Sirach - Revised Standard Version (1966)
The Book of Sirach derives its name from the author, Jesus, son of Eleazar, son of Sirach (Sirach 50:27). Its earliest title seems to have been "Wisdom of the Son of Sirach." The designation "Liber Ecclesiasticus," meaning "Church Book," appended to some Greek and Latin manuscripts was due to the extensive use which the church made of this book in presenting moral teaching to catechumens and to the faithful. - The author, a sage who lived in Jerusalem, was thoroughly imbued with love for the law, the priesthood, the temple, and divine worship. As a wise and experienced observer of life he addressed himself to his contemporaries with the motive of helping them to maintain religious faith and integrity through study of the holy books, and through tradition. - The book contains numerous maxims formulated with care, grouped by affinity, and dealing with a variety of subjects such as the individual, the family, and the community in their relations with one another and with God. It treats of friendship, education, poverty and wealth, the law, religious worship, and many other matters which reflect the religious and social customs of the time. - Written in Hebrew between 200 and 175 B.C., the text was translated into Greek sometime after 132 B.C. by the author's grandson, who also wrote a Foreword which contains information about the book, the author, and the translator himself. Until the close of the nineteenth century Sirach was known only in translations, of which this Greek rendering was the most important. From it the Latin version was made. Between 1896 and 1900, again in 1931, and several times since 1956, manuscripts were discovered containing in all about two thirds of the Hebrew text, which agrees substantially with the Greek. One such text, from Masada, is pre-Christian in date. - Though not included in the Hebrew Bible after the first century A.D., nor accepted by Protestants, the Book of Sirach has always been recognized by the Catholic Church as divinely inspired and canonical. The Foreword, though not inspired, is placed in the Bible because of its antiquity and importance. - The contents of Sirach are of a discursive nature, not easily divided into separate parts. Sir 1-43 deal largely with moral instruction; Sirach 44:1-50:24 contain a eulogy of the heroes of Israel and some of the patriarchs. There are two appendices in which the author expresses his gratitude to God, and appeals to the unlearned to acquire true wisdom.
- The Church uses the Book of Sirach extensively in her liturgy. - (NAB)

Headings



Book of


SIRACH


1 In Praise of Wisdom
Fear of the Lord Is True Wisdom
2 Duties toward God
3 Duties toward Parents
Humility
Alms for the Poor
4 Duties toward the Poor and the Oppressed
The Rewards of Wisdom
5 Precepts for Everyday Living
6 Friendship, False and True
Blessings of Wisdom
7 Miscellaneous Advice
Relations with Others
8 Prudence and Common Sense
9 Advice Concerning Women
Choice of Friends
Concerning Rulers
10 The Sin of Pride
Persons Deserving Honor
Concerning Humility
11 The Deceptiveness of Appearances
Deliberation and Caution
Care in Choosing Friends
13 Caution Regarding Associates
14 Responsible Use of Wealth
The Happiness of Seeking Wisdom
15 Freedom of Choice
16 God's Punishment of Sinners
God's Wisdom Seen in Creation
17 A Call to Repentance
18 The Majesty of God
The Right Spirit in Giving Alms
The Need of Reflection and Self-control
19 Against Loose Talk
True and False Wisdom
20 Silence and Speech
Paradoxes
Inappropriate Speech
Lying
21 Various Sins
Wisdom and Foolishness
22 The Idler
Degenerate Children
Wisdom and Folly
The Preservation of Friendship
A Prayer for Help against Sinning
23 Foul Language
Concerning Sexual Sins
24 Wisdom and the Law
25 Those Who Are Worthy of Praise
Some Extreme Forms of Evil
The Evil of a Wicked Woman
26 The Joy of a Good Wife
The Worst of Evils: A Wicked Wife
The Blessing of a Good Wife
27 Tests in Life
Reward and Retribution
Varieties of Speech
Betraying Secrets
Hypocrisy and Retribution
Anger and Vengeance
28 The Evil Tongue
29 On Lending and Borrowing
On Guaranteeing Debts
Home and Hospitality
31 Right Attitude toward Riches
Table Etiquette
Temperance in Drinking Wine
32 Etiquette at a Banquet
The Providence of God
33 Differences in Nature and in Humankind
The Advantage of Independence
The Treatment of Slaves
34 Dreams Mean Nothing
Experience as a Teacher
Fear the Lord
Offering Sacrifices
35 The Law and Sacrifices
Divine Justice
36 A Prayer for God's People
Concerning Discrimination
37 False Friends
Caution in Taking Advice
True and False Wisdom
Concerning Moderation
38 Concerning Physicians and Health
On Mourning for the Dead
Trades and Crafts
The Activity of the Scribe
39 A Hymn of Praise to God
40 Human Wretchedness
Injustice Will Not Prosper
The Joys of Life
The Disgrace of Begging
41 Concerning Death
The Fate of the Wicked
A Series of Contrasts
42 Daughters and Fathers
The Works of God in Nature
43 The Splendor of the Sun
The Splendor of the Moon
The Glory of the Stars and the Rainbow
The Marvels of Nature
44 Enoch
Noah
Abraham
Isaac and Jacob
Moses
45 Aaron
Phinehas
46 Joshua and Caleb
The Judges
47 Nathan
David
Solomon
Rehoboam and Jeroboam
48 Elijah
Elisha
Hezekiah
Isaiah
49 Josiah and Other Worthies
Retrospect
50 Simon Son of Onias
A Benediction
Epilogue
51 Autobiographical Poem on Wisdom

Version
Nova Vulgata - Latin
Biblia del Pueblo di Dio (BPD) - Spanish
Vulgata - Stuttgart 1969 - Latin
BÝblia Sagrada Ave-Maria (1957) - Portuguese
La Sainte Bible (Crampon 1904) - French
CEI (1974) - Italian
Einheits▄bersetzung der Heiligen Sc - German