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Sirach 38

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1 τίμα ἰατρὸν πρὸς τὰς χρείας αὐτοῦ τιμαῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ γὰρ αὐτὸν ἔκτισεν κύριος 2 παρὰ γὰρ ὑψίστου ἐστὶν ἴασις καὶ παρὰ βασιλέως λήμψεται δόμα 3 ἐπιστήμη ἰατροῦ ἀνυψώσει κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔναντι μεγιστάνων θαυμασθήσεται 4 κύριος ἔκτισεν ἐκ γῆς φάρμακα καὶ ἀνὴρ φρόνιμος οὐ προσοχθιεῖ αὐτοῖς 5 οὐκ ἀπὸ ξύλου ἐγλυκάνθη ὕδωρ εἰς τὸ γνωσθῆναι τὴν ἰσχὺν αὐτοῦ 6 καὶ αὐτὸς ἔδωκεν ἀνθρώποις ἐπιστήμην ἐνδοξάζεσθαι ἐν τοῖς θαυμασίοις αὐτοῦ 7 ἐν αὐτοῖς ἐθεράπευσεν καὶ ἦρεν τὸν πόνον αὐτοῦ μυρεψὸς ἐν τούτοις ποιήσει μεῖγμα καὶ οὐ μὴ συντελεσθῇ ἔργα αὐτοῦ 8 καὶ εἰρήνη πα{R'} αὐτοῦ ἐστιν ἐπὶ προσώπου τῆς γῆς 1 Deny not a physician his due for thy need’s sake; his task is of divine appointment, 2 since from God all healing comes, and kings themselves must needs bring gifts to him. 3 High rank his skill gives him; of great men he is the honoured guest. 4 Medicines the most High has made for us out of earth’s bounty, and shall prudence shrink from the use of them? 5 Were not the waters of Mara made wholesome by the touch of wood?[1] 6 Well for us men, that the secret virtue of such remedies has been revealed; skill the most High would impart to us, and for his marvels win renown. 7 Thus it is that the physician cures our pain, and the apothecary makes, not only perfumes to charm the sense, but unguents remedial; so inexhaustible is God’s creation, 8 such health comes of his gift, all the world over. 1

Honora medicum propter necessitatem:
etenim illum creavit Altissimus.
A Deo est enim omnis medela,
et a rege accipiet donationem.
Disciplina medici exaltabit caput illius,
et in conspectu magnatorum collaudabitur.
Altissimus creavit de terra medicamenta,
et vir prudens non abhorrebit illa.
Nonne a ligno indulcata est aqua amara?
Ad agnitionem hominum virtus illorum:
et dedit hominibus scientiam Altissimus,
honorari in mirabilibus suis.
In his curans mitigabit dolorem:
et unguentarius faciet pigmenta suavitatis,
et unctiones conficiet sanitatis:
et non consummabuntur opera ejus.
Pax enim Dei super faciem terræ.
9 τέκνον ἐν ἀρρωστήματί σου μὴ παράβλεπε ἀλ{L'} εὖξαι κυρίῳ καὶ αὐτὸς ἰάσεταί σε 10 ἀπόστησον πλημμέλειαν καὶ εὔθυνον χεῖρας καὶ ἀπὸ πάσης ἁμαρτίας καθάρισον καρδίαν 11 δὸς εὐωδίαν καὶ μνημόσυνον σεμιδάλεως καὶ λίπανον προσφορὰν ὡς μὴ ὑπάρχων 12 καὶ ἰατρῷ δὸς τόπον καὶ γὰρ αὐτὸν ἔκτισεν κύριος καὶ μὴ ἀποστήτω σου καὶ γὰρ αὐτοῦ χρεία 13 ἔστιν καιρὸς ὅτε καὶ ἐν χερσὶν αὐτῶν εὐοδία 14 καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ κυρίου δεηθήσονται ἵνα εὐοδώσῃ αὐτοῖς ἀνάπαυσιν καὶ ἴασιν χάριν ἐμβιώσεως 15 ὁ ἁμαρτάνων ἔναντι τοῦ ποιήσαντος αὐτὸν ἐμπέσοι εἰς χεῖρας ἰατροῦ 9 Son, when thou fallest sick, do not neglect thy own needs; pray to the Lord, and thou shalt win recovery. 10 Leave off thy sinning, thy life amend, purge thee of all thy guilt. 11 With frankincense and rich oil make bloodless offering of meal; and so leave the physician to do his work. 12 His task is of divine appointment, and thou hast need of him; let him be ever at thy side. 13 Needs must, at times, to physicians thou shouldst have recourse; 14 and doubt not they will make intercession with the Lord, that they may find a way to bring thee ease and remedy, by their often visiting thee. 15 Offend thou thy maker by wrong-doing, much recourse thou shalt have to physicians. 9
Fili, in tua infirmitate ne despicias teipsum:
sed ora Dominum, et ipse curabit te.
