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Sirach 43:1-22 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

The Splendor of the Sun

43 The pride of the heavenly heights is the clear firmament,
    the appearance of heaven in a spectacle of glory.
The sun, when it appears, making proclamation as it goes forth,
    is a marvelous instrument, the work of the Most High.
At noon it parches the land;
    and who can withstand its burning heat?
A man tending[a] a furnace works in burning heat,
    but the sun burns the mountains three times as much;
it breathes out fiery vapors,
    and with bright beams it blinds the eyes.
Great is the Lord who made it;
    and at his command it hastens on its course.

The Splendor of the Moon

He made the moon also, to serve in its season[b]
    to mark the times and to be an everlasting sign.
From the moon comes the sign for feast days,
    a light that wanes when it has reached the full.
The month is named for the moon,
    increasing marvelously in its phases,
an instrument of the hosts on high
    shining forth in the firmament of heaven.

The Glory of the Stars and the Rainbow

The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven,
    a gleaming array in the heights of the Lord.
10 At the command of the Holy One they stand as ordered,
    they never relax in their watches.
11 Look upon the rainbow, and praise him who made it,
    exceedingly beautiful in its brightness.
12 It encircles the heaven with its glorious arc;
    the hands of the Most High have stretched it out.

The Marvels of Nature

13 By his command he sends the driving snow
    and speeds the lightnings of his judgment.
14 Therefore the storehouses are opened,
    and the clouds fly forth like birds.
15 In his majesty he amasses the clouds,
    and the hailstones are broken in pieces.
16 At his appearing the mountains are shaken;
    at his will the south wind blows.
17 The voice of his thunder rebukes the earth;
    so do the tempest from the north and the whirlwind.
He scatters the snow like birds flying down,
    and its descent is like locusts alighting.
18 The eye marvels at the beauty of its whiteness,
    and the mind is amazed at its falling.
19 He pours the hoarfrost upon the earth like salt,
    and when it freezes, it becomes pointed thorns.
20 The cold north wind blows,
    and ice freezes over the water;
it rests upon every pool of water,
    and the water puts it on like a breastplate.
21 He consumes the mountains and burns up the wilderness,
    and withers the tender grass like fire.
22 A mist quickly heals all things;
    when the dew appears, it refreshes from the heat.

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 43:4 Other authorities read blowing
  2. Sirach 43:6 The Greek text of this line is uncertain
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.

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