The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 17:1–32


God created man from the earth, and he made him according to his own image.

The Lord created man of the earth, and turned him into it again.

And he returned him again to it, and he clothed him with virtue according to himself.

He gave them few days, and a short time, and power also over the things therein.

He gave him the number and time of his days, and he gave him authority over all the things that are upon the earth.

He endued them with strength by themselves, and made them according to his image,

He placed the fear of him over all flesh, and he had dominion over wild beasts and flying things.

And put the fear of man upon all flesh, and gave him dominion over beasts and fowls.

They received the use of the five operations of the Lord, and in the sixth place he imparted them understanding, and in the seventh speech, an interpreter of the cogitations thereof.

He created from him a helper, similar to himself. He gave them counsel, and language, and sight, and hearing, and a heart, in order to think. And he filled them with the discipline of understanding.

Sir17:6  Counsel, and a tongue, and eyes, ears, and a heart, gave he them to understand.

He created within them the knowledge of the spirit. He filled their heart with understanding, and he showed them both good and evil.

Sir17:7  Withal he filled them with the knowledge of understanding, and shewed them good and evil.


He set his eye upon their hearts, to reveal to them the greatness of his works,


so that they might highly praise the name of sanctification, and give glory to his wonders, so that they might declare the greatness of his works.

Sir17:9  He gave them to glory in his marvellous acts for ever, that they might declare his works with understanding.

In addition, he gave them discipline and the law of life, as their inheritance.

Sir17:10  And the elect shall praise his holy name.

10  He established an eternal covenant with them, and he revealed to them his justice and judgments.

Sir17:11  Beside this he gave them knowledge, and the law of life for an heritage.

11  And their eye saw the greatness of his honor, and their ears heard the honor of his voice, and he said to them: “Beware of all iniquity.”

Sir17:12  He made an everlasting covenant with them, and shewed them his judgements.

12  And he commanded each one concerning his neighbor.

Sir17:13  Their eyes saw the majesty of his glory, and their ears heard his glorious voice.

13  Their ways are always in his sight; they are not hidden from his eyes.

Sir17:14  And he said unto them, Beware of all unrighteousness; and he gave every man commandment concerning his neighbour.

14  Over each and every people, he has appointed a ruler.

Sir17:15  Their ways are ever before him, and shall not be hid from his eyes.

15  And Israel was made to be the manifest portion of God.

Sir17:16  Every man from his youth is given to evil; neither could they make to themselves fleshy hearts for stony.

16  And in the sight of God, all their works are like the sun. And his eyes, without ceasing, inspect their ways.

Sir17:17  For in the division of the nations of the whole earth he set a ruler over every people; but Israel is the Lord’s portion

17  The covenants are not hidden by their iniquity, and all their iniquities are in the sight of God.

Sir17:18  Whom, being his firstborn, he nourisheth with discipline, and giving him the light of his love doth not forsake him.

18  The almsgiving of a man is like a seal upon him, which will guard the grace of a man like the pupil of an eye.

Sir17:19  Therefore all their works are as the sun before him, and his eyes are continually upon their ways.

19  And afterward, it will rise up and repay them their reward, each one upon his head, and it will return to the hidden places of the earth.

Sir17:20  None of their unrighteous deeds are hid from him, but all their sins are before the Lord

20  Now, to the repentant, he has given the way of justice, and he has strengthened those lacking in patience, and he has fastened them to a destiny of truth.

Sir17:21  But the Lord being gracious and knowing his workmanship, neither left nor forsook them, but spared them.

21  Convert to the Lord, and relinquish your sins.

Sir17:22  The alms of a man is as a signet with him, and he will keep the good deeds of man as the apple of the eye, and give repentance to his sons and daughters.

22  Make supplication before the face of the Lord, and diminish your offenses.

Sir17:23  Afterwards he will rise up and reward them, and render their recompence upon their heads.

23  Return to the Lord, and turn away from your injustice, and have immense hatred for abomination.

Sir17:24  But unto them that repent, he granted them return, and comforted those that failed in patience.

24  And acknowledge the justices and judgments of God, and stand firm in the circumstances set before you and in prayer to the most high God.

Sir17:25  Return unto the Lord, and forsake thy sins, make thy prayer before his face, and offend less.

25  Go to the side of the holy generation, to those who live in order to give praise to God.

Sir17:26  Turn again to the most High, and turn away from iniquity: for he will lead thee out of darkness into the light of health, and hate thou abomination vehemently.

26  You should not linger in the error of the impious; confess before death. Confession perishes from the dead as if it were nothing.

Sir17:27  Who shall praise the most High in the grave, instead of them which live and give thanks?

27  Confess while living; you should give thanks while you are still alive and healthy. And you should praise God and glory in his compassion.

Sir17:28  Thanksgiving perisheth from the dead, as from one that is not: the living and sound in heart shall praise the Lord.

28  How great is the mercy of the Lord, and his forgiveness, for those who convert to him!

Sir17:29  How great is the lovingkindness of the Lord our God, and his compassion unto such as turn unto him in holiness!

29  For not all things can be in men, because the son of man is not immortal, and because they are pleased by the emptiness of malice.

Sir17:30  For all things cannot be in men, because the son of man is not immortal.


30  What is brighter than the sun? Yet this will fail. Or what is more wicked than that which flesh and blood has invented? And this will be reproved.


31  He beholds the power of the heights of heaven. And all men are earth and ashes.

Sir17:32  He vieweth the power of the height of heaven; and all men are but earth and ashes.