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Sirach 3 Common English Bible (CEB)

Duties to parents

Listen to a father’s warning, children,
    and act accordingly
    so that you may be safe.
The Lord gives pride of place
to a father above his children
and establishes a mother’s judgment
above that of her offspring.
Those who honor their fathers
will make up for their own sins,
    and those who praise their mother
    are like people storing up treasure.
Those who honor their fathers
will be made happy
by their own children,
    and they will be heard when they pray.
Those who praise their fathers
will live a long life,
    and those who listen to the Lord
    will give rest to their mothers,[a]
    and they will serve their parents
    as their masters.
Honor your father in action and word
    so that a blessing will come
    from him to you,
since a father’s blessing
supports his children’s families,
    but a mother’s curse
    undermines their foundations.
10 Don’t glorify yourself
in your father’s disgrace,
    because your father’s disgrace
    brings you no credit.
11 A father’s honor is the starting point
for his children’s reputation,
    and a mother in disrepute
    is a disgrace to her children.

12 My child, help your father in his old age,
    and don’t give him grief during his life.
13 And if his understanding fails,
    be tolerant,
    and don’t shame him,
    because you have all your faculties.
14 Taking care of one’s father
won’t be forgotten.
    It will be credited to you
    against your sins.
15 When you are in trouble,
this will be recalled about you;
    like frost warmed by sunshine,
    so your sins will melt away.
16 Those who abandon their fathers
are like blasphemers,
    and those who anger their mothers
    have been cursed by the Lord.

Humility and charity

17 My child, conduct your affairs
with gentleness,
    and you will be loved
    more than a person of good repute.[b]
18 However great you become,
humble yourself more,
    and you will find favor before the Lord,[c]
20     because the Lord’s power is great,
    and he is glorified by the humble.
21 Don’t seek out things
that are too difficult for you,
    and don’t investigate matters
    too perplexing for you.
22 Think about what
you have been commanded,
    because you have no need
    for matters that are hidden.
23 Don’t meddle in things
beyond your own affairs
    since you have already been shown things beyond human understanding.
24 Speculation has led many people astray,
    and false conjectures have
    weakened their thoughts.[d]
26 A stubborn heart will come to misery,
    and whoever loves danger
    will be destroyed by it.
27 A stubborn heart will be weighed down
by suffering,
    and the sinner will keep on sinning.
28 There’s no healing for the distress
of arrogant people,
    because an evil plant
    has taken root in them.
29 The hearts of intelligent people
will think about a proverb,
    and the wise desire people
    who are ready to listen.

30 Water will put out a blazing fire,
    and giving to those in need
    will make up for sins.
31 Those who repay favors
consider the future,
    and at the moment when they fall,
    they will find support.


  1. Sirach 3:6 LXXb adds 3:7a Those who fear the Lord will honor their father.
  2. Sirach 3:17 Heb a person who gives
  3. Sirach 3:18 LXXb adds 3:19 Many are lofty and of high repute, but to the gentle he reveals his secrets.
  4. Sirach 3:24 LXXb adds 3:25 If you have no pupils, you will be at a loss for light, and if you are without knowledge, don’t exult in it.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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