Averte a delicto, et dirige manus,
et ab omni delicto munda cor tuum.
Da suavitatem et memoriam similaginis,
et impingua oblationem, et da locum medico:
etenim illum Dominus creavit, et non discedat a te,
quia opera ejus sunt necessaria.
Est enim tempus quando in manus illorum incurras:
ipsi vero Dominum deprecabuntur, ut dirigat requiem eorum,
et sanitatem, propter conversationem illorum.
Qui delinquit in conspectu ejus qui fecit eum,
incidet in manus medici.
16 τέκνον ἐπὶ νεκρῷ κατάγαγε δάκρυα καὶ ὡς δεινὰ πάσχων ἔναρξαι θρήνου κατὰ δὲ τὴν κρίσιν αὐτοῦ περίστειλον τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ καὶ μὴ ὑπερίδῃς τὴν ταφὴν αὐτοῦ 17 πίκρανον κλαυθμὸν καὶ θέρμανον κοπετὸν 18 καὶ ποίησον τὸ πένθος κατὰ τὴν ἀξίαν αὐτοῦ ἡμέραν μίαν καὶ δύο χάριν διαβολῆς καὶ παρακλήθητι λύπης ἕνεκα 19 ἀπὸ λύπης γὰρ ἐκβαίνει θάνατος καὶ λύπη καρδίας κάμψει ἰσχύν 20 ἐν ἐπαγωγῇ παραμένει καὶ λύπη καὶ βίος πτωχοῦ κατὰ καρδίας 21 μὴ δῷς εἰς λύπην τὴν καρδίαν σου ἀπόστησον αὐτὴν μνησθεὶς τὰ ἔσχατα 22 μὴ ἐπιλάθῃ οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ἐπάνοδος καὶ τοῦτον οὐκ ὠφελήσεις καὶ σεαυτὸν κακώσεις 23 μνήσθητι τὸ κρίμα μου ὅτι οὕτως καὶ τὸ σόν ἐμοὶ ἐχθὲς καὶ σοὶ σήμερον 24 ἐν ἀναπαύσει νεκροῦ κατάπαυσον τὸ μνημόσυνον αὐτοῦ καὶ παρακλήθητι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐν ἐξόδῳ πνεύματος αὐτοῦ 16 When a man dies, let thy tears flow, and set up a great lamenting, as for thy grievous loss; shroud him according to his quality, and grudge him no pomp of funeral; 17 then, to be rid of gossip, bemoan him bitterly for a day’s space, ere thou wilt be comforted in thy sorrow; 18 one day or two, as his worth claims, bemoan him; no need to win thyself an ill name. 19 But grief will but hasten thy own death, will be the grave of thy own strength; where heart goes sad, back goes bowed. 20 So long as thou withdrawest thyself, sad thy heart will be; and what patrimony but heart’s mirth is left to the poor? 21 Why then, do not give thyself over to regrets; put them away from thee, and bethink thee rather of thy own end. 22 Do not fancy that the dead can return; by torturing thyself thou canst nothing avail him. 23 Remember, he tells thee, this doom of mine; such shall thine be; mine yesterday, thine to-day. 24 Let his memory rest, as he rests, in death; enough for thee that thou shouldst comfort him in the hour when his spirit leaves him.[2] 16

Fili, in mortuum produc lacrimas,
et quasi dira passus incipe plorare:
et secundum judicium contege corpus illius,
et non despicias sepulturam illius.
