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Sirach 18

 
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1 ὁ ζῶν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἔκτισεν τὰ πάντα κοινῇ κύριος μόνος δικαιωθήσεται 2 οὐθενὶ ἐξεποίησεν ἐξαγγεῖλαι τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ 3 καὶ τίς ἐξιχνεύσει τὰ μεγαλεῖα αὐτοῦ 4 κράτος μεγαλωσύνης αὐτοῦ τίς ἐξαριθμήσεται καὶ τίς προσθήσει ἐκδιηγήσασθαι τὰ ἐλέη αὐτοῦ 5 οὐκ ἔστιν ἐλαττῶσαι οὐδὲ προσθεῖναι καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐξιχνιάσαι τὰ θαυμάσια τοῦ κυρίου 6 ὅταν συντελέσῃ ἄνθρωπος τότε ἄρχεται καὶ ὅταν παύσηται τότε ἀπορηθήσεται 7 τί ἄνθρωπος καὶ τί ἡ χρῆσις αὐτοῦ τί τὸ ἀγαθὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ τί τὸ κακὸν αὐτοῦ 8 ἀριθμὸς ἡμερῶν ἀνθρώπου πολλὰ ἔτη ἑκατόν ὡς σταγὼν ὕδατος ἀπὸ θαλάσσης καὶ ψῆφος ἄμμου οὕτως ὀλίγα ἔτη ἐν ἡμέρᾳ αἰῶνος 9 διὰ τοῦτο ἐμακροθύμησεν κύριος ἐ{P'} αὐτοῖς καὶ ἐξέχεεν ἐ{P'} αὐτοὺς τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ 10 εἶδεν καὶ ἐπέγνω τὴν καταστροφὴν αὐτῶν ὅτι πονηρά 11 διὰ τοῦτο ἐπλήθυνεν τὸν ἐξιλασμὸν αὐτοῦ 12 ἔλεος ἀνθρώπου ἐπὶ τὸν πλησίον αὐτοῦ ἔλεος δὲ κυρίου ἐπὶ πᾶσαν σάρκα 13 ἐλέγχων καὶ παιδεύων καὶ διδάσκων καὶ ἐπιστρέφων ὡς ποιμὴν τὸ ποίμνιον αὐτοῦ 14 τοὺς ἐκδεχομένους παιδείαν ἐλεᾷ καὶ τοὺς κατασπεύδοντας ἐπὶ τὰ κρίματα αὐτοῦ 1 Naught that is, but God made it; he, the source of all right, the king that reigns for ever unconquerable. 2 And wouldst thou tell the number of his creatures, 3 trace his marvellous doings to their origin, 4 set forth in words the greatness of his power, or go further yet, and proclaim his mercies? 5 God’s wonders thou shalt learn to understand, when thou hast learned to increase the number of them, or diminish it. 6 Reach thou the end of thy reckoning, thou must needs begin again; cease thou from weariness, thou hast nothing learnt. 7 Tell me, what is man, what worth is his, what power has he for good or ill? 8 What is his span of life? Like a drop in the ocean, like a pebble on the beach, seem those few years of his, a hundred at the most, matched with eternity. 9 What wonder if God is patient with his human creatures, lavishes mercy on them? 10 If none reads, as he, their proud heart, none knows, as he, the cruelty of their doom; 11 and so he has given his clemency full play, and shewed them an even path to tread. 12 Man’s mercy extends only to his neighbour; God has pity on all living things. 13 He is like a shepherd who cares for his sheep, guides and controls all alike; 14 welcome thou this merciful discipline of his, run thou eagerly to meet his will, and he will shew pity on thee. 1

Qui vivet in æternum creavit omnia simul.
Deus solus justificabitur,
et manet invictus rex in æternum.
2
Quis sufficit enarrare opera illius?
3
quis enim investigabit magnalia ejus?
4
virtutem autem magnitudinis ejus quis enuntiabit?
aut quis adjiciet enarrare misericordiam ejus?
5
Non est minuere neque adjicere,
nec est invenire magnalia Dei.
