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Sirach 34

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Sirach 34

Dreams Mean Nothing

1A man of no understanding has vain and false hopes,

and dreams give wings to fools.

2As one who catches at a shadow and pursues the wind,

so is he who gives heed to dreams.

3The vision of dreams is this against that,

the likeness of a face confronting a face.

4From an unclean thing what will be made clean?

And from something false what will be true?

5Divinations and omens and dreams are folly,

and like a woman in travail the mind has fancies.

6Unless they are sent from the Most High as a visitation,

do not give your mind to them.

7For dreams have deceived many,

and those who put their hope in them have failed.

8Without such deceptions the law will be fulfilled,

and wisdom is made perfect in truthful lips.

Experience as a Teacher

9An educateda man knows many things,

and one with much experience will speak with understanding.

10He that is inexperienced knows few things,

but he that has traveled acquires much cleverness.

11I have seen many things in my travels,

and I understand more than I can express.

12I have often been in danger of death,

but have escaped because of these experiences.

Fear the Lord

13The spirit of those who fear the Lord will live,

for their hope is in him who saves them.

14He who fears the Lord will not be timid,

nor play the coward, for he is his hope.

15Blessed is the soul of the man who fears the Lord!

To whom does he look? And who is his support?

16The eyes of the Lord are upon those who love him,

a mighty protection and strong support,

a shelter from the hot wind and a shade from noonday sun,

a guard against stumbling and a defense against falling.

17He lifts up the soul and gives light to the eyes;

he grants healing, life, and blessing.

Offering Sacrifices

18If one sacrifices from what has been wrongfully obtained, the offering is blemished;b

the giftsc of the lawless are not acceptable.

19The Most High is not pleased with the offerings of the ungodly;

and he is not propitiated for sins by a multitude of sacrifices.

20Like one who kills a son before his father's eyes

is the man who offers a sacrifice from the property of the poor.

21The bread of the needy is the life of the poor;

whoever deprives them of it is a man of blood.

22To take away a neighbor's living is to murder him;

to deprive an employee of his wages is to shed blood.

23When one builds and another tears down,

what do they gain but toil?

24When one prays and another curses,

to whose voice will the Lord listen?

25If a man washes after touching a dead body, and touches it again,

what has he gained by his washing?

26So if a man fasts for his sins,

and goes again and does the same things,

who will listen to his prayer?

And what has he gained by humbling himself?