A Prayer of Jesus the son of Sirach.
1 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, O King,
And will praise you, O God my Savior:
I do give thanks to your name:
2 For you were my protector and helper,
And did deliver my body out of destruction,
And out of the snare of a slanderous tongue,
From lips that forge lies,
And was my helper before those who stood by;
3 And did deliver me, according to the abundance of your mercy, and greatness of your name,
From the gnashings of teeth ready to devour,
Out of the hand of such as sought my life,
Out of the manifold afflictions which I had;
4 From the choking of a fire on every side,
And out of the midst of fire which I kindled not;
5 Out of the depth of the belly of* Gr. Hades. the grave,
And from an unclean tongue,
And from lying words,
6 The slander of an unrighteous tongue to the king.
My soul drew near even to death,
And my life was near to† Gr. Hades the grave beneath.
7 They compassed me on every side,
And there was none to help me.
I was looking for the help of men,
And it was not.
8 And I remembered your mercy, O Lord,
And your working which has been from everlasting,
How you deliver those who wait for you,
And save them out of the hand of the enemies.
9 And I lifted up my supplication from the earth,
And prayed for deliverance from death.
10 I called upon the Lord, the Father of my Lord,
That he would not forsake me in the days of affliction,
In the time when there was no help against the proud.
11 I will praise your name continually,
And will sing praise with thanksgiving;
And my supplication was heard:
12 For you saved me from destruction,
And delivered me from the evil time:
Therefore I will give thanks and praise to you,
And bless the name of the Lord.
13 When I was yet young,
Or ever I went abroad,
I sought wisdom openly in my prayer.
14 Before the temple I asked for her,
And I will seek her out even to the end.
15 From her flower as from the ripening grape my heart delighted in her:
My foot trod in uprightness,
From my youth I tracked her out.
16 I bowed down my ear a little, and received her,
And found for myself much instruction.
17 I profited in her:
To him that gives me wisdom I will give glory.
18 For I purposed to practice her,
And I was zealous for that which is good;
And I shall never be put to shame.
19 My soul has wrestled in her,
And in my doing I was exact:
I spread forth my hands to the heaven above,
And bewailed my ignorances of her.
20 I set my soul aright to her,
And in pureness I found her.
I got me a heart joined with her from the beginning:
Therefore shall I not be forsaken.
21 My inward part also was troubled to seek her:
Therefore I have gotten a good possession.
22 The Lord gave me a tongue for my reward;
And I will praise him therewith.
23 Draw near to me, you° unlearned,
And lodge in the house of instruction.
24 Say, wherefore are you° lacking in these things,
And your souls are very thirsty?
25 I opened my mouth, and spoke,
Get her for yourselves without money.
26 Put your neck under the yoke,
And let your soul receive instruction:
She is hard at hand to find.
27 Behold with your eyes,
How that I labored but a little,
And found for myself much rest.
28 Get you instruction with a great sum of silver,
And gain much gold by her.
29 May your soul rejoice in his mercy,
And may you° not be put to shame in praising him.
30 Work your work before the time comes,
And in his time he will give you your reward.