Judges (Sir 46:11-46:12)

“The judges also,

With their respective names,

Were holy famous men.

Their hearts did not fall

Into idolatry.

They did not turn away

From the Lord.

May their memory be blessed!

May their bones send forth new life

Where they lie!

May the names of those

Who have been honored

Live again in their children!”

Sirach does not name any specific judges in his praise of these judges to whom a whole book of the Hebrew Bible describes in some detail, Judges. They did not fall into idolatry, since they did not turn away from the Lord. Their memory should be blessed. Their bones should bring life to where they have been placed. Their names should be honored, as they live again in their children. Despite this plea to honor their names, Sirach does not mention any one particular name of a judge, even though the whole institution of judges was held in high esteem.

The descendants of these famous holy men (Sir 44:10-44:15)

“But these also were godly men.

Their righteous deeds

Have not been forgotten.

Their wealth will remain

With their descendants.

Their inheritance remains

To their children’s children.

Their descendants

Stand by the covenants.

Their children also

Stand by the covenants.

Their offspring

Will continue forever.

Their glory

Will never be blotted out.

Their bodies

Are buried in peace.

Their name lives on

Generation after generation.

The assembly of people

Declares their wisdom,

The congregation

Proclaims their praise.”

Sirach points out that the righteous deeds of the godly men will not be forgotten. In fact, their family will have wealth handed from generation to generation to their children and their descendents, to their children’s children. As a result the descendant children of these men stand by the covenants with God, as if there were more than one. Their offspring will continue forever. Their memory will not be lost. Although their bodies are buried in peace, their names live on for generations to come. The assembly and the congregations of the people declare their wisdom and praise from one generation to the next.