The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 21:1–10


Son, have you sinned? You should not add further sins. Then too, for your former sins, pray so that they may be forgiven you.

My son, hast thou sinned? do so no more, but ask pardon for thy former sins.

Flee from sins, as if from the face of a serpent. For if you approach them, they will take hold of you.

Flee from sin as from the face of a serpent: for if thou comest too near it, it will bite thee: the teeth thereof are as the teeth of a lion, slaying the souls of men.


Their teeth are like the teeth of a lion, bringing death to the souls of men.


All iniquity is like a two-edged spear; there is no healing in its wound.

Sir21:3  All iniquity is as a two edged sword, the wounds whereof cannot be healed.

Reproach and injury will make resources useless. And a house that is exceedingly wealthy will become powerless through pride. In this way, the resources of the arrogant will be eradicated.

Sir21:4  To terrify and do wrong will waste riches: thus the house of proud men shall be made desolate.

Supplications from the mouth of the pauper will reach all the way to the ears of God, and judgment will come to him quickly.

Sir21:5  A prayer out of a poor man’s mouth reacheth to the ears of God, and his judgement cometh speedily.

Whoever hates correction is walking in the steps of a sinner. But whoever fears God will convert within his heart.

Sir21:6  He that hateth to be reproved is in the way of sinners: but he that feareth the Lord will repent from his heart.

He who has power by means of a bold tongue will be known from far away. But an understanding man knows to slip past him.

Sir21:7  An eloquent man is known far and near; but a man of understanding knoweth when he slippeth.

Whoever builds his house, paid for by another, is like one who gathers his building stones in winter.

Sir21:8  He that buildeth his house with other men’s money is like one that gathereth himself stones for the tomb of his burial.

10  The synagogue of sinners is like stubble piled up; for the end of them both is a burning fire.

Sir21:9  The congregation of the wicked is like tow wrapped together: and the end of them is a flame of fire to destroy them.