Practical advice

Don’t do evil things,
and evil will never catch up with you.
Keep your distance from anything unjust, and it will turn away from you.
Don’t sow in furrows of injustice,
and you won’t reap
evil things sevenfold.
Don’t seek political power from the Lord
or a seat of honor from the king.
Don’t justify yourself
in the Lord’s presence,
and don’t make a show of your wisdom
with a king.
Don’t aspire to become a judge;
you might not be strong enough
to get rid of injustice.
Perhaps you will be too cautious
in the presence of a powerful person
and bring a scandal on your good name.
Don’t sin against a city’s inhabitants,
and don’t bring yourself down
in their estimation.[a]
Don’t repeat a sin,
for you won’t be innocent
even of committing it the first time.
Don’t say,
“He will look at the heap of my gifts,
and when I make an offering
to the Most High, he will accept it.”
10 Don’t be timid in your prayer,
and don’t neglect caring for those in need.
11 Don’t mock a person
who is bitter in spirit;
for there’s one who humbles
and who exalts.
12 Don’t cultivate a lie against your relative
or do the same thing to a friend.
13 Don’t desire to tell a lie;
continuing in a lie results in no good.
14 Don’t babble when the elders
are assembled,
and don’t repeat yourself when praying.
15 Don’t hate hard work and farming,
which were created by the Most High.
16 Don’t count yourself
among a group of sinners;
remember that God’s anger won’t delay.
17 Humble your whole being
as much as possible,
because fire and worms
are the punishment of the ungodly.

Household, priests, and the poor

18 Don’t trade a friend for cash
or a genuine friend for the gold of Ophir.
19 Don’t neglect[b] a wise and good wife,
for her grace is worth more than gold.
20 Don’t abuse household slaves
who work hard
or laborers who devote themselves
to their work.
21 Cherish household servants
who are intelligent;
don’t deprive them of freedom.
22 Do you have cattle? Look after them.
If they are useful to you, keep them.
23 Do you have children? Instruct them.
Train them to be obedient[c]
from their youth.
24 Do you have daughters?
Be attentive to their chastity,[d]
and don’t be too cheerful with them.[e]
25 Give a daughter in marriage,
and you will have completed a great deed,
but present her
to an understanding husband.
26 Do you have a wife who is a soul mate?[f]
Don’t divorce her,
and don’t trust yourself to a woman
whom you hate.
27 Honor your father with all your heart,
and don’t forget
your mother’s labor pains.
28 Remember that you were born
because of your parents.
How will you pay them back
for what they have done for you?
29 Revere the Lord with your whole being,
and honor his priests.
30 With all your might
love the one who made you,
and don’t neglect his ministers.
31 Fear the Lord and honor the priest.
Give the priest his portion,
just as you were commanded:
early produce, a sin offering,
the gift of the shoulders,
the dedicatory offering,
and the early produce
from the holy things.
32 Extend your hand to the poor
so that your blessing may be complete.
33 The kindness of a gift
stands before all who are alive;
moreover, don’t withhold kindness
from the dead.
34 Walk beside those who weep,
and mourn with those who mourn.
35 Don’t hesitate to visit the sick,
because you will be loved
on account of these acts.
36 In all of your words,[g]
remember your end,
and you will never sin.


  1. Sirach 7:7 LXX in a crowd
  2. Sirach 7:19 Or reject
  3. Sirach 7:23 LXX Bend their necks
  4. Sirach 7:24 LXX body
  5. Sirach 7:24 LXX Don’t brighten your face toward them.
  6. Sirach 7:26 LXX like your soul; Heb whom you abhor
  7. Sirach 7:36 Heb deeds