Sirach (RSV) 1
1 1 All wisdom comes from the Lord and is with him for ever.
2 The sand of the sea, the drops of rain, and the days of eternity -- who can count them?
3 The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth, the abyss, and wisdom -- who can search them out?
4 Wisdom was created before all things, and prudent understanding from eternity. 5 The root of wisdom -- to whom has it been revealed? Her clever devices -- who knows them?
6 There is One who is wise, greatly to be feared, sitting upon his throne. 7 The Lord himself created wisdom; he saw her and apportioned her, he poured her out upon all his works.
8 She dwells with all flesh according to his gift, and he supplied her to those who love him.
9 The fear of the Lord is glory and exultation, and gladness and a crown of rejoicing.
10 The fear of the Lord delights the heart, and gives gladness and joy and long life.
11 With him who fears the Lord it will go well at the end; on the day of his death he will be blessed.
12 To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; she is created with the faithful in the womb.
13 She made among men an eternal foundation, and among their descendants she will be trusted.
14 To fear the Lord is wisdom's full measure; she satisfies men with her fruits;
15 she fills their whole house with desirable goods, and their storehouses with her produce.
16 The fear of the Lord is the crown of wisdom, making peace and perfect health to flourish.
17 He saw her and apportioned her; he rained down knowledge and discerning comprehension, and he exalted the glory of those who held her fast.
18 To fear the Lord is the root of wisdom, and her branches are long life.
22 Unrighteous anger cannot be justified, for a man's anger tips the scale to his ruin.
23 A patient man will endure until the right moment, and then joy will burst forth for him.
24 He will hide his words until the right moment, and the lips of many will tell of his good sense.
25 In the treasuries of wisdom are wise sayings, but godliness is an abomination to a sinner.
26 If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord will supply it for you.
27 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction, and he delights in fidelity and meekness.
28 Do not disobey the fear of the Lord; do not approach him with a divided mind.
29 Be not a hypocrite in men's sight, and keep watch over your lips.
30 Do not exalt yourself lest you fall, and thus bring dishonor upon yourself. The Lord will reveal your secrets and cast you down in the midst of the congregation, because you did not come in the fear of the Lord, and your heart was full of deceit.
2 1 My son, if you come forward to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for temptation.
2 Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be hasty in time of calamity.
3 Cleave to him and do not depart, that you may be honored at the end of your life.
4 Accept whatever is brought upon you, and in changes that humble you be patient.
5 For gold is tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.
6 Trust in him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him.
7 You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; and turn not aside, lest you fall.
8 You who fear the Lord, trust in him, and your reward will not fail;
9 you who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for everlasting joy and mercy.
10 Consider the ancient generations and see: who ever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame? Or who ever persevered in the fear of the Lord and was forsaken? Or who ever called upon him and was overlooked?
11 For the Lord is compassionate and merciful; he forgives sins and saves in time of affliction.
12 Woe to timid hearts and to slack hands, and to the sinner who walks along two ways!
13 Woe to the faint heart, for it has no trust! Therefore it will not be sheltered.
14 Woe to you who have lost your endurance! What will you do when the Lord punishes you?
15 Those who fear the Lord will not disobey his words, and those who love him will keep his ways.
16 Those who fear the Lord will seek his approval, and those who love him will be filled with the law.
17 Those who fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and will humble themselves before him.
18 Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, but not into the hands of men; for as his majesty is, so also is his mercy.
3 1 Listen to me your father, O children; and act accordingly, that you may be kept in safety.
2 For the Lord honored the father above the children, and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons.
3 Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
4 and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure.
5 Whoever honors his father will be gladdened by his own children, and when he prays he will be heard.
6 Whoever glorifies his father will have long life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother;
7 he will serve his parents as his masters.
8 Honor your father by word and deed, that a blessing from him may come upon you.
9 For a father's blessing strengthens the houses of the children, but a mother's curse uproots their foundations.
10 Do not glorify yourself by dishonoring your father, for your father's dishonor is no glory to you.
11 For a man's glory comes from honoring his father, and it is a disgrace for children not to respect their mother.
12 O son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives;
13 even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance; in all your strength do not despise him.
14 For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, and against your sins it will be credited to you;
15 in the day of your affliction it will be remembered in your favor; as frost in fair weather, your sins will melt away.
