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Sirach 7:15-36 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

15 Do not hate hard labor
    or farm work, which was created by the Most High.
16 Do not enroll in the ranks of sinners;
    remember that retribution does not delay.
17 Humble yourself to the utmost,
    for the punishment of the ungodly is fire and worms.[a]

Relations with Others

18 Do not exchange a friend for money,
    or a real brother for the gold of Ophir.
19 Do not dismiss[b] a wise and good wife,
    for her charm is worth more than gold.
20 Do not abuse slaves who work faithfully,
    or hired laborers who devote themselves to their task.
21 Let your soul love intelligent slaves;[c]
    do not withhold from them their freedom.

22 Do you have cattle? Look after them;
    if they are profitable to you, keep them.
23 Do you have children? Discipline them,
    and make them obedient[d] from their youth.
24 Do you have daughters? Be concerned for their chastity,[e]
    and do not show yourself too indulgent with them.
25 Give a daughter in marriage, and you complete a great task;
    but give her to a sensible man.
26 Do you have a wife who pleases you?[f] Do not divorce her;
    but do not trust yourself to one whom you detest.

27 With all your heart honor your father,
    and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother.
28 Remember that it was of your parents[g] you were born;
    how can you repay what they have given to you?

29 With all your soul fear the Lord,
    and revere his priests.
30 With all your might love your Maker,
    and do not neglect his ministers.
31 Fear the Lord and honor the priest,
    and give him his portion, as you have been commanded:
the first fruits, the guilt offering, the gift of the shoulders,
    the sacrifice of sanctification, and the first fruits of the holy things.

32 Stretch out your hand to the poor,
    so that your blessing may be complete.
33 Give graciously to all the living;
    do not withhold kindness even from the dead.
34 Do not avoid those who weep,
    but mourn with those who mourn.
35 Do not hesitate to visit the sick,
    because for such deeds you will be loved.
36 In all you do, remember the end of your life,
    and then you will never sin.


  1. Sirach 7:17 Heb for the expectation of mortals is worms
  2. Sirach 7:19 Heb: Gk deprive yourself of
  3. Sirach 7:21 Heb Love a wise slave as yourself
  4. Sirach 7:23 Gk bend their necks
  5. Sirach 7:24 Gk body
  6. Sirach 7:26 Heb Syr lack who pleases you
  7. Sirach 7:28 Gk them
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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