The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 38:24–34

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24  When the deceased is at rest, let his memory rest also. And console him at the departure of his spirit.

Sir38:23  When the dead is at rest, let his remembrance rest; and be comforted for him, when his Spirit is departed from him.

25  The wisdom of a scribe is found in his time of leisure. So whoever has less to do will gain wisdom.

Sir38:24  The wisdom of a learned man cometh by opportunity of leisure: and he that hath little business shall become wise.

26  With what wisdom will someone be filled who holds the plow, and who boasts of the cattle prod that drives the oxen forward, and who is occupied in these labors, and whose only conversation is about the offspring of bulls?

Sir38:25  How can he get wisdom that holdeth the plough, and that glorieth in the goad, that driveth oxen, and is occupied in their labours, and whose talk is of bullocks?

27  He will give his mind over to the plowing of furrows, and his vigilance to the fattening of the cows.

Sir38:26  He giveth his mind to make furrows; and is diligent to give the kine fodder.

28  Similarly, every craftsman and artisan, who crafts in the night as well as in the day, who sculpts graven seals, and who, by his diligence, varies the image, will give his mind over to the likeness of the image. And he will complete the work by his vigilance.

Sir38:27  So every carpenter and workmaster, that laboureth night and day: and they that cut and grave seals, and are diligent to make great variety, and give themselves to counterfeit imagery, and watch to finish a work

29  The blacksmith, sitting by his anvil and considering a work of iron, is similar. The steam from the fire singes his flesh, and he struggles against the heat of the furnace.

Sir38:28  The smith also sitting by the anvil, and considering the iron work, the vapour of the fire wasteth his flesh, and he fighteth with the heat of the furnace: the noise of the hammer and the anvil is ever in his ears, and his eyes look still upon the pattern of the thing that he maketh; he setteth his mind to finish his work, and watcheth to polish it perfectly

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30  The voice of the hammer is ever in his ears, and his eye is upon the pattern of the ironwork.

31  He gives his heart to the completion of his work, and his vigilance adorns it to perfection.

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32  The potter, sitting at his work and turning the wheel with his feet, is similar. He has settled into a continual concern for his work, and there is a rhythm in all that he does.

Sir38:29  So doth the potter sitting at his work, and turning the wheel about with his feet, who is alway carefully set at his work, and maketh all his work by number;

33  He forms the clay with his arm, and he bends his strength over his feet.

Sir38:30  He fashioneth the clay with his arm, and boweth down his strength before his feet; he applieth himself to lead it over; and he is diligent to make clean the furnace

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34  He will give his heart over to the completion of the glazing, and his vigilance to the cleansing of the furnace.