The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 16:1–23


You should not rejoice in impious children, if they are successful; nor should you take delight in them, if the fear of God is not in them.

Desire not a multitude of unprofitable children, neither delight in ungodly sons.

You should not approve of their life, nor should you look with favor on their labors.

Though they multiply, rejoice not in them, except the fear of the Lord be with them.

For one child who fears God is better than one thousand impious children.

Trust not thou in their life, neither respect their multitude: for one that is just is better than a thousand; and better it is to die without children, than to have them that are ungodly.

And it is better to die without children, than to leave behind impious children.

For by one that hath understanding shall the city be replenished: but the kindred of the wicked shall speedily become desolate.

By means one person with understanding, a country will be inhabited. The tribe of the impious will become desolate.

Many such things have I seen with mine eyes, and mine ear hath heard greater things than these.

Many such things my eyes have seen, and greater things than these my ear has heard.

In the congregation of the ungodly shall a fire be kindled; and in a rebellious nation wrath is set on fire.

In the synagogue of sinners, a fire will blaze forth; and amid an unbelieving people, wrath will flare up.

He was not pacified toward the old giants, who fell away in the strength of their foolishness.

The giants of antiquity did not obtain pardon for their sins; they were destroyed by trusting in their own abilities.

Neither spared he the place where Lot sojourned, but abhorred them for their pride.

And he did not spare the place of Lot’s sojourn, and he abhorred them because of the arrogance of their words.

He pitied not the people of perdition, who were taken away in their sins

10  He did not take pity on them, destroying an entire people, who even extolled themselves concerning their sins.

10  Nor the six hundred thousand footmen, who were gathered together in the hardness of their hearts.

11  And this was so with six hundred thousand men, who were gathered together in the hardness of their hearts. And if even a single obstinate person had escaped unpunished, it would be a wonder.

11  And if there be one stiffnecked among the people, it is marvel if he escape unpunished: for mercy and wrath are with him; he is mighty to forgive, and to pour out displeasure.

12  For mercy and wrath are with him. He is powerful in forgiveness, and he pours forth wrath.

12  As his mercy is great, so is his correction also: he judgeth a man according to his works

13  As is his mercy, so also is his correction; he judges a man according to his works.

13  The sinner shall not escape with his spoils: and the patience of the godly shall not be frustrate.

14  The sinner, in his violations, will not escape; but the patience of the One who shows mercy will not be diminished.

14  Make way for every work of mercy: for every man shall find according to his works.

15  Every mercy will make a place for each man, according to the merit of his works, and according to the understanding of his sojourn.

15  The Lord hardened Pharaoh, that he should not know him, that his powerful works might be known to the world.

16  You should not say: “I am hidden from God,” or, “Who, from on high, will take note of me?”

16  His mercy is manifest to every creature; and he hath separated his light from the darkness with an adamant.

17  or, “Among a great number of people, I will not be noticed. For what is my soul amid such an immense creation?”

17  Say not thou, I will hide myself from the Lord: shall any remember me from above? I shall not be remembered among so many people: for what is my soul among such an infinite number of creatures?

18  Behold: the heavens, and the heaven of the heavens, the abyss, and the entire earth, and the things that are within these, will be shaken by his gaze,

18  Behold, the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, the deep, and the earth, and all that therein is, shall be moved when he shall visit.

19  together with mountains and hills, and the foundations of the earth. When God casts his gaze upon them, they will be struck with trembling.

19  The mountains also and foundations of the earth be shaken with trembling, when the Lord looketh upon them.

20  And concerning all these things, the heart is without understanding; but every heart is understood by him.

20  No heart can think upon these things worthily: and who is able to conceive his ways?

21  And who will understand his ways, or the tempest, which no eye of man will see?

21  It is a tempest which no man can see: for the most part of his works are hid.

22  For many of his works are concealed. But who will announce the works of his justice? Or who will endure them? For the testament is far from some persons, and the examination of each thing is in its end.

22  Who can declare the works of his justice? or who can endure them? for his covenant is afar off, and the trial of all things is in the end.

23  Whoever diminishes the heart, thinks empty thoughts. For the imprudent and erring man thinks up foolishness.

23  He that wanteth understanding will think upon vain things: and a foolish man erring imagineth follies.