The foolish ones (Sir 21:14-21:17)

“The mind of a fool is

Like a broken jar.

It can hold no knowledge.

When an intelligent person

Hears a wise saying,

He praises it.

He adds to it.

When a fool hears it,

He laughs at it.

He throws it behind his back.

A fool’s chatter is

Like a burden on a journey.

But delight is found

In the speech of the intelligent.

The utterance of a sensible person

Is sought in the assembly.

They ponder his words in their minds.”

Sirach says that the mind of a fool is like a broken jar that cannot hold any knowledge in it. This was the common idea of the mind as an empty jar that knowledge fills up. When an intelligent person hears a wise saying, he or she praises it and adds to it. On the contrary, when the fool hears the same thing, he laughs at it, throwing it behind his back. The fool’s chatter on a long journey is burdensome, but the speech of an intelligent person is delightful. Thus in an assembly, the presentations of a sensible person is often sought after, so that others might ponder his words.

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The happy wise person (Sir 14:20-14:27)

“Happy is the person

Who meditates on wisdom,

Who reasons intelligently,

Who reflects in his heart on her ways,

Who ponders her secrets,

Who pursues wisdom like a hunter,

Who lies in wait on her paths,

Who peers through her windows,

Who listens at her doors,

Who encamps near her house,

Who fastens his tent peg to her walls,

Who pitches his tent near her,

Who so occupies an excellent lodging place,

Who places his children under her shelter,

Who lodges under her boughs,

Who is sheltered by her from the heat,

Who dwells in the midst of her glory.”

Sirach describes the happy person who has a relationship to wisdom. These happy people will meditate on wisdom. They will reason intelligently. They will reflect on wisdom. They will ponder the secrets of wisdom. They will pursue wisdom like a hunter who lies in wait for wisdom. They will look through the windows and listen at the doors of wisdom. They will camp near the house of wisdom. They will have tent pegs on the walls of the house of wisdom. They will have pitched a tent next to the house of wisdom, which is an excellent lodging place. They will place their children under the shelter of wisdom. They will live under the branches of wisdom, so that they will be sheltered by wisdom from the midday sun. They will live in the glory of wisdom. These happy people will really like wisdom.

The wicked (Prov 15:26-15:30)

“Evil plans are an abomination to Yahweh.

But gracious words are pure.

Those who are greedy for unjust gain

Make trouble for their household.

But those who hates bribes

Will live.

The mind of the righteous

Ponders how to answer.

But the mouth of the wicked

Pours out evil.

Yahweh is far from the wicked.

But he hears the prayer of the righteous.

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart.

Good news refreshes the body.”

Wicked evil plans are an abomination to Yahweh. Gracious words, on the other hand, are pure. The greedy seek after an unjust gain or profit as they make trouble for their family. If you hate bribes, you will have a long life. The righteous ponder how to answer questions, while the mouths of the wicked pour out evil things. Yahweh stays far away from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous. The light in your eyes rejoices your heart, just as good news refreshes your body.