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17 The Lord created man out of earth,
    and turned him back to it again.
He gave to men[a] few days, a limited time,
    but granted them authority over the things upon the earth.[b]
He endowed them with strength like his own,[c]
    and made them in his own image.
He placed the fear of them[d] in all living beings,
    and granted them dominion over beasts and birds.[e]
He made for them[f] tongue and eyes;
    he gave them ears and a mind for thinking.
He filled them with knowledge and understanding,
    and showed them good and evil.
He set his eye upon their hearts
    to show them the majesty of his works.[g]
10 And they will praise his holy name,
    to proclaim the grandeur of his works.
11 He bestowed knowledge upon them,
    and allotted to them the law of life.
12 He established with them an eternal covenant,
    and showed them his judgments.
13 Their eyes saw his glorious majesty,
    and their ears heard the glory of his voice.
14 And he said to them, “Beware of all unrighteousness.”[h]
    And he gave commandment to each of them concerning his neighbor.

15 Their ways are always before him,
    they will not be hid from his eyes.[i]
17 He appointed a ruler for every nation,
    but Israel is the Lord’s own portion.[j]
19 All their works are as the sun before him,
    and his eyes are continually upon their ways.
20 Their iniquities are not hidden from him,
    and all their sins are before the Lord.[k]
22 A man’s almsgiving is like a signet with the Lord,[l]
    and he will keep a person’s kindness like the apple of his eye.
23 Afterward he will arise and requite them,
    and he will bring their recompense on their heads.
24 Yet to those who repent he grants a return,
    and he encourages those whose endurance is failing.

A Call to Repentance

25 Turn to the Lord and forsake your sins;
    pray in his presence and lessen your offenses.
26 Return to the Most High and turn away from iniquity,[m]
    and hate abominations intensely.
27 Who will sing praises to the Most High in Hades,
    as do those who are alive and give thanks?
28 From the dead, as from one who does not exist, thanksgiving has ceased;
    he who is alive and well sings the Lord’s praises.
29 How great is the mercy of the Lord,
    and his forgiveness for those who turn to him!
30 For all things cannot be in men,[n]
    since a son of man is not immortal.
31 What is brighter than the sun? Yet its light fails.[o]
    So flesh and blood devise evil.
32 He marshals the host of the height of heaven;
    but all men are dust and ashes.


  1. Sirach 17:2 Gk them
  2. Sirach 17:2 Gk it
  3. Sirach 17:3 Cn: Gk proper to them
  4. Sirach 17:4 Syr: Gk him
  5. Sirach 17:4 Other authorities add They obtained the use of the five operations of the Lord; as sixth he distributed to them the gift of mind, and as seventh reason, the interpreter of his operations.
  6. Sirach 17:6 Syr: Gk Inclination and
  7. Sirach 17:8 Other authorities add and he gave them to boast of his marvels for ever
  8. Sirach 17:14 Or every unrighteous man
  9. Sirach 17:15 Other authorities add 16 Their ways from youth tend toward evil, and they are unable to make for themselves hearts of flesh in place of their stony hearts. 17 For in the division of the nations of the whole earth
  10. Sirach 17:17 Other authorities add 18 whom, being his first-born, he brings up with discipline, and allotting to him the light of his love, he does not neglect him.
  11. Sirach 17:20 Other authorities add 21 But the Lord, who is gracious and knows his creatures, has neither left nor abandoned them, but spared them.
  12. Sirach 17:22 Gk him
  13. Sirach 17:26 Other authorities add for he will lead you out of darkness to the light of health
  14. Sirach 17:30 The Greek text of this line is uncertain
  15. Sirach 17:31 Or suffers eclipse

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