Chapter 17 (Wisdom of Sirach)
The Lord created man of the earth, and turned him into it again. 2 He gave them few days, and a short time, and power also over the things therein. 3 He endued them with strength by themselves, and made them according to his image, 4 And put the fear of man upon all flesh, and gave him dominion over beasts and fowls. 5 They received the use of the five operations of the Lord, and in the sixth place he imparted them understanding, and in the seventh speech, an interpreter of the cogitations thereof.
6 Counsel, and a tongue, and eyes, ears, and a heart, gave he them to understand. 7 Withal he filled them with the knowledge of understanding, and shewed them good and evil. 8 He set his eye upon their hearts, that he might shew them the greatness of his works. 9 He gave them to glory in his marvellous acts for ever, that they might declare his works with understanding. 10 And the elect shall praise his holy name.
11 Beside this he gave them knowledge, and the law of life for an heritage. 12 He made an everlasting covenant with them, and shewed them his judgments. 13 Their eyes saw the majesty of his glory, and their ears heard his glorious voice. 14 And he said unto them, Beware of all unrighteousness; and he gave every man commandment concerning his neighbour. 15 Their ways are ever before him, and shall not be hid from his eyes.
16 Every man from his youth is given to evil; neither could they make to themselves fleshy hearts for stony. 17 For in the division of the nations of the whole earth he set a ruler over every people; but Israel is the Lord's portion: 18 Whom, being his firstborn, he nourisheth with discipline, and giving him the light of his love doth not forsake him. 19 Therefore all their works are as the sun before him, and his eyes are continually upon their ways. 20 None of their unrighteous deeds are hid from him, but all their sins are before the Lord
21 But the Lord being gracious and knowing his workmanship, neither left nor forsook them, but spared them. 22 The alms of a man is as a signet with him, and he will keep the good deeds of man as the apple of the eye, and give repentance to his sons and daughters. 23 Afterwards he will rise up and reward them, and render their recompence upon their heads. 24 But unto them that repent, he granted them return, and comforted those that failed in patience. 25 Return unto the Lord, and forsake thy sins, make thy prayer before his face, and offend less.
26 Turn again to the most High, and turn away from iniquity: for he will lead thee out of darkness into the light of health, and hate thou abomination vehemently. 27 Who shall praise the most High in the grave, instead of them which live and give thanks? 28 Thanksgiving perisheth from the dead, as from one that is not: the living and sound in heart shall praise the Lord. 29 How great is the lovingkindness of the Lord our God, and his compassion unto such as turn unto him in holiness! 30 For all things cannot be in men, because the son of man is not immortal.
31 What is brighter than the sun? yet the light thereof faileth; and flesh and blood will imagine evil. 32 He vieweth the power of the height of heaven; and all men are but earth and ashes.