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Sirach 51

 
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1 ἐξομολογήσομαί σοι κύριε βασιλεῦ καὶ αἰνέσω σε θεὸν τὸν σωτῆρά μου 2 ἐξομολογοῦμαι τῷ ὀνόματί σου 3 ὅτι σκεπαστὴς καὶ βοηθὸς ἐγένου μοι καὶ ἐλυτρώσω τὸ σῶμά μου ἐξ ἀπωλείας καὶ ἐκ παγίδος διαβολῆς γλώσσης ἀπὸ χειλέων ἐργαζομένων ψεῦδος καὶ ἔναντι τῶν παρεστηκότων ἐγένου βοηθὸς 4 καὶ ἐλυτρώσω με κατὰ τὸ πλῆθος ἐλέους καὶ ὀνόματός σου ἐκ βρυγμῶν ἕτοιμον εἰς βρῶμα 5 ἐκ χειρὸς ζητούντων τὴν ψυχήν μου ἐκ πλειόνων θλίψεων ὧν ἔσχον 6 ἀπὸ πνιγμοῦ πυρᾶς κυκλόθεν καὶ ἐκ μέσου πυρός οὗ οὐκ ἐξέκαυσα 7 ἐκ βάθους κοιλίας ᾅδου καὶ ἀπὸ γλώσσης ἀκαθάρτου καὶ λόγου ψευδοῦς βασιλεῖ διαβολὴ γλώσσης ἀδίκου 8 ἤγγισεν ἕως θανάτου ἡ ψυχή μου 9 καὶ ἡ ζωή μου ἦν σύνεγγυς ᾅδου κάτω 10 περιέσχον με πάντοθεν καὶ οὐκ ἦν ὁ βοηθῶν ἐνέβλεπον εἰς ἀντίλημψιν ἀνθρώπων καὶ οὐκ ἦν 11 καὶ ἐμνήσθην τοῦ ἐλέους σου κύριε καὶ τῆς ἐργασίας σου τῆς ἀ{P'} αἰῶνος 12 ὅτι ἐξαιρῇ τοὺς ὑπομένοντάς σε καὶ σῴζεις αὐτοὺς ἐκ χειρὸς ἐχθρῶν 13 καὶ ἀνύψωσα ἀπὸ γῆς ἱκετείαν μου καὶ ὑπὲρ θανάτου ῥύσεως ἐδεήθην 14 ἐπεκαλεσάμην κύριον πατέρα κυρίου μου μή με ἐγκαταλιπεῖν ἐν ἡμέραις θλίψεως ἐν καιρῷ ὑπερηφανιῶν ἀβοηθησίας 15 αἰνέσω τὸ ὄνομά σου ἐνδελεχῶς καὶ ὑμνήσω ἐν ἐξομολογήσει καὶ εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς μου 16 ἔσωσας γάρ με ἐξ ἀπωλείας καὶ ἐξείλου με ἐκ καιροῦ πονηροῦ 17 διὰ τοῦτο ἐξομολογήσομαί σοι καὶ αἰνέσω σε καὶ εὐλογήσω τῷ ὀνόματι κυρίου 1 A prayer uttered by Jesus, son of Sirach. O Lord, my king, I give thee thanks, O God, my deliverer, I praise thee; 2 I extol thy name, for all the succour and protection thou hast given me, 3 saving my life from deadly peril, when calumny lay in wait, and lying tongues assailed me. In full sight of all that stood by thou didst come to my rescue; 4 roaring lions stood ready to devour me, and thou in that great mercy, that renowned mercy of thine, didst deliver me. 5 I was in the hands of my mortal enemies, shut in on every side by misfortune; 6 there were stifling flames all round me, and I stood in the heart of the fire uninjured. 7 I looked down into the deep womb of the grave, when foul lips brought lying accusations, and cruel king gave unjust sentence. 8 And still I would praise the Lord, long as I had breath to praise him, 9 though death’s abyss yawned at my very feet, 10 though I was cut off on every side, with none to aid me. Man’s help I looked for, and could not find; 11 yet I bethought me, Lord, of thy mercy, thy deeds of long ago; 12 if men will but wait for thee patiently, thou, Lord, dost deliver them, dost rescue them from the power of the heathen. 13 It was thou who hadst prospered my life on earth, and now, death ready to overwhelm me, 14 to the Lord, Father of the Master I serve,[1] I made my plea. Would he leave me unaided when I was in distress, when my enemies were triumphing over me? 15 I will extol thy name unceasingly, with grateful praise; my prayer did not go unregarded. 16 Thou didst rescue me from deadly peril, didst save me in the hour of defeat; 17 shall I not give thanks, shall I not praise and bless thy name? 1 Oratio Jesu filii Sirach.

