The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 27:1–33


Because of need, many have sinned. And whoever seeks to be enriched, averts his eye.

Many have sinned for a small matter; and he that seeketh for abundance will turn his eyes away.

Like a post fixed in the middle of adjoining stones, so also will sin become wedged between selling and buying.

As a nail sticketh fast between the joinings of the stones; so doth sin stick close between buying and selling.


Sin will be crushed with the one who sins.


If you do not hold yourself steadfastly to the fear of the Lord, your house will be quickly overthrown.

Sir27:3  Unless a man hold himself diligently in the fear of the Lord, his house shall soon be overthrown.

Just as the dust remains when one shakes a sieve, so will the doubt of a man remain in his thoughts.

Sir27:4  As when one sifteth with a sieve, the refuse remaineth; so the filth of man in his talk.

The furnace tests the potter’s vessels, and the trial of the tribulation tests just men.

Sir27:5  The furnace proveth the potter’s vessels; so the trial of man is in his reasoning.

As the pruning of a tree reveals its fruit, so does a word reveal the thoughts in the heart of a man.

Sir27:6  The fruit declareth if the tree have been dressed; so is the utterance of a conceit in the heart of man.

You should not praise a man before he speaks; for such is the testing of men.

Sir27:7  Praise no man before thou hearest him speak; for this is the trial of men.

If you pursue justice, you will obtain it. And you will be clothed with justice, as with a long robe of honor. And you will live with justice. And justice will protect you continually. And on the day of reckoning, you will find a strong foundation.

Sir27:8  If thou followest righteousness, thou shalt obtain her, and put her on, as a glorious long robe.

10  Birds flock to their own kind. And truth will return to those who practice it.

Sir27:9  The birds will resort unto their like; so will truth return unto them that practise in her.

11  The lion lies in wait for its prey continually. So also do sins lie in wait for those who work iniquity.

Sir27:10  As the lion lieth in wait for the prey; so sin for them that work iniquity.

12  A holy man persists in wisdom like the sun. But a senseless man changes like the moon.

Sir27:11  The discourse of a godly man is always with wisdom; but a fool changeth as the moon.

13  In the midst of the senseless, retain a word for the proper time. But be continually in the midst those who are thoughtful.

Sir27:12  If thou be among the indiscreet, observe the time; but be continually among men of understanding.

14  The discussions of sinners are hateful, and their laughter is a delight in sin.

Sir27:13  The discourse of fools is irksome, and their sport is the wantonness of sin.

15  The speech that swears many oaths will cause the hair of the head to stand upright; and its irreverence will cause the ears to be blocked.

Sir27:14  The talk of him that sweareth much maketh the hair stand upright; and their brawls make one stop his ears.

16  The shedding of blood is in the quarrels of the arrogant; and their evil talk is grievous to hear.

Sir27:15  The strife of the proud is bloodshedding, and their revilings are grievous to the ear.

17  Whoever discloses the secret of a friend breaks faith; and he will not find a friend for his soul.

Sir27:16  Whoso discovereth secrets loseth his credit; and shall never find friend to his mind.

18  Love your neighbor, and be united with him faithfully.

Sir27:17  Love thy friend, and be faithful unto him: but if thou betrayest his secrets, follow no more after him.


19  But if you disclose his secrets, you should not continue to follow after him.


20  For like a man who destroys his friend, so also is he who destroys the friendship of his neighbor.

Sir27:18  For as a man hath destroyed his enemy; so hast thou lost the love of thy neighbour.

21  And like someone releasing a bird from his hand, so have you abandoned your neighbor, and you will not obtain him again.

Sir27:19  As one that letteth a bird go out of his hand, so hast thou let thy neighbour go, and shalt not get him again

22  You should no longer seek him, for he is now far away; he has fled like a roe-deer from a snare. For his soul has been wounded.

Sir27:20  Follow after him no more, for he is too far off; he is as a roe escaped out of the snare.

23  You will no longer be able to bind his wound. For there may be a reconciliation from cursing.

Sir27:21  As for a wound, it may be bound up; and after reviling there may be reconcilement: but he that betrayeth secrets is without hope.


24  But to disclose the secrets of a friend is the hopeless act of an unhappy soul.


25  One who winks with the eye fabricates iniquity, and no one will cast him aside.

Sir27:22  He that winketh with the eyes worketh evil: and he that knoweth him will depart from him.

26  In the sight of your eyes, he will sweeten his mouth, and he will admire your talk. But at the very end, he will pervert his mouth, and he will offer a scandal from your own words.

Sir27:23  When thou art present, he will speak sweetly, and will admire thy words: but at the last he will writhe his mouth, and slander thy sayings.


27  I have hated many things, but I have not done as he has done, and the Lord will hate him.


28  Whoever throws a stone straight up will find that it falls on his own head. And a deceitful wound will return to wound the deceitful.

Sir27:25  Whoso casteth a stone on high casteth it on his own head; and a deceitful stroke shall make wounds.

29  And whoever digs a pit will fall into it. And whoever positions a stone against his neighbor will stumble over it. And whoever lays a trap for another will perish by it.

Sir27:26  Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that setteth a trap shall be taken therein.

30  Whoever sets in motion a wicked plan will find that it rolls back over him, and he will not know from which direction it will arrive.

Sir27:27  He that worketh mischief, it shall fall upon him, and he shall not know whence it cometh.

31  Mockery and derision are of the arrogant, and vengeance will lie in wait for them, like a lion.

Sir27:28  Mockery and reproach are from the proud; but vengeance, as a lion, shall lie in wait for them.

32  Whoever enjoys the fall of the just will perish in a snare, and grief will consume them before they die.

Sir27:29  They that rejoice at the fall of the righteous shall be taken in the snare; and anguish shall consume them before they die.

33  Anger and fury are both abominable, and the sinful man will be held by them.

Sir27:30  Malice and wrath, even these are abominations; and the sinful man shall have them both.