Sirach , CHAPTER 38
Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you, and God it was who established his profession.
From God the doctor has his wisdom, and the king provides for his sustenance.
His knowledge makes the doctor distinguished, and gives him access to those in authority.
God makes the earth yield healing herbs which the prudent man should not neglect;
Was not the water sweetened by a twig that men might learn his power?
He endows men with the knowledge to glory in his mighty works,
Through which the doctor eases pain and the druggist prepares his medicines;
Thus God's creative work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth.
My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you
Flee wickedness; let your hands be just, cleanse your heart of every sin;
Offer your sweet-smelling oblation and petition, a rich offering according to your means.
Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; for you need him too.
There are times that give him an advantage,
and he too beseeches God That his diagnosis may be correct and his treatment bring about a cure.
He who is a sinner toward his Maker will be defiant toward the doctor.
My 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
Weeping bitterly, mourning fully, pay your tribute of sorrow, as he deserves,
One or two days, to prevent gossip; then compose yourself after your grief,
For grief can bring on an extremity and heartache destroy one's health.
Turn not your thoughts to him again; cease to recall him; think rather of the end.
Recall him not, for there is no hope of his return; it will not help him, but will do you harm.
Remember that his fate will also be yours; for him it was yesterday, for you today.
With the departed dead, let memory fade; rally your courage, once the soul has left.
The scribe's profession increases his wisdom; whoever is free from toil can become a wise man.
How 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?
His care is for plowing furrows, and he keeps a watch on the beasts in the stalls.
So 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.
So 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.
With 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.
All these men are skilled with their hands, each one an expert at his own task;
Without them no city could be lived in, and wherever they stay, they need not hunger.
They 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;
Yet they maintain God's ancient handiwork, and their concern is for exercise of their skill.