Sirach 23

23 aO that one would set scourges over my mindb,

And ca rod of correctionc over my heart,

That they spare not dtheir errorsd,

eAnd overlook not their sinse!

That mine ignorances be notf multiplied,

And that my sins gabound notf g h,

And icause me to falli in the sight ofk miṇel adversaries,

So that mine enemy rejoice over mem.

1(=4a) O Lord, Father, and Godn of myo life,

Abandon me not pto their counselp q.

4b Give me notr sa proud looks,

tAnd turn away concupiscenceu from mev.

May wthe lust of the fleshw xand chamberingx ynot overtake mey,

zAnd give mea not over to a shameless soulz.

(j) 23:7–15. The need of keeping the tongue under control ( = 2 + 3 + 3 + 2 + 3 + 2 distichs).

G bHear, O children, (concerning) the discipline of the mouthc:

He that keepeth (discipline)d eshall not be taken [captive]e

Butf the sinner is ensnaredg throughh his lips,

S iAnd the fool stumbleth through his mouthi.

Accustom notk thy mouth to an oath,

lNor make a habit of the naming of the Holy Onem l.

G 10 nFor as a servant who is constantly being questionedn

oLacketh noto the marks of a blow,

So also he that psweareth and is continually naming qthe name of the Lordq p

Is not freer from sins.

11 A man of many oaths s is filled with iniquitys,

And the scourget departeth not from his house;

If he offendu his sin will be upon himv,

wAnd if he disregardx it he sinneth doublyw;

yAnd if he sweareth zwithout needz, he shall not be justifiedy,

aFor his house shall be filled with calamitiesb a.

12 cThere is a manner of speech dthat is to be comparedd with deathc:

Let it not be found in the heritage of Jacob.

S eHe that keepethf his soul from this shall livee,

gAnd not wallow in sinsg.

G 14 hRememberi thy father and thy mother

kWhenl thou sittest in council in the midst of tḥe mightyk,

Lest, perchance, mthou stumblem before them,

[In that] nthou showest thyself [to be] a fooln in thy manner [of speech],

oAnd dost wish thou hadst not been borno,

And cursest the day of thy birth.

13 Accustom not thy mouth to impure manner [of speech],

For pthat is a sinful thingp.

G 15 A man that doth accustom himself to qdisgraceful talkq

rWill not learnr wisdom sall his dayss.

(k) 23:16–27. Tke Wickedness of Impurity

(= 4 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 3 + 3 + 2 distichs).

16 Two types (of men) tmultiply sinst,

And the third increasethu wrathv;

wA hot desirex, burning like fire,

Which is not quenched till yit be consumedy w;

A fornicator with the body of his flesh,

HA (For) he ceaseth not till the fire consumeth him;

G 17 [And] the man to whom all breadz is sweet,

(For) he will not leave off till he die.

18 A mana that bgoeth astrayb cfrom his own bedc,

And saith in his heart: ‘Who seeth me?

S dThe walls of my house hide me,

And the shadow of my roof covereth me,

And no one seeth me—

What hindereth me from sinning?’ d

eHe remembereth not the Most Highe;

G 19 fThe eyes of men are his (only) fearf,

—And he perceiveth not that the eyes of the Lord

Are ten thousand times brighter than the sun,

Beholding all the ways of men,

gAnd looking into secret placesg;

20 Forh all things are known unto Him before they are created,

iSo also [doth He see them] after they are perfectedi,—

21 kSuch a man shall be punishedl in the streets of the city,

And shall be taken where he suspecteth it notk m.

G 22 So also a wife that leavethn her husband,

And bringeth in an heir by a stranger.

23 For, firstly, she is disobediento to the Law of the Most High;

And secondly, pshe trespassethp against her own husbandq;

And thirdly, she committeth adultery through (her) fornication,

And bringeth children in by a stranger.

24 She shall be led into the assembly,

And upon her children rthere will be visitationr.

25 Her children shall not spread out their roots,

And her branches shall bear no fruit.

26 She will leave her memory for a curse,

And her reproach will not be blotted out.

27 sAnd they that are left behind shall know

That there is nothing better than the fear of the Lordt,

And nothing sweeter than to observe

The commandments of the Lordu s.

(a) 24:1–34. a The Praise of Wisdoma

(= 2 + 2+ 2 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 3 + 2 + 3 + 3 distichs).

Read more