The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 49:1–19


The memory of Josiah is like a blend of fragrances composed by the work of a perfumer.

The remembrance of Josias is like the composition of the perfume that is made by the art of the apothecary: it is sweet as honey in all mouths, and as musick at a banquet of wine.


His remembrance will be sweet like honey in every mouth, and like music at a banquet of wine.


He was divinely directed for the repentance of the nation, and he took away the abominations of impiety.

Sir49:2  He behaved himself uprightly in the conversion of the people, and took away the abominations of iniquity.

And he guided his heart toward the Lord. And during the days of sinners, he strengthened piety.

Sir49:3  He directed his heart unto the Lord, and in the time of the ungodly he established the worship of God.

Other than David, and Hezekiah, and Josiah, everyone committed sin.

Sir49:4  All, except David and Ezekias and Josias, were defective: for they forsook the law of the most High, even the kings of Juda failed.


For the kings of Judah abandoned the law of the Most High, and they held contempt for the fear of God.


For they gave their kingdom to foreigners, and their glory to a strange people.

Sir49:5  Therefore he gave their power unto others, and their glory to a strange nation.

They set fire to the chosen city of sanctity, and they made its streets desolate, in accord with the hand of Jeremiah.

Sir49:6  They burnt the chosen city of the sanctuary, and made the streets desolate, according to the prophecy of Jeremias.

For they treated him wickedly, though he was consecrated as a prophet from his mother’s womb: to overthrow, and to root out, and to destroy, and also to rebuild and to renew.

Sir49:7  For they entreated him evil, who nevertheless was a prophet, sanctified in his mother’s womb, that he might root out, and afflict, and destroy; and that he might build up also, and plant.


10  It was Ezekiel who saw a vision of glory, which was revealed to him with the chariot of the Cherubim.


11  For it called to mind the enemies under the figure of rain, to do good to those who have revealed the upright ways.

Sir49:9  For he made mention of the enemies under the figure of the rain, and directed them that went right.

12  And may the bones of the twelve prophets spring up from their place. For they strengthened Jacob, and they redeemed themselves with a virtuous faith.

Sir49:10  And of the twelve prophets let the memorial be blessed, and let their bones flourish again out of their place: for they comforted Jacob, and delivered them by assured hope.

13  How will we magnify Zerubbabel? For he, too, was like a signet on the right hand.

Sir49:11  How shall we magnify Zorobabel? even he was as a signet on the right hand

14  So also was Jesus, the son of Jozadak, who in their days built the house, and raised up a holy temple to the Lord, as a preparation for everlasting glory.

Sir49:12  So was Jesus the son of Josedec: who in their time builded the house, and set up an holy temple to the Lord, which was prepared for everlasting glory.

15  And may Nehemiah be remembered for a long time. He raised up for us the walls that had been torn down. And he made firm the gates and the bars. He raised up our houses.

Sir49:13  And among the elect was Neemias, whose renown is great, who raised up for us the walls that were fallen, and set up the gates and the bars, and raised up our ruins again.

16  No one has been born upon the earth like Enoch. And he was also taken up from the earth.

Sir49:14  But upon the earth was no man created like Enoch; for he was taken from the earth.

17  And there was no one like Joseph, who was a man born to be foremost among his brothers, the firmament of his clan, a guide to his brethren, the mainstay of his people.

Sir49:15  Neither was there a young man born like Joseph, a governor of his brethren, a stay of the people, whose bones were regarded of the Lord.


18  And his bones were visited, and after death, they prophesied.


19  Shem and Seth obtained glory among men. And above every soul, at the very beginning, was Adam.

Sir49:16  Sem and Seth were in great honour among men, and so was Adam above every living thing in creation.