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Sirach 51:13-22 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Autobiographical Poem on Wisdom

13 While I was still young, before I went on my travels,
    I sought wisdom openly in my prayer.
14 Before the temple I asked for her,
    and I will search for her to the last.
15 From blossom to[a] ripening grape
    my heart delighted in her;
my foot entered upon the straight path;
    from my youth I followed her steps.
16 I inclined my ear a little and received her,
    and I found for myself much instruction.
17 I made progress therein;
    to him who gives wisdom I will give glory.
18 For I resolved to live according to wisdom,[b]
    and I was zealous for the good;
    and I shall never be put to shame.
19 My soul grappled with wisdom,[c]
    and in my conduct I was strict;[d]
I spread out my hands to the heavens,
    and lamented my ignorance of her.
20 I directed my soul to her,
    and through purification I found her.
I gained understanding[e] with her from the first,
    therefore I will not be forsaken.
21 My heart was stirred to seek her,
    therefore I have gained a good possession.
22 The Lord gave me a tongue as my reward,
    and I will praise him with it.


  1. Sirach 51:15 Other authorities read As from
  2. Sirach 51:18 Gk her
  3. Sirach 51:19 Gk her
  4. Sirach 51:19 The Greek text of this line is uncertain
  5. Sirach 51:20 Gk heart
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 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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