for their contentment.

13 And punishments came upon the sinners, not with

24 For in the long garment was the whole world, and in the four rows of the stones was the glory of the fa-out former signs by the force of thunders: for they sufferthers graven, and thy Majesty upon the diadem of his ed justly according to their own wickedness, insomuch as they used a more hard and hateful behaviour towards strangers.


25 Unto these the destroyer gave place, and was afraid of them for it was enough that they only tasted of the



1 Why God shewed no mercy to the Egyptians, 5 and how wonderfully he dealt with his people. 14 The Egyptians were worse than the Sodomites. 18 The wonderful agreement of the creatures to serve God's people.

14 For the Sodomites did not receive those, whom they knew not when they came: but these brought friends into bondage, that had well deserved of them.

15 And not only so, but peradventure some respect shall be had of those, because they used strangers not friendly:

16 But these very grievously afflicted them, whom they had received with feastings, and were already made par S for the uugodly, wrath came upon them without takers of the same laws with them,

A mercy unto the end: for he knew before what they

would do;

2 How that having given them leave to depart, and sent them hastily away, they would repent, and pursue them.

17 Therefore even with blindness were these stricken, as those were at the doors of the righteous man: when, being compassed about with horrible great darkness, every one sought the passage of his own doors.

18 For the elements were changed in themselves by a the name of the tune, and yet are always sounds; which may well be perceived by the sight of the things that have

3 For whilst they were yet mourning and making la-kind of harmony, like as, in a psaltery, notes change mentation at the graves of the dead, they added another foolish device, and pursued them as fugitives, whom they had entreated to be gone.

been done.

19 For earthy things were turned into watery, and the things that before swam in the water, now went upon the

4 For the destiny, whereof they were worthy, drew them unto this end, and made them forget the things that had already happened, that they might fulfil the punish-ground. ment which was wanting to their torments:

5 And that thy people might pass a wonderful way: but they might find a strange death.

6 For the whole creature in his proper kind was fashioned again anew, serving the peculiar commandments hat were given unto them, that thy children might be kept without hurt :

7 As namely, a cloud shadowing the camp; and where water stood before, dry land appeared; and out of the

20 The fire had power in the water, forgetting his own virtue: and the water forgat his own quenching nature.

21 On the other side, the flames wasted not the flesh of the corruptible living things, though they walked therein; neither melted they the icy kind of heavenly meat. that was of nature apt to melt.

22 For in all things, O Lord, thou didst magnify thy people, and glorify them, neither didst thou lightly regard them: but didst assist them in every time and place.






HIS Jesus was the son of Sirach, and grandchild to Jesus of the same name with him: this man therefore lived in the latter times, after the people had been led away captive, and called home again, and almost after all the prophets Now his grandfather Jesus, as he himself witnesseth, was a man of great diligence and wisdom

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among the Hebrews, who did not only gather the grave and short sentences of wise men, that had been before him, but himself also uttered some of his own, full of much understanding and wisdom. When as therefore the first Jesus died, leaving this book almost perfected, Sirach his son receiving it after him, left it to his own son Jesus, who having gotten it into his hands, compiled it all orderly into one volume, and called it Wisdom, entitling it both by his own name, his father's name, and his grandfather's; alluring the hearer by the very name of Wisdom to have a greater love to the study of this book. It containeth therefore wise sayings, dark sentences, and parables, and certain particular ancient godly stories of men that pleased God; also his prayer and song; moreover, what benefits God had vouchsafed his people, and what plagues he had heaped upon their enemies. This Jesus did imitate Solomon, and was no less famous for wisdom and learning, both being indeed a man of great learning, and so reputed also.



