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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Book of Sirach

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of divided by 3


3-1

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)
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)
Eternal17 Judgement of the LORD (17:25-18:14)
18:1 He who lives for ever has created the sum of things.(18:1)
2 Person who fear the LORD (2:1-18)
2:16 Those who fear the Lord do their best to please him, and those who love him will find satisfaction in the Law.(2:16)
Torah16 The creation (16:26-17:24)
17:11 He set knowledge before them, he endowed them with the law of life.(17:11)
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)
Children15 Punishment of sinners (16:1-25)
16:1 Do not long for a brood of worthless children, and do not take pleasure in godless sons.(16:1)
4 Trust in wisdom (4:11-5:15)
4:11 Wisdom brings up her own children and cares for those who seek her.(4:11)
Seeking for wisdom14 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)
5 Friendship (6:1-17)
6:1 be not a foe instead of a friend (6:1)
Friend13 Person who is happy (14:1-27)
14:13 Before you die, be good to your friend (14:13)
6 Blessings of wisdom (6:18-37)
6:21 she will weigh as heavily on the senseless as a touchstone and such a person will lose no time in throwing her off;(6:21)
Heavy burden12 Rich man and rulers (13:1-26)
13:2 Do not try to carry a burden too heavy for you, do not associate with someone more powerful and wealthy than yourself. Why put the clay pot next to the iron cauldron? It will only break when they bang against each other.(13:2)
7 Avoid evils (7:1-8:7)
7:2 shun wrong, and it will avoid you.(7:2)
Avoiding sins11 True friend (11:29-12:18)
11:33 Beware of a scoundrel and his evil contrivances, in case he puts a smear on you for ever.(11:33)
8 Wise man (8:8-9:18)
9:11 Do not envy the sinner his success; you do not know how that will end.(9:11)
Do not envy the sinner10 Wealth and poverty (10:28-11:28)
11:21 Do not admire the achievements of sinners, trust the Lord and mind your own business; since it is a trifle in the eyes of the Lord, in a moment, suddenly to make the poor rich.(11:21)

3-1-1

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Praise of wisdom (1:1-30)
1:11 The fear of the Lord is glory and pride, happiness and a crown of joyfulness.(1:11)
Fearing the LORD9 Rulers (10:1-27)
10:19 What race deserves honour? Those who fear the Lord. (10:19)
2 Person who fear the LORD (2:1-18)
2:10 Look at the generations of old and see: whoever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame? Or whoever, steadfastly fearing him, was forsaken? Or whoever called to him and was ignored?(2:10)
Lessons from the past8 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)
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)
Honoring a father7 Avoid evils (7:1-8:7)
7:27 With all your heart honour your father, never forget the birthpangs of your mother.(7:27)
4 Trust in wisdom (4:11-5:15)
4:17 She walks with him as a stranger, and at first she puts him to the test; Fear and dread she brings upon him and tries him with her discipline; With her precepts she puts him to the proof, until his heart is fully with her. (4:17)
Hardship of wisdom6 Blessings of wisdom (6:18-37)
6:20 For in cultivating her you will labor but little, and soon you will eat of her fruits. (6:20)

3-1-2

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
9 Rulers (10:1-27)
see 2-1
see 2-117 Judgement of the LORD (17:25-18:14)
see 2-1
10 Wealth and poverty (10:28-11:28)
see 2-1
see 2-116 The creation (16:26-17:24)
see 2-1
11 True friend (11:29-12:18)
see 2-1
see 2-115 Punishment of sinners (16:1-25)
see 2-1
12 Rich man and rulers (13:1-26)
see 2-1
see 2-114 Seeking wisdom (15:1-20)
see 2-1

3-2

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
17 Judgement of the LORD (17:25-18:14)
see 1-1
see 1-133 Table etiquette (31:12-32:13)
see 1-1
18 Cautiously (18:15-19:3)
see 1-1
see 1-132 Health and wealth (30:14-31:11)
see 1-1
19 Against loose talk (19:4-30)
see 1-1
see 1-131 Upbringing of a child (30:1-13)
see 1-1
20 Gifts (20:1-32)
see 1-1
see 1-130 Aid of neighbors (29:1-28)
see 1-1
21 Wisdom and foolishness (21:1-22:26)
see 1-1
see 1-129 Backbiting (28:8-26)
see 1-1
22 Prayer for help against sin (22:27-23:6)
see 1-1
see 1-128 Hypocrisy (27:22-28:7)
see 1-1
23 Foul language (23:7-15)
see 1-1
see 1-127 Revelation of a secret (27:4-21)
see 1-1
24 Concerning sexual sins (23:16-28)
see 1-1
see 1-126 Good wife and evil wife (25:1-27:3)
see 1-1

