The Book of Sirach concludes with a prayer by the author. His name is Jesus. He is the son of Sirach Eleazar of Jerusalem.
The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
VERSE 1. I will give thanks to you, O Lord, O King, And will praise you, O God my Savior: I do give thanks to your name:
VERSE 2. For you were my protector and helper, And did deliver my body out of destruction, And out of the snare of a slanderous tongue, From lips that forge lies, And was my helper before those who stood by;
VERSE 3. And did deliver me, according to the abundance of your mercy, and greatness of your name, From the gnashings of teeth ready to devour, Out of the hand of such as sought my life, Out of the manifold afflictions which I had;
the gnashings of teeth ready to devour. There are always people who are watching for our downfall.
VERSE 4. From the choking of a fire on every side, And out of the midst of fire which I kindled not;
VERSE 5. Out of the depth of the belly of the grave, And from an unclean tongue, And from lying words,
VERSE 6. The slander of an unrighteous tongue to the king. My soul drew near even to death, And my life was near to the grave beneath.
VERSE 7. They compassed me on every side, And there was none to help me. I was looking for the help of men, And it was not.
I remembered your mercy, O Lord. The Old Testament people are always remembering the mercy of the LORD.
VERSE 9. And I lifted up my supplication from the earth, And prayed for deliverance from death.
VERSE 10. I called upon the Lord, the Father of my Lord, That he would not forsake me in the days of affliction, In the time when there was no help against the proud.
VERSE 11. I will praise your name continually, And will sing praise with thanksgiving; And my supplication was heard:
VERSE 12. For you saved me from destruction, And delivered me from the evil time: Therefore I will give thanks and praise to you, And bless the name of the Lord.
VERSE 13. When I was yet young, Or ever I went abroad, I sought wisdom openly in my prayer.
I will seek her out even to the end. That is, “until the end I will cultivate her” (NAB translation).
Learning the ways of wisdom is a project that goes from our earliest days until our end. You are never too young to learn wisdom. You are never too old.
VERSE 15. From her flower as from the ripening grape my heart delighted in her: My foot trod in uprightness, From my youth I tracked her out.
VERSE 16. I bowed down my ear a little, and received her, And found for myself much instruction.
VERSE 17. I profited in her: To him that gives me wisdom I will give glory.
VERSE 18. For I purposed to practice her, And I was zealous for that which is good; And I shall never be put to shame.
NAB translation. I burned with desire for her, never relenting. I became preoccupied with her, never weary of extolling her. I spread out my hands to the heavens and I came to know her secrets.
I burned with desire. Walking with God is to be in a relationship. It is a relationship that we deliberately cultivate a desire for. How can you deepen your desire for God?
I became preoccupied. Walking with God is an obsession of sorts. It is like the obsession that lovers have for each other.
VERSE 20. I set my soul aright to her, And in pureness I found her. I got me a heart joined with her from the beginning: Therefore shall I not be forsaken.
NAB translation. My whole being was stirred to seek her; therefore I have made her my prize possession.
My whole being was stirred to seek. Our walk with God becomes our whole aim in life. Other things do not go away. However, they make sense when grouped around this one central ambition of knowing God more fully.
Psalm 141:8. For my eyes are on you, LORD, the Lord. In you, I take refuge. Don’t leave my soul destitute.
Wisdom 7:11. All good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches are in her hands.
Sirach 51:21. My whole being was stirred to seek her; therefore I have made her my prize possession. (NAB translation)
Matthew 6:33. But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.
Luke 9:61. Another also said, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first allow me to say good-bye to those who are at my house.
Luke 12:31. But seek God’s Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you.
VERSE 22. The Lord gave me a tongue for my reward; And I will praise him therewith.
VERSE 23. Draw near to me, you unlearned, And lodge in the house of instruction.
VERSE 24. Say, wherefore are you lacking in these things, And your souls are very thirsty?
VERSE 25. I opened my mouth, and spoke, Get her for yourselves without money.
VERSE 26. Put your neck under the yoke, And let your soul receive instruction: She is hard at hand to find.
VERSE 27. Behold with your eyes, How that I labored but a little, And found for myself much rest.
VERSE 28. Get you instruction with a great sum of silver, And gain much gold by her.
VERSE 29. May your soul rejoice in his mercy, And may you not be put to shame in praising him.
Work your work before the time comes. Keep working at your tasks. And when the time is right,God will give you your reward.
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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.