HEREAS many and great things have been delivered unto us by the law and the prophets, and by others that have followed their steps, for the which things Israel ought to be commended for learning and wisdom; and whereof not only the readers must needs become skilful themselves, but also they that desire to learn be able to profit them which are without, both by speaking and writing: my grandfather Jesus, when he had much given himself to the reading of the law, and the prophets, and other books of our fathers, and had gotten therein good judgment, was drawn on also himself to write something pertaining to learning and wisdom; to the intent that those which are desirous to learn, and are addicted to these things, might profit much more in living according to the law. Wherefore let me entreat you to read it with favour and attention, and to pardon us, wherein we may seem to come short of some words which we have laboured to interpret. For the same things uttered in Hebrew, and translated into another tongue, have not the same force in them: and not only these things, but the law itself, and the prophets, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when they are spoken in their own language. For in the eight and thirtieth year coming into Egypt, when Euergetes was king, and continuing there some time, I found a book of no small learning: therefore I thought it most necessary for me to bestow some diligence and travail to interpret it; using great watchfulness and skill in that space to bring the book to an end, and set it forth for them also, which in a strange country are willing to learn, being prepared before in manners to live after the law.


1 All wisdom is from God. 10 He giveth it to them that
love him. 11 The fear of God is full of many blessings.
28 To fear God without hypocrisy.

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2 Who can number the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of eternity?

3 Who can find out the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the deep, and wisdom?

4 Wisdom hath been created before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting.

5 The word of God Most High is the fountain of wisdom; and her ways are everlasting commandments.

6 To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed?

or who hath known her wise counsels ?

16 To fear the Lord is fulness of wisdom, and filleth men with her fruits.

17 She filleth all their house with things desirable, and the garners with her increase.

18 The fear of the Lord is a crown of wisdom, making peace and perfect health to flourish; both which are the gifts of God: and it enlargeth their rejoicing that love him.

19 Wisdom raineth down skill and knowledge of understanding, and exalteth them to honour that hold her fast.

20 The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and the branches thereof are long life.

21 The fear of the Lord driveth away sins: and where it is present, it turneth away wrath.

22 A furious man cannot be justified; for the sway of his fury shall be his destruction.

23 A patient man will bear for a time, and afterward

7 [Unto whom hath the knowledge of wisdom been made manifest? and who hath understood her great ex-joy shall spring up unto him. perience ?]

8 There is one wise and greatly to be feared, the Lord sitting upon his throne.

9 He created her, and saw her, and numbered her, and poured her out upon all his works.

10 She is with all flesh according to his gift, and he hath given her to them that love him.

11 The fear of the Lord is honour, and glory, and gladness, and a crown of rejoicing.

12 The fear of the Lord maketh a merry heart, and giveth joy, and gladness, and a long life.

13 Whoso feareth the Lord, it shall go well with him at the last, and he shall find favour in the day of his death. 14 To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and it was created with the faithful in the womb.

15 She hath built an everlasting foundation with men,

and she shall continue with their seed.

24 He will hide his words for a time, and the lips of many shall declare his wisdom.

25 The parables of knowledge are in the treasures of wisdom: but godliness is an abomination to a sinner. 26 If thou desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord shall give her unto thee.

27 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction: and faith and meekness are his delight.

28 Distrust not the fear of the Lord when thou art poor: and come not unto him with a double heart. 29 Be not an hypocrite in the sight of men, and take good heed what thou speakest.

30 Exalt not thyself, lest thou fall, and bring dishonour upon thy soul, and so God discover thy secrets, and cast thee down in the midst of the congregation, because thou camest not in truth to t'e fear of the Lord, but tny

heart is full of deceit.

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6 Believe in him, and he will help thee; order thy way aright, and trust in him.

Ye that fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; and go not aside, lest ye fall.

8 Ye that fear the Lord, believe him; and your reward


and he that is obedient unto the Lord shall be a comfort to his mother.

7 He that feareth the Lord will honour his father, and will do service unto his parents, as to his masters.

8 Honour thy father and mother both in word and deed, that a blessing may come upon thee from them.

9 For the blessing of the father establisheth the houses of children; but the curse of the mother rooteth out foun


10 Glory not in the dishonour of thy father; for thy father's dishonour is no glory unto thee.

11 For the glory of a man is from the honour of his father; and a mother in dishonour is a reproach to the


12 My son, help thy father in his age, and grieve him not as long as he liveth.

13 And if his understanding fail, have patience with him; and despise him not when thou art in thy full strength. 14 For the relieving of thy father shall not be forgotten: and instead of sins it shall be added to build thee up. 15 In the day of thine affliction it shall be remember9 Ye that fear the Lord, hope for good, and for ever-ed; thy sins also shall melt away, as the ice in the fair lasting joy and mercy.

shall not fail.

