Sirach chapter 32

Behavior at formal events such as a formal meal. Become a disciple of the LORD God.



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





VERSE 1. Have they made you ruler of a feast? Be not lifted up, Be you among them as one of them; Take thought for them, and so sit down.

Be not lifted up. If you are to lead an event, do not become arrogant about it. Feeding your own ego is not the goal. Rather, the goal is to give your guests a good experience.


VERSE 2. And when you have done all your office, take your place, That you may be gladdened on their account, And receive a crown for your well ordering.

Proverbs 25:7. for it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,” than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen.

Sirach 32:2. And when you have done all your office, take your place, That you may be gladdened on their account, And receive a crown for your well ordering.

1 Samuel 9:22. Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the guest room, and made them sit in the best placeamong those who were invited, who were about thirty persons.

Luke 14:10-11. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may tell you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.


VERSE 3. Speak, you that are the elder, for it becomes you, but with sound knowledge; And hinder not music.

NAB translation. Being older, you may talk; that is only your right, but temper your wisdom, not to disturb the singing.

not to disturb the singing. This reads like an injunction from a singer to the gabby old people: “Stop talking when I’m singing!”

The King James Version puts it this way: “hinder not musick.”


VERSE 4. Pour not out talk where there is a performance of music, And display not your wisdom out of season.


VERSE 5. As a signet of carbuncle in a setting of gold, So is a concert of music in a banquet of wine.


VERSE 6. As a signet of emerald in a work of gold, So is a strain of music with pleasant wine.


VERSE 7. Speak, young man, if there be need of you; Yet scarcely if you be twice asked.


VERSE 8. Sum up your speech, many things in few words; Be as one that knows and yet holds his tongue.

KJV translation. Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in few words.

Let thy speech be short. Be brief, but say much. There is a real art and science in brevity. Very few people can say a lot with few words. They are worth listening to.

If you have “the gift of gab,” how can you lessen the negative impact of your “gift?”


VERSE 9. If you be among great men, behave not as their equal; And when another is speaking, make not much babbling.


VERSE 10. Lightning speeds before thunder; And before a shamefast man favor shall go forth.


VERSE 11. Rise up betimes, and be not the last; Get you home quickly and loiter not:


VERSE 12. There take your pastime, and do what is in your heart; And sin not by proud speech:


VERSE 13. And for these things bless him that made you, And gives you to drink freely of his good things.




VERSE 14. He that fears the Lord will receive his discipline; And those who seek him early shall find favor.

will receive his discipline. That is, “must accept discipline” (NAB translation). We see this as a call to become a disciple. A Christian disciple is a student-learner of Jesus Christ. Many people believe in Jesus Christ but few become his disciples.


VERSE 15. He that seeks the law shall be filled therewith: But the hypocrite shall stumble thereat.


VERSE 16. They that fear the Lord shall find judgement, And shall kindle righteous acts as a light.


VERSE 17. A sinful man shuns reproof, And will find a judgement according to his will.


VERSE 18. A man of counsel will not neglect a thought; A strange and proud man will not crouch in fear, Even after he has done a thing by himself without counsel.


VERSE 19. Do nothing without counsel; And when you have once done, repent not.


VERSE 20. Go not in a way of conflict; And stumble not in stony places.

NAB translation. Go not on a way that is set with snares, and let not the same thing trip you twice.

let not the same thing trip you twice. We are to learn from our mistakes.


VERSE 21. Be not confident in a smooth way.


VERSE 22. And beware of your own children.


VERSE 23. In every work trust your own soul; For this is the keeping of the commandments.

trust your own soul. This is a very unusual statement. The normal biblical imperative is that we do NOT trust our own understanding. Rather, we are to trust the LORD:

Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. 6  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 22:19. I teach you today, even you, So that your trust may be in the LORD.

Wisdom 1:2. because he is found by those who don’t tempt him, and is manifested to those who trust him.

Sirach 2:6. Put your trust in him, and he will help you: Order your ways aright, and set your hope on him.


VERSE 24. He that believes the law gives heed to the commandment; And he that trusts in the Lord shall suffer no loss.


« sirach 31   THE BOOK OF SIRACH   sirach 33 »

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.