The wise ones (Sir 20:27-20:31)

“The wise person

Advances himself

By his words.

Whoever is sensible

Will please the great men.

Whoever cultivates the soil

Will heap up their harvest.

Whoever pleases the great men

Will atone for injustice.

Favors blind the eyes of the wise.

Gifts blind the eyes of the wise.

Like a muzzle on the mouth,

They stop reproofs.

What is the value

Of hidden wisdom?

What is the value

Of an unseen treasure?

What value is either of them?

Better are those

Who hide their folly

Than those

Who hide their wisdom.”

Sirach gives us some indications about the wise people. They advance themselves by their words. They are sensible and thus please great men. They know how to cultivate the soil to get a great harvest. They atone for injustice. However, there is a down side. They should not be blinded by gifts and favors. Thus they might end up putting a muzzle on so that they stop criticizing the people who are giving these presents and favors. There is no value to hidden wisdom or unseen treasure. The foolish should hide their foolishness rather than the wise hide their wisdom.

Thanksgiving for the harvest (Ps 65:9-65:13)

“You visit the earth!

You water it!

You greatly enrich it!

The river of God is full of water.

You provide the people with grain.

You have prepared it.

You water its furrows abundantly.

You settle its ridges.

You soften it with showers.

You bless its growth.

You crown the year with your bounty.

Your wagon tracks overflow with richness.

The pastures of the wilderness overflow.

The hills gird themselves with joy.

The meadows clothe themselves with flocks.

The valleys deck themselves with grain.

They shout.

They sing together for joy.”

This psalm ends with a thanksgiving to God for the great harvest. There was a profound sense of God as the grand gardener who made the crops grow. A good example of this basic belief is how God watered the earth and enriched it.  God’s river was full of water. God also provided the grain, but how was not exactly clear. There was just the right amount of rain from the showers to make the crops grow. There was a great bounty or harvest as the heavy wagons made deep tracks. Also the pastures were rich for the various animal flocks. The grain and the grass were growing at a good rate in the valleys. Thus the land and the people all shouted together. They sang with joy in thanksgiving for the great harvest time.