Sirach 4:13 (GW) – awkward phrase

Having received The Apocrypha (GW) from Baker Publishing a couple weeks ago, I have been reading through it. This first time reading through it is primarily to “hear” the text as an English composition; later i will read it as translation text. I noticed one awkward phrase in Sirach 4:13.

Sirach 4:13 “Whoever holds on to her tightly receives honor.”

In one sense this works. But then I noticed that the adverb “tightly” modifies a verb. But which verb? The closest verb is “receives,” which then results in this: “Whoever… tightly receives.” Obviously not the intention of the sentence. So, the adverb modifies a verb four words to the left, rather than the nearest verb (as normal sentence structure suggests). I suggest that the following positions of the adverb would result in a better reading:

ALT 01:  “Whoever tightly holds on to her receives honor.”


ALT 02 “Whoever holds on tightly to her receives honor.”

Which is better? I think that ALT 02 is a little better because it emphasizes its relationship to the verb, while also pointing to object of such action. But maybe someone else could offer better support for one of the others.


Author: exegete77

disciple of Jesus Christ, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, and theologian