The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 32:1–28


Have they appointed you as a leader? Do not be willing to be extolled. Be among them as one of them.

Sir32:Sir35:1  If thou be made the master of a feast, lift not thyself up, but be among them as one of the rest; take diligent care for them, and so sit down.

Have concern for them, and in this way sit down with them, and when you have explained all your concerns, sit back.

Sir32:Sir35:2  And when thou hast done all thy office, take thy place, that thou mayest be merry with them, and receive a crown for thy well ordering of the feast.


Then you may rejoice because of them, and you may receive a crown as an adornment of grace, and so obtain the dignity of the assembly.


Speak, you who are greater by birth. For it is fitting for you

Sir32:Sir35:3  Speak, thou that art the elder, for it becometh thee, but with sound judgement; and hinder not musick.

to speak the first word with careful knowledge. But you should not hinder the music.

Sir32:Sir35:4  Pour not out words where there is a musician, and shew not forth wisdom out of time.

Where no one is listening, you should not pour out words. And do not choose to be extolled improperly for your wisdom.

Sir32:Sir35:5  A concert of musick in a banquet of wine is as a signet of carbuncle set in gold.

A gemstone of garnet is set amid an ornament of gold, and a concert of music is set amid a banquet of wine.

Sir32:Sir35:6  As a signet of an emerald set in a work of gold, so is the melody of musick with pleasant wine.


Just as a signet of emerald is set amid a work of gold, so is a melody of music set amid delightful and moderate wine.

Listen silently, and for your reverence, good graces will be added to you.


10  Young man, speak in your own case only reluctantly.

Sir32:Sir35:7  Speak, young man, if there be need of thee: and yet scarcely when thou art twice asked.

11  If you have been asked twice, let your response be concise.

Sir32:Sir35:8  Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in few words; be as one that knoweth and yet holdeth his tongue.


12  In many matters, be as if you lack knowledge, and listen silently as well as intently.


13  In the midst of great men, you should not be presumptuous. And where the elders are present, you should not speak much.

Sir32:Sir35:9  If thou be among great men, make not thyself equal with them; and when ancient men are in place, use not many words.

14  Lightning goes before a hailstorm, and grace goes before modesty. And so, for your reverence, good graces will be added to you.

Sir32:Sir35:10  Before the thunder goeth lightning; and before a shamefaced man shall go favour.

15  And at the hour for rising, you should not be lax. Later, be the first to run ahead to your house, and there withdraw, and there take your pastime.

Sir32:Sir35:11  Rise up betimes, and be not the last; but get thee home without delay.

16  And act according to your intentions, but not in sin and not in arrogant speech.

Sir32:Sir35:12  There take thy pastime, and do what thou wilt: but sin not by proud speech.

17  And for all these things, bless the Lord, who made you, and who fills you to overflowing with all his good things.

Sir32:Sir35:13  And for these things bless him that made thee, and hath replenished thee with his good things.

18  Whoever fears the Lord will accept his doctrine. And whoever watches for him diligently will find a blessing.

Sir32:Sir35:14  Whoso feareth the Lord will receive his discipline; and they that seek him early shall find favour.

19  Whoever seeks the law will be filled from the law. But whoever acts with treachery will be scandalized by treachery.

Sir32:Sir35:15  He that seeketh the law shall be filled therewith: but the hypocrite will be offended thereat.

20  Those who fear the Lord will find just judgment, and they will kindle justice like a light.

Sir32:Sir35:16  They that fear the Lord shall find judgement, and shall kindle justice as a light.

21  A sinful man will shun correction, and he will find a rationalization in accord with his own will.

Sir32:Sir35:17  A sinful man will not be reproved, but findeth an excuse according to his will.

22  A man of counsel will not reject understanding. A strange and arrogant man will not be disturbed by fear.

Sir32:Sir35:18  A man of counsel will be considerate; but a strange and proud man is not daunted with fear, even when of himself he hath done without counsel.


23  Even so, after he has acted out of fear and without counsel, he will be rebuked by his own criticism.


24  Son, you should do nothing without counsel, and then you will not regret what you have done.

Sir32:Sir35:19  Do nothing without advice; and when thou hast once done, repent not.

25  You should not go into the way of ruin, and you then will not stumble on stones. You should not commit yourself to a laborious way; otherwise, you may set up a scandal against your own soul.

20  Go not in a way wherein thou mayest fall, and stumble not among the stones.

21  Be not confident in a plain way.

26  And be cautious concerning your own sons. And be attentive to those of your own household.

Sir32:Sir35:22  And beware of thine own children.

27  In all of your works, trust your soul to faith. For this is the keeping of the commandments.

Sir32:Sir35:23  In every good work trust thy own soul; for this is the keeping of the commandments.

28  Whoever believes God attends to the commandments. And whoever trusts in him will not be diminished.

Sir32:Sir35:24  He that believeth in the Lord taketh heed to the commandment; and he that trusteth in him shall fare never the worse.