1 The High Priest Simon, son of Onias, repaired the sanctuary and fortified the Temple during his lifetime.
2 He laid the foundations for the high double wall and for the fortifications surrounding the Temple.
3 In his days a reservoir for water, a cistern as great as a sea, was excavated.
4 Anxious lest his people might perish, he fortified the city against a siege.
:B:5 How magnificent he was when, surrounded by his people, he emerged from the inner sanctuary 6 like the morning star amidst the clouds, like the full moon, 7 like the sun shining on the Temple of the Most High or a rain bow in a glory of clouds!
8 He was like a rose in spring, a lily beside a stream, a green shoot on a summer day, 9 or incense burning in the censer.
9 He could be likened to a massive, golden vase adorned with every kind of precious stone, 10 to an olive tree heavy with fruit, or to a cypress rising to the clouds, 11 when, robed in ceremonial garb and in perfect splen dor, he went to the sacred altar fill ing the court of the sanctuary with glory.
12 There he would receive from the hand of the priests the portions of the sacrifice, as he stood by the hearth of the altar encircled by his brethren like a young cedar on Le banon.
13 It was as if he was surrounded by palm trees when all the sons of Aaron in their splendor, with the offerings to the Lord in their hands, stood before the assembly of Israel.
14 When he had completed the service at the altar and presented with dignity the offering to the Almighty and Most High, 15 he took the cup in his hand and poured out a libation of the juice of the grape at the foot of the altar, a pleasing aroma to the Most High, King of the world.
16 Then the sons of Aaron shout ed
17 Then suddenly all the people bowed down with their faces to the ground and adored the Lord, the Almighty and most High God.
18 The choir as well sang his praises, making beautiful music. 19 And the peo ple made supplication to the Most High and prayed to their merciful Lord, until the cere mony was over and the service of the Lord completed.
20 The High Priest then came down and raised his hands towards the whole assembly of the people of Israel to give them in a loud voice the blessing of the Lord and to have the honor of pronouncing his name.
21 Then for a second time the people bowed in worship to receive the blessing of the Most High:
22 And now, bless the Lord of the universe who everywhere does great things, who exalts our days from birth and is merciful to us.
23 May he give us happiness and grant peace to Israel in our days and forever!
24 May he continue to give us his bless ings and be a savior to us in our days.
25 There are two nations I greatly dislike, the third is not a nation: 26 they are the inhabitants of Mount Seir, the Philis tines and the foolish people who live in Shechem.
27 Instruction in understanding and knowledge, that is what Jesus the son of Sira, the son of Eleazar of Jerusalem, has written in this book as he poured out the wisdom of his heart.
28 Happy the one who pays attention to this teaching and gains wisdom by taking it to heart.
29 Doing that, he will be strong in all circumstances, for the light of the Lord is his path.