39 1But it is different with the person who devotes himself to studying the Law of the Most High. He examines the wisdom of all the ancient writers and concerns himself with the prophecies. 2He memorizes the sayings of famous men and is a skilled interpreter of parables. 3He studies the hidden meaning of proverbs and is able to discuss the obscure points of parables. 4Great people call on him for his services, and he is seen in the company of rulers. He travels to foreign lands in his efforts to learn about human good and evil. 5It is his practice to get up early and pray aloud to the Lord his Creator, asking the Most High to forgive his sins. 6Then, if the great Lord is willing, he will be filled with understanding. He will pour out a stream of wise sayings, and give thanks to the Lord in prayer. 7He will have knowledge to share and good advice to give, as well as insight into the Lord's secrets. 8He will demonstrate his learning in what he teaches,[C] and his pride will be in the Lord's Law and covenant. 9He will be widely praised for his wisdom, and it will never be lost, because people for generations to come will remember him. 10The Gentiles will talk about his wisdom, and he will be praised aloud in the assembly. 11If he lives to old age, he will die famous, but if he is laid to rest before he is famous, he will be content.[D] A Hymn in Praise of God 12Like the moon, I am full—full of more ideas to be discussed. 13Listen to me, you devout children of mine, and blossom like a rosebush on a stream bank. 14Bloom like a sweet-smelling lily, and send your fragrance into the air like incense. Sing the Lord's praises, and thank him for all that he has done. 15Proclaim his glory in grateful praise! To the music of the harp, sing this song:   16All that the Lord has done is very good; all that he commands is sooner or later done. 17No one should ask why things are as they are; these questions will be answered at the right time. He commanded, and the water piled up high, great walls of water arose when he spoke. 18Whatever he commands is promptly done; there are no limits to his power to save. 19He sees all that every human being does; there is no way to hide from his sight. 20He sees the whole of time, from beginning to end, and nothing takes him by surprise.[E] 21No one should ask why things are as they are; everything in creation has its purpose.   22His blessings overflow like the Nile, enriching the world in a fertile flood.[F] 23He turns fresh water into salt water, and he turns his anger on the nations. 24For the devout, his ways are straight; for the wicked, they are laid with traps. 25From the beginning he has made good things for the good and terrible things for sinners. 26The basic needs of life are these: water, fire, iron, and salt, flour, honey, and milk, wine, clothing, and oil. 27All these things are good for those who are devout, but they turn into evils for sinners.   28There are winds that were created to bring punishment, fierce enough to move mountains.[G] In times of judgment, they unleash their strength and calm the anger of their maker. 293029-30Vicious animals, scorpions, and snakes; the sword that destroys the wicked; fire, hail, famine, and disease; these have all been created as punishments. 31They are all glad to obey the Lord's command and are ready to serve him here on earth. When their times of duty come, they never disobey. 32 (I was long convinced of this, so after thinking it over I put[H] it in writing.) 33Everything made by the Lord is good; he meets every need at the proper time. 34No one can claim that some things are worse than others, for everything is good in its proper place. 35Now then, sing praises with all your heart, and praise the name of the Lord!
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