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195. Root of Wisdom
6 To whom has the root of Wisdom been revealed?
And who knows her subtle ways?
8 Only One is wise: he is to be greatly revered,
the Lord seated on his throne!
9 He himself created her...;
he set her out in all his works.
10 She is with all flesh according to his gift,
and he furnished her to those who love him.
  --- Septuagint, Sirach 1:6-10

196. Limit to Human Understanding
21 Do not seek what is too hard for you;
and what is too strong for you do not examine.
22 Consider what has been set before you,
for you have no need for what is hidden.
23 Do not belabor what is bigger than your business [erga],
for you have been shown what is beyond the understanding of men.
24 Taking up these things has made many err;
and a wrong conjecture has made their thinking slip.
  --- Septuagint, Sirach 3:21-24

197. The Scholar's Life
1 Yet he who dedicates his soul
and keeps his mind on the Torah of the Most High
seeks out the wisdom of all the ancients
and is preoccupied with prophecies.
2 He preserves the statements of famous men
and penetrates the twists of parables.
3 He seeks out things hidden [apocrypha] in proverbs
and dwells on the puzzles [ainigmata] of parables.
4 He serves among great (men)
and is seen in the presence of leaders.
He passes through the land of foreign nations
to test the good and the evil among men.
5 He devotes his heart to rise early for the Lord who made him'
and petition in the presence of the Highest.
He opens his mouth in prayer
and prays for his sins.
6 If the great Lord (so) wills,
he will be filled with a spirit of understanding.
He will pour out words [rhemata] of wisdom
and acknowledge the Lord in prayer.
7 He will correct his counsel and knowledge
and will keep his mind on hidden things.
8 He will reveal discipline in his teaching
and will glory in the Torah of the Lord's covenant.
9 Many will praise his understanding,
it will not ever be blotted out.
Memory of him will not pass away
and his name shall live to the last generations.
10 The nations will describe his wisdom
and the assembly [ekklesia] will proclaim his praise.
11 If he lasts, he will leave a name (greater) than a thousand;
and if he rests, he produced for himself.
  --- Septuagint, Sirach 39:1-11

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Perspective on the World of Jesus

with new translations from primary texts

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