Sirach chapter 21

Sin has consequences. The author describes them, and then charts out differences between foolish behavior and wise behavior.



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





VERSE 1. My son, have you sinned? add no more thereto; And make supplication for your former sins.

add no more thereto:

Isaiah 55:7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Ezekiel 33:11. Tell them, ‘ “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why will you die, house of Israel?” ’

Sirach 21:1. My son, have you sinned? add no more thereto; And make supplication for your former sins.

John 8:11. She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more.”

make supplication for your former sins. Pray to be forgiven for your past sins.


VERSE 2. Flee from sin as from the face of a serpent; For if you draw near it will bite you: The teeth thereof are the teeth of a lion, Slaying the souls of men.

Genesis 19:17. It came to pass, when they had taken them out, that he said, “Escape for your life! Don’t look behind you, and don’t stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be consumed!”

Sirach 21:2. Flee from sin as from the face of a serpent; For if you draw near it will bite you: The teeth thereof are the teeth of a lion, Slaying the souls of men.

2 Timothy 2:22. Flee from youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


VERSE 3. All iniquity is as a two-edged sword; Its stroke has no healing.


VERSE 4. Terror and violence will lay waste riches; So the house of an arrogant man will be laid waste.


VERSE 5. Supplication from a poor man’s mouth reaches to the ears of God, And his judgement comes speedily.


VERSE 6. One that hates reproof is in the path of the sinner; And he that fears the Lord will turn again in his heart.

he that fears the Lord. If you have a reverential fear of the Lord, you will repent of your sins.


VERSE 7. He that is mighty in tongue is known afar off: But the man of understanding knows when he slips.


VERSE 8. He that builds his house with other men’s money Is like one that gathers himself stones against winter.


VERSE 9. The congregation of wicked men is as tow wrapped together; And the end of them is a flame of fire.


VERSE 10. The way of sinners is made smooth with stones; And at the last end thereof is the pit of Hades.




VERSE 11. He that keeps the law becomes master of the intent thereof; And the end of the fear of the Lord is wisdom.

becomes master of the intent thereof. That is, controls his impulses.


VERSE 12. He that is not clever will not be instructed; And there is a cleverness which makes bitterness to abound.

He that is not clever. To be teachable, you need a minimum level of intelligence.


VERSE 13. The knowledge of a wise man will be made to abound as a flood; And his counsel as a fountain of life.


VERSE 14. The inward parts of a fool are like a broken vessel; And he will hold no knowledge.

like a broken vessel. A broken jar cannot contain anything. Neither can the mind of a fool.


VERSE 15. If a man of knowledge hear a wise word, He will commend it, and add to it: The dissolute man hears it, and it displeases him, And he puts it away behind his back.

add to it. After hearing wise words, a wise person can expand upon them.

it displeases him. After hearing wise words, a fool scorns and rejects them.


VERSE 16. The discourse of a fool is like a burden in the way; But grace will be found on the lips of the wise.


VERSE 17. The mouth of the prudent man will be sought for in the congregation; And they will ponder his words in their heart.

mouth of the prudent man. People want to hear what a wise person has to say.

ponder his words in their heart. After a wise person has spoken, people ponder the message and take it to heart.


VERSE 18. As a house that is destroyed, so is wisdom to a fool; And the knowledge of an unwise man is as talk without sense.


VERSE 19. Instruction is as fetters on the feet of an unwise man, And as manacles on the right hand.


VERSE 20. A fool lifts up his voice with laughter; But a clever man will scarce smile quietly.


VERSE 21. Instruction is to a prudent man as an ornament of gold, And as a bracelet upon his right arm.


VERSE 22. The foot of a fool is soon in another man’s house; But a man of experience will be ashamed of entering.


VERSE 23. A foolish man peeps in from the door of another man’s house; But a man that is instructed will stand without.


VERSE 24. It is a lack of instruction in a man to listen at the door; But the prudent man will be grieved with the disgrace.


VERSE 25. The lips of strangers will be grieved at these things; But the words of prudent men will be weighed in the balance.

weighed in the balance. People listen to a wise person, then consider carefully what was said.


VERSE 26. The heart of fools is in their mouth; But the mouth of wise men is their heart.

heart of fools is in their mouth. Foolish people say whatever they are thinking. They can’t help but blurt it out.

the mouth of wise men is their heart. Wise people can restrain their words.


VERSE 27. When the ungodly curses Satan, He curses his own soul.


VERSE 28. A whisperer defiles his own soul, And will be hated wherever he travels.


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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.