1 Not so with one who concentrates his mind and his meditation on the Law of the Most High. He researches into the wisdom of all the Ancients, he occupies his time with the prophecies.
2 He preserves the discourses of famous men, he is at home with the niceties of parables.
3 He researches into the hidden sense of proverbs, he ponders the obscurities of parables.
4 He enters the service of princes, he is seen in the presence of rulers. He travels in foreign countries, he has experienced human good and human evil.
5 At dawn and with all his heart he turns to the Lord his Creator; he pleads in the presence of the Most High, he opens his mouth in prayer and makes entreaty for his sins.
6 If such be the will of the great Lord, he will be filled with the spirit of intelligence, he will shower forth words of wisdom, and in prayer give thanks to the Lord.
7 He will grow upright in purpose and learning, he will ponder the Lord's hidden mysteries.
8 He will display the instruction he has received, taking his pride in the Law of the Lord's covenant.
9 Many will praise his intelligence and it will never be forgotten. His memory will not disappear, generation after generation his name will live.
10 Nations will proclaim his wisdom, the assembly will celebrate his praises.
11 If he lives long, his name will be more glorious than a thousand others, and if he dies, that will satisfy him just as well.
12 And here are some more of my reflections: yes, I am as full as the moon at the full!
13 Listen to me, devout children, and blossom like the rose that grows on the bank of a watercourse.
14 Give off a sweet smell like incense, flower like the lily, spread your fragrance abroad, sing a song of praise blessing the Lord for all his works.
15 Declare the greatness of his name, proclaim his praise with song and with lyre, and this is how you must sing his praises:
16 'How wonderful, the actions of the Lord! Whatever he orders is done at the proper time!' You must not say, 'What is this? Why is that?' There is a proper time for every question.
17 At his word, the water stops and piles up high, at his voice, the watery reservoirs take shape,
18 at his command, whatever he wants is done, no one can stop him, if he intends to save.
19 He can see whatever human beings are doing, nothing can be hidden from his eye;
20 his gaze stretches from eternity to eternity, and nothing can astonish him.
21 You must not say, 'What is this? Why is that?' for everything has been made for a purpose.
22 As his blessing covers the dry land like a river and soaks it like a flood,
23 so retribution is his legacy to the nations, just as he has turned fresh waters to salt.
24 His ways are as smooth for the devout, as they are full of obstacles for the wicked.
25 Good things were created from the beginning for good people, as bad ones were for sinners.
26 The prime needs of human beings for living are water and fire, iron and salt, wheat-flour, milk and honey, the juice of the grape, oil and clothing.
27 All these are good for those who are good, but turn out bad for sinners.
28 Some winds have been created for punishing, in his fury, he uses them as scourges; on the day of doom, they unleash their violence and appease the wrath of their Creator.
29 Fire and hail, famine and death, have all been created for punishing.
30 Wild animals' fangs, scorpions, vipers, the avenging sword for the ruin of the godless:
31 all of them exult in discharging his orders, ready on earth whenever the need arises and, when their time comes, not falling short of his word.
32 That is why I was determined from the outset, why I have pondered and why I have written,
33 'The works of the Lord are all good, when the time is right, he gives whatever is needed.
34 You must not say, "This is worse than that," for, sooner or later, everything proves its worth.
35 So now, sing with all your heart and voice, and bless the name of the Lord!'