The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 3:1–35


The sons of wisdom are the Church of the just: and their generation is obedience and love.


Sons, listen to the judgment of your father, and act accordingly, so that you may be saved.

Sir3:1  Hear me your father, O children, and do thereafter, that ye may be safe.

For God has honored the father in the sons, and, when seeking the judgment of the mother, he has confirmed it in the children.

Sir3:2  For the Lord hath given the father honour over the children, and hath confirmed the authority of the mother over the sons.

He who loves God will plead with him on behalf of sins, and will keep himself away from sin, and will be heeded in the prayers of his days.

Sir3:3  Whoso honoureth his father maketh an atonement for his sins

And, like one who stores up treasure, so also is he who honors his mother.

Sir3:4  And he that honoureth his mother is as one that layeth up treasure.

He who honors his father will find happiness in his own children, and he will be heeded in the day of his prayer.

Sir3:5  Whoso honoureth his father shall have joy of his own children; and when he maketh his prayer, he shall be heard.

He who honors his father will live a long life. And he who obeys his father will be a refreshment to his mother.

Sir3:6  He that honoureth his father shall have a long life; and he that is obedient unto the Lord shall be a comfort to his mother.

He who fears the Lord honors his parents, and he will serve them as masters, for it is they who conceived him.

Sir3:7  He that feareth the Lord will honour his father, and will do service unto his parents, as to his masters.

In word and deed, and in all things, honor your father with patience,

Sir3:8  Honour thy father and mother both in word and deed, that a blessing may come upon thee from them.


10  so that a blessing may come to you from him, and so that his blessing may remain to the very end.


11  The blessing of the father strengthens the houses of the sons; but the curse of the mother uproots even its foundation.

Sir3:9  For the blessing of the father establisheth the houses of children; but the curse of the mother rooteth out foundations.

12  Do not boast in the disgrace of your father; for his shame is not your glory.

Sir3:10  Glory not in the dishonour of thy father; for thy father’s dishonour is no glory unto thee.


13  For the glory of a man is from the honor of his father, and a father without honor is a discredit to the son.


14  Son, support your father in his old age, and do not grieve him in his life.

Sir3:12  My son, help thy father in his age, and grieve him not as long as he liveth.

15  And if his mind should fail, show kindness; and do not spurn him when you are in your strength. For almsgiving to the father will never be forgotten.

Sir3:13  And if his understanding fail, have patience with him; and despise him not when thou art in thy full strength.

16  For even in return for the sin of the mother, good will be repaid to you.

Sir3:14  For the relieving of thy father shall not be forgotten: and instead of sins it shall be added to build thee up.

17  And you will be built up in justice, and you will be remembered in the day of tribulation. And your sins will dissolve like ice in warm weather.

Sir3:15  In the day of thine affliction it shall be remembered; thy sins also shall melt away, as the ice in the fair warm weather.

18  What an evil form has he who forsakes his father! And whoever exasperates his mother is accursed by God.

Sir3:16  He that forsaketh his father is as a blasphemer; and he that angereth his mother is cursed: of God.

19  Son, perform your works in meekness, and you shall be loved beyond the glory of men.

Sir3:17  My son, go on with thy business in meekness; so shalt thou be beloved of him that is approved.

20  However great you may be, humble yourself in all things, and you will find grace in the presence of God.

Sir3:18  The greater thou art, the more humble thyself, and thou shalt find favour before the Lord.


21  Many are in high place, and of renown: but mysteries are revealed unto the meek.


22  For only the power of God is great, and he is honored by the humble.


23  You should not seek the things that are too high for you, and you should not examine the things that are beyond your ability. But as for the things that God has entrusted to you, consider these always. But you should not be curious in too many of his works.

Sir3:21  Seek not out things that are too hard for thee, neither search the things that are above thy strength.

24  For it is not necessary for you to see with your own eyes the things that are hidden.

Sir3:22  But what is commanded thee, think thereupon with reverence, for it is not needful for thee to see with thine eyes the things that are in secret.

25  In unnecessary matters, do not choose to be an examiner of many different things, and you should not be curious about too many of his works.

Sir3:23  Be not curious in unnecessary matters: for more things are shewed unto thee than men understand.

26  For many things have been revealed to you, beyond the understanding of men.

Sir3:24  For many are deceived by their own vain opinion; and an evil suspicion hath overthrown their judgement.

27  Yet uncertainty in these things has also undermined many persons and has detained their minds in vanity.

Sir3:25  Without eyes thou shalt want light: profess not the knowledge therefore that thou hast not.

28  A hardened heart will have evil in the very end, and he who loves peril will perish in it.

Sir3:26  A stubborn heart shall fare evil at the last; and he that loveth danger shall perish therein.


29  A heart advancing in two directions will not have success, and the depraved heart will be scandalized in this way.


30  A wicked heart will be burdened with sorrows, and a sinner will add further sins.

Sir3:27  An obstinate heart shall be laden with sorrows; and the wicked man shall heap sin upon sin.

31  The synagogue of the arrogant will not be healed. For the stalk of sinfulness will take root in them, and it will not be understood.

Sir3:28  In the punishment of the proud there is no remedy; for the plant of wickedness hath taken root in him.

32  The heart of the wise is understood by wisdom, and a good ear will listen to wisdom with all its desire.

Sir3:29  The heart of the prudent will understand a parable; and an attentive ear is the desire of a wise man.


33  A wise and understanding heart will abstain from sins, and will have success in works of justice.


34  Water extinguishes a burning fire, and almsgiving withstands sins.

Sir3:30  Water will quench a flaming fire; and alms maketh an atonement for sins.

35  And God is the watchman for him who repays a kindness. He remembers him afterwards, and in the time of his fall, he will find a firm support.

Sir3:31  And he that requiteth good turns is mindful of that which may come hereafter; and when he falleth, he shall find a stay.