1 Quite different is it with the person who spends his life reflecting on the Law of the Most High. He examines the wisdom of the sages in times past and in his free time he studies prophecies.
2 He keeps in mind what people of renown have said and penetrates the mystery of parables. 3 He searches for the inner meaning of proverbs and is interested in the secret of parables.
4 He is at the service of the great and is seen in the company of leaders. He travels in foreign lands and has experience of both the good and the evil in mankind.
5 Early in the morning his heart is set on turning to the Lord, his Maker, and raising his being to the Most High. He opens his mouth in prayer and makes supplication because of his sins.
6 If such is the will of the great Lord he will be filled with the spirit of discernment. He will then speak words of wisdom and celebrate the Lord in prayer.
7 He will acquire just judgment and knowledge and reflect on the Lord’s hidden mysteries.
8 In his teaching he discloses what he has learned and glories in the law of the Lord’s covenant.
9 Many people praise his discernment and never will he be forgotten. His memory will not fade and his name will live on from generation to generation.
10 Nations will proclaim his wisdom and the assembly will celebrate his praise.
11 As long as he lives his name will be more glorious than a thousand others, and when he dies that fame will be enough.
All creation is good
12 I wish to share still more of my reflections; I am filled with them just as the moon is said to be full.
13 Hear me, devoted people, and grow as a rose planted near a stream.
14 Spread fragrance around you like incense; blossom and perfume the air like a lily; sing a hymn and bless Yahweh for all his works.
15 Magnify his Name and proclaim his praise with song and lyre, expressing this with thanksgiving.
16 How magnificent are the works of the Lord! All his commands are appropriately timed and satisfy every need.
16 No one should say: “What is this? Why is that?” All must be studied in its time.
17 At his word the waters ceased to flow and piled up, his voice caused the reservoir of water to open; 18 at his order his every wish is fulfilled, and no one hinders his work of salvation.
19 The deeds of all are before him, nothing is hidden from his eyes; 20 he sees all from eternity to eternity and nothing surprises him.
21 No one must say: “What is that? Why is it so?” for everything is created for a pur pose.
22 His blessing covers all things and like a river drenches the land as in a flood. 23 Similarly he may pour out his wrath on the nations, just as he has turned fresh water into salt.
24 If his ways are smooth for holy people they are full of obstacles for the wicked. 25 From the beginning, good things have been created for the good and likewise evil things for the wicked.
26 Most necessary for man’s life are water, fire, iron and salt, wheaten flour, milk, honey, the juice of the grape, oil and clothing.
27 All these are good for those who are good, but for sinners they become evil.
28 Certain winds are created as a means of punishment and in their fury they are a scourge, unleashing their violence in the time of destruction and satisfying the wrath of their Creator.
29 Fire, hail, famine and death have all been created for punishment.
30 The fangs of wild beasts, scorpions, vipers and the avenging sword for the destruction of the wicked, 31 all joyfully carry out his commands, all are ready when need arises and at a given moment they will not fail to obey his word.
32 For that reason I reflected and from the beginning I decided to write:
33 All the works of the Lord are good and he will satisfy every need in due time.
34 You must not say: This is less good than that, for in its time everything will serve a purpose.
35 So now, with all your heart and in full voice, sing and bless the Name of the Lord.