Wise judges will instruct their people,
and an intelligent person’s rule
will be orderly.
As the people’s judges are,
so will their officials be,
and as the ruler of a city is,
so also are all of its inhabitants.
An uneducated king will ruin his people,
and a city is founded
on the intelligence of its rulers.
Authority over the earth
belongs to the Lord,
and he will identify the person
who is right for the time.
A people’s success belongs to the Lord,
and he will give glory
to the legal expert.[a]

On pride

Don’t become angry with your neighbor over every wrong,
and don’t do anything that offers
a flagrant insult.
Arrogance is hateful to God and people,
and injustice is wrong to both.
Sovereignty passes from
nation to nation
because of injustice, pride, and money.[b]
How can dust and ashes be arrogant?
Even when they are alive,
human bodies are decaying.[c]
10 A long illness mocks a doctor;
today’s king will die tomorrow.
11 When people are dead,
they inherit maggots, vermin,[d]
and worms.
12 Human arrogance begins when people rebel against the Lord,
and their hearts rebel
against the one who made them.
13 The beginning of arrogance is sin,
and those who cling to it
will pour out blasphemy.
For this reason
the Lord brings calamities upon them,
and he ruins them completely.
14 The Lord destroyed the thrones of rulers,
and he raised up the gentle
in their place.
15 The Lord plucked up the roots of nations,
and he planted the humble
in their place.
16 The Lord ruined the lands of the nations,
and he leveled them
to their very foundations.
17 He removed some people
and destroyed them,
and he erased their memory
from the earth.
18 Humans were not created to be arrogant,
nor were those born of women
made to indulge in anger.

Honor and humility

19 What offspring are honorable?
Human offspring.
What offspring are honorable?
Those who fear the Lord.
What offspring are dishonorable?
Human offspring.
What offspring are dishonorable?
Those who violate
the commandments.
20 Among brothers and sisters,
their leader is honored,
and those who fear the Lord
are honored in his sight.[e]
22 The rich, the heroes, and the poor—
their pride is the fear of the Lord.
23 It’s not right to dishonor
someone who is intelligent but poor,
and it’s not proper to give glory
to a sinful person.
24 The official, the judge, and the ruler
will be glorified,
but none of them are greater
than the one who fears the Lord.
25 Free people will serve the wise person
who has been enslaved,
and a knowledgeable person
won’t complain.
26 Don’t show off your wisdom
when you do your work,
and don’t magnify yourself
when you have difficulties.
27 Those who work and have what they need
in abundance are better
than those who walk around
glorifying themselves but lack bread.
28 My child, hold yourself in honor
with gentleness,
and give yourself honor as you deserve it.
29 Who will justify those
who sin against themselves?
And who will honor those
who bring dishonor to their own lives?
30 Poor people will be honored
because of their knowledge,
and rich people will be honored
because of their wealth.
31 Whoever is honored in poverty,
how much more will he or she
be honored in wealth?
And whoever is disreputable in wealth,
how much more will he or she
be disreputable in poverty?


  1. Sirach 10:5 Or he will glorify the scribe.
  2. Sirach 10:8 LXXb adds For there is nothing more lawless than love of money, because such people put their own souls up for sale.
  3. Sirach 10:9 Heb; LXX I threw off its entrails.
  4. Sirach 10:11 LXX beasts
  5. Sirach 10:20 LXXb adds 10:21 Fear of the Lord is the beginning of acceptance, but the beginning of rejection is stubbornness and arrogance.