Propter delaturam autem amare fer luctum illius uno die,
et consolare propter tristitiam:
et fac luctum secundum meritum ejus
uno die, vel duobus, propter detractionem:
a tristitia enim festinat mors, et cooperit virtutem,
et tristitia cordis flectit cervicem.
In abductione permanet tristitia,
et substantia inopis secundum cor ejus.
Ne dederis in tristitia cor tuum,
sed repelle eam a te, et memento novissimorum.
Noli oblivisci, neque enim est conversio:
et huic nihil proderis, et teipsum pessimabis.
Memor esto judicii mei: sic enim erit et tuum:
mihi heri, et tibi hodie.
In requie mortui requiescere fac memoriam ejus,
et consolare illum in exitu spiritus sui.
25 σοφία γραμματέως ἐν εὐκαιρίᾳ σχολῆς καὶ ὁ ἐλασσούμενος πράξει αὐτοῦ σοφισθήσεται 26 τί σοφισθήσεται ὁ κρατῶν ἀρότρου καὶ καυχώμενος ἐν δόρατι κέντρου βόας ἐλαύνων καὶ ἀναστρεφόμενος ἐν ἔργοις αὐτῶν καὶ ἡ διήγησις αὐτοῦ ἐν υἱοῖς ταύρων 27 καρδίαν αὐτοῦ δώσει ἐκδοῦναι αὔλακας καὶ ἡ ἀγρυπνία αὐτοῦ εἰς χορτάσματα δαμάλεων 28 οὕτως πᾶς τέκτων καὶ ἀρχιτέκτων ὅστις νύκτωρ ὡς ἡμέρας διάγει οἱ γλύφοντες γλύμματα σφραγίδων καὶ ἡ ἐπιμονὴ αὐτοῦ ἀλλοιῶσαι ποικιλίαν καρδίαν αὐτοῦ δώσει εἰς ὁμοιῶσαι ζωγραφίαν καὶ ἡ ἀγρυπνία αὐτοῦ τελέσαι ἔργον 29 οὕτως χαλκεὺς καθήμενος ἐγγὺς ἄκμονος καὶ καταμανθάνων ἔργα σιδήρου ἀτμὶς πυρὸς τήξει σάρκας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν θέρμῃ καμίνου διαμαχήσεται 30 φωνῇ σφύρης κλινεῖ τὸ οὖς αὐτοῦ καὶ κατέναντι ὁμοιώματος σκεύους οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ αὐτοῦ 31 καρδίαν αὐτοῦ δώσει εἰς συντέλειαν ἔργων καὶ ἡ ἀγρυπνία αὐτοῦ κοσμῆσαι ἐπὶ συντελείας 32 οὕτως κεραμεὺς καθήμενος ἐν ἔργῳ αὐτοῦ καὶ συστρέφων ἐν ποσὶν αὐτοῦ τροχόν ὃς ἐν μερίμνῃ κεῖται διὰ παντὸς ἐπὶ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐναρίθμιος πᾶσα ἡ ἐργασία αὐτοῦ 33 ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ τυπώσει πηλὸν καὶ πρὸ ποδῶν κάμψει ἰσχὺν αὐτοῦ 34 καρδίαν ἐπιδώσει συντελέσαι τὸ χρῖσμα καὶ ἡ ἀγρυπνία αὐτοῦ καθαρίσαι κάμινον 35 πάντες οὗτοι εἰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν ἐνεπίστευσαν καὶ ἕκαστος ἐν τῷ ἔργῳ αὐτοῦ σοφίζεται 36 ἄνευ αὐτῶν οὐκ οἰκισθήσεται πόλις 37 καὶ οὐ παροικήσουσιν οὐδὲ περιπατήσουσιν καὶ ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ οὐχ ὑπεραλοῦνται 38 ἐπὶ δίφρον δικαστοῦ οὐ καθιοῦνται καὶ διαθήκην κρίματος οὐ διανοηθήσονται οὐδὲ μὴ ἐκφάνωσιν παιδείαν καὶ κρίμα καὶ ἐν παραβολαῖς οὐχ εὑρεθήσονται 39 ἀλλὰ κτίσμα αἰῶνος στηρίσουσιν καὶ ἡ δέησις αὐτῶν ἐν ἐργασίᾳ τέχνης πλὴν τοῦ ἐπιδιδόντος τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ καὶ διανοουμένου ἐν νόμῳ ὑψίστου 25 The wisdom of a learned man is the fruit of leisure; he must starve himself of doing if he is to come by it. 26 How shall he drink full draughts of wisdom that must guide the plough, that walks proud as any spearman while he goads on his team, all his life taken up with their labours, all his talk of oxen? 27 His mind all set on a straight furrow, the feeding of his cows an anxiety to deny him sleep? 