10 Look at the generations of old, and see; did ever any trust in the Lord, and was confounded? or did any abide in his fear, and was forsaken ? or whom did he ever despise, that called upon him?

warm weather.

16 He that forsaketh his father is as a blasphemer; and he that angereth his mother is cursed of God. 17 My son, go on with thy business in meekness; so

11 For the Lord is full of compassion and mercy, long-shalt thou be beloved of him that is approved. suffering, and very pitiful, and forgiveth sins, and saveth in time of affliction.

12 Wo be to fearful hearts, and faint hands, and the sinner that goeth two ways!

13 Wo unto him that is faint-hearted! for he believeth not; therefore shall he not be defended.

14 Wo unto you that have lost patience! and what will ye do when the Lord shall visit you?

15 They that fear the Lord will not disobey his word; and they that love him will keep his ways.

16 They that fear the Lord will seek that which is wellpleasing unto him; and they that love him shall be filled with the law.

17 They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts,

and humble their souls in his sight,

18 Saying, We will fall into the hands of the Lord, and not into the hands of men: for as his majesty is, so

is his mercy.


2 Children must honour and help both their parents. 21 We may not desire to know all things. 26 The incorrigible must needs perish. 30 Alms are rewarded.

TEAR me your father, O children, and do thereafter, H that ye may be safe.

2 For the Lord hath given the father honour over the children, and hath confirmed the authority of the mother over the sons.

3 Whoso honoureth his father maketh an atonement for

his sins:

4 And he that honoureth his mother is as one that layeth up treasure.

5 Whoso honoureth his father shall have joy of his own children; and when he maketh his prayer, he shall be beard.


18 The greater thou art, the more humble thyself, and thou shalt find favour before the Lord.

teries are revealed unto the meek.
19 Many are in high place, and of renown: but mys-

20 For the power of the Lord is great, and he is honoured of the lowly.

21 Seek not out the things that are too hard for thee, neither search the things that are above thy strength.

22 But what is commanded thee, think thereupon with reverence; for it is not needful for thee to see with thine eyes the things that are in secret.

23 Be not curious in unnecessary matters: for more things are shewed unto thee than men understand.

24 For many are deceived by their own vain opinion; and an evil suspicion hath overthrown their judgment. 25 Without eyes thou shalt want light profess not the knowledge therefore that thou hast not.

26 A stubborn heart shall fare evil at the last; and he that loveth danger shall perish therein.

27 An obstinate heart shall be laden with sorrows: and the wicked man shall heap sin upon sin.

28 In the punishment of the proud there is no remedy, for the plant of wickedness hath taken root in him. 29 The heart of the prudent will understand a parable; and an attentive ear is the desire of a wise man.

30 Water will quench a flaming fire; and alms maketh

an atonement for sins.

31 And he that requiteth good turns is mindful of that which may come hereafter; and when he falleth, he shall find a stay.


1 We may not despise the poor or fatherless, 11 but seek for wisdom, 20 and not be ashamed of some things, nor gainsay the truth, 30 nor be as lions in our houses.

Y son, defraud not the poor of his living, and make

He that honoureth his father shall have a long life; M not the feedy eyes to wait long.

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2 Make not a hungry soul sorrowful; neither provoke a man in his distress.

3 Add not more trouble to a heart that is vexed; and defer not to give to him that is in need.

4 Reject not the supplication of the afflicted; neither turn away thy face from a poor man.

5 Turn not away thine eye from the needy, and give him none occasion to curse thee:


31 Let not thine hand be stretched out to receive, and shut when thou shouldest repay.


1 We must not presume of our wealth and strength, 6 nor of the mercy of God, to sin. 9 We must not be doubletongued, 12 nor answer without knowledge.

6 For if he curse thee in the bitterness of his soul, his SE

prayer shall be heard of him that made him.

7 Get thyself the love of the congregation, and bow thy head to a great man.

8 Let it not grieve thee to bow down thine ear to the poor, and give him a friendly answer with meekness.

9 Deliver him that suffereth wrong from the hand of the oppressor; and be not faint-hearted when thou sittest in judgment.

