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16 As for me, I have been the last to come on duty, as if going through vineyards to gather whatever the grape-pickers had left behind. But the Lord blessed me, and I did well,[a] like a grape-picker who has filled the wine press. 17 But I want you to know that I have not done all this work for myself alone, but for everyone who wants to learn. 18 Listen to me, all you great leaders! All you leaders of the assemblies, hear what I have to say!

Be Independent

19 Never, as long as you live, give anyone power over you—whether son, wife, brother, or friend. Don't give your property to anyone; you might change your mind and have to ask for it back.

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  1. Sirach 33:16 did well; or overtook the others.

16 Now I was the last to keep vigil;
    I was like a gleaner following the grape-pickers;
17 by the blessing of the Lord I arrived first,
    and like a grape-picker I filled my wine press.
18 Consider that I have not labored for myself alone,
    but for all who seek instruction.
19 Hear me, you who are great among the people,
    and you leaders of the congregation, pay heed!

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16 Now I am the last to keep vigil,[a]
    like a gleaner following the grape-pickers;
17 Since by the Lord’s blessing I have made progress
    till like a grape-picker I have filled my wine press,
18 Consider that not for myself only have I labored,
    but for all who seek instruction.

Property and Servants[b]

19 Listen to me, leaders of the people;
    rulers of the congregation, pay heed!(A)

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  1. 33:16–18 Ben Sira refers to himself as the most recent of the biblical writers who have endeavored to present true wisdom to their readers.
  2. 33:19–33 Public officials should reject every influence that would restrict their freedom in the management of their affairs. They must make their own household subservient to them rather than be subservient to it (vv. 19–24). Slaves are to be given food and work and correction but never to be treated unjustly (vv. 25–30). Great care should be taken of good slaves (vv. 31–33).

16 And I awaked last of all, and as one that gathereth after the grapegatherers.

17 In the blessing of God I also have hoped: and as one that gathereth grapes, have I filled the winepress.

18 See that I have not laboured for myself only, but for all that seek discipline.

19 Hear me, ye great men, and all ye people, and hearken with your ears, ye rulers of the church.

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