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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 51

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1I give you thanks, O God of my father;* I praise you, O God my savior! I will make known your name, refuge of my life; l Ps 138, 1 . 2you have been my helper against my adversaries. You have saved me from death, and kept back my body from the pit, From the clutches of the nether world you have snatched my feet; m Ps 91, 3 . 3you have delivered me, in your great mercy, From the scourge of a slanderous tongue, and from lips that went over to falsehood; From the snare of those who watched for my downfall, and from the power of those who sought my life; n Pss 40, 5; 91, 3 . From many a danger you have saved me, 4from flames that hemmed me in on every side; o Ps 66, 12 . From the midst of unremitting fire, 5from the deep belly of the nether world; From deceiving lips and painters of lies, 6from the arrows of dishonest tongues. I was at the point of death, my soul was nearing the depths of the nether world; p Pss 88, 4; 94, 17 . 7I turned every way, but there was no one to help me, I looked for one to sustain me, but could find no one. q Pss 22, 12; 142, 5 . 8But then I remembered the mercies of the LORD, his kindness through ages past; For he saves those who take refuge in him, and rescues them from every evil. 9So I raised my voice from the very earth, from the gates of the nether world, my cry. 10I called out: O Lord, you are my father, you are my champion and my savior; Do not abandon me in time of trouble, in the midst of storms and dangers. r Ps 89, 27 . 11I will ever praise your name and be constant in my prayers to you. Thereupon the LORD heard my voice, he listened to my appeal; 12He saved me from evil of every kind and preserved me in time of trouble. For this reason I thank him and I praise him; I bless the name of the LORD.*

13 * When I was young and innocent, I sought wisdom. s Sir 34, 11 . 14She came to me in her beauty, and until the end I will cultivate her. 15As the blossoms yielded to ripening grapes, the heart’s joy, My feet kept to the level path because from earliest youth I was familiar with her. 16In the short time I paid heed, I met with great instruction. 17Since in this way I have profited, I will give my teacher grateful praise.

18I became resolutely devoted to her— the good I persistently strove for. 19I burned with desire for her, never turning back. I became preoccupied with her, never weary of extolling her. My hand opened her gate and I came to know her secrets. 20For her I purified my hands; in cleanness I attained to her. At first acquaintance with her, I gained understanding such that I will never forsake her. t Prv 4, 6 . 21My whole being was stirred as I learned about her; therefore I have made her my prize possession. 22The LORD has granted me my lips as a reward, and my tongue will declare his praises.

23Come aside to me, you untutored, and take up lodging in the house of instruction; u Prv 8, 5 . 24How long will you be deprived of wisdom’s food, how long will you endure such bitter thirst? 25I open my mouth and speak of her: gain, at no cost, wisdom for yourselves. v Sir 6, 20 . 26Submit your neck to her yoke, that your mind may accept her teaching. For she is close to those who seek her, and the one who is in earnest finds her. w Sir 6, 25 . 27See for yourselves! I have labored only a little, but have found much. 28Acquire but a little instruction; you will win silver and gold through her. 29Let your spirits rejoice in the mercy of God, and be not ashamed to give him praise. 30Work at your tasks in due season, and in his own time God will give you your reward. x Sir 2, 8; Jb 34, 11; Jn 9, 4 .

Notes:

l: Ps 138, 1 .

m: Ps 91, 3 .

n: Pss 40, 5; 91, 3 .

o: Ps 66, 12 .

p: Pss 88, 4; 94, 17 .

q: Pss 22, 12; 142, 5 .

r: Ps 89, 27 .

s: Sir 34, 11 .

t: Prv 4, 6 .

u: Prv 8, 5 .

v: Sir 6, 20 .

w: Sir 6, 25 .

x: Sir 2, 8; Jb 34, 11; Jn 9, 4 .

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