The Book of the All-Virtuous Wisdom of Yeshua ben Sira,[1] commonly called the Wisdom of Sirach k/ or simply Sirach, and also known as the Book of Ecclesiasticus s/ (abbreviated Ecclus.)[2] or Ben Sira,[3] is a work of ethical teachings, from approximately 200 to 175 BCE, written by the Jewish scribe Ben Sira of Jerusalem, on the inspiration of his father Joshua son of Sirach, sometimes called Jesus son of Sirach or Yeshua ben Eliezer ben Sira.

In Egypt, it was translated into Greek by the author's unnamed grandson, who added a prologue. This prologue is generally considered the earliest witness to a canon of the books of the prophets, and thus the date of the text is the subject of intense scrutiny. The book itself is the largest wisdom book from antiquity to have survived.[4]

Canonical status

"Alle Weiſsheit ist bey Gott dem Herren..." (modern spelling: Alle Weisheit ist bei Gott dem Herrn) (Sirach, first chapter, German translation), anonymous artist 1654

Sirach is accepted as part of the Christian biblical canons by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and most of Oriental Orthodox. The Anglican Churches do not accept Sirach as protocanonical, and say it should be read only "for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet [do] not apply them to establish any doctrine."[5] The Lutheran Churches take a similar position. It was cited in some writings in early Christianity. There are claims that it is cited in the Epistle of James, and also the non-canonical Didache (iv. 5) and Epistle of Barnabas (xix. 9). Clement of Alexandria and Origen quote from it repeatedly, as from a γραφή, or holy book.[6] The Catalogue of Cheltenham, Pope Damasus I[7], the Councils of Hippo (393) and Third Council of Carthage (397) (397), Pope Innocent I, the second Council of Carthage (419), the Council of Florence (1442)[8] and Augustine all regarded it as canonical, although Jerome, Rufinus of Aquileia and the Council of Laodicea ranked it instead as an ecclesiastical book.[6] The Apostolic Canons (not recognized by the Catholic Church) stated as venerable and sacred the Wisdom of Sirach.[9] Pope Innocent I officially confirmed the canon of the Bible shortly after the Third Council of Carthage.[7] The Roman Catholic Church then finally confirmed Sirach and the other deuterocanonical books in 1546 during the fourth session of the Council of Trent.[10][6]

Sirach is not part of the Jewish canon, once thought to have been established at the hypothetical Council of Jamnia, perhaps due to its late authorship,[11] although it is not clear that the canon was completely "closed" at the time of Ben Sira.[12] Others have suggested that Ben Sira's self-identification as the author precluded it from attaining canonical status, which was reserved for works that were attributed (or could be attributed) to the prophets,[13] or that it was denied entry to the canon as a rabbinical counter-reaction to its embrace by the nascent Christian community.[14]

Some Jews in the diaspora considered Sirach scripture. For instance, the Greek translation made by Ben Sira's grandson was included in the Septuagint, the 2nd-century BCE Greek version of the Jewish scriptures used by Diaspora Jews, through which it became part of the Greek canon. The multiplicity of manuscript fragments uncovered in the Cairo Genizah evidence its authoritative status among Egyptian Jewry until the Middle Ages.[15]

Because it was excluded from the Jewish canon, Sirach was not counted as being canonical in Churches originating from the Reformation, although they retained the book in the Apocrypha.

Other Languages
català: Siràcida
čeština: Sírachovec
Deutsch: Jesus Sirach
Ελληνικά: Σοφία Σειράχ
Esperanto: Siraĥ
français: Siracide
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: सिराक आचें पुस्तक
한국어: 집회서
հայերեն: Սիրաք (գիրք)
hornjoserbsce: Jězus Sirach
hrvatski: Knjiga Sirahova
Bahasa Indonesia: Kitab Yesus bin Sirakh
italiano: Siracide
עברית: בן סירא
Lingua Franca Nova: Sirac
മലയാളം: സിറാക്ക്
Bahasa Melayu: Yesus bin Sirakh
日本語: シラ書
norsk: Siraks bok
norsk nynorsk: Siraks bok
português: Eclesiástico
Runa Simi: Iklisiyastiku
Simple English: Sirach
slovenčina: Kniha Sirachovcova
slovenščina: Sirah
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Knjiga Sirahova
Tagalog: Sirac
Türkçe: Sirak
Tiếng Việt: Sách Huấn Ca
Winaray: Sirac
ייִדיש: בן סירא