Confitebor tibi, Domine rex,
et collaudabo te Deum salvatorem meum.
2
Confitebor nomini tuo,
quoniam adjutor et protector factus es mihi,
3
et liberasti corpus meum a perditione:
a laqueo linguæ iniquæ, et a labiis operantium mendacium:
et in conspectu astantium factus es mihi adjutor.
4
Et liberasti me, secundum multitudinem misericordiæ nominis tui,
a rugientibus præparatis ad escam:
5
de manibus quærentium animam meam,
et de portis tribulationum quæ circumdederunt me;
6
a pressura flammæ quæ circumdedit me,
et in medio ignis non sum æstuatus;
7
de altitudine ventris inferi,
et a lingua coinquinata, et a verbo mendacii,
a rege iniquo, et a lingua injusta.
8
Laudabit usque ad mortem anima mea Dominum,
9
et vita mea appropinquans erat in inferno deorsum.
10
Circumdederunt me undique, et non erat qui adjuvaret:
respiciens eram ad adjutorium hominum, et non erat.
11
Memoratus sum misericordiæ tuæ Domine,
et operationis tuæ, quæ a sæculo sunt:
12
quoniam eruis sustinentes te, Domine,
et liberas eos de manibus gentium.
13
Exaltasti super terram habitationem meam,
et pro morte defluente deprecatus sum.
14
Invocavi Dominum patrem Domini mei,
ut non derelinquat me in die tribulationis meæ,
et in tempore superborum, sine adjutorio.
15
Laudabo nomen tuum assidue,
et collaudabo illud in confessione:
et exaudita est oratio mea,
16
et liberasti me de perditione,
et eripuisti me de tempore iniquo.
17
Propterea confitebor, et laudem dicam tibi,
et benedicam nomini Domini.
18 ἔτι ὢν νεώτερος πρὶν ἢ πλανηθῆναί με ἐζήτησα σοφίαν προφανῶς ἐν προσευχῇ μου 19 ἔναντι ναοῦ ἠξίουν περὶ αὐτῆς καὶ ἕως ἐσχάτων ἐκζητήσω αὐτήν ἐξ ἄνθους ὡς περκαζούσης σταφυλῆς 20 εὐφράνθη ἡ καρδία μου ἐν αὐτῇ ἐπέβη ὁ πούς μου ἐν εὐθύτητι ἐκ νεότητός μου ἴχνευον αὐτήν 21 ἔκλινα ὀλίγον τὸ οὖς μου καὶ ἐδεξάμην 22 καὶ πολλὴν εὗρον ἐμαυτῷ παιδείαν προκοπὴ ἐγένετό μοι ἐν αὐτῇ 23 τῷ διδόντι μοι σοφίαν δώσω δόξαν 24 διενοήθην γὰρ τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτὴν καὶ ἐζήλωσα τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ οὐ μὴ αἰσχυνθῶ 25 διαμεμάχισται ἡ ψυχή μου ἐν αὐτῇ καὶ ἐν ποιήσει νόμου διηκριβασάμην 26 τὰς χεῖράς μου ἐξεπέτασα πρὸς ὕψος καὶ τὰ ἀγνοήματα αὐτῆς ἐπένθησα 27 τὴν ψυχήν μου κατεύθυνα εἰς αὐτὴν 28 καὶ ἐν καθαρισμῷ εὗρον αὐτήν καρδίαν ἐκτησάμην με{T'} αὐτῆς ἀ{P'} ἀρχῆς διὰ τοῦτο οὐ μὴ ἐγκαταλειφθῶ 29 καὶ ἡ κοιλία μου ἐταράχθη τοῦ ἐκζητῆσαι αὐτήν διὰ τοῦτο ἐκτησάμην ἀγαθὸν κτῆμα 30 ἔδωκεν κύριος γλῶσσάν μοι μισθόν μου καὶ ἐν αὐτῇ αἰνέσω αὐτόν 31 ἐγγίσατε πρός με ἀπαίδευτοι καὶ αὐλίσθητε ἐν οἴκῳ παιδείας 32 τί ὅτι ὑστερεῖσθαι λέγετε ἐν τούτοις καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ ὑμῶν διψῶσι σφόδρα 33 ἤνοιξα τὸ στόμα μου καὶ ἐλάλησα κτήσασθε ἑαυτοῖς ἄνευ ἀργυρίου 34 τὸν τράχηλον ὑμῶν ὑπόθετε ὑπὸ ζυγόν καὶ ἐπιδεξάσθω ἡ ψυχὴ ὑμῶν παιδείαν ἐγγύς ἐστιν εὑρεῖν αὐτήν 35 ἴδετε ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς ὑμῶν ὅτι ὀλίγον ἐκοπίασα καὶ εὗρον ἐμαυτῷ πολλὴν ἀνάπαυσιν 36 μετάσχετε παιδείας ἐν πολλῷ ἀριθμῷ ἀργυρίου καὶ πολὺν χρυσὸν κτήσασθε ἐν αὐτῇ 37 εὐφρανθείη ἡ ψυχὴ ὑμῶν ἐν τῷ ἐλέει αὐτοῦ καὶ μὴ αἰσχυνθείητε ἐν αἰνέσει αὐτοῦ 18 A young man still, ere ever my wanderings began, I made my prayer for wisdom.[2] 19 Before the temple I asked for this, my life’s quest to the end. Came early the ripening of those grapes, 20 and my heart rejoiced at it. Down a straight path I sped, the ardour of youth to aid my search. 