Hymn to the ancestors

Now allow us to praise
famous people and our ancestors,
generation by generation.[a]
The Lord created[b] great glory,
his majesty from eternity.
They ruled in their kingdoms,
and made a name with their power,
some giving counsel
by their intelligence;
some making pronouncements
in prophecies;
some leading the people
by their deliberations,
and by their understanding
of the people’s learning,
giving wise words in their instruction;
others devising musical melodies,
and composing poems;
rich people endowed with strength,
living in peace in their dwellings—
all of these were honored
in their generation,
a source of pride in their time.
Some of them left behind a name
so that their praises might be told.
For some there is no memory,
and they perished as though
they hadn’t existed.
These have become as though
they hadn’t been born,
they and even their children after them.
10 But these were compassionate people
whose righteous deeds
haven’t been forgotten.
11 This will persist with their children;
their descendants
will be a good legacy.[c]
12 Their descendants stand
by the covenants,
and their children also, for their sake.
13 Their descendants will last forever,
and their glory will never be erased.
14 Their bodies were buried in peace,
but their name lives for generations.
15 The people will tell of their wisdom,
and the congregation
will proclaim their praise.


16 Enoch pleased the Lord
and was transferred,[d]
an example of a changed heart
and mind for generations.


17 Noah was found perfect and righteous;
in a time of anger,
he was selected in exchange
for the ungodly.[e]
Because of him,
a few survivors remained on the earth
when the flood happened.
18 Eternal covenants were made with him
so that all living things would not be wiped out by a flood again.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

19 Abraham was the great father
of a multitude of nations,
and there was no smudge on his glory.[f]
20 He kept the laws of the Most High,
and he entered into a covenant with him.
He established a covenant in his flesh,
and when he was tested,
he proved faithful.
21 Therefore, the Lord certified for Abraham
with a solemn pledge
that he would bless nations
through his descendants,
that he would make him increase
like the dust of the earth,
exalt his descendants like the stars,
and give them an inheritance
from sea to sea
and from the river to the end
of the earth.
22 He made the same commitment to Isaac
because of Abraham his father.
He made a blessing for all humanity
and a covenant
23 to rest on Jacob’s head.
The Lord acknowledged him
with his blessings;
he gave him an inheritance,
divided his shares,
and allotted them
among the twelve tribes.


The Lord brought forward out of Jacob[g]
a man of mercy,
who found favor with all living beings,


  1. Sirach 44:1 Heb in their generations
  2. Sirach 44:2 Heb measured out
  3. Sirach 44:11 Heb Their goods will remain with their descendants, and their inheritance will be for their grandchildren.
  4. Sirach 44:16 Heb was taken
  5. Sirach 44:17 Gk lacks for the ungodly; Heb he continued the human race.
  6. Sirach 44:19 Some Gk manuscripts He had no equal in glory.
  7. Sirach 44:23 Gk him