Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sirach 1

I was not sure which book to hop into after Proverbs, but I've settled on the book of Sirach.
The Book of Ecclesiasticus is preceded by a prologue which professes to be the work of the Greek translator of the origional Hebrew and the genuineness of which is undoubted. In this preface to his translation, the writer describes, among other things his frame of mind in undertaking the hard task of rendering the Hebrew text into Greek. He was deeply impressed by the wisdom of the sayings contained in the book, and therefore wished, by means of a translation, to place those valuable teachings within the reach of anyone desiring to avail himself of them for living in more perfect accord with the law of God. This was a most worthy object, and there is no doubt that in setting it before himself the translator of Ecclesiasticus had well realized the general character of the contents of that sacred writing. The fundamental thought of the author of Ecclesiasticus is that of wisdom as understood and inculcated in inspired Hebrew literature; for the contents of this book, however varied they may appear in other respects, admit of being naturally grouped under the genral heading of "Wisdom". Viewed from this standpoint, which is indeed universally regarded as the author's own standpoint, the contents of Ecclesiasticus may be divided into two great parts: chs. i-xlii, 14; and xlii, 15-1, 26. The sayings which chiefly make up the first part, tend directly to inculcate the fear of God and the fulfilment of His commands, wherein consists true wisdom. This they do by pointing out, in a concrete manner, how the truly wise man shall conduct himself in the manifold relationships of practical life. 
This book is in the Catholic canon, but not in the Protestant canon.  At one time, my Bible software had a version of the KJV with the apocrypha in it, but it is no longer installed and I can't find it.  So for these posts, I'll be using the Douay–Rheims Bible (DRB), as it is also out of copyright. 

Sir 1:1  All wisdom is from the Lord God, and hath been always with him, and is before all time.
Sir 1:2  Who hath numbered the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of the world? Who hath measured the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the depth of the abyss?
Sir 1:3  Who hath searched out the wisdom of God that goeth before all things?
Sir 1:4  Wisdom hath been created before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting.
Sir 1:5  The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom, and her ways are everlasting commandments.
Sir 1:6  To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed, and who hath known her wise counsels?
Sir 1:7  To whom hath the discipline of wisdom been revealed and made manifest? and who hath understood the multiplicity of her steps?
Sir 1:8  There is one most high Creator Almighty, and a powerful king, and greatly to be feared, who sitteth upon his throne, and is the God of dominion.
Sir 1:9  He created her in the Holy Ghost, and saw her, and numbered her, and measured her.
Sir 1:10  And he poured her out upon all his works, and upon all flesh according to his gift, and hath given her to them that love him. 

The first verse reminds me of what I wrote about yesterday.  We do not create wisdom, nor do we have it apart from or without God.  Even if one doesn't believe in God, gifts of wisdom and logic and reason are still from God.  The following verses go on to show that.

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