The restless sleep (Sir 40:5-40:7)

“When one rests

Upon his bed,

His sleep at night

Confuses his mind.

He gets little or no rest.

He struggles in his sleep,

As he did by day.

He is troubled

By the visions of his mind.

He is like one

Who has escaped

From the battlefield.

At the moment

He reaches safety,

He wakes up.

He is astonished

That his fears

Were groundless.”

Sirach points to the restless sleep that people have because their minds are confused. They actually get very little rest, since they are as if they were awake during the day. They struggle with troubled dreams or visions, while they try to get some restful sleep. They are like shell-shocked. They think that they are on a battlefield that they cannot escape. Yet they wake up astonished that they are safe. We might call these bad dreams or nightmares, where people are always trying to get away from someone or something.

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