December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- But of these things be not ashamed, lest you sin through human respect:
- Of the law of the Most High and his precepts, or of the sentence to be passed upon the sinful;
- Of sharing the expenses of a business or a journey, or of dividing an inheritance or property;
- Of accuracy of scales and balances, or of tested measures and weights;
- Of acquiring much or little, or of bargaining in dealing with a merchant; Of constant training of children, or of beating the sides of a disloyal servant;
- Of a seal to keep an erring wife at home, or of a lock placed where there are many hands;
- Of numbering every deposit, or of recording all that is given or received;
- Of chastisement of the silly and the foolish, or of the aged and infirm answering for wanton conduct. Thus you will be truly cautious and recognized by all men as discreet.
- 1 A daughter is a treasure that keeps her father wakeful, and worry over her drives away rest: Lest she pass her prime unmarried, or when she is married, lest she be disliked;
- While unmarried, lest she be seduced, or, as a wife, lest she prove unfaithful; Lest she conceive in her father's home, or be sterile in that of her husband.
- Keep a close watch on your daughter, lest she make you the sport of your enemies, A byword in the city, a reproach among the people, an object of derision in public gatherings. See that there is no lattice in her room, no place that overlooks the approaches to the house.
- Let her not parade her charms before men, or spend her time with married women;
- For just as moths come from garments, so harm to women comes from women:
- Better a man's harshness than a woman's indulgence, and a frightened daughter than any disgrace.
- 2 Now will I recall God's works; what I have seen, I will describe. At God's word were his works brought into being; they do his will as he has ordained for them.
- As the rising sun is clear to all, so the glory of the LORD fills all his works;
- Yet even God's holy ones must fail in recounting the wonders of the LORD, Though God has given these, his hosts, the strength to stand firm before his glory.
- He plumbs the depths and penetrates the heart; their innermost being he understands. The Most High possesses all knowledge, and sees from of old the things that are to come:
- He makes known the past and the future, and reveals the deepest secrets.
- No understanding does he lack; no single thing escapes him.
- Perennial is his almighty wisdom; he is from all eternity one and the same,
- With nothing added, nothing taken away; no need of a counselor for him!
- How beautiful are all his works! even to the spark and the fleeting vision!
- The universe lives and abides forever; to meet each need, each creature is preserved.
- All of them differ, one from another, yet none of them has he made in vain, For each in turn, as it comes, is good; can one ever see enough of their splendor?
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1 [9-14] The author considers a daughter to be a source of anxiety to her father, lest she fail to marry, or be seduced, or lest, marrying, she be disliked, prove unfaithful, or find herself sterile (Sirach 42:9-10). He is advised to keep a close watch on her at home, and on her companionship while abroad, lest he suffer on her account among the people (Sirach 42:11-14).
2 [42:15-43:35] These verses comprise a new section. In them the author contemplates God's power, beauty and goodness as manifested in the mighty work of creating and preserving the universe (Sirach 42:15-17, 23, 25; 43:1-27), his omniscience (Sirach 42:18-20), his perfect wisdom (Sirach 42:21-22), his eternity (Sirach 42:24). The conclusion is a fervent hymn of praise (Sirach 43:28-33). Cf Sirach 16:22-18:13.
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