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 Saviour.
I give thanks to your name,
2 for you have been my protector and helper,
and delivered my body out of destruction,
and out of the snare of a slanderous tongue,
from lips that fabricate lies.
You were my helper before those who stood by,
3 and delivered me, according to the abundance of your mercy and of your name,
from the gnashings of teeth ready to devour,
out of the hand of those seeking my life,
out of the many afflictions I endured,
4 from the choking of a fire on every side,
and out of the midst of fire that I hadn’t kindled,
5 out of the depth of the belly of Hades,
from an unclean tongue,
and from lying words—
6 the slander of an unrighteous tongue to the king.
My soul drew near to death.
My life was near to Hades.
7 They surrounded me on every side.
There was no one to help me.
I was looking for human help,
and there was none.
8 Then 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 their enemies.
9 I lifted up my prayer 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.
I will sing praise with thanksgiving.
My prayer was heard.
12 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,
before I went abroad,
I sought wisdom openly in my prayer.
14 Before the temple I asked for her.
I will seek her out even to the end.
15 From the first flower to the ripening grape my heart delighted in her.
My foot walked in uprightness.
From my youth I followed her steps.
16 I inclined my ear a little, and received her,
and found for myself much instruction.
17 I profited in her.
I will give glory to him who gives me wisdom.
18 For I determined to practise her.
I was zealous for that which is good.
I will never be put to shame.
19 My soul has wrestled with her.
In my conduct I was exact.
I spread out my hands to the heaven above,
and bewailed my ignorances of her.
20 I directed my soul to her.
In purity I found her.
I got myself a heart joined with her from the beginning.
Therefore I won’t be forsaken.
21 My belly also was troubled to seek her.
Therefore I have gained a good possession.
22 The Lord gave me a tongue for my reward.
I will praise him with it.
23 Draw near to me, all you who are uneducated,
and live in the house of instruction.
24 Why therefore are you all 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 near to find.
27 See with your eyes
how that I laboured just a little
and found for myself much rest.
28 Get instruction with a great sum of silver,
and gain much gold by her.
29 May your soul rejoice in his mercy,
and may you all 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.