The author remembers another hero of the faith: Simon II, who was a high priest. He is a great role model for us.
The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
Simon, the son of Onias, the great priest. In our day we refer to this man as Simon II, son of Onias II.
Reference works do not agree exactly on the years of his reign as high priest. However, it was something like from 219 to 199 BC.
Simon II was a contemporary of the author.
VERSE 2. And by him was built from the foundation the height of the double wall, The lofty underworks of the inclosure of the temple:
VERSE 3. In his days the cistern of waters was diminished, The brazen vessel in compass as the sea.
VERSE 4. It was he that took thought for his people that they should not fall, And fortified the city against besieging:
VERSE 5. How glorious was he when the people gathered round him At his coming forth out of the sanctuary!
VERSE 6. As the morning star in the midst of a cloud, As the moon at the full:
VERSE 7. As the sun shining forth upon the temple of the Most High, And as the rainbow giving light in clouds of glory:
VERSE 8. As the flower of roses in the days of new fruits, As lilies at the water spring, As the shoot of the frankincense tree in the time of summer:
VERSE 9. As fire and incense in the censer, As a vessel all of beaten gold Adorned with all manner of precious stones:
VERSE 10. As an olive tree budding forth fruits, And as a cypress growing high among the clouds.
VERSE 11. When he took up the robe of glory, And put on the perfection of exultation, In the ascent of the holy altar, He made glorious the precinct of the sanctuary.
VERSE 12. And when he received the portions out of the priests’ hands, Himself also standing by the hearth of the altar, His kindred as a garland round about him, He was as a young cedar in Libanus; And as stems of palm trees compassed they him round about,
VERSE 13. And all the sons of Aaron in their glory, And the Lord’s offering in their hands, before all the congregation of Israel.
VERSE 14. And finishing the service at the altars, That he might adorn the offering of the Most High, the Almighty,
VERSE 15. He stretched out his hand to the cup, And poured out the cup of the grape; He poured out at the foot of the altar A sweet smelling savor to the Most High, the King of all.
at the foot of the altar. This phrase tells us the location where the Drink Offering was made.
The Drink Offering was specified back in Numbers chapter 28:
Numbers 28:7. Its drink offering shall be the fourth part of a hin for each lamb. You shall pour out a drink offering of strong drink to the LORD in the holy place.
VERSE 16. Then shouted the sons of Aaron, They sounded the trumpets of beaten work, They made a great noise to be heard, For a remembrance before the Most High.
VERSE 17. Then all the people together hurried, And fell down upon the earth on their faces To worship their Lord, the Almighty, God Most High.
fell down upon the earth on their faces. This is a biblical way of saying “adore” or “worship” the Lord.
VERSE 18. The singers also praised him with their voices; In the whole house was there made sweet melody.
VERSE 19. And the people implored the Lord Most High, In prayer before him that is merciful. Till the worship of the Lord should be ended; And so they accomplished his service.
the people implored the Lord Most High. That is, “All the people of the land would shout for joy” (NAB translation).
shout for joy. The people of the Old Testament often shouted for joy during prayer. However, we Christians have forgotten all about that.
VERSE 20. Then he went down, and lifted up his hands Over the whole congregation of the children of Israel, To give blessing to the Lord with his lips, And to glory in his name.
VERSE 21. And he bowed himself down in worship the second time, To declare the blessing from the Most High.
VERSE 22. And now bless you the God of all, Which everywhere does great things, Which exalts our days from the womb, And deals with us according to his mercy.
May he grant us joyfulness of heart. Amen!
VERSE 24. To entrust his mercy with us; And let him deliver us in his time!
VERSE 25. With two nations is my soul vexed, And the third is no nation:
VERSE 26. They that sit upon the mountain of Samaria, and the Philistines, And that foolish people that dwells in Sichem.
I Jesus, the son of Sirach Eleazar. The author identifies himself.
VERSE 28. Blessed is he that shall be exercised in these things; And he that lays them up in his heart shall become wise.
VERSE 29. For if he do them, he shall be strong to all things: For the light of the Lord is his guide.
if he do them. We need to put the words of the Bible into practice.
Many Christians say their faith is a matter of their heart. But the Bible calls us to put our faith into action. If we listen to the Word, but don’t act on it, we deceive ourselves. Read more »
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.