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Sirach 34

 
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1 κεναὶ ἐλπίδες καὶ ψευδεῖς ἀσυνέτῳ ἀνδρί καὶ ἐνύπνια ἀναπτεροῦσιν ἄφρονας 2 ὡς δρασσόμενος σκιᾶς καὶ διώκων ἄνεμον οὕτως ὁ ἐπέχων ἐνυπνίοις 3 τοῦτο κατὰ τούτου ὅρασις ἐνυπνίων κατέναντι προσώπου ὁμοίωμα προσώπου 4 ἀπὸ ἀκαθάρτου τί καθαρισθήσεται καὶ ἀπὸ ψευδοῦς τί ἀληθεύσει 5 μαντεῖαι καὶ οἰωνισμοὶ 6 καὶ ἐνύπνια μάταιά ἐστιν καὶ ὡς ὠδινούσης φαντάζεται καρδία ἐὰν μὴ παρὰ ὑψίστου ἀποσταλῇ ἐν ἐπισκοπῇ μὴ δῷς εἰς αὐτὰ τὴν καρδίαν σου 7 πολλοὺς γὰρ ἐπλάνησεν τὰ ἐνύπνια καὶ ἐξέπεσον ἐλπίζοντες ἐ{P'} αὐτοῖς 8 ἄνευ ψεύδους συντελεσθήσεται νόμος καὶ σοφία στόματι πιστῷ τελείωσις 1 Fools are cheated by vain hopes, buoyed up with the fancies of a dream. 2 Wouldst thou heed such lying visions? Better clutch at shadows, or chase the wind. 3 Nought thou seest in a dream but symbols; man is but face to face with his own image. 4 As well may foul thing cleanse, as false thing give thee a true warning. 5 Out upon the folly of them, pretended divination, and cheating omen, and wizard’s dream! 6 Heart of woman in her pangs is not more fanciful. Unless it be some manifestation the most High has sent thee, pay no heed to any such; 7 trust in dreams has crazed the wits of many, and brought them to their ruin. 8 Believe rather the law’s promises, that cannot miss their fulfilment, the wisdom that trusty counsellors shall make clear to thee. 1

Vana spes et mendacium viro insensato:
et somnia extollunt imprudentes.
2
Quasi qui apprehendit umbram et persequitur ventum,
sic et qui attendit ad visa mendacia.
3
Hoc secundum hoc visio somniorum,
ante faciem hominis similitudo hominis.
4
Ab immundo, quid mundabitur?
et a mendace, quid verum dicetur?
5
Divinatio erroris, et auguria mendacia,
et somnia malefacientium, vanitas est:
6
et sicut parturientis, cor tuum phantasias patitur.
Nisi ab Altissimo fuerit emissa visitatio,
ne dederis in illis cor tuum:
7
multos enim errare fecerunt somnia,
et exciderunt sperantes in illis.
8
Sine mendacio consummabitur verbum legis,
et sapientia in ore fidelis complanabitur.
9 ἀνὴρ πεπλανημένος ἔγνω πολλά καὶ ὁ πολύπειρος ἐκδιηγήσεται σύνεσιν 10 ὃς οὐκ ἐπειράθη ὀλίγα οἶδεν ὁ δὲ πεπλανημένος πληθυνεῖ πανουργίαν 11 12 πολλὰ ἑώρακα ἐν τῇ ἀποπλανήσει μου καὶ πλείονα τῶν λόγων μου σύνεσίς μου 13 πλεονάκις ἕως θανάτου ἐκινδύνευσα καὶ διεσώθην τούτων χάριν 9 A man will not learn until he is tested by discipline.[1] That experience gained, he will think deeply, and the many lessons he has learned will make him a wise talker. 10 Without experience, a man knows little; yet, if he is too venturesome, he reaps a rich harvest of mischief … 11 A man will not learn until he is tested by discipline … and if he is led astray he will be full of knavery …[2] 12 I myself have seen much in my wanderings, the customs of men more than I can tell.[3] 13 Sometimes, by this means, I have been in danger of death, and only the divine favour has preserved me from it. 9

Qui non est tentatus quid scit?
vir in multis expertus cogitabit multa:
et qui multa didicit enarrabit intellectum.
10
Qui non est expertus pauca recognoscit:
qui autem in multis factus est, multiplicat malitiam.
11
Qui tentatus non est qualia scit?
qui implanatus est abundabit nequitia.
12
Multa vidi errando,
et plurimas verborum consuetudines.
13
Aliquoties usque ad mortem periclitatus sum horum causa,
et liberatus sum gratia Dei.
14 πνεῦμα φοβουμένων κύριον ζήσεται 15 ἡ γὰρ ἐλπὶς αὐτῶν ἐπὶ τὸν σῴζοντα αὐτούς 16 ὁ φοβούμενος κύριον οὐδὲν εὐλαβηθήσεται καὶ οὐ μὴ δειλιάσῃ ὅτι αὐτὸς ἐλπὶς αὐτοῦ 17 φοβουμένου τὸν κύριον μακαρία ἡ ψυχή 18 τίνι ἐπέχει καὶ τίς αὐτοῦ στήριγμα 19 οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ κυρίου ἐπὶ τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας αὐτόν ὑπερασπισμὸς δυναστείας καὶ στήριγμα ἰσχύος σκέπη ἀπὸ καύσωνος καὶ σκέπη ἀπὸ μεσημβρίας 20 φυλακὴ ἀπὸ προσκόμματος καὶ βοήθεια ἀπὸ πτώσεως ἀνυψῶν ψυχὴν καὶ φωτίζων ὀφθαλμούς ἴασιν διδούς ζωὴν καὶ εὐλογίαν 14 The life of such as fear the Lord is held precious, and wins a blessing from his regard; 15 they have a deliverer they can trust in, and God’s eye watches over them in return for their love. 16 Fear the Lord, and thou shalt never hesitate; nothing may daunt thee, while such a hope is thine. 17 Blessed souls, that fear the Lord! 18 They know where to look for refuge. 19 Fear the Lord, and his eyes watch over thee; here is strong protection, here is firm support; shelter when the hot wind blows, shade at noon-day; 20 here is reassurance when a man stumbles, support when he falls; soul uplifted, eyes enlightened, health and life and blessing bestowed. 14

