The mystery of wisdom (Sir 1:1-1:10)

“All wisdom is from the Lord.

It remains forever with him.

Who can count?

The sand of the sea?

The drops of rain?

The days of eternity?

Who can search them out?

The height of heaven?

The breadth of the earth?

The abyss?

Wisdom?

Wisdom was created before all other things.

Prudent understanding is from eternity.

To whom has it been revealed

The root of wisdom?

Who knows her subtleties?

There is but one who is wise.

He is greatly to be feared.

He is seated upon his throne.

The Lord!

It is he who created her.

He saw her.

He took her measure.

He poured her out upon all his works.

He poured her out upon all the living.

According to his gift,

He lavished her upon

Those who love him.”

This author Sirach starts his work like the beginning of Proverbs with the insistence that all wisdom comes from the Lord. Since this is a Greek translation, the normally tendency was to translate Yahweh or God as Lord, Κυρίος. There is also a minor problem with the numbering of verses. However, no one can count the amount of sand in the sea, the drops of rain, or the days of eternity. No one can tell you how high heaven is, or the width of earth, or the depth of the sea abyss, or about wisdom itself. Wisdom was the first thing created, even though there is no explicit mention of this in Genesis. Understanding is from eternity. No one knows the subtleties of wisdom. The Lord, who sits on his throne, is truly wise and needs to be feared. He created wisdom and poured her out on all his works, including all the living things. Those who love him will receive wisdom.

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