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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Book of Sirach

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of whole text


1-1

1 Praise of wisdom (1:1-30)
  2 Person who fear the LORD (2:1-18)
    3 Commandments to the child (3:1-4:10)
      4 Trust in wisdom (4:11-5:15)
        5 Friendship (6:1-17)
          6 Blessings of wisdom (6:18-37)
            7 Avoid evils (7:1-8:7)
              8 Wise man (8:8-9:18)
                9 Rulers (10:1-27)
                  10 Wealth and poverty (10:28-11:28)
                    11 True friend (11:29-12:18)
                      12 Rich man and rulers (13:1-26)
                        13 Person who is happy (14:1-27)
                          14 Seeking wisdom (15:1-20)
                            15 Punishment of sinners (16:1-25)
                              16 The creation (16:26-17:24)
                                17 Judgement of the LORD (17:25-18:14)
                                  18 Cautiously (18:15-19:3)
                                    19 Against loose talk (19:4-30)
                                      20 Gifts (20:1-32)
                                        21 Wisdom and foolishness (21:1-22:26)
                                          22 Prayer for help against sin (22:27-23:6)
                                            23 Foul language (23:7-15)
                                              24 Concerning sexual sins (23:16-28)
                                                25 Praise of wisdom (24:1-34)
                                              26 Good wife and evil wife (25:1-27:3)
                                            27 Revelation of a secret (27:4-21)
                                          28 Hypocrisy (27:22-28:7)
                                        29 Backbiting (28:8-26)
                                      30 Aid of neighbors (29:1-28)
                                    31 Upbringing of a child (30:1-13)
                                  32 Health and wealth (30:14-31:11)
                                33 Table etiquette (31:12-32:13)
                              34 Torah (32:14-33:6)
                            35 Believer and sinner (33:7-33)
                          36 Dreams and experiences (34:1-12)
                        37 Offerings (34:13-35:26)
                      38 A Prayer for God's people (36:1-17)
                    39 Concerning Advice (36:18-37:12)
                  40 Investigation of oneself (37:13-31)
                41 Doctor (38:1-23)
              42 Scholar (38:24-39:11)
            43 The works of the LORD (39:12-35)
          44 Hardships of life (40:1-17)
        45 Concerning death (40:18-41:13)
      46 Concerning Shame (41:14-42:14)
    47 Creation of all things (42:15-43:33)
  48 Ancestors (44:1-50:26)
49 Conclusion (50:27-29)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Praise of wisdom (1:1-30)
1:27 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction, and what pleases him is faithfulness and gentleness.(1:27)
Wisdom and instruction49 Conclusion (50:27-29)
50:27 Instruction in wisdom and knowledge is what has been written in this book by Jesus son of Sira Eleazar of Jerusalem, who has poured a rain of wisdom from his heart.(50:27)
2 Person who fear the LORD (2:1-18)
2:10 Look at the generations of old and see: (2:10)
Ancestors48 Ancestors (44:1-50:26)
44:1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors in their successive generations.(44:1)
3 Commandments to the child (3:1-4:10)
4:6 for if someone curses you in distress, his Maker will give ear to the imprecation.(4:6)
The Creator47 Creation of all things (42:15-43:33)
43:11 See the rainbow and praise its Maker, so superbly beautiful in its splendour.(43:11)
4 Trust in wisdom (4:11-5:15)
4:25 Do not contradict the truth, rather blush for your own ignorance.(4:25)
Shame46 Concerning Shame (41:14-42:14)
41:17 Be ashamed, before father and mother, of depraved behaviour, and before prince or potentate of telling lies;(41:17)
5 Friendship (6:1-17)
6:14 A loyal friend is a powerful defence: whoever finds one has indeed found a treasure.(6:14)
Obtaining a treasure45 Concerning death (40:18-41:13)
40:18 For a person of private means and one who works hard, life is pleasant, better off than either, one who finds a treasure.(40:18)
6 Blessings of wisdom (6:18-37)
6:19 Like ploughman and sower, cultivate her and wait for her fine harvest, for in tilling her you will toil a little while, but very soon you will be eating her crops.(6:19)
Toil44 Hardships of life (40:1-17)
40:1 A hard lot has been created for human beings, a heavy yoke lies on the children of Adam from the day they come out of their mother's womb, till the day they return to the mother of them all.(40:1)
7 Avoid evils (7:1-8:7)
7:9 Do not say, God will be impressed by my numerous offerings; when I sacrifice to God Most High, he is bound to accept.(7:9)
Words that should not say43 The works of the LORD (39:12-35)
39:21 You must not say, What is this? Why is that? for everything has been made for a purpose.(39:21)
8 Wise man (8:8-9:18)
