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Sirach 29:21-28 Good News Translation (GNT)

Home and Hospitality

21 The necessities of life are water, food, clothing, and a home where you can have privacy. 22 It is better to be poor and live under your own crude roof than to enjoy lavish banquets in other people's homes. 23 Be happy with what you have, even if it isn't very much, and don't listen to anyone who would insult your home and family.[a] 24 Going from house to house is a miserable way to live. Anywhere you go, you don't dare speak. 25 You welcome the guests and pour the drinks, and nobody thanks you. Instead, people humiliate you by saying things like:

26 Stranger! Come here and set the table! I want to eat what you've got there! Give it here! 27 Go away, stranger! I've got an important guest! My brother is coming to visit, and I need the room!

28 Being denied hospitality or having a moneylender hound you—these are hard things for any sensitive person to endure.


  1. Sirach 29:23 don't listen...family; or don't listen to insults from your family; some manuscripts do not have these words; one ancient translation has don't get a reputation for living off other people.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Sirach 29:21-28 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Home and Hospitality

21 The necessities of life are water, bread, and clothing,
    and also a house to assure privacy.
22 Better is the life of the poor under their own crude roof
    than sumptuous food in the house of others.
23 Be content with little or much,
    and you will hear no reproach for being a guest.[a]
24 It is a miserable life to go from house to house;
    as a guest you should not open your mouth;
25 you will play the host and provide drink without being thanked,
    and besides this you will hear rude words like these:
26 “Come here, stranger, prepare the table;
    let me eat what you have there.”
27 “Be off, stranger, for an honored guest is here;
    my brother has come for a visit, and I need the guest-room.”
28 It is hard for a sensible person to bear
    scolding about lodging[b] and the insults of the moneylender.


  1. Sirach 29:23 Lat: Gk reproach from your family; other ancient authorities lack this line
  2. Sirach 29:28 Or scolding from the household
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 29:21-28 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Frugality and Its Rewards[a]

21 Life’s prime needs are water, bread, and clothing,
    and also a house for decent privacy.
22 Better is the life of the poor under the shadow of their own roof
    than sumptuous banquets among strangers.
23 Whether little or much, be content with what you have:
    then you will hear no reproach as a parasite.
24 It is a miserable life to go from house to house,
    for where you are a guest you dare not open your mouth.
25 You will entertain and provide drink without being thanked;
    besides, you will hear these bitter words:
26 “Come here, you parasite, set the table,
    let me eat the food you have there!
27 Go away, you parasite, for one more worthy;
    for my relative’s visit I need the room!”
28 Painful things to a sensitive person
    are rebuke as a parasite and insults from creditors.


  1. 29:21–28 Those who provide their own basic needs of food, clothing and dwelling, and are content with what they have, preserve their freedom and self-respect (vv. 21–23). But if they live as guests, even among the rich, they expose themselves to insult and rebuke (vv. 24–28).
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.

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