Praise for the Divine presence (Sir 43:27-43:33)

“We could say more.

But we could never say enough.

Let the final word be.

‘He is the all.’

Where can we find the strength

To praise him?

He is greater

Than all his works.

Awesome is the Lord.

He is very great.

His power is marvelous.

Glorify the Lord!

Exalt him as much as you can!

He surpasses even that.

When you exalt him,

Summon all your strength.

Do not grow weary!

You cannot praise him enough.

Who has seen him?

Who can describe him?

Who can extol him as he is?

Many things greater

Than these lie hidden.

I have seen

But a few of his works.

The Lord has made all things.

To the godly,

He has given wisdom.”

Sirach assumes the first person plural saying that he or we could say more, but it would never be enough. In fact, Sirach is very close to a pantheistic view when he maintains that the Lord is all things. However, he quickly corrects himself when he says that the Lord is greater than all his works, separating him from his creation. The Lord is awesome, very great, marvelous, and powerful. Where do we get the strength to praise the Lord? We should glorify him and exalt him as much as we can. We should not grow weary because we can never praise God enough. Nobody has seen him or described him. How can we extol him enough? Sirach has related what he has seen, but there are many more hidden things about the Lord, since he is the creator of all things. Luckily, he has given wisdom to the godly, so that they will experience a few of these marvels of the Lord.

Only God has wisdom (Job 28:23-28:28)

“God understands the way to it.

He knows its place.

He looks to the ends of the earth.

He sees everything under the heavens.

He gave to the wind its weight.

He meted out the waters by measure.

He made a decree for the rain.

He made a way for the thunderbolt.

Then he saw it.

He declared it.

He established it.

He searched it out.

He said to humankind.

‘Truly

The fear of Yahweh,

That is wisdom.

To depart from evil is understanding.’”

Now we have the answer to this puzzle about wisdom. God is the answer. Fear of Yahweh is true wisdom, an Israelite description of God. Separating from evil is true wisdom. God understands where wisdom is and how to find it. He goes to the ends of the flat earth. He sees everything under the heavens. He knows all things. He knows the weight of the wind and the measure of water. He is in charge of the rain and the thunderbolts. Finally, he reveals it to all human mortals. Fear of the Lord Yahweh is true wisdom so that you depart from evil.