The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 33:1–33


No evils will befall one who fears the Lord. Instead, God will preserve him during temptation and will free him from evils.

Sir33:Sir36:1  There shall no evil happen unto him that feareth the Lord; but in temptation even again he will deliver him.

A wise man does not hate the commandments and the justices, and so he will not be thrown about violently, like a ship in a storm.

Sir33:Sir36:2  A wise man hateth not the law; but he that is an hypocrite therein is as a ship in a storm.


A man of understanding puts his faith in the law of God, and so the law is faithful to him.


Whoever would resolve a dispute will prepare a word, and so, having prayed, he will be heard. And he will observe discipline, and then he will respond.

Sir33:Sir36:4  Prepare what to say, and so thou shalt be heard: and bind up instruction, and then make answer.

The heart of a fool is like the wheel of a cart. And his thoughts are like a turning axel.

Sir33:Sir36:5  The heart of the foolish is like a cartwheel; and his thoughts are like a rolling axletree.

A friend who is a whisperer is like an untamed horse: he neighs under anyone who sits upon him.

Sir33:Sir36:6  A stallion horse is as a mocking friend, he neigheth under every one that sitteth upon him.

Why does day follow after day, and light follow after light, and year follow after year, in accord with the sun?

Sir33:Sir36:7  Why doth one day excel another, when as all the light of every day in the year is of the sun?


By the knowledge of the Lord, they were arranged, after the sun was made, in keeping with his command.


And so, the seasons changed, with their feast days. And according to them, they celebrated the feast days, in their hour.

Sir33:Sir36:9  Some of them hath he made high days, and hallowed them, and some of them hath he made ordinary days.

10  Some of them, God exalted and magnified. And some of them, he set amid the ordinary days. And all men are from the ground, and from the earth, from which Adam was created.

Sir33:Sir36:10  And all men are from the ground, and Adam was created of earth

11  With a mulititude of disciplines, the Lord has distinguished them and diversified their ways.

Sir33:Sir36:11  In much knowledge the Lord hath divided them, and made their ways diverse. Though I was the last to wake up, yet I received their inheritance as from the beginning.

12  Some of them, he has blessed and exalted. And some of them he has sanctified and placed close to himself. And some of them, he has cursed and brought low, and he has turned them from their station.

Sir33:Sir36:12  Some of them hath he blessed and exalted and some of them he sanctified, and set near himself: but some of them hath he cursed and brought low, and turned out of their places. O Lord, have mercy upon the people that is called by thy name, and upon Israel, whom thou hast named thy firstborn.

13  Just as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so as to form and to shape it,

Sir33:Sir36:13  As the clay is in the potter’s hand, to fashion it at his pleasure: so man is in the hand of him that made him, to render to them as liketh him best. O be merciful unto Jerusalem, thy holy city, the place of thy rest.


14  so are all his ways in accord with his dispensation, and so is man in the hand of the One who made him. And he will repay him according to his judgment.


15  Good is against evil, and life is against death; so also is a sinner against a just man. And so should you consider all the works of the Most High: two and two, and one against another.

Sir36  Good is set against evil, and life against death: so is the godly against the sinner, and the sinner against the godly. Fill Sion with thine unspeakable oracles, and thy people with thy glory:

undefined  So look upon all the works of the most High; and there are two and two, one against another. Give testimony unto those that thou hast possessed from the beginning, and raise up prophets that have been in thy name.

16  And I awakened at the very end, and I was like one who gathers grapes after the grape-gatherers.

Sir33:Sir36:16  Reward them that wait for thee, and let thy prophets be found faithful.

17  I, too, have hoped in the blessing of God. And I have filled the winepress like one who gathers grapes.

Sir36  O Lord, hear the prayer of thy servants, according to the blessing of Aaron over thy people, that all they which dwell upon the earth may know that thou art the Lord, the eternal God.

undefined  The belly devoureth all meats, yet is one meat better than another.

18  Consider how I have not labored for myself alone, but for all who are seeking discipline.

Sir33:Sir36:19  As the palate tasteth divers kinds of venison: so doth an heart of understanding false speeches.

19  Listen to me, you great ones, with all the peoples. And incline your ears, you rulers of the Church.

Sir33:Sir36:20  A froward heart causeth heaviness: but a man of experience will recompense him.

20  You should not give authority over yourself to a son or wife, to a brother or friend, in your life. And you should not give your estate to another, lest perhaps you may regret it, and then you would be begging for the same.

Sir33:Sir36:21  A woman will receive every man, yet is one daughter better than another.

21  While you are still living and breathing, let no one among all flesh change you.

Sir33:Sir36:22  The beauty of a woman cheereth the countenance, and a man loveth nothing better.

22  For it is better if your children petition you, than if you look toward the hands of your children.

Sir33:Sir36:23  If there be kindness, meekness, and comfort, in her tongue, then is not her husband like other men.

23  In all your works, be pre-eminent.

Sir33:Sir36:24  He that getteth a wife beginneth a possession, a help like unto himself, and a pillar of rest.

24  You should not allow a blemish upon your glory. On the day of the consummation of the days of your life, at the time of your passing, distribute your inheritance.

Sir33:Sir36:25  Where no hedge is, there the possession is spoiled: and he that hath no wife will wander up and down mourning.

25  Fodder and a rod and a burden are for a donkey; bread and discipline and work are for a servant.

Sir33:Sir36:26  Who will trust a thief well appointed, that skippeth from city to city? so who will believe a man that hath no house, and lodgeth wheresoever the night taketh him?

26  He works under discipline, and he seeks rest. Allow his hands to be idle, and he seeks liberty.

Sir33:Sir30:25  If thou set thy servant to labour, thou shalt find rest: but if thou let him go idle, he shall seek liberty.

27  The yoke and the strap bend a stiff neck, and continual labors bend a servant.

Sir33:Sir30:26  A yoke and a collar do bow the neck: so are tortures and torments for an evil servant.

28  Torture and chains are for a malevolent servant; send him to work, so that he may not be idle.

Sir33:Sir30:27  Send him to labour, that he be not idle; for idleness teacheth much evil.

29  For idleness has taught much evil.

Sir33:Sir30:28  Set him to work, as is fit for him: if he be not obedient, put on more heavy fetters.

30  Appoint him to a task. For this is fitting for him. And if he will not be obedient, bend him with chains. But you should do no more than any flesh can bear. Truly, you should do nothing grievous without judgment.

Sir33:Sir36:29  But be not excessive toward any; and without discretion do nothing.

31  If you have a faithful servant, let him be to you like your own soul. Treat him like a brother. For you have obtained him by the blood of your soul.

Sir33:Sir36:30  If thou have a servant, let him be unto thee as thyself, because thou hast bought him with a price.

32  If you harm him unjustly, he will turn away and flee.

Sir33:Sir36:31  If thou have a servant, entreat him as a brother: for thou hast need of him, as of thine own soul: if thou entreat him evil, and he run from thee, which way wilt thou go to seek him?


33  And then, when he lifts himself up and departs, you will not know whom to ask, or in what way to seek him.