Sirach 34Good News Translation (GNT)
Dreams Mean Nothing
34 Foolish people are deceived by vain hopes, and dreams get them all excited. 2 A person who pays any attention at all to dreams is like someone who tries to catch shadows or chase the wind. 3 What you see in a dream is no more real than the reflection of your face in a mirror. 4 What is unreal can no more produce something real than what is dirty can produce something clean. 5 Dreams, divination, and omens are all nonsense. You see in them only what you want to see.[a] 6 Unless the Most High has sent you the dream, pay no attention to it. 7 Dreams have misled many people; they put their faith in them, only to be disappointed. 8 The Law is complete without such falsehood. Wisdom, as spoken by the righteous, is also complete without it.
9 A well-traveled[b] person with wide experience knows many things and talks sense. 10 You can't know much if you haven't experienced much, but travel can make you more clever. 11 In my own travels I have seen many things and learned more than I can put into words. 12 I have been in danger of death many times, but I have always been able to escape by relying on past experience.
Fear the Lord
13 Those who fear the Lord will live, because they have put their trust in the one who can save them. 14 Fear the Lord, and you will have nothing else to fear. If your trust is in him, you will never act like a coward. 15 People who fear the Lord are fortunate, because they know where they can look for help. 16 The Lord watches over those who love him; he is their strong protection and firm support. He shelters them from the heat, shades them from the noonday sun, and keeps them from stumbling and falling. 17 He makes them cheerful and puts a sparkle in their eyes. He blesses them with life and health.
18 If you offer as a sacrifice an animal that you have obtained dishonestly, it is defective and unacceptable. 19 The Most High gets no pleasure from sacrifices made by ungodly people; no amount of sacrifices can make up for their sins. 20 Anyone who steals an animal from the poor to offer as a sacrifice is like someone who kills a boy before his father's eyes. 21 Food means life itself to poor people, and taking it away from them is murder. 22 It is murder to deprive someone of his living or to cheat an employee of his wages.
23 When one person builds and somebody else tears down, has anything been accomplished but hard work? 24 When one person blesses and somebody else curses, which one is the Lord going to listen to? 25 If you touch a dead body and then purify yourself by washing, but then go and touch it again, what good did the washing do? 26 If you fast because of your sins, and then go out and commit the same sins over again, what have you gained by going without food? Who do you think is going to listen to your prayers?
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