16 Whoever forsakes his father is like a blasphemer, and whoever angers his mother is cursed by the Lord.
17 My son, perform your tasks in meekness; then you will be loved by those whom God accepts.
18 The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself; so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord. 19
20 For great is the might of the Lord; he is glorified by the humble.
21 Seek not what is too difficult for you, nor investigate what is beyond your power.
22 Reflect upon what has been assigned to you, for you do not need what is hidden.
23 Do not meddle in what is beyond your tasks, for matters too great for human understanding have been shown you.
24 For their hasty judgment has led many astray, and wrong opinion has caused their thoughts to slip. 25
26 A stubborn mind will be afflicted at the end, and whoever loves danger will perish by it.
27 A stubborn mind will be burdened by troubles, and the sinner will heap sin upon sin.
28 The affliction of the proud has no healing, for a plant of wickedness has taken root in him.
29 The mind of the intelligent man will ponder a parable, and an attentive ear is the wise man's desire.
30 Water extinguishes a blazing fire: so almsgiving atones for sin.
31 Whoever requites favors gives thought to the future; at the moment of his falling he will find support.
4 1 My son, deprive not the poor of his living, and do not keep needy eyes waiting.
2 Do not grieve the one who is hungry, nor anger a man in want.
3 Do not add to the troubles of an angry mind, nor delay your gift to a beggar.
4 Do not reject an afflicted suppliant, nor turn your face away from the poor.
5 Do not avert your eye from the needy, nor give a man occasion to curse you;
6 for if in bitterness of soul he calls down a curse upon you, his Creator will hear his prayer.
7 Make yourself beloved in the congregation; bow your head low to a great man.
8 Incline your ear to the poor, and answer him peaceably and gently.
9 Deliver him who is wronged from the hand of the wrongdoer; and do not be fainthearted in judging a case.
10 Be like a father to orphans, and instead of a husband to their mother; you will then be like a son of the Most High, and he will love you more than does your mother.
11 Wisdom exalts her sons and gives help to those who seek her.
12 Whoever loves her loves life, and those who seek her early will be filled with joy.
13 Whoever holds her fast will obtain glory, and the Lord will bless the place she enters.
14 Those who serve her will minister to the Holy One; the Lord loves those who love her.
15 He who obeys her will judge the nations, and whoever gives heed to her will dwell secure.
16 If he has faith in her he will obtain her; and his descendants will remain in possession of her.
17 For at first she will walk with him on tortuous paths, she will bring fear and cowardice upon him, and will torment him by her discipline until she trusts him, and she will test him with her ordinances.
18 Then she will come straight back to him and gladden him, and will reveal her secrets to him.
19 If he goes astray she will forsake him, and hand him over to his ruin.
20 Observe the right time, and beware of evil; and do not bring shame on yourself.
21 For there is a shame which brings sin, and there is a shame which is glory and favor.
22 Do not show partiality, to your own harm, or deference, to your downfall.
23 Do not refrain from speaking at the crucial time, and do not hide your wisdom.
24 For wisdom is known through speech, and education through the words of the tongue.
25 Never speak against the truth, but be mindful of your ignorance.
26 Do not be ashamed to confess your sins, and do not try to stop the current of a river.
27 Do not subject yourself to a foolish fellow, nor show partiality to a ruler.
28 Strive even to death for the truth and the Lord God will fight for you.
29 Do not be reckless in your speech, or sluggish and remiss in your deeds.
30 Do not be like a lion in your home, nor be a faultfinder with your servants.
31 Let not your hand be extended to receive, but withdrawn when it is time to repay.
5 1 Do not set your heart on your wealth, nor say, "I have enough."
2 Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart.
3 Do not say, "Who will have power over me?" for the Lord will surely punish you.
4 Do not say, "I sinned, and what happened to me?" for the Lord is slow to anger.
5 Do not be so confident of atonement that you add sin to sin.
6 Do not say, "His mercy is great, he will forgive the multitude of my sins," for both mercy and wrath are with him, and his anger rests on sinners.
7 Do not delay to turn to the Lord, nor postpone it from day to day; for suddenly the wrath of the Lord will go forth, and at the time of punishment you will perish.
8 Do not depend on dishonest wealth, for it will not benefit you in the day of calamity.
9 Do not winnow with every wind, nor follow every path: the double-tongued sinner does that.
10 Be steadfast in your understanding, and let your speech be consistent.
11 Be quick to hear, and be deliberate in answering.
12 If you have understanding, answer your neighbor; but if not, put your hand on your mouth.
13 Glory and dishonor come from speaking, and a man's tongue is his downfall.
14 Do not be called a slanderer, and do not lie in ambush with your tongue; for shame comes to the thief, and severe condemnation to the double-tongued.
