Sirach 44Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Hymn in Honor of Our Ancestors
44 Let us now praise famous men,
and our fathers in their generations.
2 The Lord apportioned to them great glory,
his majesty from the beginning.
3 There were those who ruled in their kingdoms,
and were men renowned for their power,
giving counsel by their understanding,
and proclaiming prophecies;
4 leaders of the people in their deliberations
and in understanding of learning for the people,
wise in their words of instruction;
5 those who composed musical tunes,
and set forth verses in writing;
6 rich men furnished with resources,
living peaceably in their habitations—
7 all these were honored in their generations,
and were the glory of their times.
8 There are some of them who have left a name,
so that men declare their praise.
9 And there are some who have no memorial,
who have perished as though they had not lived;
they have become as though they had not been born,
and so have their children after them.
10 But these were men of mercy,
whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten;
11 their prosperity will remain with their descendants,
and their inheritance to their children’s children.
12 Their descendants stand by the covenants;
their children also, for their sake.
13 Their posterity will continue for ever,
and their glory will not be blotted out.
14 Their bodies were buried in peace,
and their name lives to all generations.
15 Peoples will declare their wisdom,
and the congregation proclaims their praise.
16 Enoch pleased the Lord, and was taken up;
he was an example of repentance to all generations.
17 Noah was found perfect and righteous;
in the time of wrath he was taken in exchange;
therefore a remnant was left to the earth
when the flood came.
18 Everlasting covenants were made with him
that all flesh should not be blotted out by a flood.
19 Abraham was the great father of a multitude of nations,
and no one has been found like him in glory;
20 he kept the law of the Most High,
and was taken into covenant with him;
he established the covenant in his flesh,
and when he was tested he was found faithful.
21 Therefore the Lord assured him by an oath
that the nations would be blessed through his posterity;
that he would multiply him like the dust of the earth,
and exalt his posterity like the stars,
and cause them to inherit from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Isaac and Jacob
22 To Isaac also he gave the same assurance
for the sake of Abraham his father.
23 The blessing of all men and the covenant
he made to rest upon the head of Jacob;
he acknowledged him with his blessings,
and gave him his inheritance;
he determined his portions,
and distributed them among twelve tribes.
Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 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.