“Do not give yourself over
Do not distress yourself deliberately!
A joyful heart is life itself.
One’s life span.
Remove sorrow far from you!
Sorrow has destroyed many.
No advantage ever comes from it.
Jealousy shortens life.
Anger shortens life.
Anxiety brings on premature old age.
Whoever is cheerful at table,
Whoever is merry at table,
Will benefit from their food.”
Sirach reminds us not to give into sorrow. Do not deliberately distress yourself. If you are happy, you will lengthen your lifespan. Indulge yourself and take comfort in what you do. Stay away from sorrow, because it has destroyed many people, since there is no advantage to being sorrowful. Jealousy and anger will shorten your life. Anxiety brings on old age prematurely. Look at all the happy old people. If you are cheerful and merry when you eat, the food will seem that much better.
“Unjust anger cannot be justified.
Anger tips the scale to one’s ruin.
Those who are patient
Until the right moment.
Then cheerfulness comes back to them.
They hold back their words
Until the right moment.
The lips of many tell of their good sense.”
There is no justification for unjust anger. If fact, getting angry may tip the scales to your ruin. The patient ones stay calm until the right moment, until their anger calms down. Then they are cheerful again. They hold back their words until the right moment. Many people will talk about their good sense.
While you are young.
Let your heart cheer you
In the days of your youth.
Follow the inclinations of your heart.
Follow the desire of your eyes.
But know that for all these things
God will bring you into judgment.
Banish anxiety from your mind.
Put away pain from your body.
Youth is vain.
The dawn of life is vanity.”
Now Qoheleth has an ode to youth. Young men should rejoice while they are young. They should be cheerful and happy. They should follow the inclinations and desires of their hearts and eyes. However, they should be aware that God will judge them. Despite that, they should banish an anxious mind or a painful body. After all, all of this is in vain. Youth and the dawn of life is useless vanity.
“A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance.
But by the sorrow of the heart
The spirit is broken.
The mind of him who has understanding
But the mouths of fools
Feed on folly.
All the days of the poor are evil.
But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.”
If you happy inside, in your heart, it will show on your face. If you have a sorrowful heart, your spirit is broken. The understanding people seek knowledge. However fools feed on folly and foolishness. All the days of the poor of heart are evil, while the cheerful heart has a continual festival.