The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 14:1–27


Blessed is the man who has not slipped because of a word from his mouth, and who has not been stung by grief because of an offense.

Blessed is the man that hath not slipped with his mouth, and is not pricked with the multitude of sins.

Happy is he who does not have sadness in his mind, and who has not fallen away from his hope.

Blessed is he whose conscience hath not condemned him, and who is not fallen from his hope in the Lord.

Substance is senseless for a greedy and stingy man. And what would a spiteful man do with gold?

Riches are not comely for a niggard: and what should an envious man do with money?

Whoever acquires unjustly, according to his own mind, gathers for others. For another will spend his goods lavishly.

He that gathereth by defrauding his own soul gathereth for others, that shall spend his goods riotously.

Whoever is wicked to himself, to whom will he be good? For he will not take enjoyment in his own goods.

He that is evil to himself, to whom will he be good? he shall not take pleasure in his goods.

Whoever has ill will toward himself, nothing is more worthless than he is. But such is the reward of his wickedness.

There is none worse than he that envieth himself; and this is a recompence of his wickedness.

And if he does good, he does it ignorantly and unwillingly. And in the very end, he realizes his own malice.

And if he doeth good, he doeth it unwillingly; and at the last he will declare his wickedness.

The eye of the spiteful man is wicked, and he averts his face and despises his own soul.

The envious man hath a wicked eye; he turneth away his face, and despiseth men.

The eye of the greedy man is insatiable in his portion of iniquity. He will not be satisfied until he has consumed his own soul, withering it away.

A covetous man’s eye is not satisfied with his portion; and the iniquity of the wicked drieth up his soul.

10  An evil eye is directed at evil things. And he will not be satisfied by bread; instead, he will be needy and grieving at his own table.

10  A wicked eye envieth his bread, and he is a niggard at his table.

11  Son, if you have anything, do good to yourself, and offer worthy oblations to God.

11  My son, according to thy ability do good to thyself, and give the Lord his due offering.

12  Remember that death has not been delayed, and that the covenant of the grave has been revealed to you. For the covenant of this world will pass away in death.

12  Remember that death will not be long in coming, and that the covenant of the grave is not shewed unto thee.

13  Do good to your friend before you die. And according to your ability, extend your hand and give to the poor.

13  Do good unto thy friend before thou die, and according to thy ability stretch out thy hand and give to him.

14  Do not cheat yourself out of a good day, and do not let the smallest good gift pass you by.

14  Defraud not thyself of the good day, and let not the part of a good desire overpass thee.

15  Should you not leave it to others to divide your sorrows and labors by lot?

15  Shalt thou not leave thy travails unto another? and thy labours to be divided by lot?

16  Give, and receive, and justify your soul.

16  Give, and take, and sanctify thy soul; for there is no seeking of dainties in the grave.

17  Before your passing, accomplish justice. For in death, there is no food to be found.

17  All flesh waxeth old as a garment: for the covenant from the beginning is, Thou shalt die the death.

18  All flesh grows old like the grass, and like the foliage that springs forth from a green tree.

18  As of the green leaves on a thick tree, some fall, and some grow; so is the generation of flesh and blood, one cometh to an end, and another is born.

19  Some spring up, and others fall away. Such is the generation of flesh and blood. One is finished, and another is born.

19  Every work rotteth and consumeth away, and the worker thereof shall go withal.

20  Every corruptible work will fail in the end. And its worker will go with it.

20  Blessed is the man that doth meditate good things in wisdom, and that reasoneth of holy things by his understanding.

21  But every excellent work will be justified. And whoever worked it will be honored by it.

21  He that considereth her ways in his heart shall also have understanding in her secrets.

22  Blessed is the man who will abide in wisdom, and who will meditate on her righteousness, and who, in his mind, will consider the circumspection of God.

22  Go after her as one that traceth, and lie in wait in her ways.

23  He considers her ways in his heart, and he finds understanding in her secrets. He goes after her like an investigator, and he is constant in her ways.

23  He that prieth in at her windows shall also hearken at her doors.

24  He gazes through her windows, and he listens at her door.

24  He that doth lodge near her house shall also fasten a pin in her walls.

25  He rests next to her house, and, fastening a peg in her walls, he sets up his cottage by her hands. And so, good things will find rest in his cottage as time passes.

25  He shall pitch his tent nigh unto her, and shall lodge in a lodging where good things are.

26  He will station his sons under her covering, and he will abide under her branches.

26  He shall set his children under her shelter, and shall lodge under her branches.

27  He will be protected by her covering from the heat, and he will rest in her glory.

27  By her he shall be covered from heat, and in her glory shall he dwell.