Ecclesiasticus Chapter 24
Wisdom praiseth herself: her origin, her dwelling, her dignity, and her fruits.
24:1. Wisdom shall praise her own self, and shall be honoured in God, and shall glory in the midst of her people,
24:2. And shall open her mouth in the churches of the most High, and shall glorify herself in the sight of his power,
24:3. And in the midst of her own people she shall be exalted, and shall be admired in the holy assembly.
24:4. And in the multitude of the elect she shall have praise, and among the blessed she shall be blessed, saying:
24:5. I came out of the mouth of the most High, the firstborn before all creatures:
24:6. I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never faileth, and as a cloud I covered all the earth:
24:7. I dwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of a cloud.
24:8. I alone have compassed the circuit of heaven, and have penetrated into the bottom of the deep, and have walked in the waves of the sea,
24:9. And have stood in all the earth: and in every people,
24:10. And in every nation I have had the chief rule:
24:11. And by my power I have trodden under my feet the hearts of all the high and low: and in all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord.
24:12. Then the creator of all things commanded, and said to me: and he that made me, rested in my tabernacle,
24:13. And he said to me: Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in my elect.
24:14. From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before him.
24:15. And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem.
24:16. And I took root in an honourable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints.
24:17. I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a cypress tree on mount Sion.
24:18. I was exalted like a palm tree in Cades, and as a rose plant in Jericho:
24:19. As a fair olive tree in the plains, and as a plane tree by the water in the streets, was I exalted.
24:20. I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon, and aromatical balm: I yielded a sweet odour like the best myrrh:
24:21. And I perfumed my dwelling as storax, and galbanum, and onyx, and aloes, and as the frankincense not cut, and my odour is as the purest balm.
24:22. I have stretched out my branches as the turpentine tree, and my branches are of honour and grace.
24:23. As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odour: and my flowers are the fruit of honour and riches.
24:24. I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope.
24:25. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue.
24:26. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.
24:27. For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb.
24:28. My memory is unto everlasting generations.
24:29. They that eat me, shall yet hunger: and they that drink me, shall yet thirst.
24:30. He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin.
24:31. They that explain me shall have life everlasting.
24:32. All these things are the book of life, and the covenant of the most High, and the knowledge of truth.
24:33. Moses commanded a law in the precepts of justices, and an inheritance to the house of Jacob, and the promises to Israel.
24:34. He appointed to David his servant to raise up of him a most mighty king, and sitting on the throne of glory for ever.
A most mighty king. . .Viz., Christ, who by his gospel, like an overflowing river, has enriched the earth with heavenly wisdom.
24:35. Who filleth up wisdom as the Phison, and as the Tigris in the days of the new fruits.
24:36. Who maketh understanding to abound as the Euphrates, who multiplieth it as the Jordan in the time of harvest.
24:37. Who sendeth knowledge as the light, and riseth up as Gehon in the time of the vintage.
24:38. Who first hath perfect knowledge of her, and a weaker shall not search her out.
Who first hath perfect knowledge of her. . .Christ was the first that had perfect knowledge of heavenly wisdom.
24:39. For her thoughts are more vast than the sea, and her counsels more deep than the great ocean.
24:40. I, wisdom, have poured out rivers.
24:41. I, like a brook out of a river of a mighty water; I, like a channel of a river, and like an aqueduct, came out of paradise.
24:42. I said: I will water my garden of plants, and I will water abundantly the fruits of my meadow.
24:43. And behold my brook became a great river, and my river came near to a sea:
24:44. For I make doctrine to shine forth to all as the morning light, and I will declare it afar off.
24:45. I will penetrate to all the lower parts of the earth, and will behold all that sleep, and will enlighten all that hope in the Lord.
24:46. I will yet pour out doctrine as prophecy, and will leave it to them that seek wisdom, and will not cease to instruct their offspring even to the holy age.
24:47. See ye that I have not laboured myself only, but for all that seek out the truth.