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Sirach 34 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

Dreams Mean Nothing

34 A man of no understanding has vain and false hopes,
    and dreams give wings to fools.
As one who catches at a shadow and pursues the wind,
    so is he who gives heed to dreams.
The vision of dreams is this against that,
    the likeness of a face confronting a face.
From an unclean thing what will be made clean?
    And from something false what will be true?
Divinations and omens and dreams are folly,
    and like a woman in travail the mind has fancies.
Unless they are sent from the Most High as a visitation,
    do not give your mind to them.
For dreams have deceived many,
    and those who put their hope in them have failed.
Without such deceptions the law will be fulfilled,
    and wisdom is made perfect in truthful lips.

Experience as a Teacher

An educated[a] man knows many things,
    and one with much experience will speak with understanding.
10 He that is inexperienced knows few things,
    but he that has traveled acquires much cleverness.
11 I have seen many things in my travels,
    and I understand more than I can express.
12 I have often been in danger of death,
    but have escaped because of these experiences.

Fear the Lord

13 The spirit of those who fear the Lord will live,
    for their hope is in him who saves them.
14 He who fears the Lord will not be timid,
    nor play the coward, for he is his hope.
15 Blessed is the soul of the man who fears the Lord!
    To whom does he look? And who is his support?
16 The eyes of the Lord are upon those who love him,
    a mighty protection and strong support,
a shelter from the hot wind and a shade from noonday sun,
    a guard against stumbling and a defense against falling.
17 He lifts up the soul and gives light to the eyes;
    he grants healing, life, and blessing.

Offering Sacrifices

18 If one sacrifices from what has been wrongfully obtained, the offering is blemished;[b]
    the gifts[c] of the lawless are not acceptable.
19 The Most High is not pleased with the offerings of the ungodly;
    and he is not propitiated for sins by a multitude of sacrifices.
20 Like one who kills a son before his father’s eyes
    is the man who offers a sacrifice from the property of the poor.
21 The bread of the needy is the life of the poor;
    whoever deprives them of it is a man of blood.
22 To take away a neighbor’s living is to murder him;
    to deprive an employee of his wages is to shed blood.

23 When one builds and another tears down,
    what do they gain but toil?
24 When one prays and another curses,
    to whose voice will the Lord listen?
25 If a man washes after touching a dead body, and touches it again,
    what has he gained by his washing?
26 So if a man fasts for his sins,
    and goes again and does the same things,
who will listen to his prayer?
    And what has he gained by humbling himself?


  1. Sirach 34:9 Other authorities read A traveled
  2. Sirach 34:18 Other authorities read is made in mockery
  3. Sirach 34:18 Other authorities read mockeries
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.

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