1 Great travail is created for every man, And a heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam, From the day of their coming forth from their mother’s womb, Until the day for their burial in the mother of all things.
2 The expectation of things to come, and the day of death, Trouble their thoughts, and cause fear of heart;
3 From him that sits on a throne of glory, Even to him that is humbled in earth and ashes;
4 From him that wears purple and a crown, Even to him that is clothed with a hempen frock.
5 There is wrath, and jealousy, and trouble, and disquiet, And fear of death, and anger, and strife; And in the time of rest upon his bed His night sleep does change his knowledge.
6 A little or nothing is his resting, And afterward in his sleep, as in a day of keeping watch, He is troubled in the vision of his heart, As one that has escaped from the front of battle.
7 In the very time of his deliverance he awakens, And marvels that the fear is nothing.
8 It is thus with all flesh, from man to beast, And upon sinners sevenfold more.
9 Death, and bloodshed, and strife, and sword, Calamities, famine, suffering, and the scourge;
10 All these things were created for the wicked, And because of them came the flood.
11 All things that are of the earth turn to the earth again: And all things that are of the waters return into the sea.
12 All bribery and injustice shall be blotted out; And good faith shall stand forever.
13 The goods of the unjust shall be dried up like a river, And like a great thunder in rain shall go off in noise.
14 In opening his hands a man shall be made glad: So shall transgressors utterly fail.
15 The children of the ungodly shall not put forth many branches; And are as unclean roots upon a sheer rock.
16 The sedge that grows upon every water and bank of a river Shall be plucked up before all grass.
17 Bounty is as a garden of blessings, And almsgiving endures forever.
18 The life of one that labors, and is content, shall be made sweet; And he that finds a treasure is above both.
19 Children and the building of a city establish a man’s name; And a blameless wife is counted above both.
20 Wine and music rejoice the heart; And the love of wisdom is above both.
21 The pipe and the lute make pleasant melody; And a pleasant tongue is above both.
22 Your eye shall desire grace and beauty; And above both the green blade of corn.
23 A friend and a companion never meet amiss; And a wife with her husband is above both.
24 Brethren and help are for a time of affliction; And almsgiving is a deliverer above both.
25 Gold and silver will make the foot stand sure; And counsel is esteemed above them both.
26 Riches and strength will lift up the heart; And the fear of the Lord is above both: There is nothing lacking in the fear of the Lord, And there is no need to seek help therein.
27 The fear of the Lord is as a garden of blessing, And covers a man above all glory.
28 My son, lead not a beggar’s life; Better it is to die than to beg.
29 A man that looks to the table of another, His life is not to be counted for a life; He will pollute his soul with another man’s meats: But a man wise and well-instructed will beware thereof.
30 In the mouth of the shameless begging will be sweet; And in his belly a fire shall be kindled.
Wisdom Baruch First Maccabees
Visit Catholic Gallery Main Site