The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 42


But of these things be not ashamed, lest you sin through human respect:


Of the law of the Most High and his precepts, or of the sentence to be passed upon the sinful;


Of sharing the expenses of a business or a journey, or of dividing an inheritance or property;


Of accuracy of scales and balances, or of tested measures and weights;


Of acquiring much or little, or of bargaining in dealing with a merchant; Of constant training of children, or of beating the sides of a disloyal servant;


Of a seal to keep an erring wife at home, or of a lock placed where there are many hands;


Of numbering every deposit, or of recording all that is given or received;


Of chastisement of the silly and the foolish, or of the aged and infirm answering for wanton conduct. Thus you will be truly cautious and recognized by all men as discreet.


1 A daughter is a treasure that keeps her father wakeful, and worry over her drives away rest: Lest she pass her prime unmarried, or when she is married, lest she be disliked;


While unmarried, lest she be seduced, or, as a wife, lest she prove unfaithful; Lest she conceive in her father's home, or be sterile in that of her husband.


Keep a close watch on your daughter, lest she make you the sport of your enemies, A byword in the city, a reproach among the people, an object of derision in public gatherings. See that there is no lattice in her room, no place that overlooks the approaches to the house.


Let her not parade her charms before men, or spend her time with married women;


For just as moths come from garments, so harm to women comes from women:


Better a man's harshness than a woman's indulgence, and a frightened daughter than any disgrace.


2 Now will I recall God's works; what I have seen, I will describe. At God's word were his works brought into being; they do his will as he has ordained for them.


As the rising sun is clear to all, so the glory of the LORD fills all his works;


Yet even God's holy ones must fail in recounting the wonders of the LORD, Though God has given these, his hosts, the strength to stand firm before his glory.


He plumbs the depths and penetrates the heart; their innermost being he understands. The Most High possesses all knowledge, and sees from of old the things that are to come:


He makes known the past and the future, and reveals the deepest secrets.


No understanding does he lack; no single thing escapes him.


Perennial is his almighty wisdom; he is from all eternity one and the same,


With nothing added, nothing taken away; no need of a counselor for him!


How beautiful are all his works! even to the spark and the fleeting vision!


The universe lives and abides forever; to meet each need, each creature is preserved.


All of them differ, one from another, yet none of them has he made in vain, For each in turn, as it comes, is good; can one ever see enough of their splendor?



1 [9-14] The author considers a daughter to be a source of anxiety to her father, lest she fail to marry, or be seduced, or lest, marrying, she be disliked, prove unfaithful, or find herself sterile ( Sirach 42:9-10). He is advised to keep a close watch on her at home, and on her companionship while abroad, lest he suffer on her account among the people ( Sirach 42:11-14).

2 [ 42:15- 43:35] These verses comprise a new section. In them the author contemplates God's power, beauty and goodness as manifested in the mighty work of creating and preserving the universe ( Sirach 42:15-17, 23, 25; 43:1-27), his omniscience ( Sirach 42:18-20), his perfect wisdom ( Sirach 42:21-22), his eternity ( Sirach 42:24). The conclusion is a fervent hymn of praise ( Sirach 43:28-33). Cf Sirach 16:22- 18:13.

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