Bible Book List

Ben Sira 3:17-24 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)


17 My son, conduct your affairs with humility,
    and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
18 Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
    and you will find mercy in the sight of God.[b]
20 For great is the power of the Lord;
    by the humble he is glorified.
21 What is too sublime for you, do not seek;
    do not reach into things that are hidden from you.
22 What is committed to you, pay heed to;
    what is hidden is not your concern.
23 In matters that are beyond you do not meddle,
    when you have been shown more than you can understand.
24 Indeed, many are the conceits of human beings;
    evil imaginations lead them astray.


  1. 3:17–24 Humility gives you a true estimate of yourself (vv. 17–20; cf. 10:28), so that you will do what should be done, and avoid what is beyond your understanding and strength (vv. 21–23). Intellectual pride, however, leads you astray (v. 24). Ben Sira is perhaps warning his students against the perils of Greek philosophy.
  2. 3:18

    Other ancient texts read as v. 19:

    Many are lofty and famous,

    but to the humble he reveals his plan.

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 3:17-24 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)


17 My son, perform your tasks in meekness;
    then you will be loved by those whom God accepts.
18 The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself;
    so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord.[a]
20 For great is the might of the Lord;
    he is glorified by the humble.
21 Seek not what is too difficult for you,
    nor investigate what is beyond your power.
22 Reflect upon what has been assigned to you,
    for you do not need what is hidden.
23 Do not meddle in what is beyond your tasks,
    for matters too great for human understanding have been shown you.
24 For their hasty judgment has led many astray,
    and wrong opinion has caused their thoughts to slip.[b]


  1. Sirach 3:18 Other authorities add as verse 19, Many are lofty and renowned, but to the meek he reveals his secrets.
  2. Sirach 3:24 Other authorities add as verse 25, If you have no eyes you will be without light; if you lack knowledge do not profess to have it.
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.

Sirach 3:17-24 Good News Translation (GNT)


17 My child, be humble in everything you do, and people will appreciate it more than gifts.[a] 18 The greater you become, the more humble you should be; then the Lord will be pleased with you.[b] 20 The Lord's power is great, and he is honored by those who are humble. 21 Don't try to understand things that are too hard for you, or investigate matters that are beyond your power to know. 22 Concentrate on the Law, which has been given to you. You do not need to know about things which the Lord has not revealed, 23 so don't concern yourself with them. After all, what has been shown to you is beyond human power to understand. 24 Many people have been misled by their own opinions; their wrong ideas have warped their judgment.[c]


  1. Sirach 3:17 Hebrew people...gifts; Greek those whom the Lord approves will love you.
  2. Sirach 3:18 Some Greek manuscripts add verse 19: Many are exalted and esteemed, but God's secrets are revealed to the humble; Hebrew: God's mercy is great, and he reveals his secrets to those who are humble.
  3. Sirach 3:24 Some Greek manuscripts add verse 25: If you have no eyes, you cannot see; don't claim to have knowledge if you don't have it; Hebrew has, after verse 27: If you have no eyes, you cannot see; if you have no knowledge, you cannot have Wisdom.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

'Sirach 3:17-24' not found for the version: New American Standard Bible.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

'Sirach 3:17-24' not found for the version: New International Version.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references