As found in the Greek Septuagint
Chapter 40

The Misery of Human Life

Sirach 40:1 Every person has been given a great deal of work to do. A heavy burden lies on all of us for the day of our birth until the day we go back to the earth, the mother of us all.

Sirach 40:2 We are confused and fearful, dreading the day of our death-

Sirach 40:3-4 all of us from the king on his splendid throne wearing royal robes and a crown, to the humblest person dressed in burlap and living in poverty.

Sirach 40:5 All through our lives we meet anger, jealousy, and trouble. Things disturb us; we live with furious conflicts and with the fear of death. Even when we go to bed, we think up new troubles in our sleep.

Sirach 40:6 We get little rest, if any at all. When we sleep, it is as if we were awake, disturbed by our imaginations. If we dream that we are running from an enemy,

Sirach 40:7 just as we are about to be caught, we wake up and are relieved to find there is nothing to be afraid of.

Sirach 40:8 Here is what all creatures, both human and animal, must face (but it is seven times worse for sinners);

Sirach 40:9 death, violence, conflict, murder, disaster, famine, sickness, epidemic.

Sirach 40:10 All these things were created because of the wicked; they are the ones who have caused destruction.

Sirach 40:11 Everything that comes from the earth goes back to the earth, just as all water flows into the sea.

The Results of Evil

Sirach 40:12 Nothing that comes from bribery or injustice will last, but the effects of loyalty will remain forever.

Sirach 40:13 Wealth that has been obtained dishonestly is like a stream that runs full during a thunderstorm,

Sirach 40:14 tumbling rocks along as it flows, but then suddenly goes dry.

Sirach 40:15 The children of ungodly people will not leave large families; they are like plants trying to take root on rock,

Sirach 40:16 like reeds along a river bank, withering before any other plant.

Sirach 40:17 Acts of kindness and charity are as lasting as eternity.

The Joy of Human Life

Sirach 40:18 Being independently wealthy or working for a living-both can make life pleasant, but it is better to find a treasure.

Sirach 40:19 Your name can be preserved if you have children or if you establish a city, but finding Wisdom is a better way. Owning livestock and orchards will make you famous, but it is better to have a wife you love.

Sirach 40:20 Wine and music can make you happy, but a happy marriage is even better.

Sirach 40:21 Flutes and harps make fine music, but a pleasant voice is better than either.

Sirach 40:22 Gracefulness and beauty please the eye, but not as much as new growth in the spring.

Sirach 40:23 You can't go wrong with a good friend or neighbor, but an intelligent wife is better than either.

Sirach 40:24 Relatives and helpers are good to have in times of trouble, but it will be an even greater help if you have made a practice of giving to the poor.

Sirach 40:25 Gold and silver provide security, but good advice is better.

Sirach 40:26 Wealth and strength give confidence, but the fear of the Lord can give you even greater confidence. When you fear the Lord you need nothing more; it is all the support you need.

Sirach 40:27 The fear of the Lord is like a rich garden of blessing; you could not want a more glorious shelter.


Sirach 40:28 My child, don't live the life of a beggar; it is better to die than to beg.

Sirach 40:29 If you have to depend on someone else for your food, you are not really living your own life. You pollute yourself by accepting food from another. Begging is torture to the soul of any sensitive person.

Sirach 40:30 A shameless person can make begging sound sweet, but something inside him burns.


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