The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 41:14–42:8


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.


42:1  You should not repeat a claim heard from the revealing of a hidden word. And then, truly, you will be without shame, and you will find favor in the sight of all men. You should not accept the reputation of someone, so that you would sin, nor should you be confounded in any of the following things

Or of iterating and speaking again that which thou hast heard; and of revealing of secrets. So shalt thou be truly shamefaced and find favour before all men. Of these things be not thou ashamed, and accept no person to sin thereby


42:2  in the law of the Most High and his covenant, or by giving a judgment to justify the impious;


42:3  in a word among companions and fellow travelers, or by distributing the inheritance of friends;

Of reckoning with thy partners and travellers; or of the gift of the heritage of friends;

42:4  in the fairness of scales and weights, or in acquiring much or little;

Of exactness of balance and weights; or of getting much or little;

42:5  by the corruption of buying and negotiating, or in the ample discipline of children, or in causing the side of a wicked servant to bleed.

And of merchants’ indifferent selling; of much correction of children; and to make the side of an evil servant to bleed.

42:6  A seal is good over a wicked wife.

Sure keeping is good, where an evil wife is; and shut up, where many hands are.

42:7  Where there are many hands, seal and deliver all things by number and weight; and truly, give and receive everything in writing.

Deliver all things in number and weight; and put all in writing that thou givest out, or receivest in.

42:8  You should not have shame in correcting the senseless, the foolish, and those youths who would judge their elders. And so shall you be well-instructed in all things and well-approved in the sight of all the living.

Be not ashamed to inform the unwise and foolish, and the extreme aged that contendeth with those that are young: thus shalt thou be truly learned, and approved of all men living.