15 In great and small matters do not act amiss,
6 1 and do not become an enemy instead of a friend; for a bad name incurs shame and reproach: so fares the double-tongued sinner.
2 Do not exalt yourself through your soul's counsel, lest your soul be torn in pieces like a bull.
3 You will devour your leaves and destroy your fruit, and will be left like a withered tree.
4 An evil soul will destroy him who has it, and make him the laughingstock of his enemies.
5 A pleasant voice multiplies friends, and a gracious tongue multiplies courtesies.
6 Let those that are at peace with you be many, but let your advisers be one in a thousand.
7 When you gain a friend, gain him through testing, and do not trust him hastily.
8 For there is a friend who is such at his own convenience, but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
9 And there is a friend who changes into an enemy, and will disclose a quarrel to your disgrace.
10 And there is a friend who is a table companion, but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
11 In prosperity he will make himself your equal, and be bold with your servants;
12 but if you are brought low he will turn against you, and will hide himself from your presence.
13 Keep yourself far from your enemies, and be on guard toward your friends.
14 A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter: he that has found one has found a treasure.
15 There is nothing so precious as a faithful friend, and no scales can measure his excellence.
16 A faithful friend is an elixir of life; and those who fear the Lord will find him.
17 Whoever fears the Lord directs his friendship aright, for as he is, so is his neighbor also.
18 My son, from your youth up choose instruction, and until you are old you will keep finding wisdom.
19 Come to her like one who plows and sows, and wait for her good harvest. For in her service you will toil a little while, and soon you will eat of her produce.
20 She seems very harsh to the uninstructed; a weakling will not remain with her.
21 She will weigh him down like a heavy testing stone, and he will not be slow to cast her off.
22 For wisdom is like her name, and is not manifest to many.
23 Listen, my son, and accept my judgment; do not reject my counsel.
24 Put your feet into her fetters, and your neck into her collar.
25 Put your shoulder under her and carry her, and do not fret under her bonds.
26 Come to her with all your soul, and keep her ways with all your might.
27 Search out and seek, and she will become known to you; and when you get hold of her, do not let her go.
28 For at last you will find the rest she gives, and she will be changed into joy for you.
29 Then her fetters will become for you a strong protection, and her collar a glorious robe.
30 Her yoke is a golden ornament, and her bonds are a cord of blue.
31 You will wear her like a glorious robe, and put her on like a crown of gladness.
32 If you are willing, my son, you will be taught, and if you apply yourself you will become clever.
33 If you love to listen you will gain knowledge, and if you incline your ear you will become wise.
34 Stand in the assembly of the elders. Who is wise? Cleave to him.
35 Be ready to listen to every narrative, and do not let wise proverbs escape you.
36 If you see an intelligent man, visit him early; let your foot wear out his doorstep.
37 Reflect on the statutes of the Lord, and meditate at all times on his commandments. It is he who will give insight to your mind, and your desire for wisdom will be granted.
7 1 Do no evil, and evil will never befall you.
2 Stay away from wrong, and it will turn away from you.
3 My son, do not sow the furrows of injustice, and you will not reap a sevenfold crop.
4 Do not seek from the Lord the highest office, nor the seat of honor from the king.
5 Do not assert your righteousness before the Lord, nor display your wisdom before the king.
6 Do not seek to become a judge, lest you be unable to remove iniquity, lest you be partial to a powerful man, and thus put a blot on your integrity.
7 Do not offend against the public, and do not disgrace yourself among the people.
8 Do not commit a sin twice; even for one you will not go unpunished.
9 Do not say, "He will consider the multitude of my gifts, and when I make an offering to the Most High God he will accept it."
