Sirach, CHAPTER 43
The beauty of the celestial height and the pure firmament,
heaven itself manifests its glory.
The sun at its rising shines at its fullest,
a wonderful instrument, the work of the Most High!
At noon it scorches the earth,
and who can bear its fiery heat?
Like a blazing furnace of solid metal,
the sun’s rays set the mountains aflame;
Its fiery tongue consumes the world;
the eyes are burned by its fire.
Great indeed is the LORD who made it,
at whose orders it urges on its steeds.
It is the moon that marks the changing seasons,
governing the times, their lasting sign.
By it we know the sacred seasons and pilgrimage feasts,
a light which wanes in its course:
The new moon like its name renews itself;
how wondrous it is when it changes:
A military signal for the waterskins on high,
it paves the firmament with its brilliance,
The beauty of the heavens and the glory of the stars,
a shining ornament in the heights of God.
By the LORD’s command the moon keeps its appointed place,
and does not fade as the stars keep watch.
Behold the rainbow! Then bless its Maker,
for majestic indeed is its splendor;
It spans the heavens with its glory,
the hand of God has stretched it out in power.
His rebuke marks out the path for the hail,
and makes the flashes of his judgment shine forth.
For his own purposes he opens the storehouse
and makes the rain clouds fly like vultures.
His might gives the clouds their strength,
and breaks off the hailstones.
The thunder of his voice makes the earth writhe;
by his power he shakes the mountains.
A word from him drives on the south wind,
whirlwind, hurricane, and stormwind.
He makes the snow fly like birds;
it settles down like swarms of locusts.
Its shining whiteness blinds the eyes,
the mind marvels at its steady fall.
He scatters frost like salt;
it shines like blossoms on the thornbush.
He sends cold northern blasts
that harden the ponds like solid ground,
Spreads a crust over every body of water,
and clothes each pool with a coat of armor.
When mountain growth is scorched by heat,
and flowering plains as by fire,
The dripping clouds restore them all,
and the scattered dew enriches the parched land.
His is the plan that calms the deep,
and plants the islands in the sea.
Those who go down to the sea recount its extent,
and when we hear them we are thunderstruck;
In it are his creatures, stupendous, amazing,
all kinds of life, and the monsters of the deep.
For him each messenger succeeds,
and at his bidding accomplishes his will.
More than this we need not add;
let the last word be, he is the all!
Let us praise him the more, since we cannot fathom him,
for greater is he than all his works;
Awesome indeed is the LORD,
and wonderful his power.
Lift up your voices to glorify the LORD
as much as you can, for there is still more.
Extol him with renewed strength,
do not grow weary, for you cannot fathom him.
For who has seen him and can describe him?
Who can praise him as he is?
Beyond these, many things lie hidden;
only a few of his works have I seen.
It is the LORD who has made all things;
to those who fear him he gives wisdom.