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Josiah and Other Worthies

49 The name[a] of Josiah is like blended incense
    prepared by the skill of the perfumer;
his memory[b] is as sweet as honey to every mouth,
    and like music at a banquet of wine.
He did what was right by reforming the people,
    and removing the wicked abominations.
He kept his heart fixed on the Lord;
    in lawless times he made godliness prevail.

Except for David and Hezekiah and Josiah,
    all of them were great sinners,
for they abandoned the law of the Most High;
    the kings of Judah came to an end.
They[c] gave their power to others,
    and their glory to a foreign nation,
who set fire to the chosen city of the sanctuary,
    and made its streets desolate,
    as Jeremiah had foretold.[d]
For they had mistreated him,
    who even in the womb had been consecrated a prophet,
to pluck up and ruin and destroy,
    and likewise to build and to plant.

It was Ezekiel who saw the vision of glory,
    which God[e] showed him above the chariot of the cherubim.
For God[f] also mentioned Job
    who held fast to all the ways of justice.[g]
10 May the bones of the Twelve Prophets
    send forth new life from where they lie,
for they comforted the people of Jacob
    and delivered them with confident hope.

11 How shall we magnify Zerubbabel?
    He was like a signet ring on the right hand,
12     and so was Jeshua son of Jozadak;
in their days they built the house
    and raised a temple[h] holy to the Lord,
    destined for everlasting glory.
13 The memory of Nehemiah also is lasting;
    he raised our fallen walls,
and set up gates and bars,
    and rebuilt our ruined houses.


14 Few have[i] ever been created on earth like Enoch,
    for he was taken up from the earth.
15 Nor was anyone ever born like Joseph;[j]
    even his bones were cared for.
16 Shem and Seth and Enosh were honored,[k]
    but above every other created living being was Adam.


  1. Sirach 49:1 Heb: Gk memory
  2. Sirach 49:1 Heb: Gk it
  3. Sirach 49:5 Heb He
  4. Sirach 49:6 Gk by the hand of Jeremiah
  5. Sirach 49:8 Gk He
  6. Sirach 49:9 Gk he
  7. Sirach 49:9 Heb Compare Syr: Meaning of Gk uncertain
  8. Sirach 49:12 Other ancient authorities read people
  9. Sirach 49:14 Heb Syr: Gk No one has
  10. Sirach 49:15 Heb Syr: Gk adds the leader of his brothers, the support of the people
  11. Sirach 49:16 Heb: Gk Shem and Seth were honored by people

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