Ben Sira 4:11-19
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Rewards of Wisdom[a]
11 Wisdom teaches her children
and admonishes all who can understand her.
12 Those who love her love life;
those who seek her out win the Lord’s favor.
13 Those who hold her fast will attain glory,
and they shall abide in the blessing of the Lord.
14 Those who serve her serve the Holy One;
those who love her the Lord loves.(A)
15 “Whoever obeys me will judge nations;
whoever listens to me will dwell in my inmost chambers.
16 If they remain faithful, they will possess me;
their descendants too will inherit me.
17 “I will walk with them in disguise,
and at first I will test them with trials.
Fear and dread I will bring upon them
and I will discipline them with my constraints.
When their hearts are fully with me,
18 then I will set them again on the straight path
and reveal my secrets to them.
19 But if they turn away from me, I will abandon them
and deliver them over to robbers.”
- 4:11–19 The Hebrew text in vv. 15–19 presents wisdom speaking in the first person, as in chap. 24. The precious fruits of wisdom—life, favor, glory, blessings, God’s love—arouse desire for her (vv. 11–14). Her disciples are like ministers (v. 14) and judges (v. 15), whose descendants have her for their heritage (v. 16). They enjoy happiness and learn her secrets after surviving her tests (vv. 17–18). Those who fail her are abandoned to destruction (v. 19).