The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 38:16–23


16  Son, shed tears over the dead, and begin to weep, as if you had suffered dreadfully. And according to judgment, cover his body, and you should not neglect his burial.

16  My son, let tears fall down over the dead, and begin to lament, as if thou hadst suffered great harm thyself; and then cover his body according to the custom, and neglect not his burial.

17  And though you will sink down into bitterness, bear his mourning for one day, and then be consoled in your sadness.

17  Weep bitterly, and make great moan, and use lamentation, as he is worthy, and that a day or two, lest thou be evil spoken of: and then comfort thyself for thy heaviness.


18  And carry out his mourning, according to his merit, for one or two days because of this loss.


19  Yet sadness hastens death and overwhelms strength, and the sorrow of the heart bows down the neck.

Sir38:18  For of heaviness cometh death, and the heaviness of the heart breaketh strength.

20  When one is taken away, sorrow remains. But the resources of a destitute man is found in his heart.

Sir38:19  In affliction also sorrow remaineth: and the life of the poor is the curse of the heart.

21  You should not give your heart over to sadness, but push it away from you. And remember the very end.

Sir38:20  Take no heaviness to heart: drive it away, and member the last end.

22  Do not be willing to forget this; for there is no turning back. Otherwise, it will not benefit you, and you will cause great harm to yourself.

Sir38:21  Forget it not, for there is no turning again: thou shalt not do him good, but hurt thyself.

23  Call to mind my judgment. For so shall it be for you also. Yesterday is mine, and today is yours.

Sir38:22  Remember my judgement: for thine also shall be so; yesterday for me, and to day for thee.