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Chapter 44

Praise of Israel’s Great Ancestors[a]

I will now praise the godly,
    our ancestors, in their own time,[b]

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Footnotes

  1. 44:1–50:24 As in the previous section God’s glory shone forth in the works of nature, so in these chapters it is revealed through the history of God’s people as seen in the lives of their ancestors, prophets, priests, and rulers. The example of these great people, whose virtues are recalled here, constitutes a high point of Ben Sira’s teaching.
  2. 44:1–15 The reader is here introduced to those people of Israel, later mentioned by name, who through various achievements and beneficial social activities have acquired great renown (vv. 1–8, 14–15); and also to those who, though forgotten, endure through the fruit of their virtues and through their families because of God’s covenant with them (vv. 9–15).

10 Yet these also were godly;
    their virtues have not been forgotten.
11 Their wealth remains in their families,
    their heritage with their descendants.
12 Through God’s covenant their family endures,
    and their offspring for their sake.
13 And for all time their progeny will endure,
    their glory will never be blotted out;
14 Their bodies are buried in peace,
    but their name lives on and on.(A)
15 At gatherings their wisdom is retold,
    and the assembly proclaims their praises.

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