Sirach 34

1 Vain and false hopes are for a man void of understanding; And dreams give wings to fools.

2 As one that catcheth at a shadow, and followeth after the wind, So is he that setteth his mind on dreams.

3 The vision of dreams is as this thing against that, The likeness of a face over against a face.

4 Of an unclean thing what shall be cleansed? And of that which is false what shall be true?

5 Divinations, and soothsayings, and dreams, are vain: And the heart fancieth, as a woman’s in travail.

6 If they be not sent from the Most High in thy visitation, Give not thy heart unto them.

7 For dreams have led many astray: And they have failed by putting their hope in them.

8 Without lying shall the law be accomplished; And wisdom is perfection to a faithful mouth.

9 A well-instructed man knoweth many things; And he that hath much experience will declare understanding.

10 He that hath no experience knoweth few things: But he that hath wandered shall increase his skill.

11 In my wandering I have seen many things; And more than my words is my understanding.

12 Ofttimes was I in danger even unto death; And I was preserved because of these things.

13 The spirit of those that fear the Lord shall live; For their hope is upon him that saveth them.

14 Whoso feareth the Lord shall not be afraid, and shall not play the coward; For he is his hope.

15 Blessed is the soul of him that feareth the Lord: To whom doth he give heed? and who is his stay?

16 The eyes of the Lord are upon them that love him, A mighty protection and strong stay, A cover from the hot blast, and a cover from the noonday, A guard from stumbling, and a succour from falling.

17 He raiseth up the soul, and enlighteneth the eyes: He giveth healing, life, and blessing.

18 He that sacrificeth of a thing wrongfully gotten, his offering is made in mockery; And the mockeries of wicked men are not well-pleasing.

19 The Most High hath no pleasure in the offerings of the ungodly; Neither is he pacified for sins by the multitude of sacrifices.

20 As one that killeth the son before his father’s eyes Is he that bringeth a sacrifice from the goods of the poor.

21 The bread of the needy is the life of the poor: He that depriveth him thereof is a man of blood.

22 As one that slayeth his neighbour is he that taketh away his living; And as a shedder of blood is he that depriveth a hireling of his hire.

23 One building, and another pulling down, What profit have they had but toil?

24 One praying, and another cursing, Whose voice will the Lord listen to?

25 He that washeth himself after touching a dead body, and toucheth it again, What profit hath he in his washing?

26 Even so a man fasting for his sins, And going again, and doing the same; Who will listen to his prayer? And what profit hath he in his humiliation?

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