Spiritus timentium Deum quæritur,
et in respectu illius benedicetur.
15
Spes enim illorum in salvantem illos,
et oculi Dei in diligentes se.
16
Qui timet Dominum nihil trepidabit:
et non pavebit, quoniam ipse est spes ejus.
17
Timentis Dominum, beata est anima ejus.
18
Ad quem respicit, et quis est fortitudo ejus?
19
Oculi Domini super timentes eum:
protector potentiæ, firmamentum virtutis,
tegimen ardoris, et umbraculum meridiani:
20
deprecatio offensionis, et adjutorium casus:
exaltans animam, et illuminans oculos,
dans sanitatem, et vitam, et benedictionem.
21 θυσιάζων ἐξ ἀδίκου προσφορὰ μεμωμημένη καὶ οὐκ εἰς εὐδοκίαν δωρήματα ἀνόμων 22 23 οὐκ εὐδοκεῖ ὁ ὕψιστος ἐν προσφοραῖς ἀσεβῶν οὐδὲ ἐν πλήθει θυσιῶν ἐξιλάσκεται ἁμαρτίας 24 θύων υἱὸν ἔναντι τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ προσάγων θυσίαν ἐκ χρημάτων πενήτων 25 ἄρτος ἐπιδεομένων ζωὴ πτωχῶν ὁ ἀποστερῶν αὐτὴν ἄνθρωπος αἱμάτων 26 φονεύων τὸν πλησίον ὁ ἀφαιρούμενος ἐμβίωσιν 27 καὶ ἐκχέων αἷμα ὁ ἀποστερῶν μισθὸν μισθίου 28 εἷς οἰκοδομῶν καὶ εἷς καθαιρῶν τί ὠφέλησαν πλεῖον ἢ κόπους 29 εἷς εὐχόμενος καὶ εἷς καταρώμενος τίνος φωνῆς εἰσακούσεται ὁ δεσπότης 30 βαπτιζόμενος ἀπὸ νεκροῦ καὶ πάλιν ἁπτόμενος αὐτοῦ τί ὠφέλησεν ἐν τῷ λουτρῷ αὐτοῦ 31 οὕτως ἄνθρωπος νηστεύων ἐπὶ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ πάλιν πορευόμενος καὶ τὰ αὐτὰ ποιῶν τῆς προσευχῆς αὐτοῦ τίς εἰσακούσεται καὶ τί ὠφέλησεν ἐν τῷ ταπεινωθῆναι αὐτόν 21 Tainted is every sacrifice that comes of goods ill gotten; a mockery, this, of sacrifice, that shall win no favour. 22 For those who wait upon him in loyal duty, the Lord alone is God.[4] 23 Should the most High accept the offerings of sinners, take the gifts of the wrong-doer into his reckoning, and pardon their sins because their sacrifices are many? 24 Who robs the poor and then brings sacrifice, is of their fellowship that would immolate some innocent child before the eyes of his father. 25 Poor man’s bread is poor man’s life; cheat him of it, and thou hast slain him; 26 sweat of his brow, or his life’s blood, what matters? 27 Disappoint the hireling, and thou art own brother to a murderer. 28 Build while another pulls down, and toil is its own reward. 29 Pray while another curses, and which of you shall find audience with God? 30 Cleanse thyself from dead body’s contamination, and touch it again, what avails thy cleansing? 31 So it is when a man fasts for his sins, yet will not leave his sinning; vain is the fast, the prayer goes unanswered. 21

Immolantis ex iniquo oblatio est maculata,
et non sunt beneplacitæ subsannationes injustorum.
22
Dominus solus sustinentibus se
in via veritatis et justitiæ.
23
Dona iniquorum non probat Altissimus,
nec respicit in oblationes iniquorum,
nec in multitudine sacrificiorum eorum propitiabitur peccatis.
24
Qui offert sacrificium ex substantia pauperum,
quasi qui victimat filium in conspectu patris sui.
25
Panis egentium vita pauperum est:
qui defraudat illum homo sanguinis est.
26
Qui aufert in sudore panem,
quasi qui occidit proximum suum.
27
Qui effundit sanguinem,
et qui fraudem facit mercenario, fratres sunt.
28
Unus ædificans, et unus destruens:
quid prodest illis, nisi labor?
29
Unus orans, et unus maledicens:
cujus vocem exaudiet Deus?
30
Qui baptizatur a mortuo, et iterum tangit eum,
quid proficit lavatio illius?
31
Sic homo qui jejunat in peccatis suis,
et iterum eadem faciens:
quid proficit humiliando se?
orationem illius quis exaudiet?
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.