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Sirach 1:11-30 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Fear of the Lord Is True Wisdom

11 The fear of the Lord is glory and exultation,
    and gladness and a crown of rejoicing.
12 The fear of the Lord delights the heart,
    and gives gladness and joy and long life.[a]
13 Those who fear the Lord will have a happy end;
    on the day of their death they will be blessed.

14 To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    she is created with the faithful in the womb.
15 She made[b] among human beings an eternal foundation,
    and among their descendants she will abide faithfully.
16 To fear the Lord is fullness of wisdom;
    she inebriates mortals with her fruits;
17 she fills their[c] whole house with desirable goods,
    and their[d] storehouses with her produce.
18 The fear of the Lord is the crown of wisdom,
    making peace and perfect health to flourish.[e]
19 She rained down knowledge and discerning comprehension,
    and she heightened the glory of those who held her fast.
20 To fear the Lord is the root of wisdom,
    and her branches are long life.[f]

22 Unjust anger cannot be justified,
    for anger tips the scale to one’s ruin.
23 Those who are patient stay calm until the right moment,
    and then cheerfulness comes back to them.
24 They hold back their words until the right moment;
    then the lips of many tell of their good sense.

25 In the treasuries of wisdom are wise sayings,
    but godliness is an abomination to a sinner.
26 If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments,
    and the Lord will lavish her upon you.
27 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and discipline,
    fidelity and humility are his delight.

28 Do not disobey the fear of the Lord;
    do not approach him with a divided mind.
29 Do not be a hypocrite before others,
    and keep watch over your lips.
30 Do not exalt yourself, or you may fall
    and bring dishonor upon yourself.
The Lord will reveal your secrets
    and overthrow you before the whole congregation,
because you did not come in the fear of the Lord,
    and your heart was full of deceit.


  1. Sirach 1:12 Other ancient authorities add The fear of the Lord is a gift from the Lord; also for love he makes firm paths.
  2. Sirach 1:15 Gk made as a nest
  3. Sirach 1:17 Other ancient authorities read her
  4. Sirach 1:17 Other ancient authorities read her
  5. Sirach 1:18 Other ancient authorities add Both are gifts of God for peace; glory opens out for those who love him. He saw her and took her measure.
  6. Sirach 1:20 Other ancient authorities add as verse 21, The fear of the Lord drives away sins; and where it abides, it will turn away all anger.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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