“May your soul rejoice
In God’s mercy!
May you never be ashamed
To praise him!
Do your work in good time!
In God’s own time,
He will give you your reward.
The wisdom of Jesus,
Son of Sira.
May the name of the Lord
Be blessed now and forever!”
We now have the final blessing from Sirach. In fact, he kind of signs off on this when he says that this is the wisdom of Jesus, son of Sira, Ben Sira, or Sirach. He wanted our souls to rejoice in God’s mercy. We should never be ashamed to praise God. However, we were to continue our work. God would then reward us in his time schedule. Therefore the name of the Lord should be blessed forever.
“Who can learn the counsel of God?
Who can discern what the Lord wills?
The reasoning of mortals is worthless.
Our designs are likely to fail.
A perishable body weighs down the soul.
This earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind.
We can hardly guess at what is on earth.
What is at hand
We find with labor.
But who has traced out
What is in the heavens?
Who has learned your counsel,
Unless you have given wisdom?
You sent your Holy Spirit from on high.
Thus the paths of those on earth
Were set right.
People were taught
What pleases you.
They were saved by wisdom.”
What is the will of the Lord (θέλει ὁ Κύριος)? How can you have counsel with God (βουλὴν Θεοῦ)? What man is able to know (ἄνθρωπος γνώσετα) these things because human reasoning is worthless? By our own designs we are likely to fail. Then we have the Platonic thought about how our perishable body (σῶμα) weighs down our souls (ψυχήν) as our earthly tent holds back our minds. We can only guess what is going on even when we work hard here on earth (γῆς). We have no idea what is going on in heaven (οὐρανοῖς). The only way that we know anything is with the counsel and the wisdom (σοφίαν) that your Holy Spirit (τὸ ἅγιόν σου πνεῦμα) gives to us. Here is a clear rare explicit mention of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament books. This is the only way that we can stay on the right path. We are saved by wisdom (τῇ σοφίᾳ).