THE BOOK OF BEN SIRA OR SIRACH


CHAPTER 49

Josiah and the Prophets

1 The name JOSIAH is like blended incense, made lasting by a skilled perfumer.
Precious is his memory, like honey to the taste, like music at a banquet.
2 For he grieved over our betrayals, and destroyed the abominable idols.
3 He turned to God with his whole heart, and, though times were evil, he practiced virtue.
4 Except for David, Hezekiah and Josiah, they all were wicked;
They abandoned the Law of the Most High, these kings of Judah, right to the very end.
5 So he gave over their power to others, their glory to a foolish foreign nation
6 Who burned the holy city and left its streets desolate, As JEREMIAH had foretold;
7 for they had treated him badly who even in the womb had been made a prophet,
To root out, pull down, and destroy, and then to build and to plant.
8 EZEKIEL beheld the vision and described the different creatures of the chariot;
9 He also referred to JOB, who always persevered in the right path.
10 Then, too, the TWELVE PROPHETS – may their bones return to life from their resting place!
– Gave new strength to Jacob and saved him by their faith and hope.

The Heroes after the Exile

11 How can we fittingly praise ZERUBBABEL, who was like a signet ring on God’s right hand,
12 And Jeshua, Jozadak’s son? In their time they built the house of God;
They erected the holy temple, destined for everlasting glory.
13 Extolled be the memory of NEHEMIAH!
He rebuilt our ruined walls, Restored our shattered defenses, and set up gates and bars.

The Earliest Patriarchs

14 Few on earth have been made the equal of ENOCH, for he was taken up bodily.
15 Was ever a man born like JOSEPH? Even his dead body was provided for.
16 Glorious, too, were SHEM and SETH and ENOS;
but beyond that of any living being was the splendor of ADAM.

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