The author shares more observations from daily living, infusing them with his own insights and wisdom. He tells us what to be ashamed of.
The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
VERSE 1. O death, how bitter is the remembrance of you to a man that is at peace in his possessions, To the man that has nothing to distract him, and has prosperity in all things, And that still has strength to receive meat!
VERSE 2. O death, acceptable is your sentence to a man that is needy, and that fails in strength, That is in extreme old age, and is distracted about all things, And is perverse, and has lost patience!
NAB translation. O death! how welcome your sentence to the weak man of failing strength, Tottering and always rebuffed, with no more sight, with vanished hope.
O death! how welcome. As the moment of his death arrived, Francis of Assisi was emaciated and weak from extensive fasting. Even his sight failed him at the end. He welcomed his own death with the greeting, “Sister death.”
VERSE 3. Don’t be afraid of the sentence of death; Remember those who have been before you, and that come after: This is the sentence from the Lord over all flesh.
why do you refuse. That is, “why then should you reject the will of the Most High” (NAB translation).
Like most believers, the author assumes that people die because God willed that they die. Most believers therefore assume that whatever caused the death was also willed by God.
For example, if a man dies from lung cancer, his widow assumes that God willed for her to have lung cancer.
VERSE 5. The children of sinners are abominable children, And they frequent the dwellings of the ungodly.
VERSE 6. The inheritance of sinners’ children shall perish, And with their posterity shall be a perpetual reproach.
an ungodly father. That is, a wicked father. His children are right to curse him. It is deserved. Plus, their contempt for him will help keep them from becoming like him.
VERSE 8. Woe to you, ungodly men, Which have forsaken the law of the Most High God!
VERSE 9. If you be born, you shall be born to a curse; If you die, a curse shall be your portion.
VERSE 10. All things that are of the earth shall go back to the earth: So the ungodly shall go from a curse to perdition.
VERSE 11. The mourning of men is about their bodies: But the name of sinners being evil shall be blotted out.
Have regard to your name. People in the Bible prize having a good name. That means having a favorable reputation in the community.
VERSE 13. A good life has its number of days; And a good name continues forever.
NOTE: This section is NOT instructing us to shame other people. Rather, it is guiding us in interpreting the feeling of shame within ourselves.
VERSE 14. My children, keep instruction in peace: But wisdom that is hid, and a treasure that is not seen, What profit is in them both?
This verse addresses two different types of people, and sets up different courses of action for each:
|Hide his foolishness||Share his wisdom|
VERSE 16. Wherefore show reverence to my word: For it is not good to retain every kind of shame; And not all things are approved by all in good faith.
Be ashamed of whoredom. We should be ashamed of our immoral actions.
a lie before a prince and a mighty man. That is, breaking an oath or agreement. We are to keep our word. Our “yes” should mean yes:
Matthew 5:37. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.
VERSE 18. Of an offence before a judge and ruler; Of iniquity before the congregation and the people; Of unjust dealing before a partner and friend;
VERSE 19. And of theft in regard of the place where you sojourn, And in regard of the truth of God and his covenant; And of leaning with your elbow at meat; And of scurrility in the matter of giving and taking;
VERSE 20. And of silence before those who salute you; And of looking upon a woman that is a harlot;
VERSE 21. And of turning away ‡ your face from a kinsman; Of taking away a portion or a gift; And of gazing upon a woman that has a husband;
VERSE 22. Of being over busy with his maid; and come not near her bed; Of upbraiding speeches before friends; And after you have given, upbraid not;
VERSE 23. Of repeating and speaking what you have heard; And of revealing of secrets.
VERSE 24. So shall you be truly shamefast, And find favor in the sight of every man.
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.