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Sirach 10Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

10 A wise magistrate will educate his people,
    and the rule of an understanding man will be well ordered.
Like the magistrate of the people, so are his officials;
    and like the ruler of the city, so are all its inhabitants.
An undisciplined king will ruin his people,
    but a city will grow through the understanding of its rulers.
The government of the earth is in the hands of the Lord,
    and over it he will raise up the right man for the time.
The success of a man is in the hands of the Lord,
    and he confers his honor upon the person of the scribe.[a]

The Sin of Pride

Do not be angry with your neighbor for any injury,
    and do not attempt anything by acts of insolence.
Arrogance is hateful before the Lord and before men,
    and injustice is outrageous to both.
Sovereignty passes from nation to nation
    on account of injustice and insolence and wealth.
How can he who is dust and ashes be proud?
    for even in life his bowels decay.[b]
10 A long illness baffles the physician;[c]
    the king of today will die tomorrow.
11 For when a man is dead,
    he will inherit creeping things, and wild beasts, and worms.
12 The beginning of man’s pride is to depart from the Lord;
    his heart has forsaken his Maker.
13 For the beginning of pride is sin,
    and the man who clings to it pours out abominations.
Therefore the Lord brought upon them extraordinary afflictions,
    and destroyed them utterly.
14 The Lord has cast down the thrones of rulers,
    and has seated the lowly in their place.
15 The Lord has plucked up the roots of the nations,[d]
    and has planted the humble in their place.
16 The Lord has overthrown the lands of the nations,
    and has destroyed them to the foundations of the earth.
17 He has removed some of them and destroyed them,
    and has extinguished the memory of them from the earth.
18 Pride was not created for men,
    nor fierce anger for those born of women.

Persons Deserving Honor

19 What race is worthy of honor?
The human race.
    What race is worthy of honor?
    Those who fear the Lord.
What race is unworthy of honor?
The human race.
    What race is unworthy of honor?
    Those who transgress the commandments.
20 Among brothers their leader is worthy of honor,
    and those who fear the Lord are worthy of honor in his eyes.[e]
22 The rich, and the eminent, and the poor—
    their glory is the fear of the Lord.
23 It is not right to despise an intelligent poor man,
    nor is it proper to honor a sinful man.
24 The nobleman, and the judge, and the ruler will be honored,
    but none of them is greater than the man who fears the Lord.
25 Free men will be at the service of a wise servant,
    and a man of understanding will not grumble.

Concerning Humility

26 Do not make a display of your wisdom when you do your work,
    nor glorify yourself at a time when you are in want.
27 Better is a man who works and has an abundance of everything,
    than one who goes about boasting, but lacks bread.
28 My son, glorify yourself with humility,
    and ascribe to yourself honor according to your worth.
29 Who will justify the man that sins against himself?
    And who will honor the man that dishonors his own life?
30 A poor man is honored for his knowledge,
    while a rich man is honored for his wealth.
31 A man honored in poverty, how much more in wealth!
    And a man dishonored in wealth, how much more in poverty!


  1. Sirach 10:5 Or the official
  2. Sirach 10:9 Heb: Gk is obscure
  3. Sirach 10:10 Heb Vg: Gk is uncertain
  4. Sirach 10:15 Some authorities read proud nations
  5. Sirach 10:20 Other authorities add as verse 21, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of acceptance; obduracy and pride are the beginning of rejection.
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 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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