Sirach chapter 16

Sinners influence their parents, their city, their nation, and themselves. God’s wisdom is seen in the created realm.



The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches





VERSE 1. Desire not a multitude of unprofitable children, Neither delight in ungodly sons.

unprofitable children. If we are going to have children, we should want to have children who will be great.


VERSE 2. If they multiply, delight not in them, Except the fear of the Lord be with them.

Except the fear of the Lord be with them. What does it mean to have “great” children? It means to have children who walk with the Lord.


VERSE 3. Trust not you in their life, Neither rely on their condition: For one is better than a thousand; And to die childless than to have ungodly children.


VERSE 4. For from one that has understanding will a city be populated; But a race of wicked men will be made desolate.

one that has understanding. One wise person can influence the destiny of a whole city.


VERSE 5. Many such things I have seen with my eyes; And my ear has heard mightier things than these.


VERSE 6. In the congregation of sinners will a fire be kindled; And in a disobedient nation wrath is kindled.


VERSE 7. He was not pacified toward the giants of old time, Who revolted in their strength.

the giants of old time. The mighty men of old who were destroyed by the Flood:

Genesis 6:4. The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when God’s sons came in to men’s daughters and had children with them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

Numbers 13:33. There we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim. We were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

Wisdom 14:6. For in the old time also, when proud giants were perishing, the hope of the world, taking refuge on a raft, your hand guided the seed of generations of the race of men.

Sirach 16:7. He was not pacified toward the giants of old time, Who revolted in their strength.

Baruch 3:26. There were the giants born that were famous of old, great of stature, and expert in war.


VERSE 8. He spared not those with whom Lot sojourned, Whom he abhorred for their pride.

Whom he abhorred for their pride. The people of Sodom. Why was the ancient city of Sodom destroyed? Many people think they know the answer. But they are wrong. The prophet Ezekiel tells us:

Ezekiel 16:49. Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters. She also didn’t strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

In other words, the sin of Sodom was that they had plenty and yet gave no help to the poor and needy. In the world of the Bible, that is an abominable crime.

Wisdom 19:15. And not only so, but God will visit the men of Sodom after another sort, Since they received as enemies those who were aliens;

Sirach 16:8. He spared not those with whom Lot sojourned, Whom he abhorred for their pride.

Lamentations 4:6. For the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown as in a moment. No hands were laid on her.


VERSE 9. He pitied not the people of perdition, Who were taken away in their sins.


VERSE 10. And in like manner the six hundred thousand footmen, Who were gathered together in the hardness of their hearts.


VERSE 11. Even if there be one stiff-necked person, It is marvel if he will be unpunished: For mercy and wrath are with him; He is mighty to forgive, and he pours out wrath.

mercy and wrath are with him. The Lord can manifest both wrath and mercy.


VERSE 12. As his mercy is great, so is his correction also: He judges a man according to his works.


VERSE 13. The sinner will not escape with his plunder; And the perseverance of the godly will not be frustrated.


VERSE 14. He will make room for every work of mercy; Each man will find according to his works.



This verse is omitted in the best manuscripts.



This verse is omitted in the best manuscripts.


VERSE 17. Don’t say, I shall be hidden from the Lord; And who will remember me from on high? I will not be known among so many people; For what is my soul in a boundless creation?


VERSE 18. Behold, the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, The deep, and the earth, will be moved when he shall visit.


VERSE 19. The mountains and the foundations of the earth together Are shaken with trembling, when he looks upon them.


VERSE 20. And no heart will think upon these things: And who shall conceive his ways?


VERSE 21. And there is a tempest which no man will see; Yes, the more part of his works are hid.

NAB translation. If I sin, no eye will see me; if all in secret I am disloyal, who is to know?

A fundamental mistake of those trapped in sin is the assumption that they can sin in secret. If they go to such-and-such a place, they will escape the all-seeing eye of the Most High God.

In reality, there is no such thing as a secret sin. God sees all. The elect in heaven see all. The angelic beings see what we do.

Simply put, the idea that one can sin in secret is just really poor theology. If you think God won’t notice, your concept of God is way too small.




VERSE 22. Who will declare the works of his righteousness? Or who will endure them? For his covenant is afar off.

The remainder of this verse is omitted in the best manuscripts.


VERSE 23. He that is lacking in understanding thinks upon these things; And an unwise and erring man thinks follies.

lacking in understanding. That is, “lacking in heart.”


VERSE 24. My son, listen to me, and learn knowledge, And give heed to my words with your heart.


VERSE 25. I will show forth instruction by weight, And declare knowledge exactly.


VERSE 26. In the judgement of the Lord are his works from the beginning; And from the making of them he disposed the parts thereof.


VERSE 27. He garnished his works forever, And the beginnings of them to their generations: They neither hunger, nor are weary, And they cease not from their works.

cease not from their works. God did not create the universe and then go away. Rather, he is continually involved in the created realm. And our lives.


VERSE 28. No one thrusts aside his neighbor; And they will never disobey his word.


VERSE 29. After this also the Lord looked upon the earth, And filled it with his blessings.


VERSE 30. All manner of living things covered the face thereof; And into it is their return.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.