As found in the Greek Septuagint
Chapter 38

Sickness and Medicine

Sirach 38:1 Give doctors the honor they deserve, for the Lord gave them their work to do.

Sirach 38:2 Their skill came from the Most High, and kings reward them for it.

Sirach 38:3 Their knowledge gives them a position of importance, and powerful people hold them in high regard.

Sirach 38:4 The Lord created medicines from the earth, and a sensible person will not hesitate to use them.

Sirach 38:5 Didn't a tree once make bitter water fit to drink, so that the Lord's power might be known?

Sirach 38:6 He gave medical knowledge to human beings, so that we would praise him for the miracles he performs.

Sirach 38:7-8 The druggist mixes these medicines, and the doctor will use them to cure diseases and ease pain. There is no end to the activities of the Lord, who gives health to the people of the world.

Sirach 38:9 My child, when you get sick, don't ignore it. Pray to the Lord, and he will make you well.

Sirach 38:10 Confess all your sins and determine that in the future you will live a righteous life.

Sirach 38:11 Offer incense and a grain offering, as fine as you can afford.

Sirach 38:12 Then call the doctor-for the Lord created him-and keep him at your side; you need him.

Sirach 38:13 There are times when you have to depend on his skill.

Sirach 38:14 The doctor's prayer is that the Lord will make him able to ease his patients' pain and make them well again.

Sirach 38:15 As for the person who sins against his Creator, he deserves to be sick.

Mourning for the Dead

Sirach 38:16 My child, when someone dies, you should mourn. Weep and wail to show how deeply you feel the loss. Prepare the body in the proper way, and be present at the burial.

Sirach 38:17 Weep bitterly and passionately; observe the proper period of mourning for the person. Mourn for a whole day or maybe two, to keep people talking, but then pull yourself together and reconcile yourself to the loss.

Sirach 38:18 Grief can undermine your health and even lead to your own death.

Sirach 38:19 Grief lingers on after the death of a loved one, but it is not wise to let it lead you into poverty.

Sirach 38:20 Don't lose yourself in sorrow; drive it away. Remember that we must all die sometime.

Sirach 38:21 There is no way to bring the dead person back. All your sorrow does him no good, and it hurts you. Don't forget that.

Sirach 38:22 You will die, just as he did. Today it was his turn; tomorrow it will be yours.

Sirach 38:23  When the dead have been laid to rest, let the memory of them fade. Once they are gone, take courage.

Scholarship and Other Occupations

Sirach 38:24 Scholars must have time to study if they are going to be wise; they must be relieved of other responsibilities.

Sirach 38:25 How can a farm hand gain knowledge, when his only ambition is to drive the oxen and make them work, when all he knows to talk about is livestock?

Sirach 38:26 He takes great pains to plow a straight furrow and will work far into the night to feed the animals.

Sirach 38:27 It is the same with the artist and the craftsman, who work night and day engraving precious stones, carefully working out new designs. They take great pains to produce a lifelike image, and will work far into the night to finish the work.

Sirach 38:28 It is the same with the blacksmith at his anvil, planning what he will make from a piece of iron. The heat from the fire sears his skin as he sweats away at the forge. The clanging of the hammer deafens him as he carefully watches the object he is working take shape. He takes great pains to complete his task, and will work far into the night to bring it to perfection.

Sirach 38:29 It is the same with the potter, sitting at his wheel and turning it with his feet, always concentrating on his work, concerned with how many objects he can produce.

Sirach 38:30 He works the clay with his feet until he can shape it with his hands; then he takes great pains to glaze it properly, and will work far into the night to clean out the kiln.

Sirach 38:31 All of these people are skilled with their hands, each of them an expert at his own craft.

Sirach 38:32 Without such people there could be no cities; no one would live or visit where services were not available.

Sirach 38:33 These people are not sought out to serve on the public councils, and they never attain positions of great importance. They do not serve as judges, and they do not understand legal matters. They have no education and are not known for their wisdom. You never hear them quoting proverbs.

Sirach 38:34 But the work they do holds this world together. When they do their work, it is the same as offering prayer.


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