The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 15:1–22


Whoever fears God will do good. And whoever holds to justice will obtain it.

He that feareth the Lord will do good, and he that hath the knowledge of the law shall obtain her.

And like an honorable mother, she will meet him, and like a virgin bride, she will receive him.

And as a mother shall she meet him, and receive him as a wife married of a virgin.

She will feed him with the bread of life and understanding. And she give him to drink from the water of salvific wisdom. And she will be confirmed in him, and he will not waver.

With the bread of understanding shall she feed him, and give him the water of wisdom to drink.

And she will hold to him, and he will not be confounded. And she will exalt him, along with those closest to him.

He shall be stayed upon her, and shall not be moved; and shall rely upon her, and shall not be confounded.

And in the midst of the Church, she will open his mouth, and she will fill him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and she will clothe him with a robe of glory.

She shall exalt him above his neighbours, and in the midst of the congregation shall she open his mouth.

She will store up in him a treasure of rejoicing and exultation, and she will cause him to inherit an everlasting name.

He shall find joy and a crown of gladness, and she shall cause him to inherit an everlasting name.

But foolish men will not take hold of her. And though understanding men will meet her, foolish men will not catch sight of her. For she is far from arrogance and deceit.

But foolish men shall not attain unto her, and sinners shall not see her.

Lying men will be wary of her. But men who speak the truth will be found with her, and they will have success, even when examined by God.

For she is far from pride, and men that are liars cannot remember her.

Praise is not beautiful in the mouth of a sinner.

Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner, for it was not sent him of the Lord.

10  For wisdom was sent from God. And praise will stand before the wisdom of God, and praise will abound in the mouths of the faithful, and the sovereign Lord will give praise to wisdom.

10  For praise shall be uttered in wisdom, and the Lord will prosper it.

11  You should not say: “It is because of God that wisdom is absent.” For you should not do what he detests.

11  Say not thou, It is through the Lord that I fell away: for thou oughtest not to do the things that he hateth.

12  You should not say: “He has led me astray.” For the impious are of no use to him.

12  Say not thou, He hath caused me to err: for he hath no need of the sinful man.

13  The Lord hates all abominable error, and those who fear him will not love such things.

13  The Lord hateth all abomination; and they that fear God love it not.


14  God established man from the beginning, and he left him in the hand of his own counsel.


15  He added his commandments and precepts.


16  If you choose to keep the commandments, and if, having chosen them, you fulfill them with perpetual fidelity, they will preserve you.

Sir15:15  If thou wilt, to keep the commandments, and to perform acceptable faithfulness.

17  He has set water and fire before you. Extend your hand to whichever one you would choose.

Sir15:16  He hath set fire and water before thee: stretch forth thy hand unto whether thou wilt.


18  Before man is life and death, good and evil. Whichever one he chooses will be given to him.


19  For the wisdom of God is manifold. And he is strong in power, seeing all things without ceasing.

Sir15:18  For the wisdom of the Lord is great, and he is mighty in power, and beholdeth all things

20  The eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him, and he knows each one of the works of man.

Sir15:19  And his eyes are upon them that fear him, and he knoweth every work of man.

21  He has commanded no one to act impiously, and he has given no one permission to sin.

Sir15:20  He hath commanded no man to do wickedly, neither hath he given any man licence to sin.


22  For he does not desire a multitude of unfaithful and useless sons.