The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 42:1–26


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


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


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;

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;

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.

A seal is good over a wicked wife.

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

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.

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.

The vigilance of a father for his daughter is hidden, and his concern for her takes away his sleep. For perhaps, in her adolescence, she might be brought into adulthood. Or when she lives with her husband, she might become hateful.

A daughter is a wakeful care to a father; and the care for her taketh away sleep: when she is young, lest she pass away the flower of her age; and being married, lest she should be hated

10  In her virginity, she might be defiled, and then she may be found to be pregnant in her father’s house. Or perhaps, when she lives with her husband, she might stray, or at least become barren.

10  In her virginity, lest she should be defiled and gotten with child in her father’s house; and having an husband, lest she should misbehave herself; and when she is married, lest she should be barren.

11  Keep a close watch over a self-indulgent daughter. Otherwise, at some time, she might bring you into disgrace before your enemies, and into disrepute in the city, and into reproach among the people, and so she may confound you before the multitude of the people.

11  Keep a sure watch over a shameless daughter, lest she make thee a laughingstock to thine enemies, and a byword in the city, and a reproach among the people, and make thee ashamed before the multitude.

12  She should not choose to gaze upon the beauty of every man, and she should not choose to spend her time in the midst of married women.

12  Behold not every body’s beauty, and sit not in the midst of women.

13  For a moth goes forth from garments, and iniquity over a man goes forth from a woman.

13  For from garments cometh a moth, and from women wickedness.

14  Yet iniquity over a man is better for her than if a married woman, seeking to benefit her, instead leads her into confusion and disgrace.

14  Better is the churlishness of a man than a courteous woman, a woman, I say, which bringeth shame and reproach.

15  And now, I will remember the works of the Lord, and I will announce what I have seen. The words of the Lord are in his works.

15  I will now remember the works of the Lord, and declare the things that I have seen: In the words of the Lord are his works.

16  The sun illuminates and considers all things, and its work shows the fullness of the glory of the Lord.

16  The sun that giveth light looketh upon all things, and the work thereof is full of the glory of the Lord.

17  Has not the Lord caused the holy ones to describe all his miracles, which the all-powerful Lord has firmly established in his glory?

17  The Lord hath not given power to the saints to declare all his marvellous works, which the Almighty Lord firmly settled, that whatsoever is might be established for his glory.

18  He has examined the abyss and the hearts of men. And he has considered their astuteness.

18  He seeketh out the deep, and the heart, and considereth their crafty devices: for the Lord knoweth all that may be known, and he beholdeth the signs of the world.

19  For the Lord comprehends all knowledge, and he has gazed upon the signs of the times: announcing the things of the past, as well as the things of the future, and revealing the traces of hidden things.

19  He declareth the things that are past, and for to come, and revealeth the steps of hidden things.

20  No thought passes by him unnoticed, and no word can conceal itself from him.

20  No thought escapeth him, neither any word is hidden from him.

21  He has adorned the magnificent works of his wisdom. He is before eternity and even unto eternity. And nothing can be added,

21  He hath garnished the excellent works of his wisdom, and he is from everlasting to everlasting: unto him may nothing be added, neither can he be diminished, and he hath no need of any counsellor.


22  and nothing can be taken away. And he has no need of any counselor.


23  O how desirable are all his works! And all that we consider is but a spark.

Sir42:22  Oh how desirable are all his works! and that a man may see even to a spark.

24  All these works exist, and they remain in the present age, and they all obey him in every purpose.

Sir42:23  All these things live and remain for ever for all uses, and they are all obedient.

25  All things are two-fold, one facing another, and he has not made anything to be lacking.

Sir42:24  All things are double one against another: and he hath made nothing imperfect.

26  He has confirmed each thing as good. And who would tire of beholding his glory?

Sir42:25  One thing establisheth the good or another: and who shall be filled with beholding his glory?