21 Ear that little listens shall yet hear; 22 much wisdom that little listening gave. 23 Further and further yet I travelled, thanks be to the God that all wisdom bestows. 24 Good use to make of her was all my love and longing; never was that hope disappointed. 25 Hardily I strove to win her, put force on myself to keep her rule; 26 I stretched out my hands towards heaven, and grieved for the want of her. 27 Kept I but true to the search for her, I found and recognized her still. 28 Long since trained by her discipline, I shall never be left forsaken. 29 Much heart-burning I had in the quest for her, but a rich dowry she brought me. 30 Never shall this tongue, with utterance divinely rewarded, be negligent of praise. 31 O hearts untutored, come near, and frequent the school of learning! 32 Parley at the gates no more, complaining of thirst ever unsatisfied. 33 Rather, to my proclamation give heed; win the treasure that is to be had without price paid. 34 Suffice it that you bow your necks to her yoke, are content to accept her schooling. To find her, needs no distant travel …[3] 35 Unlaborious days, as all can testify, what a harvest they have won me of repose! 36 Would you grudge free expense of silver in the search for wisdom, that shall make you ample returns in gold? 37 Your hearts shall yet triumph in his mercy, nor ever rue the day when you learned to praise him. 18

Cum adhuc junior essem, priusquam oberrarem,
quæsivi sapientiam palam in oratione mea.
19
Ante templum postulabam pro illis,
et usque in novissimis inquiram eam:
et effloruit tamquam præcox uva.
20
Lætatum est cor meum in ea:
ambulavit pes meus iter rectum:
a juventute mea investigabam eam.
21
Inclinavi modico aurem meam,
et excepi illam.
22
Multam inveni in meipso sapientiam,
et multum profeci in ea.
23
Danti mihi sapientiam dabo gloriam:
24
consiliatus sum enim ut facerem illam.
Zelatus sum bonum, et non confundar.
25
Colluctata est anima mea in illa,
et in faciendo eam confirmatus sum.
26
Manus meas extendi in altum,
et insipientiam ejus luxi;
27
animam meam direxi ad illam,
et in agnitione inveni eam.
28
Possedi cum ipsa cor ab initio:
propter hoc, non derelinquar.
29
Venter meus conturbatus est quærendo illam:
propterea bonam possidebo possessionem.
30
Dedit mihi Dominus linguam mercedem meam,
et in ipsa laudabo eum.
31
Appropiate ad me, indocti,
et congregate vos in domum disciplinæ.
32
Quid adhuc retardatis? et quid dicitis in his?
animæ vestræ sitiunt vehementer.
33
Aperui os meum, et locutus sum:
Comparate vobis sine argento,
34
et collum vestrum subjicite jugo:
et suscipiat anima vestra disciplinam:
in proximo est enim invenire eam.
35
Videte oculis vestris, quia modicum laboravi,
et inveni mihi multam requiem.
36
Assumite disciplinam in multo numero argenti,
et copiosum aurum possidete in ea.
37
Lætetur anima vestra in misericordia ejus,
et non confundemini in laude ipsius.
38 ἐργάζεσθε τὸ ἔργον ὑμῶν πρὸ καιροῦ καὶ δώσει τὸν μισθὸν ὑμῶν ἐν καιρῷ αὐτοῦ 38 Do, while time serves, what needs doing; when the time comes, he will reward you. 38
Operamini opus vestrum ante tempus,
et dabit vobis mercedem vestram in tempore suo.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.