“Associate with a godly person!
Someone you know
To be a keeper
Of the commandments!
Someone who is like minded
Someone who will grieve
If you fail!
Heed the counsel
Of your own heart!
No one is more faithful
To you than it is.
Our own mind sometimes
Keeps us better informed
Than seven watchmen
Sitting high on a watchtower.
But above all,
Pray to the Most High!
Thus he may direct
Your way in truth.”
Sirach has some positive advice on who to associate with, mainly the godly person who keeps the commandments. In other words, seek counsel and give counsel with those who are like minded people. They will grieve with you if you fail. You should follow your heart, since no one is more faithful to you than your own heart. Your mind is better informed than any guards around the tower. However, the most important thing to do is pray to the Most High God so that he can direct your way truthfully. In the end, the best consultation is between you and God.
“I will tell you
What wisdom is.
I will tell you
How she came to be.
I will hide no secrets from you.
But I will trace her course
From the beginning of creation.
I will make knowledge of her clear.
I will not pass by the truth.
I will not travel in the company
Of sickly envy.
Envy does not associate with wisdom.
The multitude of the wise
Is the salvation of the world.
A sensible king
Is the stability of any people.
Be instructed by my words.
You will profit.”
Assuming the first person singular, probably as King Solomon, this author sets out to tell the developing history of wisdom (σοφία καὶ πῶς ἐγένετο). He was not going to hide any secrets or mysteries (μυστήρια). He was going to trace all of wisdom from the beginning of creation (γενέσεως). He was going to point this out clearly and truthfully. Envy (φθόνῳ) does not associate with wisdom (οὐ κοινωνήσει σοφίᾳ). The multitude of the wise will bring salvation to the world. A sensible king brings stability to the people. Therefore all can be instructed and gain from his words.
Yahweh is faithful in all his words.
He is gracious in all his deeds.
Yahweh upholds all who are falling.
He raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you.
You give them their food in due season.
You open your hand.
You satisfy the desire of every living thing.
Yahweh is just in all his ways.
He is kind in all his doings.
Yahweh is near to all who call upon him.
He is near to all who call upon him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of all who fear him.
He also hears their cry.
He saves them.
Yahweh watches over all who love him.
But he will destroy all the wicked.”
Yahweh is faithful in his words and gracious in his deeds. He holds up all who are falling. He raises up those bowed down. He gives them food in due season. He opens his hand to fulfill desires. Yahweh is just in his ways and kind in his actions. He is near to those who truthfully call upon him. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him. He can hear their cry and save them. He watches over all those who love him. However, he will destroy the wicked. The next 8 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are found here in italic.