Sirach 44 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Hymn in Honor of Our Ancestors
44 Let us now sing the praises of famous men,
our ancestors 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 made a name for themselves by their valor;
those who gave counsel because they were intelligent;
those who spoke in prophetic oracles;
4 those who led the people by their counsels
and by their knowledge of the people’s lore;
they were wise in their words of instruction;
5 those who composed musical tunes,
or put verses in writing;
6 rich men endowed with resources,
living peacefully in their homes—
7 all these were honored in their generations,
and were the pride of their times.
8 Some of them have left behind a name,
so that others declare their praise.
9 But of others there is no memory;
they have perished as though they had never existed;
they have become as though they had never been born,
they and their children after them.
10 But these also were godly men,
whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten;
11 their wealth will remain with their descendants,
and their inheritance with their children’s children.
12 Their descendants stand by the covenants;
their children also, for their sake.
13 Their offspring will continue forever,
and their glory will never be blotted out.
14 Their bodies are buried in peace,
but their name lives on generation after generation.
15 The assembly declares their wisdom,
and the congregation proclaims their praise.
16 Enoch pleased the Lord and was taken up,
an example of repentance to all generations.
17 Noah was found perfect and righteous;
in the time of wrath he kept the race alive;
therefore a remnant was left on the earth
when the flood came.
18 Everlasting covenants were made with him
that all flesh should never again 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 entered into a covenant with him;
he certified the covenant in his flesh,
and when he was tested he proved faithful.
21 Therefore the Lord assured him with an oath
that the nations would be blessed through his offspring;
that he would make him as numerous as the dust of the earth,
and exalt his offspring like the stars,
and give them an inheritance from sea to sea
and from the Euphrates to the ends of the earth.
Isaac and Jacob
22 To Isaac also he gave the same assurance
for the sake of his father Abraham.
The blessing of all people and the covenant
23 he made to rest on the head of Jacob;
he acknowledged him with his blessings,
and gave him his inheritance;
he divided his portions,
and distributed them among twelve tribes.
From his descendants the Lord brought forth a godly man,
who found favor in the sight of all