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Sirach 38

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Sirach 38

Concerning Physicians and Health

1Honor the physician with the honor due him,a according to your need of him,

for the Lord created him;

2for healing comes from the Most High,

and he will receive a gift from the king.

3The skill of the physician lifts up his head,

and in the presence of great men he is admired.

4The Lord created medicines from the earth,

and a sensible man will not despise them.

5Was not water made sweet with a tree

in order that hisb power might be known?

6And he gave skill to men

that hec might be glorified in his marvelous works.

7By them he heals and takes away pain;

8the pharmacist makes of them a compound.

His works will never be finished;

and from him healthd is upon the face of the earth.

9My son, when you are sick do not be negligent,

but pray to the Lord, and he will heal you.

10Give up your faults and direct your hands aright,

and cleanse your heart from all sin.

11Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice, and a memorial portion of fine flour,

and pour oil on your offering, as much as you can afford.e

12And give the physician his place, for the Lord created him;

let him not leave you, for there is need of him.

13There is a time when success lies in the hands of physicians,f

14for they too will pray to the Lord

that he should grant them success in diagnosisg

and in healing, for the sake of preserving life.

15He who sins before his Maker,

may he fall into the careh of a physician.

On Mourning for the Dead

16My son, let your tears fall for the dead,

and as one who is suffering grievously begin the lament.

Lay out his body with the honor due him,

and do not neglect his burial.

17Let your weeping be bitter and your wailing fervent;

observe the mourning according to his merit,

for one day, or two, to avoid criticism;

then be comforted for your sorrow.

18For sorrow results in death,

and sorrow of heart saps one's strength.

19In calamity sorrow continues,

and the life of the poor man weighs down his heart.

20Do not give your heart to sorrow;

drive it away, remembering the end of life.

21Do not forget, there is no coming back;

you do the deadi no good, and you injure yourself.

22"Remember my doom, for yours is like it:

yesterday it was mine, and today it is yours."

23When the dead is at rest, let his remembrance cease,

and be comforted for him when his spirit has departed.

Trades and Crafts

24The wisdom of the scribe depends on the opportunity of leisure;

and he who has little business may become wise.

25How can he become wise who handles the plow,

and who glories in the shaft of a goad,

who drives oxen and is occupied with their work,

and whose talk is aboutj bulls?

26He sets his heart on plowing furrows,

and he is careful about fodder for the heifers.

27So too is every craftsman and master workman

who labors by night as well as by day;

those who cut the signets of seals,

each is diligent in making a great variety;

he sets his heart on painting a lifelike image,

and he is careful to finish his work.

28So too is the smith sitting by the anvil,

intent upon his handiwork in iron;

the breath of the fire melts his flesh,

and he wastes away ink the heat of the furnace;

he inclines his ear to the sound of the hammer,l

and his eyes are on the pattern of the object.

He sets his heart on finishing his handiwork,

and he is careful to complete its decoration.

29So too is the potter sitting at his work

and turning the wheel with his feet;

he is always deeply concerned over his work,

and all his output is by number.

30He moulds the clay with his arm

and makes it pliable with his feet;

he sets his heart to finish the glazing,

and he is careful to clean the furnace.

31All these rely upon their hands,

and each is skilful in his own work.

32Without them a city cannot be established,

and men can neither sojourn nor live there.

33Yet they are not sought out for the council of the people,

nor do they attain eminence in the public assembly.

They do not sit in the judge's seat,

nor do they understand the sentence of judgment;

they cannot expound discipline or judgment,

and they are not found using proverbs.

34But they keep stable the fabric of the world,

and their prayer is in the practice of their trade.