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Ben Sira 7:18-28 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Duties of Family Life, Religion and Charity[a]

18 Do not barter a friend for money,
    or a true brother for the gold of Ophir.[b]
19 Do not reject a sensible wife;
    a gracious wife is more precious than pearls.
20 Do not mistreat a servant who works faithfully,
    or laborers who devote themselves to their task.
21 Love wise servants as yourself;
    do not refuse them freedom.[c]

22 Do you have livestock? Look after them;
    if they are dependable, keep them.
23 Do you have sons? Correct them
    and cure their stubbornness[d] in their early youth.
24 Do you have daughters? Keep them chaste,
    and do not be indulgent to them.
25 Give your daughter in marriage, and a worry comes to an end;
    but give her to a sensible man.
26 Do you have a wife? Do not mistreat her,
    but do not trust the wife you hate.

27 With your whole heart honor your father;
    your mother’s birth pangs do not forget.
28 Remember, of these parents you were born;
    what can you give them for all they gave you?


  1. 7:18–36 Respect and appreciation, justice and kindness should characterize relations toward members of the household (vv. 18–28), God and the priests (vv. 29–31), the poor and afflicted, the living and the dead (vv. 32–35).
  2. 7:18 Ophir: the port, at present unidentified, to which the ships of Solomon sailed and from which they brought back gold and silver; cf. note on Ps 45:10.
  3. 7:21 After six years of service a Hebrew slave was entitled to freedom; cf. Ex 21:2; Dt 15:12–15.
  4. 7:23 Cure their stubbornness: keep them from rebellious pride; so with the Greek. Cf. 30:1–13. The Hebrew text, probably not original here, reads: “Choose wives for them while they are young.”
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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