1 He who lives forever created the whole universe.
The Lord alone is just. 3 *
4 He has given power to declare his works to no one.
Who could trace out his mighty deeds?
5 Who could measure the strength of his majesty?
Who could also proclaim his mercies?
6 As for the wondrous works of the Lord, it is not possible to take from them nor add to them,
neither is it possible to explore them.
7 When a man has finished, then he is just at the beginning.
When he stops, then he will be perplexed.
8 What is mankind, and what purpose do they serve?
What is their good, and what is their evil?
9 The number of man’s days at the most are a hundred years.
10 As a drop of water from the sea, and a pebble from the sand,
so are a few years in the day of eternity.
11 For this cause the Lord was patient over them,
and poured out his mercy upon them.
12 He saw and perceived their end, that it is evil.
Therefore he multiplied his forgiveness.
13 The mercy of a man is on his neighbor;
but the mercy of the Lord is on all flesh:
reproving, chastening, teaching,
and bringing back, as a shepherd does his flock.
14 He has mercy on those who accept chastening,
and that diligently seek after his judgments.
15 My son, don’t add reproach to your good deeds,
and no harsh words in any of your giving.
16 Doesn’t the dew relieve the scorching heat?
So a word is better than a gift.
17 Behold, isn’t a word better than a gift?
Both are with a gracious person.
18 A fool is ungracious and abusive.
The gift of an grudging person consumes the eyes.
19 Learn before you speak.
Take care of your health before you get sick.
20 Before judgment, examine yourself,
and in the hour of scrutiny you will find forgiveness.
21 Humble yourself before you get sick.
In the time of sins, repent.
22 Let nothing hinder you to pay your vow in due time.
Don’t wait until death to be released.
23 Before you make a vow, prepare yourself.
Don’t be like a man who tests the Lord.
24 Think about the wrath coming in the days of the end,
and the time of vengeance, when he turns away his face.
25 In the days of fullness remember the time of hunger.
Remember poverty and lack in the days of wealth.
26 From morning until evening, the time changes.
All things are speedy before the Lord.
27 A wise man is cautious in everything.
In days of sinning, he will beware of offense.†
28 Every man of understanding knows wisdom.
He will give thanks to him who found her.
29 They who were of understanding in sayings also became wise themselves,
and poured out apt proverbs.
30 Don’t go after your lusts.
Restrain your appetites.
31 If you give fully to your soul the delight of her desire,
she will make you‡
the laughing stock of your enemies.
32 Don’t make merry in much luxury,
and don’t be tied to its expense.
33 Don’t be made a beggar by banqueting with borrowed money
when you have nothing in your purse.§