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Sirach 10 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

10 A wise magistrate educates his people,
    and the rule of an intelligent person is well ordered.
As the people’s judge is, so are his officials;
    as the ruler of the city is, so are all its inhabitants.
An undisciplined king ruins his people,
    but a city becomes fit to live in through the understanding of its rulers.
The government of the earth is in the hand of the Lord,
    and over it he will raise up the right leader for the time.
Human success is in the hand of the Lord,
    and it is he who confers honour upon the lawgiver.[a]

The Sin of Pride

Do not get angry with your neighbour for every injury,
    and do not resort to acts of insolence.
Arrogance is hateful to the Lord and to mortals,
    and injustice is outrageous to both.
Sovereignty passes from nation to nation
    on account of injustice and insolence and wealth.[b]
How can dust and ashes be proud?
    Even in life the human body decays.[c]
10 A long illness baffles the physician;[d]
    the king of today will die tomorrow.
11 For when one is dead
    he inherits maggots and vermin[e] and worms.
12 The beginning of human pride is to forsake the Lord;
    the heart has withdrawn from its Maker.
13 For the beginning of pride is sin,
    and the one who clings to it pours out abominations.
Therefore the Lord brings upon them unheard-of calamities,
    and destroys them completely.
14 The Lord overthrows the thrones of rulers,
    and enthrones the lowly in their place.
15 The Lord plucks up the roots of the nations,[f]
    and plants the humble in their place.
16 The Lord lays waste the lands of the nations,
    and destroys them to the foundations of the earth.
17 He removes some of them and destroys them,
    and erases the memory of them from the earth.
18 Pride was not created for human beings,
    or violent anger for those born of women.

Persons Deserving Honour

19 Whose offspring are worthy of honour?
    Human offspring.
Whose offspring are worthy of honour?
    Those who fear the Lord.
Whose offspring are unworthy of honour?
    Human offspring.
Whose offspring are unworthy of honour?
    Those who break the commandments.
20 Among family members their leader is worthy of honour,
    but those who fear the Lord are worthy of honour in his eyes.[g]
22 The rich, and the eminent, and the poor—
    their glory is the fear of the Lord.
23 It is not right to despise one who is intelligent but poor,
    and it is not proper to honour one who is sinful.
24 The prince and the judge and the ruler are honoured,
    but none of them is greater than one who fears the Lord.
25 Free citizens will serve a wise servant,
    and an intelligent person will not complain.

Concerning Humility

26 Do not make a display of your wisdom when you do your work,
    and do not boast when you are in need.
27 Better is the worker who has goods in plenty
    than the boaster who lacks bread.

28 My child, honour yourself with humility,
    and give yourself the esteem you deserve.
29 Who will acquit those who condemn[h] themselves?
    And who will honour those who dishonour themselves?[i]
30 The poor are honoured for their knowledge,
    while the rich are honoured for their wealth.
31 One who is honoured in poverty, how much more in wealth!
    And one dishonoured in wealth, how much more in poverty!


  1. Sirach 10:5 Heb: Gk scribe
  2. Sirach 10:8 Other ancient authorities add here or after verse 9a, Nothing is more wicked than one who loves money, for such a person puts his own soul up for sale.
  3. Sirach 10:9 Heb: Meaning of Gk uncertain
  4. Sirach 10:10 Heb Lat: Meaning of Gk uncertain
  5. Sirach 10:11 Heb: Gk wild animals
  6. Sirach 10:15 Other ancient authorities read proud nations
  7. Sirach 10:20 Other ancient authorities add as verse 21, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of acceptance; obduracy and pride are the beginning of rejection.
  8. Sirach 10:29 Heb: Gk sin against
  9. Sirach 10:29 Heb Lat: Gk their own life
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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