The author remembers three great heroes of the faith: Moses, Aaron, and Phinehas. They are great role models for us.
The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
VERSE 1. And he brought out of him a man of mercy, Which found favor in the sight of all flesh; A man beloved of God and men, even Moses, Whose memorial is blessed.
VERSE 2. He made him like to the glory of the saints, And magnified him in the fears of his enemies.
VERSE 3. By his words he caused the wonders to cease; He glorified him in the sight of kings; He gave him commandment for his people, And showed him part of his glory.
and meekness. Moses was the meekest person who ever lived:
Numbers 12:3. Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth. (KJV translation)
VERSE 5. He made him to hear his voice, And led him into the thick darkness, And gave him commandments face to face, Even the law of life and knowledge, That he might teach Jacob the covenant, And Israel his judgments.
made him to hear his voice. Moses heard the voice of God.
into the thick darkness. Or “cloud.” Sometimes God leads people into darkness. John of the Cross knew it as The Dark Night. An anonymous author in the latter half of the 14th century knew it as The Cloud of Unknowing.
VERSE 6. He exalted Aaron, a holy man like to him, Even his brother, of the tribe of Levi.
an everlasting covenant. The priesthood of Aaron is permanent.
VERSE 8. He clothed him with the perfection of exultation; And strengthened him with apparel of honor, The linen trousers, the long robe, and the ephod.
VERSE 9. And he compassed him with pomegranates of gold, And with many bells round about, To send forth a sound as he went, To make a sound that might be heard in the temple, For a memorial to the children of his people;
VERSE 10. With a holy garment, with gold and blue and purple, the work of the embroiderer, With an oracle of judgement, even with the Urim and Thummim;
VERSE 11. With twisted scarlet, the work of the craftsman; With precious stones graven like a signet, in a setting of gold, the work of the jeweller, For a memorial engraved in writing, after the number of the tribes of Israel;
upon the mitre. That is, “on his turban” (NAB translation).
VERSE 13. Before him there never have been any such; No stranger put them on, but his sons only, and his offspring perpertually.
VERSE 14. His sacrifices shall be wholly consumed Every day twice continually.
VERSE 15. Moses consecrated him, And anointed him with holy oil: It was to him for an everlasting covenant, And to his seed, all the days of heaven, To minister to him, and to execute also the priest’s office, And bless his people in his name.
Moses consecrated him. Moses “ordained” Aaron into his priestly office.
VERSE 16. He chose him out of all living To offer sacrifice to the Lord, Incense, and a sweet savor, for a memorial, To make reconciliation for your people.
VERSE 17. He gave to him in his commandments, Yes, authority in the covenants of judgments, To teach Jacob the testimonies, And to enlighten Israel in his law.
KJV translation. Strangers conspired together against him, and maligned him in the wilderness.
maligned him in the wilderness. God blessed Aaron. Greatly.
But other people did not receive as great a blessing. They compared themselves with Aaron and felt jealous. They stirred up trouble for Aaron. And everyone.
It just doesn’t pay to compare. God has made each person the way they are. God has gifted different people differently, on purpose. There will always be somebody who has a greater gift than you. There will always be somebody who has a lesser gift than you. We just need to be thankful for who we are and how we are gifted.
Another lesson from this text is that there may be someone who is jealous of your gift. A jealous person is an insecure person. Out of their insecurity, people sometimes do terrible things.
VERSE 19. The Lord saw it, and it displeased him; And in the wrath of his anger they were destroyed: He did wonders upon them, To consume them with flaming fire.
VERSE 20. And he added glory to Aaron, And gave him a heritage: He divided to him the first fruits of the increase; And first did he prepare bread in abundance:
VERSE 21. For they shall eat the sacrifices of the Lord, Which he gave to him and to his seed.
he shall have no inheritance. Aaron had no land.
VERSE 23. And Phinehas the son of Eleazar is the third in glory, In that he was zealous in the fear of the Lord, And stood fast in the good forwardness of his soul when the people turned away, And he made reconciliation for Israel.
VERSE 24. Therefore was there a covenant of peace established for him, That he should be leader of the saints and of his people; That he and his seed Should have the dignity of the priesthood forever.
VERSE 25. Also he made a covenant with David the son of Jesse, of the tribe of Judah; The inheritance of the king is his alone from son to son; So the inheritance of Aaron is also to his seed.
NAB translation. God give you wisdom in your heart to judge his people in righteousness.
to judge his people in righteousness. To act as a judge requires godly wisdom.
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.