Sirach 40 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Misery of Human Life
40 Every person has been given a great deal of work to do. A heavy burden lies on all of us from the day of our birth until the day we go back to the earth, the mother of us all. 2 We are confused and fearful, dreading the day of our death— 3-4 all of us from the king on his splendid throne wearing royal robes and a crown, to the humblest person dressed in burlap and living in poverty. 5 All through our lives we meet anger, jealousy, and trouble. Things disturb us; we live with furious conflicts and with the fear of death. Even when we go to bed, we think up new troubles in our sleep. 6 We get little rest, if any at all. When we sleep, it is as if we were awake, disturbed by our imaginations. If we dream that we are running from an enemy, 7 just as we are about to be caught,[a] we wake up and are relieved to find there is nothing to be afraid of.
8 Here is what all creatures, both human and animal, must face (but it is seven times worse for sinners): 9 death, violence, conflict, murder, disaster, famine, sickness, epidemic. 10 All these things were created because of the wicked; they are the ones who have caused destruction.[b] 11 Everything that comes from the earth goes back to the earth, just as all water flows into the sea.
The Results of Evil
12 Nothing that comes from bribery or injustice will last, but the effects of loyalty will remain forever. 13 Wealth that has been obtained dishonestly is like a stream that runs full during a thunderstorm, 14 tumbling rocks along as it flows, but then suddenly goes dry.[c] 15 The children of ungodly people will not leave large families; they are like plants trying to take root on rock, 16 like reeds along a river bank, withering[d] before any other plant. 17 Acts of kindness and charity are as lasting as eternity.[e]
The Joys of Human Life
18 Being independently wealthy or working for a living—both can make life pleasant, but it is better to find a treasure.
19 Your name can be preserved if you have children or if you establish a city, but finding Wisdom is a better way.
20 Wine and music can make you happy, but a happy marriage[h] is even better.
21 Flutes and harps make fine music, but a pleasant voice is better than either.
22 Gracefulness and beauty please the eye, but not as much as new growth in the spring.
23 You can't go wrong with a good friend or neighbor, but an intelligent wife is[i] better than either.
24 Relatives and helpers are good to have in times of trouble, but it will be an even greater help if you have made a practice of giving to the poor.
25 Gold and silver provide security, but good advice is better.
26 Wealth and strength give confidence, but the fear of the Lord can give you even greater confidence. When you fear the Lord you need nothing more; it is all the support you need. 27 The fear of the Lord is like a rich garden of blessings; you could not want a more glorious shelter.
28 My child, don't live the life of a beggar; it is better to die than to beg. 29 If you have to depend on someone else for your food, you are not really living your own life. You pollute yourself by accepting food from another. Begging is torture to the soul of any sensitive person.[j] 30 A shameless person can make begging sound sweet, but something inside him burns.
Sirach 40 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
40 Hard work was created for everyone,
Injustice Will Not Prosper
12 All bribery and injustice will be blotted out,
The Joys of Life
18 Wealth and wages make life sweet,[e]
The Disgrace of Begging
28 My child, do not lead the life of a beggar;
Sirach 40 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
40 Great labour is created for all men, and a heavy yoke is upon the children of Adam, from the day of their coming out of their mother's womb, until the day of their burial into the mother of all.
2 Their thoughts, and fears of the heart, their imagination of things to come, and the day of their end:
3 From him that sitteth on a glorious throne, unto him that is humbled in earth and ashes:
4 From him that weareth purple, and beareth the crown, even to him that is covered with rough linen: wrath, envy, trouble, unquietness, and the fear of death, continual anger, and strife,
5 And in the time of rest upon his bed, the sleep of the night changeth his knowledge.
6 A little and as nothing is his rest, and afterward in sleep, as in the day of keeping watch.
7 He is troubled in the vision of his heart, as if he had escaped in the day of battle. In the time of his safety he rose up, and wondereth that there is no fear:
8 Such things happen to all flesh, from man even to beast, and upon sinners are sevenfold mere.
9 Moreover, death, and bloodshed, strife, and sword, oppressions, famine, and affliction, and scourges:
10 All these things are created for the wicked, and for their sakes came the flood.
11 All things that are of the earth, shall return to the earth again, and all waters shall return to the sea.
12 All bribery, and injustice shall blotted out, and fidelity shall stand for ever.
13 The riches of the unjust shall be dried up like a river, and shall pass sway a noise like a great thunder in rain.
14 While he openeth his hands he shall rejoice: but transgressors shall pine away in the end.
15 The offspring of the ungodly shall not bring forth many branches, and make a noise as unclean roots upon the top of a rock.
16 The weed growing over every water, and at the bank of the river, shall be pulled up before all grass.
17 Grace is like a paradise in blessings, and mercy remaineth for ever.
18 The life of a labourer that is content with what he hath, shall be sweet, and in it thou shalt find a treasure.
19 Children, and the building of a city shall establish a name, but a blameless wife shall be counted above them both.
20 Wine and music rejoice the heart, but the love of wisdom is above them both.
21 The flute and the psaltery make a sweet melody, but a pleasant tongue is above them both.
22 Thy eye desireth favour and beauty, but more than these green sown fields.
23 A friend and companion meeting together in season, but above them both is a wife with her husband.
24 Brethren are a help in the time of trouble, but mercy shall deliver more than they.
25 Gold and silver make the feet stand sure: but wise counsel is above them both.
26 Riches and strength lift up the heart: but above these is the fear of the Lord.
27 There is no want in the fear of the Lord, and it needeth not to seek for help.
28 The fear of the Lord is like a paradise of blessing, and they have covered it above all glory.
29 My son, in thy lifetime be not indigent: for it is better to die than to want.
30 The life of him that looketh toward another man's table is not to be counted a life: for he feedeth his soul with another man's meat.
31 But a man, well instructed and taught, will look to himself.
32 Begging will be sweet in the mouth of the unwise, but in his belly there shall burn a fire.
Ben Sira 40 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Joys and Miseries of Life
1 A great anxiety has God allotted,[a]
11 All that is of earth returns to earth,
18 Wealth or wages can make life sweet,[d]
28 My son, do not live the life of a beggar;[e]