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Sirach 30:14-25 Good News Translation (GNT)

Health

14 It is better to be poor, but strong and healthy, than to be rich, but in poor health. 15 A sound, healthy body and a cheerful attitude[a] are more valuable than gold and jewels. 16 Nothing can make you richer or give you greater happiness than those two things. 17 It would be better to be dead, asleep forever, than to live in the misery of chronic illness. 18 The finest food means nothing if you are too sick to eat it; it might as well be offered to an idol.[b] 19 But there is no point in offering food to an idol; it can't eat it or smell it. It is just the same with someone whom the Lord has afflicted. 20 He looks at his food and sighs, like a castrated man hugging a young woman.

Cheerfulness and Sadness

21 Don't deliberately torture yourself by giving in to depression. 22 Happiness makes for a long life and makes it worth living. 23 Enjoy yourself and be happy; don't worry all the time. Worry never did anybody any good, and it has destroyed many people. 24 It will make you old before your time. Jealousy and anger will shorten your life. 25 A cheerful person with a good attitude will have a good appetite and enjoy his food.

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 30:15 Hebrew a cheerful attitude; Greek a strong body.
  2. Sirach 30:18 Hebrew offered to an idol; Greek placed on a grave.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Sirach 30:14-25 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

14 Better off poor, healthy, and fit
    than rich and afflicted in body.
15 Health and fitness are better than any gold,
    and a robust body than countless riches.
16 There is no wealth better than health of body,
    and no gladness above joy of heart.
17 Death is better than a life of misery,
    and eternal sleep[a] than chronic sickness.

Concerning Foods[b]

18 Good things poured out upon a mouth that is closed
    are like offerings of food placed upon a grave.
19 Of what use to an idol is a sacrifice?
    For it can neither eat nor smell.
So is the one punished by the Lord;
20 he sees with his eyes and groans
    as a eunuch groans when embracing a girl.[c]

21 Do not give yourself over to sorrow,
    and do not distress yourself deliberately.
22 A joyful heart is life itself,
    and rejoicing lengthens one’s life span.
23 Indulge yourself[d] and take comfort,
    and remove sorrow far from you,
for sorrow has destroyed many,
    and no advantage ever comes from it.
24 Jealousy and anger shorten life,
    and anxiety brings on premature old age.
25 Those who are cheerful and merry at table
    will benefit from their food.

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 30:17 Other ancient authorities lack eternal sleep
  2. Sirach 30:18 This heading is included in the Gk text; other ancient authorities place the heading before verse 16
  3. Sirach 30:20 Other ancient authorities add So is the person who does right under compulsion
  4. Sirach 30:23 Other ancient authorities read Beguile yourself
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 30:14-25 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Health and Cheerfulness[a]

14 Better the poor in vigorous health
    than the rich with bodily ills.
15 I would rather have bodily health than any gold,
    and contentment of spirit than pearls.
16 No riches are greater than a healthy body;
    and no happiness than a joyful heart.
17 Better is death than a wretched life,
    everlasting sleep than constant illness.
18 Good things set before one who cannot eat
    are like food offerings placed before a tomb.[b]
19 What good is an offering to an idol
    that can neither eat nor smell?
So it is with the one being punished by the Lord,
20     who groans at what his eyes behold.

21 Do not give in to sadness,
    or torment yourself deliberately.
22 Gladness of heart is the very life of a person,
    and cheerfulness prolongs his days.
23 Distract yourself and renew your courage,
    drive resentment far away from you;
For grief has killed many,
    and nothing is to be gained from resentment.
24 Envy and anger shorten one’s days,
    and anxiety brings on premature old age.
25 Those who are cheerful and merry at table
    benefit from their food.[c]

Footnotes:

  1. 30:14–25 Health of mind and body and joy of heart Ben Sira judges to be more precious than wealth (vv. 14–16), whereas bitterness, constant illness, and affliction are more difficult to bear than death (vv. 17–20). Sadness, resentment, anxiety, envy, and anger shorten days; they should be dispelled by cheerfulness and gladness of heart, which help to prolong one’s days (vv. 21–25).
  2. 30:18 The saying ridicules the practice of putting food and drink on the tombs of the dead.
  3. 30:25(27) Because of the dislocation of the Greek text, the numbering of this verse follows Ziegler’s edition. There are no verses 25–26.
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 30:14-25 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

14 Better off poor, healthy, and fit
    than rich and afflicted in body.
15 Health and fitness are better than any gold,
    and a robust body than countless riches.
16 There is no wealth better than health of body,
    and no gladness above joy of heart.
17 Death is better than a life of misery,
    and eternal sleep[a] than chronic sickness.

Concerning Foods[b]

18 Good things poured out upon a mouth that is closed
    are like offerings of food placed upon a grave.
19 Of what use to an idol is a sacrifice?
    For it can neither eat nor smell.
So is one punished by the Lord;
20 he sees with his eyes and groans
    as a eunuch groans when embracing a girl.[c]

21 Do not give yourself over to sorrow,
    and do not distress yourself deliberately.
22 A joyful heart is life itself,
    and rejoicing lengthens one’s life span.
23 Indulge yourself[d] and take comfort,
    and remove sorrow far from you,
for sorrow has destroyed many,
    and no advantage ever comes from it.
24 Jealousy and anger shorten life,
    and anxiety brings on premature old age.
25 Those who are cheerful and merry at table
    will benefit from their food.

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 30:17 Other ancient authorities lack eternal sleep
  2. Sirach 30:18 This heading is included in the Gk text; other ancient authorities place the heading before verse 16
  3. Sirach 30:20 Other ancient authorities add So is the person who does right under compulsion
  4. Sirach 30:23 Other ancient authorities read Beguile yourself
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 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.

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