3-2-1

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
17 Judgement of the LORD (17:25-18:14)
18:5 Who can assess his magnificent strength, and who can go further and tell all of his mercies?(18:5)
Speaking the works of the LORD25 Praise of wisdom (24:1-34)
24:33 I shall pour out teaching like prophecy, as a legacy to all future generations.(24:33)
18 Cautiously (18:15-19:3)
18:30 Do not be governed by your passions, restrain your desires.(18:30)
Lust24 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)
19 Against loose talk (19:4-30)
19:6 Never repeat gossip, and you will not be reviled (19:6)
How to speak23 Foul language (23:7-15)
23:7 Children, listen to what I teach, no one who keeps it will be caught out.(23:7)
20 Gifts (20:1-32)
20:18 Better a slip on the pavement than a slip of the tongue; this is how ruin takes the wicked by surprise.(20:18)
Woe of mouth22 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)

3-2-2

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
25 Praise of wisdom (24:1-34)
24:21 They who eat me will hunger for more, they who drink me will thirst for more.(24:21)
Food and drink33 Table etiquette (31:12-32:13)
31:12 If you are sitting down to a lavish table, do not display your greed, do not say, 'What a lot to eat!'(31:12)
26 Good wife and evil wife (25:1-27:3)
25:2 There are three sorts of people my soul hates, and whose existence I consider an outrage: the poor swollen with pride, the rich who is a liar and an adulterous old man who has no sense.(25:2)
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)
27 Revelation of a secret (27:4-21)
27:5 The kiln tests the work of the potter, the test of a person is in conversation.(27:5)
Test31 Upbringing of a child (30:1-13)
30:1 Whoever loves his son will beat him frequently so that in after years the son may be his comfort.(30:1)
28 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)
Charity30 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)

3-3

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
33 Table etiquette (31:12-32:13)
32:8 Keep to the point, say much in few words; give the impression of knowing but not wanting to speak.(32:8)
Knowledge and 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)
34 Torah (32:14-33:6)
32:24 Anyone who trusts in the Law obeys its precepts, no one who has confidence in the Lord will come to harm.(32:24)
Torah48 Ancestors (44:1-50:26)
44:20 He observed the Law of the Most High, and entered into a covenant with him. He confirmed the covenant in his own flesh, and proved himself faithful under ordeal.(44:20)
35 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)
The creation47 Creation of all things (42:15-43:33)
43:33 the Lord himself having created all things and given wisdom to those who are devout.(43:33)
36 Dreams and experiences (34:1-12)
34:8 Fulfilling the Law requires no such falsehood, and wisdom is perfected in veracity.(34:8)
Torah46 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)
37 Offerings (34:13-35:26)
35:4 Do not appear empty-handed in the Lord's presence; for all these things are due under the commandment.(35:4)
Charity45 Concerning death (40:18-41:13)
40:24 Brothers and allies are good in times of trouble; better than either, almsgiving to the rescue.(40:24)
38 A Prayer for God's people (36:1-17)
36:9 Crush the heads of hostile rulers who say, There is no one else but us!(36:9)
Punishment44 Hardships of life (40:1-17)
40:10 These things were all created for the wicked, and the Flood came because of them.(40:10)
39 Concerning Advice (36:18-37:12)
37:12 But have constant recourse to some devout person, whom you know to be a keeper of the commandments, whose soul matches your own, and who, if you go wrong, will be sympathetic.(37:12)
Devout person43 The works of the LORD (39:12-35)
39:27 All these are good for those who are good, but turn out bad for sinners.(39:27)
40 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)
Seeking for wisdom42 Scholar (38:24-39:11)
39:1 Not so with one who concentrates his mind and his meditation on the Law of the Most High. He researches into the wisdom of all the Ancients, he occupies his time with the prophecies.(39:1)

3-3-1

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)
  41 Doctor (38:1-23)
41 Doctor (38:1-23)
Former halfRelationLatter half
33 Table etiquette (31:12-32:13)
see 2-2
see 2-241 Doctor (38:1-23)
see 2-2
34 Torah (32:14-33:6)
see 2-2
see 2-241 Doctor (38:1-23)
see 2-2
35 Believer and sinner (33:7-33)
see 2-2
see 2-239 Concerning Advice (36:18-37:12)
see 2-2
36 Dreams and experiences (34:1-12)
see 2-2
see 2-238 A Prayer for God's people (36:1-17)
see 2-2

3-3-2

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
41 Doctor (38:1-23)
38:6 He has also given some people knowledge, so that they may draw credit from his mighty works.(38:6)
Giving 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)
42 Scholar (38:24-39:11)
39:1 Not so with one who concentrates his mind and his meditation on the Law of the Most High. He researches into the wisdom of all the Ancients, he occupies his time with the prophecies.(39:1)
Ancestors48 Ancestors (44:1-50:26)
44:1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors in their successive generations.(44:1)
43 The works of the LORD (39:12-35)
39:16 'How wonderful, the actions of the Lord! Whatever he orders is done at the proper time!' You must not say, 'What is this? Why is that?' There is a proper time for every question.(39:16)
Works of the LORD47 Creation of all things (42:15-43:33)
42:15 Next, I shall remind you of the works of the Lord, and tell of what I have seen. By the words of the Lord his works come into being and all creation obeys his will.(42:15)
44 Hardships of life (40:1-17)
40:10 These things were all created for the wicked, and the Flood came because of them.(40:10)
Judgement of the LORD46 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)

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

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