The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Ecclesiasticus
If a man fears the Lord, he shall meet with no disaster; God will be watching over him, even when his faith is put to the test, and from such disaster will preserve him.
A wise man does not grow weary of the law, and the duties it enjoins, and no shipwreck can befall him.
If thou art a man of judgement, thou hast only to trust God’s commandment, and it will not fail thee;
… giving a true answer to the question asked …✻ thou wilt prepare thy plea, and find audience for thy prayer; wilt recollect the teaching given thee, and so satisfy thy questioner.
A fool’s heart is but a wheel that turns; his are whirling thoughts.
Hast thou a friend that will ever be mocking? Be comforted; stallion will ever neigh, ride him who will.
Why is it that one day which dawns, one year, takes precedence of another, when all come of the same sun?
God’s wisdom it was that so set them apart when he made the sun, and gave it a law to keep;
made a succession of seasons, a succession of feast days, when at stated times men must keep holiday.
To some he would assign high dignity; others should be lost in the common rabble of days. So it is that all men are built of the same clay; son of Adam is son of earth;
yet the Lord, in the plenitude of his wisdom, has marked them off from one another, not giving the same destiny to each.
For some, his blessing; he will advance them, will set them apart and claim them as his own. For some, his ban; he will bring them low, and single them out no more.
Clay we are in the potter’s hands; it is for him who made us to dispose of us;
clay is what potter wills it to be, and we are in our maker’s hands, to be dealt with at his pleasure.
Evil matched with good, life matched with death, sinner matched with man of piety; so everywhere in God’s works thou wilt find pairs matched, one against the other.
Think of me as one that has toiled last of all, and goes about gleaning a fruit here, a fruit there, after the vintagers have done.
Yet did I trust that I, too, might have God’s blessing, and I, too, have filled the wine-press, a vintager like the rest.
See how I have toiled, not for my own sake merely, but for all such as covet wisdom!
Words for the hearing of all, high and low; you that hold high place in the assembly, never disdain to listen.
Long as thou livest, do not put thyself in the power of others, though it be son or wife, kinsman or friend; do not make over thy goods to another; it is ill to go a-begging for what is thy own.
While life and breath is in thee, never change places with another;
it is for thy children to ask thee for what they need, not to have thyself for their pensioner.
Be at the head of thy own affairs,
nor ever tarnish thy renown, until thy days are finished; then, at the hour of thy death, make thy bequests.
Fodder thy ass must have, and the whip, and a pack to bear; thy slave, too, needs food and discipline and hard work.
Under duress he toils, what marvel if ease should tempt him? Leave his hands idle, and he will seek to be his own master.
The stubborn ox yoke and rein will subdue; slave held to his task is slave bowed to thy will;
keep rack and stocks for one that is bent on mischief. To the task, no hours of leisure!
Idleness is a great teacher of ill habit.
Toil first assign to him; toiling is his lot; then, if he disobeys thee, with the stocks thou mayst tame him. Yet do not burden flesh and blood more than it can bear, nor inflict more than lawful punishment while the plea is still unheard.
Faithful slave if thou hast, make much of him as of thy own self; treat him as if he were thy brother, as if thy own life were✻ the price of his purchase.
Wrong him, and he may run away from thy service;
once he takes to his heels, who can tell thee where or in what guise thou mayst discover him?
The Holy Bible