The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 18:8–14


The number of the days of men are as many as one hundred years. Like a drop of water in the ocean, so they are considered to be. And like a grain of sand on the shore, so do these few years compare to the days of all time.

What is man, and whereto serveth he? what is his good, and what is his evil?

For this reason, God is patient with them, and he pours forth his mercy upon them.

The number of a man’s days at the most are an hundred years.

10  He has seen that the presumption of their heart is evil, and he knows that their rebelliousness is wicked.

10  As a drop of water unto the sea, and a gravelstone in comparison of the sand; so are a thousand years to the days of eternity.

11  Therefore, he has bestowed his forgiveness on them, and he has revealed to them the way of equity.

11  Therefore is God patient with them, and poureth forth his mercy upon them.

12  The compassion of man is toward those closest to him. But the mercy of God is upon all flesh.

12  He saw and perceived their end to be evil; therefore he multiplied his compassion.

13  He is merciful, and he teaches and corrects, like a shepherd with his flock.

13  The mercy of man is toward his neighbour; but the mercy of the Lord is upon all flesh: he reproveth, and nurtureth, and teacheth and bringeth again, as a shepherd his flock.

14  He takes pity on those who accept the doctrine of compassion, and he applies his judgments promptly.

14  He hath mercy on them that receive discipline, and that diligently seek after his judgements.