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Ecclesiastes 5

 
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1 μὴ σπεῦδε ἐπὶ στόματί σου καὶ καρδία σου μὴ ταχυνάτω τοῦ ἐξενέγκαι λόγον πρὸ προσώπου τοῦ θεοῦ ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ καὶ σὺ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐπὶ τούτῳ ἔστωσαν οἱ λόγοι σου ὀλίγοι 2 ὅτι παραγίνεται ἐνύπνιον ἐν πλήθει περισπασμοῦ καὶ φωνὴ ἄφρονος ἐν πλήθει λόγων 3 καθὼς ἂν εὔξῃ εὐχὴν τῷ θεῷ μὴ χρονίσῃς τοῦ ἀποδοῦναι αὐτήν ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν θέλημα ἐν ἄφροσιν σὺν ὅσα ἐὰν εὔξῃ ἀπόδος 4 ἀγαθὸν τὸ μὴ εὔξασθαί σε ἢ τὸ εὔξασθαί σε καὶ μὴ ἀποδοῦναι 5 μὴ δῷς τὸ στόμα σου τοῦ ἐξαμαρτῆσαι τὴν σάρκα σου καὶ μὴ εἴπῃς πρὸ προσώπου τοῦ θεοῦ ὅτι ἄγνοιά ἐστιν ἵνα μὴ ὀργισθῇ ὁ θεὸς ἐπὶ φωνῇ σου καὶ διαφθείρῃ τὰ ποιήματα χειρῶν σου 6 ὅτι ἐν πλήθει ἐνυπνίων καὶ ματαιότητες καὶ λόγοι πολλοί ὅτι σὺν τὸν θεὸν φοβοῦ 1 When thou standest in God’s presence, do not pour out with rash haste all that is in thy heart. God sees as heaven sees, thou as earth; few words are best. 2 Sure as dreams come from an overwrought brain, from glib utterance comes ill-considered speech. 3 Vow to God if thou utterest, without delay perform it, he will have no light and rash promises; vow made must be vow paid. 4 Far better undertake nothing than undertake what thou dost not fulfil. 5 Wouldst thou defile thy whole nature through the tongue’s fault? Wouldst thou find thyself saying, with God’s angel to hear thee, No thought I gave to it?[1] Little wonder if God disappoints every ambition of the man who speaks so. 6 Dreams, empty dreams, led to those glib promises of thine; content thyself rather with the fear of God.[2] 1

Ne temere quid loquaris,
neque cor tuum sit velox ad proferendum sermonem coram Deo.
Deus enim in cælo, et tu super terram;
idcirco sint pauci sermones tui.
2
Multas curas sequuntur somnia,
et in multis sermonibus invenietur stultitia.
3
Si quid vovisti Deo,
ne moreris reddere:
displicet enim ei infidelis et stulta promissio,
sed quodcumque voveris redde:
4
multoque melius est non vovere,
quam post votum promissa non reddere.
5
Ne dederis os tuum ut peccare facias carnem tuam,
neque dicas coram angelo:
Non est providentia:
ne forte iratus Deus contra sermones tuos
dissipet cuncta opera manuum tuarum.
6
Ubi multa sunt somnia,
plurimæ sunt vanitates, et sermones innumeri;
tu vero Deum time.
7 ἐὰν συκοφαντίαν πένητος καὶ ἁρπαγὴν κρίματος καὶ δικαιοσύνης ἴδῃς ἐν χώρᾳ μὴ θαυμάσῃς ἐπὶ τῷ πράγματι ὅτι ὑψηλὸς ἐπάνω ὑψηλοῦ φυλάξαι καὶ ὑψηλοὶ ἐ{P'} αὐτούς 8 καὶ περισσεία γῆς ἐν παντί ἐστι βασιλεὺς τοῦ ἀγροῦ εἰργασμένου 9 ἀγαπῶν ἀργύριον οὐ πλησθήσεται ἀργυρίου καὶ τίς ἠγάπησεν ἐν πλήθει αὐτῶν γένημα καί γε τοῦτο ματαιότης 10 ἐν πλήθει τῆς ἀγαθωσύνης ἐπληθύνθησαν ἔσθοντες αὐτήν καὶ τί ἀνδρεία τῷ πα{R'} αὐτῆς ὅτι ἀλ{L'} ἢ τοῦ ὁρᾶν ὀφθαλμοῖς αὐτοῦ 11 γλυκὺς ὕπνος τοῦ δούλου εἰ ὀλίγον καὶ εἰ πολὺ φάγεται καὶ τῷ ἐμπλησθέντι τοῦ πλουτῆσαι οὐκ ἔστιν ἀφίων αὐτὸν τοῦ ὑπνῶσαι 7 Thou seest, it may be, in this province or that, oppression of the poor, false award given, and wrong unredressed? Let not such things bewilder thee; trust me, authority is watched by higher authority, subject in turn to higher authority yet; 8 and, above them all, the King of the whole earth rules it as his dominion.[3] 9 What is his decree? Why, that covetousness should never fill its own maw; never did he that loved money taste the enjoyment of his money;[4] here is frustration once again. 10 Richer if thou grow, riches will give thee more mouths to feed; profit he has none that owns them, save the feasting of his eyes on them if he will. 11 Full belly or empty, sound is the cottar’s sleep; sleep, to the pampered body of the rich still denied. 7

