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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 3


1 Children, pay heed to a father's right; do so that you may live.


For the LORD sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons.


He who honors his father atones for sins;


he stores up riches who reveres his mother.


He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard.


He who reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys the LORD who brings comfort to his mother.


He who fears the LORD honors his father, and serves his parents as rulers.


In word and deed honor your father that his blessing may come upon you;


For a father's blessing gives a family firm roots, but a mother's curse uproots the growing plant.


Glory not in your father's shame, for his shame is no glory to you!


His father's honor is a man's glory; disgrace for her children, a mother's shame.


My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives.


Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness of your strength.


For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering - it will take lasting root.


In time of tribulation it will be recalled to your advantage, like warmth upon frost it will melt away your sins.


A blasphemer is he who despises his father; accursed of his Creator, he who angers his mother.


2 My son, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.


Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God.


3 For great is the power of God; by the humble he is glorified.


What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not.


What is committed to you, attend to; for what is hidden is not your concern.


With what is too much for you meddle not, when shown things beyond human understanding.


Their own opinion has misled many, and false reasoning unbalanced their judgment.


Where the pupil of the eye is missing, there is no light, and where there is no knowledge, there is no wisdom.


A stubborn man will fare badly in the end, and he who loves danger will perish in it.


A stubborn man will be burdened with sorrow; a sinner will heap sin upon sin.


For the affliction of the proud man there is no cure; he is the offshoot of an evil plant.


The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the wise man's joy.


4 Water quenches a flaming fire, and alms atone for sins.


He who does a kindness is remembered afterward; when he falls, he finds a support.



1 [1-16] Besides the virtues that must characterize our conduct toward God, special duties toward our neighbor are enjoined, such as honor and respect toward parents, with corresponding blessings ( Sirach 3:1-9). Even to old and infirm parents this respect is due ( Sirach 3:10-13); through it, the sins of children are pardoned ( Sirach 3:14, 15). Failure to render respect is blasphemy and merits a curse from God ( Sirach 3:16). Cf Exodus 20:12; Eph 6:2-3.

2 [17-27] Humility gives a true estimate of self ( Sirach 3:17-19). Through it a man performs duty, avoids what is beyond his understanding and strength ( Sirach 3:20-22). Pride, however, begets false greatness, misjudgment, stubborness, sorrow, affliction and perdition ( Sirach 3:23-27).

3 [19] An alternate or additional line would read: "For though many have been great in the course of time, it is to the humble he reveals his secrets." Cf Matthew 11:25-26; 1 Cor 1:26-29.

4 [29- 4:10] Mercy and kindness toward those in misfortune atone for sin and endear a man to God and to his fellow men.

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