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Sirach 36New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

A Prayer for God’s People

36 Have mercy upon us, O God[a] of all,
    and put all the nations in fear of you.
Lift up your hand against foreign nations
    and let them see your might.
As you have used us to show your holiness to them,
    so use them to show your glory to us.
Then they will know,[b] as we have known,
    that there is no God but you, O Lord.
Give new signs, and work other wonders;
    make your hand and right arm glorious.
Rouse your anger and pour out your wrath;
    destroy the adversary and wipe out the enemy.
10 Hasten the day, and remember the appointed time,[c]
    and let people recount your mighty deeds.
11 Let survivors be consumed in the fiery wrath,
    and may those who harm your people meet destruction.
12 Crush the heads of hostile rulers
    who say, “There is no one but ourselves.”
13 Gather all the tribes of Jacob,[d]
16     and give them their inheritance, as at the beginning.
17 Have mercy, O Lord, on the people called by your name,
    on Israel, whom you have named[e] your firstborn,
18 Have pity on the city of your sanctuary,[f]
    Jerusalem, the place of your dwelling.[g]
19 Fill Zion with your majesty,[h]
    and your temple[i] with your glory.
20 Bear witness to those whom you created in the beginning,
    and fulfill the prophecies spoken in your name.
21 Reward those who wait for you
    and let your prophets be found trustworthy.
22 Hear, O Lord, the prayer of your servants, according to your goodwill toward[j] your people,
and all who are on the earth will know
    that you are the Lord, the God of the ages.

Concerning Discrimination

23 The stomach will take any food,
    yet one food is better than another.
24 As the palate tastes the kinds of game,
    so an intelligent mind detects false words.
25 A perverse mind will cause grief,
    but a person with experience will pay him back.
26 A woman will accept any man as a husband,
    but one girl is preferable to another.
27 A woman’s beauty lights up a man’s face,
    and there is nothing he desires more.
28 If kindness and humility mark her speech,
    her husband is more fortunate than other men.
29 He who acquires a wife gets his best possession,[k]
    a helper fit for him and a pillar of support.[l]
30 Where there is no fence, the property will be plundered;
    and where there is no wife, a man will become a fugitive and a wanderer.[m]
31 For who will trust a nimble robber
    that skips from city to city?
So who will trust a man that has no nest,
    but lodges wherever night overtakes him?

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 36:1 Heb: Gk O Master, the God
  2. Sirach 36:5 Heb: Gk And let them know you
  3. Sirach 36:10 Other ancient authorities read remember your oath
  4. Sirach 36:13 Owing to a dislocation in the Greek Mss of Sirach, the verse numbers 14 and 15 are not used in chapter 36, though no text is missing.
  5. Sirach 36:17 Other ancient authorities read you have likened to
  6. Sirach 36:18 Or on your holy city
  7. Sirach 36:18 Heb: Gk your rest
  8. Sirach 36:19 Heb Syr: Gk the celebration of your wondrous deeds
  9. Sirach 36:19 Heb Syr: Gk Lat people
  10. Sirach 36:22 Heb and two Gk witnesses: Lat and most Gk witnesses read according to the blessing of Aaron for
  11. Sirach 36:29 Heb: Gk enters upon a possession
  12. Sirach 36:29 Heb: Gk rest
  13. Sirach 36:30 Heb: Gk wander about and sigh
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 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.

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