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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 38

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Sickness and Death

1Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you,* and God it was who established his profession. 2From God the doctor has his wisdom, and the king provides for his sustenance. 3His knowledge makes the doctor distinguished, and gives him access to those in authority. 4God makes the earth yield healing herbs which the prudent man should not neglect; 5Was not the water sweetened by a twig that men might learn his power? o Ex 15, 25 . 6He endows men with the knowledge to glory in his mighty works, 7Through which the doctor eases pain and the druggist prepares his medicines; 8Thus God’s creative work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth. 9My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you: p Is 38, 2f . 10Flee wickedness; let your hands be just, cleanse your heart of every sin; 11Offer your sweet-smelling oblation and petition, a rich offering according to your means. q Lv 2, 1ff . 12Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; for you need him too. 13There are times that give him an advantage, 14and he too beseeches God That his diagnosis may be correct and his treatment bring about a cure. 15He who is a sinner toward his Maker will be defiant toward the doctor.

16My son, shed tears for one who is dead* with wailing and bitter lament; As is only proper, prepare the body, absent not yourself from his burial: r Sir 22, 9f . 17Weeping bitterly, mourning fully, pay your tribute of sorrow, as he deserves, 18One or two days, to prevent gossip; then compose yourself after your grief, 19For grief can bring on an extremity and heartache destroy one’s health. s Prv 12, 25; 15, 13; 17, 22 . 20Turn not your thoughts to him again; cease to recall him; think rather of the end. t Sir 7, 36; 18, 24; 30, 21 . 21Recall him not, for there is no hope of his return; it will not help him, but will do you harm. u 2 Sm 12, 23; Wis 2, 1 . 22Remember that his fate will also be yours; for him it was yesterday, for you today. v Jas 4, 13ff . 23With the departed dead, let memory fade; rally your courage, once the soul has left.

Vocations of the Craftsman and the Scribe*

24The scribe’s profession increases his wisdom; whoever is free from toil can become a wise man. 25How can he become learned who guides the plow, who thrills in wielding the goad like a lance, Who guides the ox and urges on the bullock, and whose every concern is for cattle? 26His care is for plowing furrows, and he keeps a watch on the beasts in the stalls.

27So with every engraver and designer who, laboring night and day, Fashions carved seals, and whose concern is to vary the pattern. His care is to produce a vivid impression, and he keeps watch till he finishes his design.

28So with the smith standing near his anvil, forging crude iron. The heat from the fire sears his flesh, yet he toils away in the furnace heat. The clang of the hammer deafens his ears, his eyes are fixed on the tool he is shaping. His care is to finish his work, and he keeps watch till he perfects it in detail.

29So with the potter sitting at his labor revolving the wheel with his feet. He is always concerned for his products, and turns them out in quantity. 30With his hands he molds the clay, and with his feet softens it. His care is for proper coloring, and he keeps watch on the fire of his kiln. 31All these men are skilled with their hands, each one an expert at his own task; 32Without them no city could be lived in, and wherever they stay, they need not hunger. 33They do not occupy the judge’s bench, nor are they prominent in the assembly; They set forth no decisions or judgments, nor are they found among the rulers; 34Yet they maintain God’s ancient handiwork, and their concern is for exercise of their skill.

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