1. Give heed to me, O children, for I am your father,
And do what I tell you, that you may be saved.+
2. For the Lord honored the father over the children
And strengthened the judgment of the mother over her sons.
3. He who honors his father atones for his sins;
4. And he who honors his mother
Is like one who stores up treasure.
5. He who honors his father
Will be gladdened by his own children,
And when he prays, he will be heard.
6. He who honors his father will have a long life,
And he who obeys the Lord will give rest to his mother;
7. And he will serve his parents as his masters.
8. Honor your father and mother in word and deed,
That a blessing may come upon you from him.
9. For the blessing of a father establishes the houses of the children,
But the curse of a mother uproots their foundations.
10. Do not glory in the dishonor of your father,
For your father's dishonor is no glory to you.
11. For the glory of a man is from the honor of his father,
And it is a disgrace for children to dishonor their mother.
12. My son, help your father in his old age,
And do not grieve him in his life;
13. And if his understanding fails, be considerate,
And do not dishonor him in your prime.
14. For kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
And it will be credited to you instead of your sins.
15. It will be remembered in the day of your affliction;
Thus your sins will melt away like frost in warm weather.
16. He who forsakes his father is like a blasphemer,
And he who provokes his mother to wrath is cursed by God.
*Wisdom at Work*
17. My son, accomplish your works with gentleness,
And you will be loved by people the Lord accepts.
18. The greater you are, the more humble you must be,
And you will find grace before the Lord.+
19. Because great is the power of the Lord,
And He is honored by the humble.
20. Do not seek things too difficult for you,
Nor examine what is beyond your strength.+
21. Think about what is commanded you,
For you do not need what the Lord keeps hidden.
22. Do not meddle in what is none of your business,
For things beyond human insight have been shown to you.
23. Speculation has led many astray,
And evil suppositions have caused their minds to slip and fall.
*Keep a Soft Heart*
24. A hard heart will suffer ruin in the end,
And he who loves danger will perish in it.+
25. A hard heart will be weighed down with pains,
And the sinner will add sin to sin.
26. There is no healing to aid an arrogant man,
For a plant of evil has taken root in him.
27. The heart of an intelligent man will ponder a parable,
And the ear of a pupil is a wise man's desire.
28. Water will quench a blazing fire,
And almsgiving will atone for sins.
29. He who repays kindness is mindful of the hereafter,
And at the time of his fall he will find support.
(Reminder: These are the notes from the Orthodox Study Bible)
+3:1, 2 - Ben Sirach implores children to listen to the wisdom of their father and mother. Verses 1-16 contain timeless counsel for children concerning their parents.
+3:18 - Humility is essential to true spiritual works and opens the door to God's immeasurable grace.
+3:20-23 - Ben Sirach's word on mental health.
+3:24-27 - A hard heart is a great spiritual danger, warned against in the OT and NT. There is no healing for the man afflicted by this disease (v. 26; see also Mk 8:17; Heb 4:7)