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Ben Sira 14:20-15:6 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

The Search for Wisdom and Her Blessings[a]

20 Happy those who meditate on Wisdom,
    and fix their gaze on knowledge;
21 Who ponder her ways in their heart,
    and understand her paths;
22 Who pursue her like a scout,
    and watch at her entry way;
23 Who peep through her windows,
    and listen at her doors;
24 Who encamp near her house
    and fasten their tent pegs next to her walls;
25 Who pitch their tent beside her,
    and dwell in a good place;[b]
26 [c]Who build their nest in her leaves,
    and lodge in her branches;
27 Who take refuge from the heat in her shade
    and dwell in her home.

Chapter 15

Whoever fears the Lord will do this;
    whoever is practiced in the Law will come to Wisdom.
She will meet him like a mother;
    like a young bride she will receive him,
[d]She will feed him with the bread of learning,
    and give him the water of understanding to drink.
He will lean upon her and not fall;
    he will trust in her and not be put to shame.
She will exalt him above his neighbors,
    and in the assembly she will make him eloquent.
Joy and gladness he will find,
    and an everlasting name he will inherit.


  1. 14:20–15:10 This poem charts the growing intimacy between those seeking Wisdom and Wisdom herself. They move from static reflection to playful pursuit, from camping outside the walls of her house to nesting inside her leafy shade. Ben Sira portrays Wisdom as both mother and bride, a feminine figure who is the fullness of womanhood according to his androcentric society.
  2. 14:25 In a good place: i.e., where Wisdom dwells.
  3. 14:26–27 The shift in imagery creates a more intimate relationship. Those seeking Wisdom dwell within her as a bird nests within a leafy tree.
  4. 15:3–6 In this role reversal Woman Wisdom teaches, nourishes, supports, and protects the vulnerable man. For similar imagery cf. Prv 8:4–21, 34–35; 9:1–5; 31:10–31.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Sirach 14:20-15:6 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

The Happiness of Seeking Wisdom

20 Happy is the person who meditates on[a] wisdom
    and reasons intelligently,
21 who[b] reflects in his heart on her ways
    and ponders her secrets,
22 pursuing her like a hunter,
    and lying in wait on her paths;
23 who peers through her windows
    and listens at her doors;
24 who camps near her house
    and fastens his tent peg to her walls;
25 who pitches his tent near her,
    and so occupies an excellent lodging place;
26 who places his children under her shelter,
    and lodges under her boughs;
27 who is sheltered by her from the heat,
    and dwells in the midst of her glory.

15 Whoever fears the Lord will do this,
    and whoever holds to the law will obtain wisdom.[c]
She will come to meet him like a mother,
    and like a young bride she will welcome him.
She will feed him with the bread of learning,
    and give him the water of wisdom to drink.
He will lean on her and not fall,
    and he will rely on her and not be put to shame.
She will exalt him above his neighbors,
    and will open his mouth in the midst of the assembly.
He will find gladness and a crown of rejoicing,
    and will inherit an everlasting name.


  1. Sirach 14:20 Other ancient authorities read dies in
  2. Sirach 14:21 The structure adopted in verses 21–27 follows the Heb
  3. Sirach 15:1 Gk her
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 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.

Sirach 14:20-15:6 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Happiness of Having Wisdom

20 It is a happy person who is concerned with Wisdom and who uses good sense. 21 Anyone who studies the ways of Wisdom will also learn her secrets. 22 Go after Wisdom like a hunter looking for game. 23 Look into her windows and listen at her doors. 24 Camp as close to her house as you can get, 25 and you will have a fine place to live. 26-27 Build your home there, safe beneath her protecting branches, and shaded from the heat.[a]

15 If you fear the Lord, you will do this. Master his Law, and you will find Wisdom. She will come to welcome you, like a mother or a young bride. She will give you wisdom and knowledge like food and drink. Rely on her for support, and you will never know the disgrace of failure. She will make you more honored than all your neighbors; when you speak in the assembly, she will give you the right words. You will find happiness and genuine joy; your name will be remembered forever.


  1. Sirach 14:26 Hebrew Build...heat; Greek Let her protect your children. Live safe beneath her branches, shaded from the heat, surrounded by her glory.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Sirach 14:20-15:6 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

20 Every work that is corruptible shall fail in the end: and the worker thereof shall go with it.

21 And every excellent work shall be justified: and the worker thereof shall be honoured therein.

22 Blessed is the man that shall continue in wisdom, and that shall meditate in his justice, and in his mind shall think of the all seeing eye of God.

23 He that considereth her ways in his heart, and hath understanding in her secrets, who goeth after her as one that traceth, and stayeth in her ways:

24 He who looketh in at her windows, and hearkeneth at her door:

25 He that lodgeth near her house, and fastening a pin in her walls shall set up his tent nigh unto her, where good things shall rest in his lodging for ever.

26 He shall set his children under her shelter, and shall lodge under her branches:

27 He shall be protected under her covering from the heat, and shall rest in her glory.

15 He that feareth God, will do good: and he that possesseth justice, shall lay hold on her,

And she will meet him as an honourable mother, and will receive him as a wife married of a virgin.

With the bread of life and understanding, she shall feed him, and give him the water of wholesome wisdom to drink: and she shall be made strong in him, and he shall not be moved:

And she shall hold him fast, and he shall not be confounded: and she shall exalt him among his neighbours.

And in the midst of the church she shall open his mouth, and shall fill him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and shall clothe him with a robe of glory.

She shall heap upon him a treasure of joy and gladness, and shall cause him to inherit an everlasting name.

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