Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sirach 10

1. A wise leader will educate his people,
And the rule of an intelligent man will be well ordered.

2. As goes the leader of a people, so also are his officials,
And all the inhabitants of a city will reflect its ruler.

3. An undisciplined king will ruin his people,
But a city will be made habitable through the wisdom of its rulers.

4. The authority of the earth is in the hand of the Lord,
And He will raise up the right man for an appointed time.+

5. The success of a man is in the hand of the Lord,
And He confers His honor upon the person of the scribe.

6. Do not cherish anger against your neighbor for any injury,
And do nothing by acts of insolence.

*Beware of Arrogance*
7. Arrogance is hateful before God and man,
And wrongdoing is offensive to both.

8. Dominion is transferred from nation to nation
Because of wrongdoing, insolence, and wealth.

9. How can he who is earth and ashes be arrogant?
Because even while living, his insides are decaying.+

10. A physician scoffs at a long illness,
And a king today will also die tomorrow.

11. When a man dies, he will inherit
Reptiles, wild animals, and worms.

12. The beginning of a man's arrogance is to depart from the Lord,
For his heart withdraws from the One who created him.

13. For the beginning of arrogance is sin,
And he who takes hold of it will pour out an abomination.
Therefore the Lord will bring them extraordinary distress
And completely destroy them.

14. The Lord pulls down the thrones of rulers
And seats the gentle in their place.+

15. The Lord plucks out the roots of nations
And plants the humble in their place.

16. The Lord overthrows the lands of the nations
And destroys them to the foundations of the earth.

17. He removes some of them and destroys them,
And puts an end to their memory on the earth.+

18. Arrogance was not created by mankind,
Nor fierce anger by the offspring of women.

*Honor and Dishonor*
19. What kind of seed is honored?
The seed of man.
What kind of seed is honored?
Those who fear the Lord.
What kind of seed is dishonored?
The seed of man.
What kind of seed is dishonored?
Those who transgress the commandments.

20. Among brothers their leader is honored,
And those who fear the Lord are honored in His eyes.+

21. The fear of the Lord goes before the obtaining of authority,
But roughness and pride is the losing thereof.

22. The rich and the honored and the poor alike-
Their boasting is the fear of the Lord.

23. It is not right to dishonor an intelligent poor man,
Nor is it proper to honor a sinful man.

24. The nobleman, the judge, and the ruler will be honored,
But none of them is greater than the one who fears the Lord.

25. Free men will render service to a wise servant,
And an understanding man will not grumble.

26. Do not put your wisdom on display when you do your work,
Nor magnify yourself in the time of your trouble.

27. Better is he who works and has plenty
Than he who magnifies himself but has no bread.

28. My son, honor your soul with gentleness
And give it honor according to its worth.+

29. Who will declare righteous the man who sins against his soul,
And who will honor the man who dishonors his life?

30. A poor man is honored for his knowledge,
While a rich man is honored for his wealth.

31. If a man is honored in poverty,
How much more in wealth,
And if a man is dishonored in wealth,
How much more in poverty?

+10:4,5 - Since the Lord has authority over all, He will raise up rulers for his purposes and in His time.

+10:9 - A very humbling passage. One could almost call it crude, except that God is forcing us to face our utter lack of a basis for personal pride.

+10:14,15 - This theme echoes Pr 3:37 and is repeated by St. Peter (1Pt 5:5, 6).

+10:17 - When the faithful die in Christ, we sing, "Memory eternal!" By contrast, the Lord puts an end to the memory of unworthy rulers (v. 14) and nations (v. 16).

+10:20-23 - All are to fear the Lord - the rich and the poor. A poor man with true godliness and spiritual wisdom must be honored.

+10:28, 29 - All human beings should humbly recognize the immense value and glory of their own soul. The Lord Jesus Christ may have had this passage in mind when He spoke the words of Mt 16:26.


  1. "12. The beginning of a man's arrogance is to depart from the Lord,
    For his heart withdraws from the One who created him."

    GREAT stuff! There were so many wise thoughts. I couldn't help but think of the US when I read some of this. Thanks much for sharing! Enjoyed it!

  2. Yeah, me too. Rise of empires, fall of empires. All of that. Arrogance and thinking that we can run the world, turning from God. It's all still so relevant.


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