They will seek out the wisdom
of all the ancestors,
and they will be occupied
with prophecies.
They will preserve the stories
of famous people,
and they will penetrate
the subtle turns of parables.
They will seek out
the hidden meanings of proverbs,
and will live with the puzzles of parables.
They will serve among the great
and appear before rulers.
They will travel in foreign lands,
because they will test what’s good
and what’s evil in people.
They will commit themselves to rise early,
to seek the Lord who made them,
and to pray to the Most High.
They will open their mouth in prayer
and ask forgiveness for their sins.
If the great Lord is willing,
they will be filled
with a spirit of understanding;
they will pour forth words of wisdom,
and they will give thanks
to the Lord in prayer.
Their reasoning and knowledge
will remain on course,
and they will ponder God’s mysteries.
They will bring to light
the learning of their instruction,
and they will make the laws
of the Lord’s covenant their boast.
Many will praise their understanding,
and it will never be forgotten.
The remembrance of them
will never disappear,
and their name will live
for generations upon generations.
10 The nations will speak of their wisdom,
and the congregation
will proclaim their praise.
11 If they live a long time,
they will leave behind a name
greater than a thousand names,
and if they find rest,
it will be enough for them.

Praise of the creator

12 I’ll speak of other things
I’ve been thinking,
since I was filled like the full moon.
13 Listen to me, faithful children,
and blossom
like a rose growing near
a running stream.
14 Send forth a fragrant aroma like incense,
and bloom with blossoms like a lily.
Raise your voice, give praise together,
and bless the Lord for all his works.
15 Tell of the greatness of his name,
and give thanks when you praise him
with songs on your lips and with harps.
And this is what you will say
when you give thanks:
16 All the works of the Lord are very good.
Every command of his
will be carried out in its proper time.
17 It’s not for us to say,
“What’s this?” or
“For what purpose is that?”
Everything will be examined
at its proper time.
At his command water piled up in a heap,
and by his spoken word
reservoirs of water stood erect.
18 His command accomplishes
his good pleasure,
and no one can diminish
the deliverance he intends.
19 The works of all living beings
are before him;
nothing can hide from his eyes.
20 He sees from one end of eternity
to the other,
and nothing is too wondrous for him.
21 It’s not for us to say,
“What’s this?” or
“For what purpose is that?”
All things were created
for their own purpose.
22 His blessing covers like a river
and soaks the dry land like a flood.
23 Similarly, his anger will overtake
the nations,
as he changed fresh waters into brine.
24 For the godly, his paths are straight,
but for the lawless,
there are obstacles.
25 From the beginning, good things
have been made for good people,
but bad things for sinners.[a]
26 Basic to all the necessities of human life
are water, fire, iron, salt,
fine flour, milk, honey,
wine,[b] oil, and clothing.
27 For the godly,
all these things are for good,
but for sinners, they will turn into evil.
28 There are winds that have been created
for vengeance,
and they whip with strength
in their wrath.
At the moment of consummation,
they will pour out their strength,
and they will calm the wrath
of their maker.
29 Fire, hail, famine, and death—
all have been created for vengeance—
30 the teeth of wild beasts, scorpions, vipers, and a sword
punishing the ungodly
with destruction.
31 These things gladly do
what he commands.
They will be ready for his service
on the earth,
and they won’t violate his word
when their time comes.
32 Because of this,
I’ve been steadfast from the beginning:
I’ve thought things out
and left them in writing.
33 All the works of the Lord are good,
and he will supply every need in its time.
34 It’s not for us to say,
“This is worse than that,”
since everything will prove its worth
at the proper moment.
35 And now, sing hymns
with all your heart and voice,
and bless the Lord’s name.


  1. Sirach 39:25 Heb good things and bad
  2. Sirach 39:26 LXX blood of the grape