The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 30:1–13


He who loves his son will frequently chastise him, so that he may be happy in the very end, and not grope for the doors of his neighbors.

He that loveth his son causeth him oft to feel the rod, that he may have joy of him in the end.

He who instructs his son will be praised over him and will glory in him, in the midst of his household.

He that chastiseth his son shall have joy in him, and shall rejoice of him among his acquaintance.

He who teaches his son will make his enemy jealous, and in the midst of his friends, he will glory in him.

He that teacheth his son grieveth the enemy: and before his friends he shall rejoice of him.

When his father has died, it will be as if he were not dead. For he will have left behind someone who is like himself.

Though his father die, yet he is as though he were not dead: for he hath left one behind him that is like himself.

In his life, he saw him and rejoiced in him. And at his passing, he was not sorrowful, nor was he confounded in the sight of his enemies.

While he lived, he saw and rejoiced in him: and when he died, he was not sorrowful.

For he left behind himself a defender of his house against his enemies, and someone who will repay his friends with kindness.

He left behind him an avenger against his enemies, and one that shall requite kindness to his friends.

For the sake of the souls of his sons, he will bind up his wounds, and at every voice, his gut will be stirred up.

He that maketh too much of his son shall bind up his wounds; and his bowels will be troubled at every cry.

An untamed horse becomes stubborn, and a child left to himself becomes headstrong.

An horse not broken becometh headstrong: and a child left to himself will be wilful.

Coddle a son, and he will make you afraid. Play with him, and he will make you sorrowful.

Cocker thy child, and he shall make thee afraid: play with him, and he will bring thee to heaviness.

10  You should not laugh with him; otherwise you may have grief, and in the end, your teeth be clenched.

10  Laugh not with him, lest thou have sorrow with him, and lest thou gnash thy teeth in the end.

11  You should not give him power in his youth, but you should not despise his thoughts.

11  Give him no liberty in his youth, and wink not at his follies.


12  Bow down his neck in his youth, and slap his sides while he is a child, lest perhaps he may become stubborn, and then he will not trust you, and so he will bring sorrow to your soul.


13  Instruct your son, and work with him, lest you give offense by his shameful behavior.

13  Chastise thy son, and hold him to labour, lest his lewd behaviour be an offence unto thee.