Sirach chapter 5

Rich people have many moral failings. They need to grow beyond those shortcomings. The author describes the proper use of speech.



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





VERSE 1. Set not your heart upon your goods; And say not, They are sufficient for me.

They are sufficient. Rich people base their security upon their many possessions.


VERSE 2. Follow not your own mind and your strength, To walk in the desires of your heart;

Follow not … your strength. God puts desires in our hearts, knowing we will need his strength to complete them. He makes his strength available to us. However, we can exclude ourselves from it by relying only on ourselves.


VERSE 3. And say not, Who will have dominion over me? For the Lord will surely take vengeance on you.

Who will have dominion over me. Rich people see themselves as beyond reproach.


VERSE 4. Say not, I sinned, and what happened to me? For the Lord is patient.

the Lord is patient. This is a false sense of security. The rich person is presuming upon the Lord.


VERSE 5. Concerning atonement, be not without fear, To add sin upon sins:

NAB translation. Of forgiveness be not overconfident, adding sin upon sin.

Some people keep committing the same sins over and over again. They do not feel motivated to change their life, because they expect that God will forgive their sins no matter what.


VERSE 6. And say not, His compassion is great; He will be pacified for the multitude of my sins: For mercy and wrath are with him, And his indignation will rest upon sinners.


VERSE 7. Don’t wait to turn to the Lord; And put not off from day to day: For suddenly will the wrath of the Lord come forth; And you will perish in the time of vengeance.

Don’t wait to turn to the Lord. Lots of us plan for the future. But we don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. We should say “God-willing” and speak tentatively of our future. Read  more »

We should NOT delay our conversion. We do not know if we will even be alive tomorrow.


VERSE 8. Set not your heart upon unrighteous gains: For you will profit nothing in the day of calamity.


VERSE 9. Winnow not with every wind, And walk not in every path: Thus does the sinner that has a double tongue.


VERSE 10. Be stedfast in your understanding; And let your word be one.


VERSE 11. Be swift to hear; And with patience make your answer.




VERSE 12. If you have understanding, answer your neighbor; And if not, let your hand be upon your mouth.


VERSE 13. Glory and dishonor is in talk: And the tongue of a man is his fall.

NAB translation: Be swift to hear, but slow to answer.

slow to answer. Many Christians in the U.S. watch 24-hour news coverage. They provide extensive coverage just as news events break. What they say may turn out to be completely wrong.

Wisdom does not mean being the first to blurt out an answer. Rather, it means to have the right answer.


VERSE 14. Be not called a whisperer; And lie not in wait with your tongue: For upon the thief there is shame, And an evil condemnation upon him that has a double tongue.


VERSE 15. In a great matter and in a small, be not ignorant;


« sirach 4   THE BOOK OF SIRACH   sirach 6 »

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.