Concerning children[a]

The person who loves his sons
will discipline them often
so that he may be glad
about how they turn out.
Whoever instructs his sons
will benefit from them,
and he will boast about them
among his acquaintances.
The person who teaches his sons
will make his enemy jealous,
but among his friends
he will rejoice over them.
When their father passes away,
it is as if he hadn’t died,
because he left behind sons
who are like him.
When he was alive,
he saw them and was glad,
and at his end, he wasn’t grieved.
He was survived by those
who would avenge him
against his enemies
and who would repay kindness
to his friends.
A parent who spoils children now
will end up tending to their wounds,
and will experience heartache
at every outcry.
A horse that is unbroken
turns out stubborn,
and a child, when given free rein,
turns out reckless.
Indulge children,
and they will terrorize you;
play with them,
and they will grieve you.
10 Don’t laugh together with them,
so that you don’t suffer together
and in the end
grind your teeth in regret.
11 Don’t give them free rein in their youth.[b]
12 Bruise their sides
while they are still young,
or else they will become stubborn
and disobey you.
13 Educate your children, and work on them,
so that you don’t end up offended
by their shameful behavior.

Food and health

14 It is better to be poor,
but healthy and strong,
than a rich person
whose body is afflicted.
15 Being healthy and fit
is better than any gold,
and a strong spirit
is better than untold riches.
16 No wealth is better than a healthy body,
and no gladness is better than happiness in one’s heart.
17 Death is better than a bitter life,
and eternal rest is
better than chronic illness.

Concerning foods.[c]

18 Good things that are poured out
on a closed mouth
are the same as food offerings
placed on a grave.
19 Of what use is an offering of fruit
to an idol?
It can’t eat or smell.
The person whom the Lord punishes
is like this,
20 looking with the eyes and groaning
like a eunuch who embraces
a young woman and groans.[d]
21 Don’t let grief take you over,
and don’t distress yourself on purpose.
22 A joyful heart means life
for a human being,
and a person’s rejoicing
provides long life.
23 Distract yourself, cheer yourself up,
and keep grief far away from you
because grief has destroyed many,
and there’s no benefit in it.
24 Jealousy and anger
shorten a person’s life,
and anxiety brings old age
before its time.
25 Those who are cheerful
and contented at meals
will attend well to their food.[e]


  1. Sirach 30:1 The title appears in Gk manuscripts.
  2. Sirach 30:11 LXXb adds 30:11b-12a and don’t overlook his mistakes. In his youth, bow down his neck.
  3. Sirach 30:18 The title appears in Gk manuscripts.
  4. Sirach 30:20 LXXb adds 30:20c So is the one who makes judgments under pressure.
  5. Sirach 30:25 Gk and Heb uncertain