Translation commentary on Sirach 51:5

From the depths of the belly of Hades: Hades refers to death (see 14.12). Good News Translation‘s sudden short line here is effective: “from death itself.” The emphasis given the line by the words depths and belly could also be expressed by saying “from certain death” or “from a cruel death.”

From an unclean tongue and lying words: This line refers to and points to the next line. Good News Translation combines the two lines, and includes both lines as part of verse 5, although the next line actually begins verse 6. Translators should not allow verse numbers to stand in the way of a good translation. Good News Translation took the liberty here of moving a verse number, in effect; it could also have combined the verse numbers, placing 5-6 at the beginning of verse 5.

Quoted with permission from Bullard, Roger A. and Hatton, Howard A. A Handbook on Sirach. (UBS Helps for Translators). New York: UBS, 2008. For this and other handbooks for translators see here.