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Sirach is also known as "Ecclesiasticus": "The designation 'Liber Ecclesiasticus,' meaning 'Church Book,' appended to some Greek and Latin manuscripts was due to the extensive use which the church made of this book in presenting moral teaching to catechumens and to the faithful."[1]

The author is "Jesus, son of Eleazar, son of Sirach" (Sirach 50:27). The Church has reduced "ben Sirach" (son of Sirach) to "Sirach."

Sirach is one of the seven extra books of the Septuagint; Catholics therefore include it in the canon of the Old Testament.

Written circa 180 BC and translated circa 132 BC by the author's grandson.

Fragments of the Hebrew original have been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Foreword to the book by the translator is apparently not considered inspired but is included, without verse numbers, prior to Sir 1:1 because of its antiquity.

Come to our aid, O God of the universe

Sir 36:1, 4-5a, 10-17

Come to our aid, O God of the universe,
look upon us, show us the light of your mercies,
and put all the nations in dread of you!
Thus they will know, as we know,
that there is no God but you, O Lord.

Give new signs and work new wonders.

Gather all the tribes of Jacob,
that they may inherit the land as of old,
Show mercy to the people called by your name;
Israel, whom you named your firstborn.
Take pity on your holy city,
Jerusalem, your dwelling place.
Fill Zion with your majesty,
your temple with your glory.

Give evidence of your deeds of old;
fulfill the prophecies spoken in your name,
Reward those who have hoped in you,
and let your prophets be proved true.
Hear the prayer of your servants,
for you are ever gracious to your people;
and lead us in the way of justice.
Thus it will be known to the very ends of the earth
that you are the eternal God.