Si videris calumnias egenorum, et violenta judicia,
et subverti justitiam in provincia,
non mireris super hoc negotio:
quia excelso excelsior est alius,
et super hos quoque eminentiores sunt alii;
8
et insuper universæ terræ rex imperat servienti.
9
Avarus non implebitur pecunia,
et qui amat divitias fructum non capiet ex eis;
et hoc ergo vanitas.
10
Ubi multæ sunt opes,
multi et qui comedunt eas.
Et quid prodest possessori,
nisi quod cernit divitias oculis suis?
11
Dulcis est somnus operanti,
sive parum sive multum comedat;
saturitas autem divitis non sinit eum dormire.
12 ἔστιν ἀρρωστία ἣν εἶδον ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον πλοῦτον φυλασσόμενον τῷ πα{R'} αὐτοῦ εἰς κακίαν αὐτοῦ 13 καὶ ἀπολεῖται ὁ πλοῦτος ἐκεῖνος ἐν περισπασμῷ πονηρῷ καὶ ἐγέννησεν υἱόν καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν χειρὶ αὐτοῦ οὐδέν 14 καθὼς ἐξῆλθεν ἀπὸ γαστρὸς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ γυμνός ἐπιστρέψει τοῦ πορευθῆναι ὡς ἥκει καὶ οὐδὲν οὐ λήμψεται ἐν μόχθῳ αὐτοῦ ἵνα πορευθῇ ἐν χειρὶ αὐτοῦ 15 καί γε τοῦτο πονηρὰ ἀρρωστία ὥσπερ γὰρ παρεγένετο οὕτως καὶ ἀπελεύσεται καὶ τίς περισσεία αὐτῷ ᾗ μοχθεῖ εἰς ἄνεμον 16 καί γε πᾶσαι αἱ ἡμέραι αὐτοῦ ἐν σκότει καὶ πένθει καὶ θυμῷ πολλῷ καὶ ἀρρωστίᾳ καὶ χόλῳ 17 ἰδοὺ ὃ εἶδον ἐγὼ ἀγαθόν ὅ ἐστιν καλόν τοῦ φαγεῖν καὶ τοῦ πιεῖν καὶ τοῦ ἰδεῖν ἀγαθωσύνην ἐν παντὶ μόχθῳ αὐτοῦ ᾧ ἐὰν μοχθῇ ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον ἀριθμὸν ἡμερῶν ζωῆς αὐτοῦ ὧν ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ θεός ὅτι αὐτὸ μερὶς αὐτοῦ 18 καί γε πᾶς ὁ ἄνθρωπος ᾧ ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ θεὸς πλοῦτον καὶ ὑπάρχοντα καὶ ἐξουσίασεν αὐτὸν τοῦ φαγεῖν ἀ{P'} αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῦ λαβεῖν τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῦ εὐφρανθῆναι ἐν μόχθῳ αὐτοῦ τοῦτο δόμα θεοῦ ἐστιν 19 ὅτι οὐ πολλὰ μνησθήσεται τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ζωῆς αὐτοῦ ὅτι ὁ θεὸς περισπᾷ αὐτὸν ἐν εὐφροσύνῃ καρδίας αὐτοῦ 12 Another evil I have found past remedy, here under the sun; riches that a man hoards to his own undoing. 13 By cruel misadventure they are lost to him, and to the son he has begotten nothing he leaves but poverty. 14 Naked he came, when he left his mother’s womb, and naked still death finds him; nothing to show for all his long endeavour. 15 Alas, what ailed him, that he should go away no richer than he came? Nothing left of all those wasted labours of his; 16 all his life long the cheerless board, the multitudinous cares, the concern, the melancholy! 17 Better far, by my way of it, that a man should eat and drink and enjoy the revenues of his own labour, here under the sun, as long as God gives him life; what more can he claim? 18 God’s gift it is, if a man has wealth and goods and freedom to enjoy them, taking what comes to him and profiting by what he has earned. 19 Few be his days or many, he regards little, so long as God gives his heart content. 12

Est et alia infirmitas pessima quam vidi sub sole:
divitiæ conservatæ in malum domini sui.
13
Pereunt enim in afflictione pessima:
generavit filium qui in summa egestate erit.
14
Sicut egressus est nudus de utero matris suæ, sic revertetur,
et nihil auferet secum de labore suo.
15
Miserabilis prorsus infirmitas:
quomodo venit, sic revertetur.
Quid ergo prodest ei quod laboravit in ventum?
16
cunctis diebus vitæ suæ comedit in tenebris,
et in curis multis, et in ærumna atque tristitia.
17

Hoc itaque visum est mihi bonum,
ut comedat quis et bibat,
et fruatur lætitia ex labore suo
quo laboravit ipse sub sole,
numero dierum vitæ suæ
quos dedit ei Deus;
et hæc est pars illius.
18
Et omni homini cui dedit Deus divitias atque substantiam,
potestatemque ei tribuit ut comedat ex eis,
et fruatur parte sua, et lætetur de labore suo:
hoc est donum Dei.
19
Non enim satis recordabitur dierum vitæ suæ,
eo quod Deus occupet deliciis cor ejus.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.