The various kinds of famous holy men (Sir 44:3-44:6)

“There were those

Who ruled

In their kingdoms.

Others made a name

For themselves

By their valor.

There were those

Who gave counsel

Because they were intelligent.

There were those

Who spoke in prophetic oracles.

There were those

Who led the people

By their counsels.

They led the people

With their knowledge

Of the people’s lore.

They were wise

In their words of instruction.

There were those

Who composed musical tunes.

There were those

Who put verses in writing.

There were rich men

Endowed with resources,

Living peaceably in their homes.”

Sirach then listed the various kinds of positions or actions of his ancestors that he deemed worthy of mention. First, there were the rulers, kings, and warriors, as if they were all holy and famous. Then there were the intelligent counselors to the kings. Next came those with prophetic oracles, but they do not seem to stand out. Then there is a group that led the people, while others kept track of the people’s lore. These might be the scribes or those who passed on the oral tradition of times past. Next there were the wise teachers or instructors, followed by the musicians who wrote the music and verses for songs. Finally, there were the resourceful rich men.

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