The prayer of the high priest Simon (Sir 50:22-50:24)

“Now bless

The God of all!

He works everywhere!

What great wonders!

He fosters our growth

From birth!

He deals with us

According to his mercy!

May he give us

Gladness of heart!

May there be peace

In our days in Israel!

As in the days of old!

May he entrust to us

His mercy!

May he deliver us

In our days!”

Sirach then inserts the prayer of Simon, the high priest. Simon prays that the God of all will bless the Israelites. God works great wonders. This merciful God fosters our growth from birth. He gladdens our heart. May he bring peace to Israel today and deliver Israel from its enemies, as in the old days. Thus it is a simple straightforward prayer for mercy today.

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The use of wine (Sir 31:25-31:31)

“Do not try to prove your strength

By drinking wine.

Wine has destroyed many people.

As the furnace tests

The work of the smith,

So wine tests hearts

When the insolent quarrel.

Wine is very life to human beings,

If you drink it in moderation.

What is life to one

Who is without wine?

It has been created

To make people happy.

Wine drunk at the proper time,

Is rejoicing to the heart.

Wine drunk in moderation

Brings gladness to the soul.

Wine drunk to excess

Leads to bitterness of spirit,

Leads to quarrels,

Leads to stumbling.

Drunkenness increases

The anger of a fool

To his own hurt.

It reduces his strength.

It adds wounds.

Do not reprove your neighbor

At a banquet of wine.

Do not despise him

In his merrymaking.

Speak no word of reproach to him.

Do not distress him

By making demands of him.”

Sirach warns that you should not try to show how strong you are by drinking wine since it has destroyed many people. Just as a furnace tests the iron work of a blacksmith, so too wine tests insolent people when they quarrel. However, wine does have a good purpose. It is life itself when taken in moderation. Without wine, our lives would not be happy. Wine at the proper time and in moderation rejoices and gladdens the heart and the soul. On the other hand, over indulging in wine can lead to a bitter spirit, quarrels, and stumbling around. The fool who drinks excessively increases his own anger to his own detriment. Drunkards lose their strength and sometimes get wounded. If you are at a banquet with wine, do not pick an argument with your neighbor. Do not dislike him for having a good time. Do not criticize him or ask him for anything. It is not the right time.