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Sirach 4:11-28 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Rewards of Wisdom

11 Wisdom teaches[a] her children
    and gives help to those who seek her.
12 Whoever loves her loves life,
    and those who seek her from early morning are filled with joy.
13 Whoever holds her fast inherits glory,
    and the Lord blesses the place she[b] enters.
14 Those who serve her minister to the Holy One;
    the Lord loves those who love her.
15 Those who obey her will judge the nations,
    and all who listen to her will live secure.
16 If they remain faithful, they will inherit her;
    their descendants will also obtain her.
17 For at first she will walk with them on tortuous paths;
    she will bring fear and dread upon them,
and will torment them by her discipline
    until she trusts them,[c]
and she will test them with her ordinances.
18 Then she will come straight back to them again and gladden them,
    and will reveal her secrets to them.
19 If they go astray she will forsake them,
    and hand them over to their ruin.

20 Watch for the opportune time, and beware of evil,
    and do not be ashamed to be yourself.
21 For there is a shame that leads to sin,
    and there is a shame that is glory and favor.
22 Do not show partiality, to your own harm,
    or deference, to your downfall.
23 Do not refrain from speaking at the proper moment,[d]
    and do not hide your wisdom.[e]
24 For wisdom becomes known through speech,
    and education through the words of the tongue.
25 Never speak against the truth,
    but be ashamed of your ignorance.
26 Do not be ashamed to confess your sins,
    and do not try to stop the current of a river.
27 Do not subject yourself to a fool,
    or show partiality to a ruler.
28 Fight to the death for truth,
    and the Lord God will fight for you.


  1. Sirach 4:11 Heb Syr: Gk exalts
  2. Sirach 4:13 Or he
  3. Sirach 4:17 Or until they remain faithful in their heart
  4. Sirach 4:23 Heb: Gk at a time of salvation
  5. Sirach 4:23 So some Gk Mss and Heb Syr Lat: Other Gk Mss lack and do not hide your wisdom
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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