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Sirach 3New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Duties toward Parents

Listen to me your father, O children;
    act accordingly, that you may be kept in safety.
For the Lord honors a father above his children,
    and he confirms a mother’s right over her children.
Those who honor their father atone for sins,
    and those who respect their mother are like those who lay up treasure.
Those who honor their father will have joy in their own children,
    and when they pray they will be heard.
Those who respect their father will have long life,
    and those who honor[a] their mother obey the Lord;
    they will serve their parents as their masters.[b]
Honor your father by word and deed,
    that his blessing may come upon you.
For a father’s blessing strengthens the houses of the children,
    but a mother’s curse uproots their foundations.
10 Do not glorify yourself by dishonoring your father,
    for your father’s dishonor is no glory to you.
11 The glory of one’s father is one’s own glory,
    and it is a disgrace for children not to respect their mother.

12 My child, help your father in his old age,
    and do not grieve him as long as he lives;
13 even if his mind fails, be patient with him;
    because you have all your faculties do not despise him.
14 For kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
    and will be credited to you against your sins;
15 in the day of your distress it will be remembered in your favor;
    like frost in fair weather, your sins will melt away.
16 Whoever forsakes a father is like a blasphemer,
    and whoever angers a mother is cursed by the Lord.


17 My child, perform your tasks with humility;[c]
    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.[d]
20 For great is the might of the Lord;
    but by the humble he is glorified.
21 Neither seek what is too difficult for you,
    nor investigate what is beyond your power.
22 Reflect upon what you have been commanded,
    for what is hidden is not your concern.
23 Do not meddle in matters that are beyond you,
    for more than you can understand has been shown you.
24 For their conceit has led many astray,
    and wrong opinion has impaired their judgment.

25 Without eyes there is no light;
    without knowledge there is no wisdom.[e]
26 A stubborn mind will fare badly at the end,
    and whoever loves danger will perish in it.
27 A stubborn mind will be burdened by troubles,
    and the sinner adds sin to sins.
28 When calamity befalls the proud, there is no healing,
    for an evil plant has taken root in him.
29 The mind of the intelligent appreciates proverbs,
    and an attentive ear is the desire of the wise.

Alms for the Poor

30 As water extinguishes a blazing fire,
    so almsgiving atones for sin.
31 Those who repay favors give thought to the future;
    when they fall they will find support.


  1. Sirach 3:6 Heb: Other ancient authorities read comfort
  2. Sirach 3:7 In other ancient authorities this line is preceded by Those who fear the Lord honor their father,
  3. Sirach 3:17 Heb: Gk meekness
  4. Sirach 3:18 Other ancient authorities add as verse 19, Many are lofty and renowned, but to the humble he reveals his secrets.
  5. Sirach 3:25 Heb: Other ancient authorities lack verse 25
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 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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