Sirach chapter 1

Wisdom is a part of the Lord’s creation. He bestows it on all creation, and on people. To fear the Lord is to love and serve him. That is wisdom itself.

 

 


 

The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches

 


 

PROLOGUE

 

WHEREAS many and great things have been delivered to us by the law and the prophets, and by the others that have followed in their steps, for the which things we must give Israel the praise of instruction and wisdom; and since not only the readers must needs become skillful themselves, but also those who love learning must be able to profit them which are without, both by speaking and writing; my grandfather Jesus, having much given himself to the reading of the law, and the prophets, and the other books of our fathers, and having gained great familiarity therein, was drawn on also himself to write somewhat pertaining to instruction and wisdom; in order that those who love learning, and are addicted to these things, might make progress much more by living according to the law.

You are entreated therefore to read with favor and attention, and to pardon us, if in any parts of what we have labored to interpret, we may seem to fail in some of the phrases. For things originally spoken in Hebrew have not the same force in them, when they are translated into another tongue: and not only these, but the law itself, and the prophecies, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when they are spoken in their original language.

For having come into Egypt in the eight and thirties year of Energetes the king, and having continued there some time, I found a copy affording no small instruction. I thought it therefore most necessary for me to apply some diligence and travail to interpret this book; applying indeed much watchfulness and skill in that space of time to bring the book to an end, and set it forth for them also, who in the land of their sojourning are desirous to learn, fashioning their manners beforehand, so as to live according to the law.

 

IN PRAISE OF WISDOM

 

VERSE 1. All wisdom comes from the Lord, And is with him forever.

wisdom comes from the Lord. Our Father in heaven delights in giving good gifts to those who persist in prayer. The greatest gift of all is the Holy Spirit. Read more »

 

VERSE 2. The sand of the seas, and the drops of rain, And the days of eternity, who shall count?

 

VERSE 3. The height of the heaven, and the breadth of the earth, And the deep, and wisdom, who shall search them out?

 

VERSE 4. Wisdom has been created before all things, And the understanding of prudence from everlasting.

Wisdom has been created. Wisdom is a created thing. It is not divine. It is not eternal. It is a part of his creation.

 

[VERSE 5. The wellspring of wisdom is the word of God in the heights, and its runlets are the ageless commandments.]

This verse is omitted in the best manuscripts. The above is from the footnotes of the NAB translation.

 

VERSE 6. To whom has the root of wisdom been revealed? And who has known her shrewd counsels?

 

[VERSE 7. An understanding of wisdom—to whom has this been disclosed; her resourcefulness, who has known?]

This verse is omitted in the best manuscripts. The above is from the footnotes of the NAB translation.

 

VERSE 8. There is one wise, greatly to be feared, The Lord sitting upon his throne:

Romans 16:26. to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.

Jude 1:25. to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.

 

VERSE 9. He created her, And saw, and counted her, And poured her out upon all his works.

poured her out upon all his works. The Lord pours out wisdom upon the whole of creation.

 

VERSE 10. She is with all flesh according to his gift; And he gave her freely to those who love him.

with all flesh. The Lord has given wisdom to all people.

according to his gift. The wisdom that people have is a gift of the Lord.

 

THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS WISDOM

 

VERSE 11. The fear of the Lord is glory, and exultation, And gladness, and a crown of rejoicing.

The fear of the Lord. To fear the Lord is to love and serve him and to obey the Law.

 

VERSE 12. The fear of the Lord will delight the heart, And will give gladness, and joy, and length of days.

Some manuscripts read: “Fear of the Lord is the Lord’s gift; also for love he makes firm paths” (NAB translation).

delight the heart. To walk with the Lord is delightful.

give gladness. To walk with the Lord gives you gladness.

and joy. To walk with the Lord gives you joy.

 

VERSE 13. Whoso fears the Lord, it will go well with him at the last, And in the day of his death he will be blessed.

 

VERSE 14. To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; And it was created together with the faithful in the womb.

 

VERSE 15. With men she laid an eternal foundation; And with their seed she will be had in trust.

laid. Or “nested.”

 

VERSE 16. To fear the Lord is the fullness of wisdom; And she satiates men with her fruits.

 

VERSE 17. She will fill all her house with desirable things, And her garners with her produce.

 

VERSE 18. The fear of the Lord is the crown of wisdom, Making peace and perfect health to flourish.

A few manuscripts provide a second half of this verse. It reads: “Both are gifts of God toward peace; splendor opens out for those who love him” (NAB translation).

 

VERSE 19. He both saw and counted her; He rained down skill and knowledge of understanding, And exalted the honor of those who hold her fast.

 

VERSE 20. To fear the Lord is the root of wisdom; And her branches are length of days.

 

VERSE 21.

This verse is omitted in the best manuscripts.

 

VERSE 22. Unjust wrath can never be justified; For the sway of his wrath is his downfall.

 

VERSE 23. A man that is patient will bear for a season, And afterward gladness will spring up to him;

bear. Or “resist.”

a season. The Greek word is kaīros. It means “the right time.” We might say, “When the time is right.”

 

VERSE 24. He will hide his words for a season, And the lips of many will tell forth his understanding.

a season. The Greek word is kaīros. It means “the right time.” We might say, “When the time is right.”

 

VERSE 25. A parable of knowledge is in the treasures of wisdom; But godliness is an abomination to a sinner.

 

VERSE 26. If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, And the Lord will give her to you freely:

 

VERSE 27. For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction; And in faith and meekness is his good pleasure.

 

VERSE 28. Disobey not the fear of the Lord; And come not to him with a double heart.

a double heart. That is, with duplicity of heart. To serve the Lord that way is to be a hypocrite.

 

VERSE 29. Be not a hypocrite in the mouths of men; And take good heed to your lips.

 

VERSE 30. Exalt not yourself, lest you fall, And bring dishonor upon your soul; And so the Lord will reveal your secrets, And will cast you down in the midst of the congregation; Because you came not to the fear of the Lord, And your heart was full of deceit.

 


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


 

Author: Todd Van Natta

I was given a great gift. It is to be passionate about Jesus Christ and the Bible and the spiritual life. I am a Christian believer. I believe in Jesus Christ. I’m in love with Jesus! I believe the Bible. I love the Bible. For decades, I've been reading it cover-to-cover, again and again and again. I’ve memorized a whole lot of Bible verses. Most of all, I want the Bible to help us fall more deeply in love with God the Father, with Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, with other people, and with ourselves. And I've been reading the great writings from the entire Christian heritage for decades. At Explore the Faith, I share what I have discovered.

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