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Sirach 43

Sirach :Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51

1 Nothing can compare
with the glorious sight
of the clear, blue sky.
1 The pride of the height, the clear firmament, the beauty of heaven, with his glorious shew;
2 And you can almost hear
the rising sun say,
“I am a wonderful creation
of the Most High God.”
2 The sun when it appeareth, declaring at his rising a marvellous instrument, the work of the most High:
3 By noon its fiery heat
has dried out the soil.
It forces people into the shade,
3 At noon it parcheth the country, and who can abide the burning heat thereof?
4 and scorches mountain slopes.
The sun's blinding light
is three times hotter
than any fire we can build.
4 A man blowing a furnace is in works of heat, but the sun burneth the mountains three times more; breathing out fiery vapours, and sending forth bright beams, it dimmeth the eyes.
5 Our great Lord created the sun,
and when he commands,
it hurries to obey.
5 Great is the Lord that made it; and at his commandment runneth hastily.

6 The moon also has its turn
in the sky
serving as a sign
of the changing months,
6 He made the moon also to serve in her season for a declaration of times, and a sign of the world.
7 and setting the times
for sacred festivals.
When its light has become dark,
a new month begins—
7 From the moon is the sign of feasts, a light that decreaseth in her perfection.
8 the word “month”
even comes from “moon”—
then we watch in amazement,
as the moon gradually grows
until it is full,
giving light to God's armies
in the heavens above.
8 The month is called after her name, increasing wonderfully in her changing, being an instrument of the armies above, shining in the firmament of heaven;

9 Heaven, the Lord's home,
is decorated at night
with beautiful, twinkling stars.
9 The beauty of heaven, the glory of the stars, an ornament giving light in the highest places of the Lord.
10 They never rest but stand guard
where he has placed them.
10 At the commandment of the Holy One they will stand in their order, and never faint in their watches.

11 Look at the rainbow,
bright and beautiful,
and praise its Creator,
11 Look upon the rainbow, and praise him that made it; very beautiful it is in the brightness thereof.
12 who bent it with his hands
and placed it around the sky.
12 It compasseth the heaven about with a glorious circle, and the hands of the most High have bended it.

13 At the Lord's command,
snow begins to fall,
and lightning quickly obeys.
13 By his commandment he maketh the snow to fall aplace, and sendeth swiftly the lightnings of his judgment.
14 And like birds, the clouds fly
from his storehouse.
14 Through this the treasures are opened: and clouds fly forth as fowls.
15 He gives them his great power,
and he crushes hailstones.
15 By his great power he maketh the clouds firm, and the hailstones are broken small.
* 16 His voice thunders at the earth,
and at the sight of him,
mountains tremble.
16 At his sight the mountains are shaken, and at his will the south wind bloweth.
17 The whirlwind obeys him,
as do winds from the south
and storms from the north.
God sends the snow,
and it settles on the ground
like a flock of birds
or a swarm of locusts.
17 The noise of the thunder maketh the earth to tremble: so doth the northern storm and the whirlwind: as birds flying he scattereth the snow, and the falling down thereof is as the lighting of grasshoppers:
18 We watch amazed
as it floats down,
white and lovely.
18 The eye marvelleth at the beauty of the whiteness thereof, and the heart is astonished at the raining of it.
19 He sprinkles frost
as though it were salt,
and icicles form.
19 The hoarfrost also as salt he poureth on the earth, and being congealed, it lieth on the top of sharp stakes.
20 A freezing north wind
makes the surface of every pond
hard as armor.
20 When the cold north wind bloweth, and the water is congealed into ice, it abideth upon every gathering together of water, and clotheth the water as with a breastplate.

21 God sends the fiery heat,
and deserted mountain pastures
are scorched and withered.
21 It devoureth the mountains, and burneth the wilderness, and consumeth the grass as fire.
22 But soon the early morning mist
and the refreshing dew
will heal the damage.
22 A present remedy of all is a mist coming speedily, a dew coming after heat refresheth.

23 The Lord calmed the oceans
and placed the islands,
all according to his plan.
23 By his counsel he appeaseth the deep, and planteth islands therein.
24 And when sailors tell stories
of danger at sea,
we are amazed.
24 They that sail on the sea tell of the danger thereof; and when we hear it with our ears, we marvel thereat.
25 The oceans are home
to strange creatures
and huge monsters.
25 For therein be strange and wondrous works, variety of all kinds of beasts and whales created.

26 God tells each of these things
what to do,
and because of his power,
they never fail.
All creation is held together
by his command.
26 By him the end of them hath prosperous success, and by his word all things consist.

27 We could never finish telling
what God has done,
so we should say,
“The Lord can be seen
in all his creation.”
c 43.27 The Lord ... creation: One possible meaning for the difficult text.
27 We may speak much, and yet come short: wherefore in sum, he is all.
28 But he is far greater
than what he created,
so where can we look
for strength to praise him?
28 How shall we be able to magnify him? for he is great above all his works.
29 The Lord is fearsome
and powerful,
29 The Lord is terrible and very great, and marvellous is his power.
30 so always praise him
with all your strength.
Don't let yourself grow tired—
he deserves more praise
than you can give.
30 When ye glorify the Lord, exalt him as much as ye can; for even yet will he far exceed: and when ye exalt him, put forth all your strength, and be not weary; for ye can never go far enough.
31 Since no one has seen the Lord
and described him to us,
we really don't know
how to praise him.
31 Who hath seen him, that he might tell us? and who can magnify him as he is?
32 We have seen so little
of God's creation,
and we do not understand
so many things.
32 There are yet hid greater things than these be, for we have seen but a few of his works.
33 Still, the Lord created it all,
and he has given wisdom
to those who worship him.
33 For the Lord hath made all things; and to the godly hath he given wisdom.

© 1999 American Bible Society

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