Wisdom of Sirach 43

The pride of the height is the firmament* in its clearness,
The appearance of heaven, in the spectacle of its glory.
The sun when he appears, bringing tidings as he goes forth,
Is a marvelous instrument, the work of the Most High:
At his noon he dries up the country,
And who shall stand against his burning heat?
A man blowing a furnace is in works of heat,
But the sun three times more, burning up the mountains:
Breathing out fiery vapours,
And sending forth bright beams, he dims the eyes.
Great is the Lord that made him;
And at his word he hastens his course.
The moon also is in all things for her season,
For a declaration of times, and a sign of the world.
From the moon is the sign of the feast day;
A light that wanes when she is come to the full.
The month is called after her name,
Increasing wonderfully in her changing;
An instrument of the army on high,
Shining forth in the firmament of heaven;
The beauty of heaven, the glory of the stars,
An ornament giving light in the highest places of the Lord.
10 At the word of the Holy One they will stand in†due order,
And they will not faint in their watches.
11 Look upon the rainbow, and praise him that made it;
Exceeding beautiful in the brightness thereof.
12 It encircles the heaven round about with a circle of glory;
The hands of the Most High have stretched it.
13 By his commandment he makes the snow to fall apace,
And sends swiftly the lightnings of his judgment.
14 By reason thereof the treasure-houses are opened;
And clouds fly forth as fowls.
15 By his mighty power he makes strong the clouds,
And the hailstones are broken small:
16 And at his appearing the mountains will be shaken,
And at his will the south wind will blow.
17 The voice of his thunder makes the earth to travail;
So does the northern storm and the whirlwind:
As birds flying down he sprinkles the snow;
And as the lighting of the locust is the falling down thereof:
18 The eye will marvel at the beauty of its whiteness,
And the heart will be astonished at the raining of it.
19 The hoar frost also he pours on the earth as salt;
And when it is congealed, it is as points of thorns.
20 The cold north wind shall blow,
And the ice shall be congealed on the water:
It shall lodge upon every gathering together of water,
And the water shall put on as it were a breastplate.
21 It shall devour the mountains, and burn up the wilderness,
And consume the green herb as fire.
22 A mist coming speedily is the healing of all things;
A dew coming after heat shall bring cheerfulness.
23 By his counsel he has stilled the deep,
And‡ planted islands therein.
24 They that sail on the sea tell of the danger thereof;
And when we hear it with our ears, we marvel.
25 Therein be also those strange and wondrous works,
Variety of all that has life, the§ race of sea-monsters.
26 By reason of him his end has success,
And by his word all things consist.
27 We may say many things, yet shall we not attain;
And the sum of our words is, He is all.
28 How shall we have strength to glorify him?
For he is himself the great one above all his works.
29 The Lord is terrible and exceedingly great;
And marvelous is his power.
30 When you° glorify the Lord, exalt him as much as you° can;
For even yet he will exceed:
And when you° exalt him, put forth your full strength:
Be not weary; for you° will never attain.
31 Who has seen him, that he may declare him?
And who shall magnify him as he is?
32 Many things are hidden greater than these;
For we have seen but a few of his works.
33 For the Lord made all things;
And to the godly gave he wisdom.


*43:1 Gr. of clearness.

43:10 Gr. judgment.

43:23 The most ancient authorities read Jesus planted it.

§43:25 Gr. creation. Several ancient authorities read possession of cattle.

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