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Concerning Physicians and Health

38 Honor the physician with the honor due him,[a] according to your need of him,
    for the Lord created him;
for healing comes from the Most High,
    and he will receive a gift from the king.
The skill of the physician lifts up his head,
    and in the presence of great men he is admired.
The Lord created medicines from the earth,
    and a sensible man will not despise them.
Was not water made sweet with a tree
    in order that his[b] power might be known?
And he gave skill to men
    that he[c] might be glorified in his marvelous works.
By them he heals and takes away pain;
    the pharmacist makes of them a compound.
His works will never be finished;
    and from him health[d] is upon the face of the earth.

My son, when you are sick do not be negligent,
    but pray to the Lord, and he will heal you.
10 Give up your faults and direct your hands aright,
    and cleanse your heart from all sin.
11 Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice, and a memorial portion of fine flour,
    and pour oil on your offering, as much as you can afford.[e]
12 And give the physician his place, for the Lord created him;
    let him not leave you, for there is need of him.
13 There is a time when success lies in the hands of physicians,[f]
14     for they too will pray to the Lord
that he should grant them success in diagnosis[g]
    and in healing, for the sake of preserving life.

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  1. Sirach 38:1 Other authorities omit with the honor due him
  2. Sirach 38:5 Or its
  3. Sirach 38:6 Or they
  4. Sirach 38:8 Or peace
  5. Sirach 38:11 Heb: Vulgate omits as much as you can afford; Greek is obscure
  6. Sirach 38:13 Gk in their hands
  7. Sirach 38:14 Heb: Gk rest

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