Fear of the Lord and wisdom (Sir 15:1-15:8)

“Whoever fears the Lord

Will do this.

Whoever holds to the law

Will obtain wisdom.

Wisdom will come to meet him

Like a mother.

She will be

Like a young bride.

She will welcome him.

She will feed him

With the bread of learning.

She will give him

The water of wisdom to drink.

He will lean on her.

He will not fall.

He will rely on her.

He will not be put to shame.

She will exalt him

Above his neighbors.

She will open his mouth

In the midst of the assembly.

He will find gladness.

He will find a crown of rejoicing.

He will inherit an everlasting name.

The foolish will not obtain her.

Sinners will not see her.

She is far from arrogance.

Liars will never think of her.”

Anyone who fears the Lord will have a chance at wisdom. They must hold firmly and follow the law in order to get wisdom. Then wisdom will come to meet them like a mother or a young bride. Clearly wisdom is feminine as a mother or wife. The food and drink of the wise person will be the bread of learning and the water of wisdom. These people can lean on wisdom so that they will not fall or be put to shame. They will be exalted above their neighbors because they will open their mouths in the assembly of the elders. They will find gladness with a rejoicing crown and an everlasting name. The foolish and the sinners cannot obtain or see wisdom. Wisdom stays away from arrogance. Liars never think about wisdom, since she is reserved for those who fear the Lord.

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Wisdom teaches those who love her (Sir 4:11-4:16)

“Wisdom teachers her children.

Wisdom gives help to those who seek her.

Whoever loves her

Loves life.

Whoever seeks her from early morning

Is filled with joy.

Whoever holds her fast inherits glory.

The Lord blesses the place she enters.

Whoever serves her

Ministers to the Holy One.

The Lord loves those who love her.

Whoever obeys her

Will judge the nations.

Whoever listens to her

Will live secure.

If they remain faithful,

They will inherit her.

Their descendants will also obtain her.”

The personification of wisdom continues here with wisdom as a teacher. However, it is clear that they have to seek her out. Wisdom loves those who love her. They will be filled with joy, if they seek her in the morning. They will inherit glory. The Lord blesses everyplace that she goes. If you minister to wisdom, you are ministering to the Holy One, God. The Lord loves those who love her. If they obey wisdom, they will judge other nations and live a secure life. If they are faithful to her, they and their descendants will inherit and obtain wisdom.