10 Be as a father unto the fatherless, and instead of a husband unto their mother: so shalt thou be as a son of the Most High, and he shall love thee more than thy mother doth.

11 Wisdom exalteth her children, and layeth hold of them that seek her.

12 He that loveth her loveth life; and they that seek to her early shall be filled with joy.

13 He that holdeth her fast shall inherit glory; and wheresoever she entereth, the Lord will bless.

14 They that serve her shall minister to the Holy One: and them that love her the Lord doth love.

15 Whoso giveth ear unto her, shall judge the nations: and he that attendeth unto her shall dwell securely.

16 If a man commit himself unto her he shall innerit her; and his generation shall hold her in pos


17 For at the first she will walk with him by crooked ways, and bring fear and dread upon him, and torment him with her discipline, until she may trust his soul, and try him by her laws.

18 Then will she return the straight way unto him, and comfort him, and shew him her secrets.

19 But if he go wrong, she will forsake him, and give him over to his own ruin.

20 Observe the opportunity, and beware of evil; and be not ashamed when it concerneth thy soul.

21 For there is a shame that bringeth sin; and there is a shame which is glory and grace.

22 Accept no person against thy soul, and let not the reverence of any man cause thee to fall.

23 And refrain not to speak, when there is occasion to do good, and hide not thy wisdom in her beauty. 24 For by speech wisdom shall be known and learning by the word of the tongue.

25 In no wise speak against the truth; but be abashed of the error of thine ignorance.

26 Be not ashamed to confess thy sins; and force not the course of the river.

27 Make not thyself an underling to a foolish man ; neither accept the person of the mighty.

28 Strive for the truth unto death, and the Lord shall fight for thee.

29 Be not hasty in thy tongue, and in thy deeds slack

and remiss.

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NET not thy heart upon thy goods; and say not, I have enough for my life.

2 Follow not thine own mind and thy strength, to walk in the ways of thine heart:

3 And say not, Who shall control me for my works? for the Lord will surely revenge thy pride.

4 Say not, I have sinned, and what harm hath happened unto me? for the Lord is long-suffering, he will in no wise let thee go.

5 Concerning propitiation, be not without fear to add sin unto sin :

6 And say not, His mercy is great; he will be pacified for the multitude of my sins: for mercy and wrath come from him, and his indignation resteth upon sinners.

7 Make no tarrying to turn to the Lord, and put not off from day to day: for suddenly shall the wrath of the Lord come forth, and in thy security thou shalt be destroyed, and perish in the day of vengeance.

8 Set not thine heart upon goods unjustly gotten: for they shall not profit thee in the day of calamity.

9 Winnow not with every wind, and go not into every way for so doth the sinner that hath a double tongue. 10 Be steadfast in thy understanding; and let thy word be the same.

11 Be swift to hear; and let thy life be sincere; and with patience give answer.

12 If thou hast understanding, answer thy neighbour; if not, lay thy hand upon thy mouth.

13 Honour and shame is in talk: and the tongue of man is his fall.

14 Be not called a whisperer, and lie not in wait with thy tongue; for a foul shame is upon the thief, and an evil condemnation upon the double tongue.

15 Be not ignorant of any thing in a great matter or a small.


2 Do not extol thine own conceit, 7 but make choice of a friend. 18 Seek wisdom betimes: 20 It is grievous to some, 28 yet the fruits thereof are pleasant. 35 Be ready to hear wise


INSTEAD of a friend become not an enemy; [for

thereby] thou shalt inherit an ill name, shame, and reproach: even so shall a sinner that hath a double tongue. 2 Extol not thyself in the counsel of thine own heart; that thy soul be not torn in pieces as a bull [straying alone.]

3 Thou shalt eat up thy leaves, and lose thy fruit, and leave thyself as a dry tree.

4 A wicked soul shall destroy him that hath it, and shall make him to be laughed to scorn of his enemies. 5 Sweet language will multiply friends; and a fairspeaking tongue will increase kind greetings.

6 Be in peace with many: nevertheless have but one counsellor of a thousand.

7 If thou wouldest get a friend, prove him first, and be not hasty to credit him,

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