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Ben Sira 17:19-27 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

19 All their works are clear as the sun to him,
    and his eyes are ever upon their ways.
20 Their iniquities cannot be hidden from him;
    all their sins are before the Lord.[a]
22 Human goodness is like a signet ring with God,
    and virtue he keeps like the apple of his eye.
23 Later he will rise up and repay them,
    requiting each one as they deserve.

Appeal for a Return to God[b]

24 But to the penitent he provides a way back
    and encourages those who are losing hope!
25 Turn back to the Lord and give up your sins,
    pray before him and make your offenses few.
26 Turn again to the Most High and away from iniquity,
    and hate intensely what he loathes.
27 [c]Who in Sheol can glorify the Most High
    in place of the living who offer their praise?


  1. 17:20

    Other ancient texts read as v. 21:

    But the Lord, being good and knowing how they are formed,

    neither neglected them nor ceased to spare them.

  2. 17:24–32 Ben Sira opens this poem with a prophetic summons to repent, urging sinners to give up their sins and to pray for forgiveness (vv. 24–26, 29). Ben Sira reflects the belief of his day that there was no life after death (vv. 27–28, 30; see note on 11:26–28). Cf. Ez 18:23, 30–32; 33:11–16. See note on Ps 6:6.
  3. 17:27–28 True life consists in praise of God; this is not possible in Sheol.
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.


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