The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 48:1–28


And the prophet Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.

Then stood up Elias the prophet as fire, and his word burned like a lamp.

He brought a famine upon them, and those who provoked him in their envy became few. For they could not bear the precepts of the Lord.

He brought a sore famine upon them, and by his zeal he diminished their number.


By the word of the Lord, he closed the heavens, and he brought down fire from heaven three times.


In this way, Elijah was magnified in his wondrous works. So who can say that he is similar to you in glory?

O Elias, how wast thou honoured in thy wondrous deeds! and who may glory like unto thee!

He raised up a dead man from the grave, from the fate of death, by the word of the Lord God.

Who didst raise up a dead man from death, and his soul from the place of the dead, by the word of the most High

He threw down kings unto perdition, and he easily shattered their power and boasting from his bed.

Who broughtest kings to destruction, and honourably men from their bed

He heeded the judgment at Sinai, and the judgments of punishment at Horeb.

Who heardest the rebuke of the Lord in Sinai, and in Horeb the judgement of vengeance

He anointed kings unto repentance, and he chose the prophets who would follow after him.

Who anointedst kings to take revenge, and prophets to succeed after him

He was received into a whirlwind of fire, into a swift chariot with fiery horses.

Who was taken up in a whirlwind of fire, and in a chariot of fiery horses

10  He is written in the judgments of the times, so as to lessen the wrath of the Lord, to reconcile the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob.

10  Who wast ordained for reproofs in their times, to pacify the wrath of the Lord’s judgement, before it brake forth into fury, and to turn the heart of the father unto the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob.

11  Blessed are those who saw you, and who were adorned with your friendship.

11  Blessed are they that saw thee, and slept in love; for we shall surely live.


12  For we live only in our life, and after death, our name will not be the same.


13  Certainly, Elijah was covered by the whirlwind, and his spirit was completed in Elisha. In his days, he was not fearful of the ruler, and no power defeated him.

Sir48:12  Elias it was, who was covered with a whirlwind: and Eliseus was filled with his spirit: whilst he lived, he was not moved with the presence of any prince, neither could any bring him into subjection.

14  No word overwhelmed him, and after death, his body prophesied.

Sir48:13  No word could overcome him; and after his death his body prophesied.

15  In his life, he gave great portents, and in death, he wrought miracles.

Sir48:14  He did wonders in his life, and at his death were his works marvellous.

16  In all these things, the people did not repent, and they did not withdraw from their sins, even until they were cast out of their land, and were dispersed throughout all the earth.

Sir48:15  For all this the people repented not, neither departed they from their sins, till they were spoiled and carried out of their land, and were scattered through all the earth: yet there remained a small people, and a ruler in the house of David


17  And there was left behind a people very few in number, but with a leader in the house of David.


18  Some of these did what pleased God. But others committed many sins.

Sir48:16  Of whom some did that which was pleasing to God, and some multiplied sins.

19  Hezekiah fortified his city, and he brought water into its midst, and he dug into rock with iron, and he built a well for water.

Sir48:17  Ezekias fortified his city, and brought in water into the midst thereof: he digged the hard rock with iron, and made wells for waters.

20  In his days, Sennacherib rose up, and he sent Rabshakeh, and he lifted up his hand against them, and he extended his hand against Zion, and he became arrogant in his power.

Sir48:18  In his time Sennacherib came up, and sent Rabsaces, and lifted up his hand against Sion, and boasted proudly.

21  Then their hearts and hands shook. And they were in pain, like women giving birth.

Sir48:19  Then trembled their hearts and hands, and they were in pain, as women in travail.

22  And they called upon the merciful Lord. And they spread their hands and lifted them up to heaven. And the holy Lord God quickly heeded their voice.

Sir48:20  But they called upon the Lord which is merciful, and stretched out their hands toward him: and immediately the Holy One heard them out of heaven, and delivered them by the ministry of Esay.


23  He was not mindful of their sins, and he did not give them over to their enemies. Instead, he purified them by the hand of Isaiah, the holy prophet.


24  He threw down the army of the Assyrians, and the Angel of the Lord crushed them.

Sir48:21  He smote the host of the Assyrians, and his angel destroyed them.

25  For Hezekiah did what pleased God, and he went with fortitude in the way of David his father, just as he had been commanded by Isaiah, a prophet great and faithful in the sight of God.

Sir48:22  For Ezekias had done the thing that pleased the Lord, and was strong in the ways of David his father, as Esay the prophet, who was great and faithful in his vision, had commanded him.

26  In his days, the sun went backwards, and he added to the king’s life.

Sir48:23  In his time the sun went backward, and he lengthened the king’s life.

27  With a great spirit he saw the final things. And he consoled the mourners in Zion.

Sir48:24  He saw by an excellent spirit what should come to pass at the last, and he comforted them that mourned in Sion.

28  He revealed the future, even the distant future, and hidden things before they occurred.

Sir48:25  He shewed what should come to pass for ever, and secret things or ever they came.