28 So it is with every workman and master-workman, that must turn night into day. Here is one that cuts graven seals; how he busies himself with devising some new pattern! How the model he works from claims his attention, while he sits late over his craft! 29 Here is blacksmith sitting by his anvil, intent upon his iron-work, cheeks shrivelled with the smoke, as he battles with the heat of the furnace, 30 ears ringing again with the hammer’s clattering, eyes fixed on the design he imitates. 31 All his heart is in the finishing of his task, all his waking thoughts go to the perfect achieving of it. 32 Here is potter at work, treadles flying, anxious continually over the play of his hands, over the rhythm of his craftsmanship; 33 arms straining at the stiff clay, feet matching its strength with theirs.[3] 34 To finish off the glaze is his nearest concern, and long he must wake to keep his furnace clean. 35 All these look to their own hands for a living, skilful each in his own craft; 36 and without them, there is no building up a commonwealth. 37 For them no travels abroad, no journeyings from home; they will not pass beyond their bounds to swell the assembly,[4] 38 or to sit in the judgement-seat. Not theirs to understand the law’s awards, not theirs to impart learning or to give judgement; they will not be known for uttering wise sayings. 39 Theirs it is to support this unchanging world of God’s creation; they ply their craft and ask for nothing better; … lending themselves freely and making their study in the law of the most High.[5] 25

Sapientia scribæ in tempore vacuitatis,
et qui minoratur actu sapientiam percipiet,
qua sapientia replebitur.
Qui tenet aratrum,
et qui gloriatur in jaculo, stimulo boves agitat,
et conversatur in operibus eorum,
et enarratio ejus in filiis taurorum.
Cor suum dabit ad versandos sulcos,
et vigilia ejus in sagina vaccarum.
Sic omnis faber et architectus,
qui noctem tamquam diem transigit:
qui sculpit signacula sculptilia,
et assiduitas ejus variat picturam:
cor suum dabit in similitudinem picturæ,
et vigilia sua perficiet opus.
Sic faber ferrarius sedens juxta incudem,
et considerans opus ferri:
vapor ignis uret carnes ejus,
et in calore fornacis concertatur.
Vox mallei innovat aurem ejus,
et contra similitudinem vasis oculus ejus.
Cor suum dabit in consummationem operum,
et vigilia sua ornabit in perfectionem.
Sic figulus sedens ad opus suum,
convertens pedibus suis rotam,
qui in sollicitudine positus est semper propter opus suum,
et in numero est omnis operatio ejus.
In brachio suo formabit lutum,
et ante pedes suos curvabit virtutem suam.
Cor suum dabit ut consummet linitionem,
et vigilia sua mundabit fornacem.
Omnes hi in manibus suis speraverunt,
et unusquisque in arte sua sapiens est.
Sine his omnibus non ædificatur civitas,
et non inhabitabunt, nec inambulabunt,
et in ecclesiam non transilient.
Super sellam judicis non sedebunt,
et testamentum judicii non intelligent,
neque palam facient disciplinam et judicium,
et in parabolis non invenientur:
sed creaturam ævi confirmabunt:
et deprecatio illorum in operatione artis,
accomodantes animam suam,
et conquirentes in lege Altissimi.
Copyright © 2020 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.