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Concerning Physicians and Health

38 Honor physicians for their services,
    for the Lord created them,(A)
for their gift of healing comes from the Most High,
    and they are rewarded by the king.
The skill of physicians makes them distinguished,
    and in the presence of the great they are admired.
The Lord created medicines out of the earth,
    and the sensible will not despise them.(B)
Was not water made sweet with a tree
    in order that its[a] power might be known?(C)
And he gave skill to human beings
    that he[b] might be glorified in his marvelous works.
By them the physician[c] heals and takes away pain;(D)
    the pharmacist makes a mixture from them.
God’s[d] works will never be finished,
    and from him health spreads over all the earth.

My child, when you are ill, do not delay,
    but pray to the Lord, and he will heal you.(E)
10 Give up your faults and direct your hands rightly,
    and cleanse your heart from all sin.(F)
11 Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice and a memorial portion of choice flour,
    and pour oil on your offering, as much as you can afford.[e](G)
12 Then give physicians their place, for the Lord created them;
    do not let them leave you, for you need them.(H)
13 There may come a time when recovery lies in the hands of physicians,[f]
14     for they, too, pray to the Lord
that he grant them success in diagnosis[g]
    and in healing, for the sake of preserving life.
15 Those who sin against their Maker
    will be defiant toward the physician.[h](I)

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  1. 38.5 Or his
  2. 38.6 Or they
  3. 38.7 Heb: Gk he
  4. 38.8 Gk His
  5. 38.11 Heb: Lat lacks as much as you can afford; meaning of Gk uncertain
  6. 38.13 Gk in their hands
  7. 38.14 Heb: Gk rest
  8. 38.15 Heb: Gk may they fall into the hands of the physician

Trades and Crafts

24 The wisdom of the scribe depends on the opportunity of leisure;
    only the one who has little business can become wise.(A)
25 How can one become wise who handles the plow
    and who glories in the shaft of a goad,
who drives oxen and is occupied with their work,
    and whose talk is about the offspring of bulls?
26 He sets his heart on plowing furrows,
    and he loses sleep over fodder for the heifers.
27 So it is with every artisan and master artisan
    who labors by night as well as by day;
those who carve the signets of seals—
    each is diligent in making a great variety;
they set their heart on painting a lifelike image,
    and they lose sleep in order to finish their work.(B)
28 So it is with the smith sitting by the anvil,
    intent on his ironwork;
the breath of the fire melts his flesh,
    and he struggles with the heat of the furnace;
the sound of the hammer deafens his ears,[a]
    and his eyes are on the pattern of the object.
He sets his heart on finishing his handiwork,
    and he loses sleep to complete its decoration.(C)
29 So it is with the potter sitting at his work
    and turning the wheel with his feet;
he always lies down anxious about his work,
    and his every work is taken into account.(D)
30 He molds the clay with his arm
    and makes it pliable with his feet;
he sets his heart to finish the glazing,
    and he takes care in firing[b] the kiln.

31 All these rely on their hands,
    and all are skillful in their own work.
32 Without them no city can be inhabited,
    and wherever they live they will not go hungry.[c]
Yet they are not sought out for the council of the people,[d]
33     nor do they attain eminence in the public assembly.
They do not sit in the judge’s seat,
    nor do they understand the decisions of the courts;
they cannot expound discipline or judgment,
    and they are not found among the rulers.[e]
34 But they maintain the fabric of the world,
    and their concern is for[f] the exercise of their trade.

The Activity of the Scribe

How different the one who devotes himself
    to the study of the law of the Most High!

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  1. 38.28 Cn: Gk renews his ear
  2. 38.30 Cn: Gk cleaning
  3. 38.32 Syr: Gk and people can neither live nor walk there
  4. 38.32 Most ancient authorities lack this line
  5. 38.33 Cn: Gk among parables
  6. 38.34 Syr: Gk prayer is in