Sirach chapter 42

The author tell us what to NOT be ashamed of. He describes a father’s worries about his daughter. The created realm reflects the glory of God.

 


 

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

 


 

WHAT TO NOT BE ASHAMED OF

 

VERSE 1. Of these things be not ashamed, And accept no man’s person to sin by it:

be not ashamed. Now we are told what to NOT be ashamed of.

 

VERSE 2. Of the law of the Most High, and his covenant; And of judgement to do justice to the ungodly;

 

VERSE 3. Of reckoning with a partner and with travellers; And of a gift from the heritage of friends;

 

VERSE 4. Of exactness of balance and weights; And of getting much or little;

getting much or little. In almost all cultures, almost everybody is accumulating far too many things. They are no longer finding joy or freedom from their possessions.

Many people find that as they simplify their lives, they experience greater joy and freedom. To do a good job of simplifying one’s life is an art.

 

VERSE 5. Of indifferent selling of merchants; And of much correction of children; And of making the side of an evil servant to bleed.

 

VERSE 6. Sure keeping is good, where an evil wife is; And where many hands are, shut you close.

 

VERSE 7. Whatsoever you handest over, let it be by number and weight; And in giving and receiving let all be in writing.

 

VERSE 8. Be not ashamed to instruct the unwise and foolish, And one of extreme old age that contends with those that are young; And so shall you be well instructed indeed, And approved in the sight of every man living.

Be not ashamed to instruct the unwise and foolish. Even unwise people and fools need instruction in wisdom.

 

A FATHER’S WORRIES ABOUT HIS DAUGHTER

 

VERSE 9. A daughter is a secret cause of wakefulness to a father; And the care for her puts away sleep; In her youth, lest she pass the flower of her age; And when she is married, lest she should be hated:

lest she pass the flower of her age. That is, “pass her prime unmarried.” In those days, most people held that a woman MUST get married. It was necessary for her to have a man in order to succeed in life.

There are two problems with that worldview:

  1. A woman cannot succeed without a man. This is rooted in a misogynistic worldview. Yet most Christian believers have believed it for pretty much all of Christian history.
  2. A lack of vision for singleness. Both the Lord Jesus Christ and Saint Paul recommend singleness, at least for those who find they can live that way. Singleness is a calling, a vocation. To be single is not to be a second-class citizen in the Kingdom of God:

Matthew 19:12. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake. He who is able to receive it, let him receive it.”

2 Corinthians 7:8. But I say to the unmarried and to widows, it is good for them if they remain even as I am.

 

VERSE 10. In her virginity, lest she should be defiled And be with child in her father’s house; And when she has a husband, lest she should transgress; And when she is married, lest she should be barren.

 

VERSE 11. Keep a strict watch over a headstrong daughter, Lest she make you a laughing stock to your enemies, A byword in the city and notorious among the people, And shame you before the multitude.

 

VERSE 12. Look not upon every body in regard of beauty, And sit not in the midst of women;

 

VERSE 13. For from garments comes a moth, And from a woman a woman’s wickedness.

 

VERSE 14. Better is the wickedness of a man than a pleasant-dealing woman, And a woman which puts you to shameful reproach.

 

THE CREATED REALM REFLECTS THE GLORY OF GOD

 

VERSE 15. I will make mention now of the works of the Lord, And will declare the things that I have seen: In the words of the Lord are his works.

 

VERSE 16. The sun that gives light looks upon all things; And the work of the Lord is full of his glory.

 

VERSE 17. The Lord has not given power to the saints to declare all his marvelous works; Which the Almighty Lord firmly settled, That whatever is might be established in his glory.

 

VERSE 18. He searches out the deep, and the heart, And he has understanding of their cunning plans: For the Most High knows all knowledge, And he looks into the signs of the world,

 

VERSE 19. Declaring the things that are past, and the things that shall be, And revealing the traces of hidden things.

NAB translation. He makes known the past and the future, and reveals the deepest secrets.

He makes known. It is very easy for God to show us whatever we need to get our direction in life.

 

VERSE 20. No thought escapes him; There is not a word hid from him.

 

VERSE 21. The mighty works of his wisdom he has ordered, Who is from everlasting to everlasting: Nothing has been added to them, nor diminished from them; And he had no need of any counselor.

 

VERSE 22. How desirable are all his works! One may behold this even to a spark.

 

VERSE 23. All these things live and remain forever in all manner of uses, And they are all obedient.

 

VERSE 24. All things are double one against another: And he has made nothing imperfect.

 

VERSE 25. One thing establishes the good things of another: And who shall be filled with beholding his glory?

 


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