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Sirach 17:20-24 Good News Translation (GNT)

20 None of their sins are hidden from him; he is aware of them all.[a] 22 When we give to the poor, the Lord considers it as precious as a valuable ring. Human kindness is as precious to him as life itself. 23 Later he will judge the wicked and punish them; they will get what they deserve. 24 But the Lord will allow those who repent to return to him. He always gives encouragement to those who are losing hope.


  1. Sirach 17:20 Some manuscripts add verse 21: But the Lord is gracious and knows his creatures; so he has spared them rather than abandon them.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Sirach 17:20-24 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

20 Their iniquities are not hidden from him,
    and all their sins are before the Lord.[a]
22 One’s almsgiving is like a signet ring with the Lord,[b]
    and he will keep a person’s kindness like the apple of his eye.[c]
23 Afterward he will rise up and repay them,
    and he will bring their recompense on their heads.
24 Yet to those who repent he grants a return,
    and he encourages those who are losing hope.


  1. Sirach 17:20 Other ancient authorities add as verse 21, But the Lord, who is gracious and knows how they are formed, has neither left them nor abandoned them, but has spared them.
  2. Sirach 17:22 Gk him
  3. Sirach 17:22 Other ancient authorities add apportioning repentance to his sons and daughters
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 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.

Ben Sira 17:20-24 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

20 Their iniquities cannot be hidden from him;
    all their sins are before the Lord.[a]
22 Human goodness is like a signet ring with God,
    and virtue he keeps like the apple of his eye.
23 Later he will rise up and repay them,
    requiting each one as they deserve.

Appeal for a Return to God[b]

24 But to the penitent he provides a way back
    and encourages those who are losing hope!


  1. 17:20

    Other ancient texts read as v. 21:

    But the Lord, being good and knowing how they are formed,

    neither neglected them nor ceased to spare them.

  2. 17:24–32 Ben Sira opens this poem with a prophetic summons to repent, urging sinners to give up their sins and to pray for forgiveness (vv. 24–26, 29). Ben Sira reflects the belief of his day that there was no life after death (vv. 27–28, 30; see note on 11:26–28). Cf. Ez 18:23, 30–32; 33:11–16. See note on Ps 6:6.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Sirach 17:20-24 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

20 But to the penitent he hath given the way of justice, and he hath strengthened them that were fainting in patience, and hath appointed to them the lot of truth.

21 Turn to the Lord, and forsake thy sins:

22 Make thy prayer before the face of the Lord, and offend less.

23 Return to the Lord, and turn away from thy injustice, and greatly hate abomination.

24 And know the justices and judgments of God, and stand firm in the lot set before thee, and in prayer to the most high God.

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