6
Cum consummaverit homo, tunc incipiet:
et cum quieverit, aporiabitur.
7
Quid est homo? et quæ est gratia illius?
et quid bonum aut quid nequam illius?
8
Numerus dierum hominum, ut multum centum anni,
quasi gutta aquæ maris deputati sunt:
et sicut calculus arenæ, sic exigui anni in die ævi.
9
Propter hoc patiens est Deus in illis,
et effundit super eos misericordiam suam.
10
Vidit præsumptionem cordis eorum, quoniam mala est:
et cognovit subversionem illorum, quoniam nequam est.
11
Ideo adimplevit propitiationem suam in illis,
et ostendit eis viam æquitatis.
12
Miseratio hominis circa proximum suum:
misericordia autem Dei super omnem carnem.
13
Qui misericordiam habet, docet et erudit
quasi pastor gregem suum.
14
Miseretur excipientis doctrinam miserationis,
et qui festinat in judiciis ejus.
15 τέκνον ἐν ἀγαθοῖς μὴ δῷς μῶμον καὶ ἐν πάσῃ δόσει λύπην λόγων 16 οὐχὶ καύσωνα ἀναπαύσει δρόσος οὕτως κρείσσων λόγος ἢ δόσις 17 οὐκ ἰδοὺ λόγος ὑπὲρ δόμα ἀγαθόν καὶ ἀμφότερα παρὰ ἀνδρὶ κεχαριτωμένῳ 18 μωρὸς ἀχαρίστως ὀνειδιεῖ καὶ δόσις βασκάνου ἐκτήκει ὀφθαλμούς 15 My son, bestow thy favours ungrudgingly, nor ever mar with harsh words the gladness of thy giving. 16 Not more welcome the dew, tempering the sun’s heat, than the giver’s word, that counts for more than the gift. 17 Better the gracious word than the gracious gift; but, wouldst thou acquit thyself perfectly, let both be thine. 18 The fool, by his scolding, mars all; never yet did eye brighten over a churl’s giving. 15

Fili, in bonis non des querelam,
et in omni dato non des tristitiam verbi mali.
16
Nonne ardorem refrigerabit ros?
sic et verbum melius quam datum.
17
Nonne ecce verbum super datum bonum?
sed utraque cum homine justificato.
18
Stultus acriter improperabit:
et datus indisciplinati tabescere facit oculos.
19 πρὶν ἢ λαλῆσαι μάνθανε 20 καὶ πρὸ ἀρρωστίας θεραπεύου πρὸ κρίσεως ἐξέταζε σεαυτόν καὶ ἐν ὥρᾳ ἐπισκοπῆς εὑρήσεις ἐξιλασμόν 21 πρὶν ἀρρωστῆσαί σε ταπεινώθητι καὶ ἐν καιρῷ ἁμαρτημάτων δεῖξον ἐπιστροφήν 22 μὴ ἐμποδισθῇς τοῦ ἀποδοῦναι εὐχὴν εὐκαίρως καὶ μὴ μείνῃς ἕως θανάτου δικαιωθῆναι 23 πρὶν εὔξασθαι ἑτοίμασον σεαυτὸν καὶ μὴ γίνου ὡς ἄνθρωπος πειράζων τὸν κύριον 24 μνήσθητι θυμοῦ ἐν ἡμέραις τελευτῆς καὶ καιρὸν ἐκδικήσεως ἐν ἀποστροφῇ προσώπου 25 μνήσθητι καιρὸν λιμοῦ ἐν καιρῷ πλησμονῆς πτωχείαν καὶ ἔνδειαν ἐν ἡμέραις πλούτου 26 ἀπὸ πρωίθεν ἕως ἑσπέρας μεταβάλλει καιρός καὶ πάντα ἐστὶν ταχινὰ ἔναντι κυρίου 27 ἄνθρωπος σοφὸς ἐν παντὶ εὐλαβηθήσεται καὶ ἐν ἡμέραις ἁμαρτιῶν προσέξει ἀπὸ πλημμελείας 19 First arm thyself with a just cause, then stand thy trial; first learn, then speak. 20 Study thy health before ever thou fallest sick, and thy own heart examine before judgement overtakes thee; so in God’s sight thou shalt find pardon. 21 While health serves thee, do penance for thy sins, and then, when sickness comes, shew thyself the man thou art.[1] 22 From paying thy vows[2] let naught ever hinder thee; shall death find thee still shrinking from acquitting thyself of the task? God’s award stands for ever. 23 And before ever thou makest thy petition, count well the cost.[3] Let it not be said of thee that thou didst invite God’s anger. 24 When his vengeance is satisfied, bethink thee still of his vengeance; of his retribution, when his glance is turned away.[4] 25 When all abounds, bethink thee of evil times; of pinching poverty, when thou hast wealth in store. 26 Between rise and set of sun the face of things alters; swiftly God changes all; 27 and he is wisest who walks timorously, shunning carelessness in a world where sins abound. 19
Ante judicium para justitiam tibi,
et antequam loquaris, disce.
