The memory[a] of Josiah
is like a blend of incense,
prepared with skill by a perfumer.
It will be sweet in the mouth, like honey,
like music at a wine-drinking party.
He succeeded in turning around
the people,
and he removed unlawful displays
of idolatry.
He directed his heart toward the Lord;
at a time of lawlessness,
he made devotion to God stronger.

Destruction of Jerusalem

Except for David, Hezekiah, and Josiah,
all of them struck a bad chord,
because they abandoned
the Law of the Most High.
The kings of Judah came to an end.
They gave their power[b] to others
and their glory to a foreign nation,
which set fire to Jerusalem, the chosen city, and its sanctuary
and made its streets desolate,
as Jeremiah said.
They mistreated him,
even though he had been set apart
from the womb to be a prophet
to uproot, ruin, destroy,
and likewise to build and plant.


Ezekiel saw a vision of glory,
when God showed him
the chariot of the winged creatures.
He remembered the enemies
in the storm,
and favored those keeping
to a righteous path.[c]
10 May the bones of the twelve prophets
sprout new life from their
burial places,
because they comforted Jacob
and rescued them
with hopeful confidence.

Zerubbabel, Joshua, and Nehemiah

11 How should we praise Zerubbabel?
He also was like a signet ring
on the right hand,
12 as was Joshua, Jozadak’s son.
In their time, they built a house
and raised a holy temple to the Lord,
prepared for everlasting glory.
13 Nehemiah’s memory is lasting;
he who raised our fallen walls,
set up gates and bars,
and rebuilt our buildings.

Miscellaneous ancestors

14 No one was created on the earth
who was like Enoch,
for he was taken up from the earth.
15 Nor has any man been born like Joseph,
a leader of his brothers,
a support for the people.[d]
They took special care
even of his bones.
16 Shem and Seth were honored
among human beings,[e]
and above every living thing in creation
was Adam.


  1. Sirach 49:1 Heb name
  2. Sirach 49:5 LXX horn
  3. Sirach 49:9 Heb God also remembered Job, a prophet, who held fast to all the ways of righteousness.
  4. Sirach 49:15 Heb lacks a support for the people.
  5. Sirach 49:16 Heb adds Enosh to the list.