8:8 Do not scorn the discourse of the wise, but make yourself familiar with their maxims, since from these you will learn the theory and the art of serving the great.(8:8)
Wise man42 Scholar (38:24-39:11)
38:24 Leisure gives the scribe the chance to acquire wisdom; a man with few commitments can grow wise.(38:24)
9 Rulers (10:1-27)
10:14 The Lord has turned mighty princes off their thrones and seated the humble there instead.(10:14)
Authority41 Doctor (38:1-23)
38:1 Treat the doctor with the honour that is his due, in consideration of his services; for he too has been created by the Lord.(38:1)
10 Wealth and poverty (10:28-11:28)
10:28 My child, be modest in your self-esteem, and value yourself at your proper worth.(10:28)
Understand oneself40 Investigation of oneself (37:13-31)
37:27 During your life, my child, see what suits your constitution, do not give it what you find disagrees with it;(37:27)
11 True friend (11:29-12:18)
12:8 In prosperity you cannot always tell a true friend, but in adversity you cannot mistake an enemy.(12:8)
Friends39 Concerning Advice (36:18-37:12)
37:4 One kind of comrade congratulates a friend in prosperity but in time of trouble appears on the other side.(37:4)
12 Rich man and rulers (13:1-26)
13:16 Every creature mixes with its kind, and human beings stick to their own sort.(13:16)
Gathering38 A Prayer for God's people (36:1-17)
36:10 Gather together all the tribes of Jacob, restore them their heritage as at the beginning. (36:10)
13 Person who is happy (14:1-27)
14:11 My child, treat yourself as well as you can afford, and bring worthy offerings to the Lord.(14:11)
Just offering37 Offerings (34:13-35:26)
34:18 The sacrifice of an offering unjustly acquired is a mockery; the gifts of the impious are unacceptable. (34:18)
14 Seeking wisdom (15:1-20)
15:1 Whoever fears the Lord will act like this, and whoever grasps the Law will obtain wisdom.(15:1)
Torah and wisdom36 Dreams and experiences (34:1-12)
34:8 Fulfilling the Law requires no such falsehood, and wisdom is perfected in veracity.(34:8)
15 Punishment of sinners (16:1-25)
16:12 As great as his mercy, so is his severity; he judges each person as his deeds deserve:(16:12)
Judgement of the LORD35 Believer and sinner (33:7-33)
33:13 Like clay in the hands of the potter to mould as it pleases him, so are human beings in the hands of their Maker to reward as he judges right.(33:13)
16 The creation (16:26-17:24)
17:11 He set knowledge before them, he endowed them with the law of life.(17:11)
Torah34 Torah (32:14-33:6)
32:15 Whoever seeks the Law will be nourished by it, the hypocrite will find it a stumbling-block.(32:15)
17 Judgement of the LORD (17:25-18:14)
17:27 Who is going to praise the Most High in Sheol if we do not glorify him while we are alive?(17:27)
Praise of the LORD33 Table etiquette (31:12-32:13)
32:13 And for all this bless your Creator, who intoxicates you with his favours.(32:13)
18 Cautiously (18:15-19:3)
18:25 In a time of plenty remember times of famine, think of poverty and want when you are rich.(18:25)
Rich and poor32 Health and wealth (30:14-31:11)
30:14 Better be poor if healthy and fit than rich if tormented in body.(30:14)
19 Against loose talk (19:4-30)
19:11 like a woman labouring with child (19:11)
Sufferings about children31 Upbringing of a child (30:1-13)
30:13 Be strict with your son, and persevere with him, or you will rue his insolence. (30:13)
20 Gifts (20:1-32)
20:10 There is the gift that affords you no profit, and the gift that repays you double.(20:10)
Give and take30 Aid of neighbors (29:1-28)
29:2 Lend to your neighbour in his time of need, and in your turn repay your neighbour on time.(29:2)
21 Wisdom and foolishness (21:1-22:26)
21:2 Flee from sin as from a snake, if you approach it, it will bite you; its teeth are lion's teeth, they take human life away.(21:2)
Avoiding sins29 Backbiting (28:8-26)
28:8 Avoid quarrelling and you will sin less; for the hot-tempered provokes quarrels,(28:8)
22 Prayer for help against sin (22:27-23:6)
23:2 Who will lay whips to my thoughts, and the discipline of wisdom to my heart, to be merciless to my errors and not let my sins go unchecked,(23:2)
Salvation from sins28 Hypocrisy (27:22-28:7)
28:2 Pardon your neighbour any wrongs done to you, and when you pray, your sins will be forgiven.(28:2)
23 Foul language (23:7-15)
23:7 Children, listen to what I teach, no one who keeps it will be caught out.(23:7)
Woe of mouth27 Revelation of a secret (27:4-21)
27:4 In a shaken sieve the rubbish is left behind, so too the defects of a person appear in speech.(27:4)
24 Concerning sexual sins (23:16-28)
23:17 every food is sweet to the promiscuous, and he will not desist until he dies;(23:17)
Infidelity26 Good wife and evil wife (25:1-27:3)
25:21 Do not be taken in by a woman's beauty, never lose your head over a woman.(25:21)

Citations of the Bible are from New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version and New Jerusalem Bible.

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Literary Structure of the Bible by Hajime Murai is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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