20
Ante languorem adhibe medicinam:
et ante judicium interroga teipsum,
et in conspectu Dei invenies propitiationem.
21
Ante languorem humilia te,
et in tempore infirmitatis ostende conversationem tuam.
22
Non impediaris orare semper,
et ne verearis usque ad mortem justificari,
quoniam merces Dei manet in æternum.
23
Ante orationem præpara animam tuam,
et noli esse quasi homo qui tentat Deum.
24
Memento iræ in die consummationis,
et tempus retributionis in conversatione faciei.
25
Memento paupertatis in tempore abundantiæ,
et necessitatum paupertatis in die divitiarum.
26
A mane usque ad vesperam immutabitur tempus,
et hæc omnia citata in oculis Dei.
27
Homo sapiens in omnibus metuet,
et in diebus delictorum attendet ab inertia.
28 πᾶς συνετὸς ἔγνω σοφίαν καὶ τῷ εὑρόντι αὐτὴν δώσει ἐξομολόγησιν 29 συνετοὶ ἐν λόγοις καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐσοφίσαντο καὶ ἀνώμβρησαν παροιμίας ἀκριβεῖς 28 They are well advised that master wisdom’s secret; much cause for thankfulness she bestows on him who finds her. 29 Wise man that has the gift of utterance does more than wisely live; no stranger to truth and right, he is a fountain of true sayings and of right awards. 28
Omnis astutus agnoscit sapientiam,
et invenienti eam dabit confessionem.
29
Sensati in verbis et ipsi sapienter egerunt,
et intellexerunt veritatem et justitiam,
et impleverunt proverbia et judicia.
30 ὀπίσω τῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν σου μὴ πορεύου καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ὀρέξεών σου κωλύου 31 ἐὰν χορηγήσῃς τῇ ψυχῇ σου εὐδοκίαν ἐπιθυμίας ποιήσει σε ἐπίχαρμα τῶν ἐχθρῶν σου 32 μὴ εὐφραίνου ἐπὶ πολλῇ τρυφῇ μὴ προσδεθῇς συμβολῇ αὐτῆς 33 μὴ γίνου πτωχὸς συμβολοκοπῶν ἐκ δανεισμοῦ καὶ οὐδέν σοί ἐστιν ἐν μαρσιππίῳ 30 Do not follow the counsel of appetite; turn thy back on thy own liking. 31 Pamper those passions of thine, and joy it will bring, but to thy enemies. 32 Love not the carouse, though it be with poor men; they will be vying still one with another in wastefulness. 33 And wouldst thou grow poor with borrowing to pay thy shot, thou with thy empty coffers? That were to grudge thy own life. 30

Post concupiscentias tuas non eas,
et a voluntate tua avertere.
31
Si præstes animæ tuæ concupiscentias ejus,
faciat te in gaudium inimicis tuis.
32
Ne oblecteris in turbis nec in modicis:
assidua enim est commissio illorum.
33
Ne fueris mediocris in contentione ex fœnore,
et est tibi nihil in sacculo:
eris enim invidus vitæ tuæ.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.