“Bless the Lord!
He has crowned you
May the Lord
Grant you wisdom
May you judge his people
Thus their prosperity
May not vanish.
Thus their glory
Throughout all their generations.”
Sirach has this blessing at the end of this long section on Aaron and the Levitical priests. You should bless the Lord because he has crowned you with glory. Then the Lord may grant you wisdom to judge with justice. Thus your prosperity may have a glorious future throughout all generations to come.
Let us enjoy the good things that exist!
Make use of creation to the full
As in youth.
Let us take our fill of costly wine!
Let us take our fill of perfumes!
Let no flower of spring pass us by.
Let us crown ourselves
With rosebuds before they wither.
Let none of us fail to share in our revelry.
Everywhere let us leave signs of enjoyment.
Because this is our portion,
This is our lot.”
Once again, following the advice of Qoheleth in Ecclesiastes, we should enjoy life and not worry because all is vanity. These impious people want to enjoy all the existing good things, the use of all creation as they had done in their youth. They wanted to enjoy costly wine, perfumes, and the flowers of spring. They should be crowned with rosebuds as well as share in their revelry. They should enjoy themselves because this was their portion and lot in life.
“The perverse get what their ways deserve.
The good get what their deeds deserve.
The simple believes everything.
But the clever consider their steps.
The wise are cautious.
They turn away from evil.
But the fool throws off restraint.
The fool is careless.
One who is quick tempered
The schemer is hated.
The simple are adorned with folly.
But the clever are crowned with knowledge.
The evil bow down before the good.
The wicked are at the gates of the righteous.”
Both the perverse and the good get what they deserve based on their ways and deeds. The simple believe everything, but the clever ones watch their steps. The wise clever ones are cautious. They turn away from evil. The foolish ones throw off restraint and are careless. As usual, it is better to be good and wise than a simple perverse fool. The quick tempered ones act foolishly. The schemers are hated. The simple ones are full of folly, but the clever ones are crowned with knowledge. The evil wicked ones bow down before the gates of the good and righteous ones.
“Yet you have made them a little lower than God.
You crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion
Over the works of your hands.
You have put all things under their feet,
Also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air,
The fish of the sea,
Whatever passes along the paths of the sea.”
Thus we have mortals as a little lower than God, crowned with glory and honor. We have dominion over the works of Yahweh, our sovereign creator. All things are under our mortal feet. Thus all sheep, oxen, and the beasts of the field are under the dominion of us mortals. However, added to that are the birds of the air and the fish of the sea, or whatever is in the sea. In this enumeration, there are only a few animals specifically mentioned, sheep and oxen, giving us a hint at what David and his friends considered domesticated animals.