Sirach 15 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
15 The man who fears the Lord will do this,
and he who holds to the law will obtain wisdom.
2 She will come to meet him like a mother,
and like the wife of his youth she will welcome him.
3 She will feed him with the bread of understanding,
and give him the water of wisdom to drink.
4 He will lean on her and will not fall,
and he will rely on her and will not be put to shame.
5 She will exalt him above his neighbors,
and will open his mouth in the midst of the assembly.
6 He will find gladness and a crown of rejoicing,
and will acquire an everlasting name.
7 Foolish men will not obtain her,
and sinful men will not see her.
8 She is far from men of pride,
and liars will never think of her.
9 A hymn of praise is not fitting on the lips of a sinner,
for it has not been sent from the Lord.
10 For a hymn of praise should be uttered in wisdom,
and the Lord will prosper it.
Freedom of Choice
11 Do not say, “Because of the Lord I left the right way”;
for he will not do what he hates.
12 Do not say, “It was he who led me astray”;
for he had no need of a sinful man.
13 The Lord hates all abominations,
and they are not loved by those who fear him.
14 It was he who created man in the beginning,
and he left him in the power of his own inclination.
15 If you will, you can keep the commandments,
and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice.
16 He has placed before you fire and water:
stretch out your hand for whichever you wish.
17 Before a man are life and death,
and whichever he chooses will be given to him.
18 For great is the wisdom of the Lord;
he is mighty in power and sees everything;
19 his eyes are on those who fear him,
and he knows every deed of man.
20 He has not commanded any one to be ungodly,
and he has not given any one permission to sin.
Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.