Chapter 16 (Wisdom of Sirach)
Desire not a multitude of unprofitable children, neither delight in ungodly sons. 2 Though they multiply, rejoice not in them, except the fear of the Lord be with them. 3 Trust not thou in their life, neither respect their multitude: for one that is just is better than a thousand; and better it is to die without children, than to have them that are ungodly. 4 For by one that hath understanding shall the city be replenished: but the kindred of the wicked shall speedily become desolate. 5 Many such things have I seen with mine eyes, and mine ear hath heard greater things than these.
6 In the congregation of the ungodly shall a fire be kindled; and in a rebellious nation wrath is set on fire. 7 He was not pacified toward the old giants, who fell away in the strength of their foolishness. 8 Neither spared he the place where Lot sojourned, but abhorred them for their pride. 9 He pitied not the people of perdition, who were taken away in their sins: 10 Nor the six hundred thousand footmen, who were gathered together in the hardness of their hearts.
11 And if there be one stiffnecked among the people, it is marvel if he escape unpunished: for mercy and wrath are with him; he is mighty to forgive, and to pour out displeasure. 12 As his mercy is great, so is his correction also: he judgeth a man according to his works 13 The sinner shall not escape with his spoils: and the patience of the godly shall not be frustrate. 14 Make way for every work of mercy: for every man shall find according to his works. 15 The Lord hardened Pharaoh, that he should not know him, that his powerful works might be known to the world.
16 His mercy is manifest to every creature; and he hath separated his light from the darkness with an adamant. 17 Say not thou, I will hide myself from the Lord: shall any remember me from above? I shall not be remembered among so many people: for what is my soul among such an infinite number of creatures? 18 Behold, the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, the deep, and the earth, and all that therein is, shall be moved when he shall visit. 19 The mountains also and foundations of the earth be shaken with trembling, when the Lord looketh upon them. 20 No heart can think upon these things worthily: and who is able to conceive his ways?
21 It is a tempest which no man can see: for the most part of his works are hid. 22 Who can declare the works of his justice? or who can endure them? for his covenant is afar off, and the trial of all things is in the end. 23 He that wanteth understanding will think upon vain things: and a foolish man erring imagineth follies. 24 my son, hearken unto me, and learn knowledge, and mark my words with thy heart. 25 I will shew forth doctrine in weight, and declare his knowledge exactly.
26 The works of the Lord are done in judgment from the beginning: and from the time he made them he disposed the parts thereof. 27 He garnished his works for ever, and in his hand are the chief of them unto all generations: they neither labour, nor are weary, nor cease from their works. 28 None of them hindereth another, and they shall never disobey his word. 29 After this the Lord looked upon the earth, and filled it with his blessings. 30 With all manner of living things hath he covered the face thereof; and they shall return into it again.