Become a disciple of the LORD God, like clay in the hands of a potter. Do not become anyone’s slave. How to manage your own slaves.
The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
no evil happen to him that fears the Lord. This is a wonderful promise. However, statistically, believers are not immune from evil things happening to them.
VERSE 2. A wise man will not hate the law; But he that is a hypocrite therein is as a ship in a storm.
when one asks at the oracle. In earlier centuries, when people needed to know the will of God, they asked the high priest. He rolled the Urim and Thummim. It was like rolling dice. The way the Urim and Thummim fell was interpreted as the will of God.
NAB translation. Prepare your words and you will be listened to; draw upon your training, and then give your answer.
Prepare your words. As we Christians talk with people, we need to be able to give answers to their questions that are worth hearing. How can you prepare in advance? How can you make your conversation with people worth hearing, and not just repeat a party line?
his thoughts like a rolling axle tree. The thoughts of a fool go around in circles.
VERSE 6. A stallion horse is as a mocking friend; He neighs under every one that sits upon him.
VERSE 7. Why does one day excel another, When all the light of every day in the year is of the sun?
VERSE 8. By the knowledge of the Lord they were distinguished; And he varied seasons and feasts:
VERSE 9. Some of them he exalted and hallowed, And some of them has he made ordinary days.
all men are from the ground. The Bible envisions God as a potter, and we believers as clay. Are you pliable in the hands of God? Will you let him form you into the person he desires? Read more »
VERSE 11. In the abundance of his knowledge the Lord distinguished them, And made their ways various:
VERSE 12. Some of them he blessed and exalted, And some of them he hallowed and brought near to himself: Some of them he cursed and brought low, And overthrew them from their place.
the clay of the potter. The Bible envisions God as a potter, and we believers as clay. Are you pliable in the hands of God? Will you let him form you into the person he desires? Read more »
A portion of this verse is omitted in the best manuscripts.
VERSE 15. And thus look upon all the works of the Most High; Two and two, one against another.
VERSE 16. And I waked up last, As one that gleans after the grape gatherers: By the blessing of the Lord I got before them, And filled my winepress as one that gathers grapes.
NAB translation. I would inform you that not for myself only have I toiled, but for every seeker after wisdom.
not for myself only have I toiled. We study the Bible, not only for ourselves but also for other people. If we study only for ourselves we risk being selfish.
for every seeker after wisdom. Do you seek after wisdom? How can you pass on to your fellow seekers what you are discovering?
VERSE 18. Hear me, you great men of the people, And listen with your ears, you rulers of the congregation.
VERSE 19. To son and wife, to brother and friend, Give not power over you while you live; And give not your goods to another, Lest you repent and make supplication for them again.
VERSE 20. Whilst you yet live, and breath is in you, Give not yourself over to anybody.
VERSE 21. For better it is that your children should supplicate you, Than that you should look to the hand of your sons.
VERSE 22. In all your works keep the upper hand; Bring not a stain on your honor.
VERSE 23. In the day that you endest the days of your life, And in the time of death, distribute your inheritance.
VERSE 24. Fodder, a stick, and burdens, for an ass; Bread, and discipline, and work, for a servant.
NOTE: It would be great if this passage condemned the owning of slaves. But it does not.
VERSE 25. Set your servant to work, and you shall find rest: Leave his hands idle, and he will seek liberty.
VERSE 26. Yoke and thong will bow the neck: And for an evil servant there are racks and tortures.
VERSE 27. Send him to labor, that he be not idle; For idleness teaches much mischief.
VERSE 28. Set him to work, as is fit for him; And if he obey not, make his fetters heavy.
VERSE 29. And be not excessive toward any; And without judgement do nothing.
VERSE 30. If you have a servant, let him be as yourself, Because you have bought him with blood.
For as your own soul will you have need of him. The Greek text of this line is probably corrupt.
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.