The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 41:1–28


O death, how bitter is the memory of you: to a man who has peace in his substance,

O death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that liveth at rest in his possessions, unto the man that hath nothing to vex him, and that hath prosperity in all things: yea, unto him that is yet able to receive meat!


to a quiet man, and to him whose ways are directed properly in all things, and who still has the strength to take nourishment.


O death, your judgment is good to the indigent man, and to him whose strength has diminished,

Sir41:2  O death, acceptable is thy sentence unto the needy, and unto him whose strength faileth, that is now in the last age, and is vexed with all things, and to him that despaireth, and hath lost patience!


who is failing due to old age, and who is anxious about all things, and to the unbelieving man who has lost patience.


Do not choose to dread the judgment of death. Remember the things that occurred before you, and the things that will occur after you. This judgment is from the Lord upon all flesh.

Sir41:3  Fear not the sentence of death, remember them that have been before thee, and that come after; for this is the sentence of the Lord over all flesh.

And what will happen to you is well-pleasing to the Most High, whether in ten, or one hundred, or one thousand years.

Sir41:4  And why art thou against the pleasure of the most High? there is no inquisition in the grave, whether thou have lived ten, or an hundred, or a thousand years.


For death is no indictment of life.


The sons of sinners, and those who pass their time in the manner of the houses of the impious, become sons of abominations.

Sir41:5  The children of sinners are abominable children, and they that are conversant in the dwelling of the ungodly.

The inheritance of the sons of sinners will perish, and continual disgrace will be with their offspring.

Sir41:6  The inheritance of sinners’ children shall perish, and their posterity shall have a perpetual reproach.

10  The sons of an impious father will complain, for they are in disgrace because of him.

Sir41:7  The children will complain of an ungodly father, because they shall be reproached for his sake.

11  Woe to you, impious men, who have abandoned the law of the Most High Lord!

Sir41:8  Woe be unto you, ungodly men, which have forsaken the law of the most high God! for if ye increase, it shall be to your destruction

12  And when you are born, you will be born into a curse; and when you die, your portion will be in a curse.

Sir41:9  And if ye be born, ye shall be born to a curse: and if ye die, a curse shall be your portion.

13  All things that are from the earth shall return to the earth. Similarly, the impious will proceed from a curse unto perdition.

Sir41:10  All that are of the earth shall turn to earth again: so the ungodly shall go from a curse to destruction.

14  The grieving of men is in their body, but the name of the impious will be wiped away.

Sir41:11  The mourning of men is about their bodies: but an ill name of sinners shall be blotted out.

15  Have concern for your good name. For this will continue with you, more so than a thousand precious and great treasures.

Sir41:12  Have regard to thy name; for that shall continue with thee above a thousand great treasures of gold.

16  A good life has its number of days, but a good name will continue forever.

Sir41:13  A good life hath but few days: but a good name endureth for ever.

17  Sons, practice discipline peacefully. For what use is there in either concealed wisdom, or undiscovered treasure?

Sir41:14  My children, keep discipline in peace: for wisdom that is hid, and a treasure that is not seen, what profit is in them both?

18  Better is the man who hides his foolishness than the man who hides his wisdom.

Sir41:15  A man that hideth his foolishness is better than a man that hideth his wisdom.


19  Yet truly, have respect for these things which proceed from my mouth.


20  For it is not good to observe every reverence. And all things do not please all persons in their beliefs.

Sir41:16  Therefore be shamefaced according to my word: for it is not good to retain all shamefacedness; neither is it altogether approved in every thing.

21  Have shame of these things: of fornication before father and mother, and of a lie before the first leader and the powerful,

Sir41:17  Be ashamed of whoredom before father and mother: and of a lie before a prince and a mighty man;


22  of a crime before a ruler or a judge, of iniquity before a congregation or a people,


23  of injustice before a companion or a friend, and of the place in which you live,

Sir41:18  Of an offence before a judge and ruler; of iniquity before a congregation and people; of unjust dealing before thy partner and friend;

24  of theft, and of the truth before God, and of the covenant, of reclining to eat bread, and of deceitfulness in giving or receiving,

Sir41:19  And of theft in regard of the place where thou sojournest, and in regard of the truth of God and his covenant; and to lean with thine elbow upon the meat; and of scorning to give and take;

25  of silence before those who greet you, of looking upon a woman of fornication, and of averting your face from a relative.

Sir41:20  And of silence before them that salute thee; and to look upon an harlot;

26  You should not avert your face from your neighbor, nor should you take away a portion and not restore it.

Sir41:21  And to turn away thy face from thy kinsman; or to take away a portion or a gift; or to gaze upon another man’s wife.

27  You should not stare at another man’s wife, and nor pursue his handmaid, nor approach her bed.

Sir41:22  Or to be overbusy with his maid, and come not near her bed; or of upbraiding speeches before friends; and after thou hast given, upbraid not;


28  Avoid reproachful speeches before friends, and when you give, you should not place blame.