|The leader of his brethren and the pride of his people |
was Simon the high priest, son of Onias,
who in his life repaired the house,
and in his time fortified the temple.
|Simon, son of Onias. Sir.50.1-21|
|He laid the foundations for the high double walls, |
the high retaining walls for the temple enclosure.
|In his days a cistern for water was quarried out, |
a reservoir like the sea in circumference.
|He considered how to save his people from ruin, |
and fortified the city to withstand a seige.
|How glorious he was when the people gathered round him |
as he came out of the inner sanctuary!
|Like the morning star among the clouds, |
like the moon when it is full;
|like the sun shining upon the temple of the Most High, |
and like the rainbow gleaming in glorious clouds;
|like roses in the days of the first fruits, |
like lilies by a spring of water,
like a green shoot on Lebanon on a summer day;
|like fire and incense in the censer, |
like a vessel of hammered gold
adorned with all kinds of precious stones;
|like an olive tree putting forth its fruit, |
and like a cypress towering in the clouds.
|When he put on his glorious robe |
and clothed himself with superb perfection
and went up to the holy altar,
he made the court of the sanctuary glorious.
|And when he received the portions from the hands of the priests, |
as he stood by the hearth of the altar with a garland of brethren around him,
he was like a young cedar on Lebanon;
and they surrounded him like the trunks of palm trees,
|all the sons of Aaron in their splendor |
with the Lord's offering in their hands,
before the whole congregation of Israel.
|Finishing the service at the altars, |
and arranging the offering to the Most High, the Almighty,
|he reached out his hand to the cup |
and poured a libation of the blood of the grape;
he poured it out at the foot of the altar,
a pleasing odor to the Most High, the King of all.
|Then the sons of Aaron shouted, |
they sounded the trumpets of hammered work,
they made a great noise to be heard
for remembrance before the Most High.
|Then all the people together made haste |
and fell to the ground upon their faces
to worship their Lord, the Almighty,
God Most High.
|And the singers praised him with their voices |
in sweet and full-toned melody.
|And the people besought the Lord Most High |
in prayer before him who is merciful,
till the order of worship of the Lord was ended;
so they completed his service.
|Then Simon came down, |
and lifted up his hands over the whole congregation of the sons of Israel,
to pronounce the blessing of the Lord with his lips,
and to glory in his name;
|and they bowed down in worship a second time, |
to receive the blessing from the Most High.
|And now bless the God of all, |
who in every way does great things;
who exalts our days from birth,
and deals with us according to his mercy.
|A benediction. Sir.50.22-24|
|May he give us gladness of heart, |
and grant that peace may be in our days in Israel,
as in the days of old.
|May he entrust to us his mercy! |
And let him deliver us in our days!
|With two nations my soul is vexed, |
and the third is no nation:
|Those who live on Mount Seir, and the Philistines, |
and the foolish people that dwell in Shechem.
|Instruction in understanding and knowledge |
I have written in this book,
Jesus the son of Sirach, son of Eleazar, of Jerusalem,
who out of his heart poured forth wisdom.
|Three hated nations. Sir.50.27-29|
|Blessed is he who concerns himself with these things, |
and he who lays them to heart will become wise.
|For if he does them, he will be strong for all things, |
for the light of the Lord is his path.
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