Wisdom is the best (Sir 40:18-40:21)

“Wealth makes life sweet.

Wages makes life sweet.

But better than either is

The one who finds wisdom.

Children establish one’s name.

Building a city establishes one’s name.

Better than either is

The one who finds wisdom.

Cattle make one prosperous.

Orchards make one prosperous.

But a blameless wife is

Accounted better than either.

Wine gladdens the heart.

Music gladdens the heart.

But the love of wisdom is

Better than either.”

Sirach makes a lot of comparisons in these proverbs. No matter what, wisdom is always better than anything else. It is the best. Certainly having wealth and wages make life sweet. However, finding wisdom is sweeter than both of them. Having children and building a city will establish your name, but the one who finds wisdom is better established. Having cattle and orchards can make you prosperous, but a blameless wife is better than either of them. She is like wisdom. Finally, wine and music gladden the heart, but the love of wisdom is a better heart warmer than either wine or music.