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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Book of Sirach

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of divided by 2


2-1

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Praise of wisdom (1:1-30)
1:1 All wisdom comes from the Lord, she is with him for ever.(1:1)
Praise of wisdom25 Praise of wisdom (24:1-34)
24:1 Wisdom speaks her own praises, in the midst of her people she glories in herself.(24:1)
2 Person who fear the LORD (2:1-18)
2:7 You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not turn aside, for fear you fall.(2:7)
Fearing the LORD24 Concerning sexual sins (23:16-28)
23:27 And those who survive her will recognise that nothing is better than fearing the Lord, and nothing sweeter than adherence to the Lord's commandments.(23:27)
3 Commandments to the child (3:1-4:10)
3:1 Children, listen to me for I am your father: do what I tell you, and so be safe;(3:1)
Expostulation to a child23 Foul language (23:7-15)
23:7 Children, listen to what I teach, no one who keeps it will be caught out.(23:7)
4 Trust in wisdom (4:11-5:15)
4:29 Do not be bold of tongue, yet idle and slack in deed;(4:29)
Silence22 Prayer for help against sin (22:27-23:6)
22:27 Who will set a guard on my mouth, and an efficient seal on my lips, to keep me from falling, and my tongue from causing my ruin?(22:27)
5 Friendship (6:1-17)
6:1 be not a foe instead of a friend (6:1)
Dispute with a friend21 Wisdom and foolishness (21:1-22:26)
22:21 Should you draw a sword against a friend, despair not, it can be undone (22:21)
6 Blessings of wisdom (6:18-37)
6:18 My child, from your earliest youth choose instruction, and till your hair is white you will keep finding wisdom.(6:18)
Obtaining wisdom20 Gifts (20:1-32)
20:31 Better one who conceals his folly than one who conceals his wisdom.(20:31)
7 Avoid evils (7:1-8:7)
7:1 Do no evil, and evil will not befall you;(7:1)
Avoiding sins19 Against loose talk (19:4-30)
19:4 Being too ready to trust shows shallowness of mind, and sinning harms the sinner.(19:4)
8 Wise man (8:8-9:18)
8:10 Do not kindle the coals of the sinner, in case you scorch yourself in his blaze.(8:10)
Lust18 Cautiously (18:15-19:3)
18:30 Do not be governed by your passions, restrain your desires.(18:30)
9 Rulers (10:1-27)
10:19 What race deserves honour? The human race. What race deserves honour? Those who fear the Lord. What race deserves contempt? The human race. What race deserves contempt? Those who break the Law.(10:19)
The creation17 Judgement of the LORD (17:25-18:14)
18:1 He who lives for ever has created the sum of things.(18:1)
10 Wealth and poverty (10:28-11:28)
11:20 stand by your covenant, work hard at it and grow old at your work.(11:20)
The covenant16 The creation (16:26-17:24)
17:12 He established an eternal covenant with them, and revealed his judgements to them.(17:12)
11 True friend (11:29-12:18)
12:6 For the Most High himself detests sinners, and will repay the wicked with what they deserve.(12:6)
Punishment15 Punishment of sinners (16:1-25)
16:6 Fire is kindled in a sinful society, Retribution blazes in a rebellious nation.(16:6)
12 Rich man and rulers (13:1-26)
13:20 The proud thinks humility abhorrent; so too, the rich abominates the poor.(13:20)
Pride14 Seeking wisdom (15:1-20)
15:8 She stands remote from pride, and liars cannot call her to mind.(15:8)

2-2

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
25 Praise of wisdom (24:1-34)
24:34 And note, I have been working not merely for myself, but for all who are seeking wisdom.(24:34)
Writing wisdom49 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)
26 Good wife and evil wife (25:1-27:3)
26:5 There are three things that I dread, and a fourth which terrifies me: slander by a whole town, the gathering of a mob, and a false accusation -- these are all worse than death;(26:5)
Damned people48 Ancestors (44:1-50:26)
50:25 There are two nations that my soul detests, the third is not a nation at all:(50:25)
27 Revelation of a secret (27:4-21)
27:6 The orchard where the tree grows is judged by its fruit, similarly words betray what a person feels.(27:6)
Words and thoughts47 Creation of all things (42:15-43:33)
42:20 Not a thought escapes him, not a single word is hidden from him.(42:20)
28 Hypocrisy (27:22-28:7)
28:7 Remember the commandments, and do not bear your fellow ill-will, remember the covenant of the Most High, and ignore the offence.(28:7)
Covenant46 Concerning Shame (41:14-42:14)
42:2 of the Law of the Most High or of the covenant, of a verdict that acquits the godless,(42:2)
29 Backbiting (28:8-26)
28:9 a sinner sows trouble between friends, introducing discord among the peaceful.(28:9)
Sinners45 Concerning death (40:18-41:13)
41:5 Hateful brats, such are the children of sinners, who foregather in the haunts of the godless.(41:5)
30 Aid of neighbors (29:1-28)
29:12 Stock your store-rooms with almsgiving; this will save you from all misfortune.(29:12)
Charity44 Hardships of life (40:1-17)
40:17 Charity is a very paradise of blessing and almsgiving endures for ever.(40:17)
31 Upbringing of a child (30:1-13)
30:2 Whoever is strict with his son will reap the benefit, and be able to boast of him to his acquaintances.(30:2)
Upbringing43 The works of the LORD (39:12-35)
39:13 Listen to me, devout children, and blossom like the rose that grows on the bank of a watercourse.(39:13)
32 Health and wealth (30:14-31:11)
31:11 His fortune will be firmly based and the assembly will acclaim his generosity.(31:11)
A person who is praised42 Scholar (38:24-39:11)
39:9 Many will praise his intelligence and it will never be forgotten. His memory will not disappear, generation after generation his name will live.(39:9)
33 Table etiquette (31:12-32:13)
31:28 Drunk at the right time and in the right amount, wine makes for a glad heart and a cheerful mind.(31:28)
Feelings41 Doctor (38:1-23)
38:20 Do not abandon your heart to grief, drive it away, bear your own end in mind.(38:20)
34 Torah (32:14-33:6)
32:19 Never act without reflection, and you will not regret your actions.(32:19)
Consideration40 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)
35 Believer and sinner (33:7-33)
33:11 in the fullness of his wisdom the Lord has made distinctions between them, and diversified their conditions.(33:11)
Distinction of people39 Concerning Advice (36:18-37:12)
36:21 A woman will accept any husband, but some daughters are better than others. (36:21)
36 Dreams and experiences (34:1-12)
34:5 Divinations, auguries and dreams are nonsense, like the fantasies of a pregnant woman.(34:5)
Delusion / sign38 A Prayer for God's people (36:1-17)
36:5 Send new portents, do fresh wonders, win glory for your hand and your right arm (36:5)

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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