10 Do not be fainthearted in your prayer, nor neglect to give alms.
11 Do not ridicule a man who is bitter in soul, for there is One who abases and exalts.
12 Do not devise a lie against your brother, nor do the like to a friend.
13 Refuse to utter any lie, for the habit of lying serves no good.
14 Do not prattle in the assembly of the elders, nor repeat yourself in your prayer.
15 Do not hate toilsome labor, or farm work, which were created by the Most High.
16 Do not count yourself among the crowd of sinners; remember that wrath does not delay.
17 Humble yourself greatly, for the punishment of the ungodly is fire and worms.
18 Do not exchange a friend for money, or a real brother for the gold of Ophir.
19 Do not deprive yourself of a wise and good wife, for her charm is worth more than gold.
20 Do not abuse a servant who performs his work faithfully, or a hired laborer who devotes himself to you.
21 Let your soul love an intelligent servant; do not withhold from him his freedom.
22 Do you have cattle? Look after them; if they are profitable to you, keep them.
23 Do you have children? Discipline them, and make them obedient from their youth.
24 Do you have daughters? Be concerned for their chastity, and do not show yourself too indulgent with them.
25 Give a daughter in marriage; you will have finished a great task. But give her to a man of understanding.
26 If you have a wife who pleases you, do not cast her out; but do not trust yourself to one whom you detest.
27 With all your heart honor your father, and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother.
28 Remember that through your parents you were born; and what can you give back to them that equals their gift to you?
29 With all your soul fear the Lord, and honor his priests.
30 With all your might love your Maker, and do not forsake his ministers.
31 Fear the Lord and honor the priest, and give him his portion, as is commanded you: the first fruits, the guilt offering, the gift of the shoulders, the sacrifice of sanctification, and the first fruits of the holy things.
32 Stretch forth your hand to the poor, so that your blessing may be complete.
33 Give graciously to all the living, and withhold not kindness from the dead.
34 Do not fail those who weep, but mourn with those who mourn.
35 Do not shrink from visiting a sick man, because for such deeds you will be loved.
36 In all you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin.
8 1 Do not contend with a powerful man, lest you fall into his hands.
2 Do not quarrel with a rich man, lest his resources outweigh yours; for gold has ruined many, and has perverted the minds of kings.
3 Do not argue with a chatterer, nor heap wood on his fire.
4 Do not jest with an ill-bred person, lest your ancestors be disgraced.
5 Do not reproach a man who is turning away from sin; remember that we all deserve punishment.
6 Do not disdain a man when he is old, for some of us are growing old.
7 Do not rejoice over any one's death; remember that we all must die.
8 Do not slight the discourse of the sages, but busy yourself with their maxims; because from them you will gain instruction and learn how to serve great men.
9 Do not disregard the discourse of the aged, for they themselves learned from their fathers; because from them you will gain understanding and learn how to give an answer in time of need.
10 Do not kindle the coals of a sinner, lest you be burned in his flaming fire.
11 Do not get up and leave an insolent fellow, lest he lie in ambush against your words.
12 Do not lend to a man who is stronger than you; but if you do lend anything, be as one who has lost it.
13 Do not give surety beyond your means, but if you give surety, be concerned as one who must pay.
14 Do not go to law against a judge, for the decision will favor him because of his standing.
15 Do not travel on the road with a foolhardy fellow, lest he be burdensome to you; for he will act as he pleases, and through his folly you will perish with him.
16 Do not fight with a wrathful man, and do not cross the wilderness with him; because blood is as nothing in his sight, and where no help is at hand, he will strike you down.
17 Do not consult with a fool, for he will not be able to keep a secret.
18 In the presence of a stranger do nothing that is to be kept secret, for you do not know what he will divulge.
19 Do not reveal your thoughts to every one, lest you drive away your good luck.
9 1 Do not be jealous of the wife of your bosom, and do not teach her an evil lesson to your own hurt.
2 Do not give yourself to a woman so that she gains mastery over your strength.
3 Do not go to meet a loose woman, lest you fall into her snares.
4 Do not associate with a woman singer, lest you be caught in her intrigues.
5 Do not look intently at a virgin, lest you stumble and incur penalties for her.
6 Do not give yourself to harlots lest you lose your inheritance.
7 Do not look around in the streets of a city, nor wander about in its deserted sections.
8 Turn away your eyes from a shapely woman, and do not look intently at beauty belonging to another; many have been misled by a woman's beauty, and by it passion is kindled like a fire.
9 Never dine with another man's wife, nor revel with her at wine; lest your heart turn aside to her, and in blood you be plunged into destruction.
10 Forsake not an old friend, for a new one does not compare with him. A new friend is like new wine; when it has aged you will drink it with pleasure.
11 Do not envy the honors of a sinner, for you do not know what his end will be.
12 Do not delight in what pleases the ungodly; remember that they will not be held guiltless as long as they live.
13 Keep far from a man who has the power to kill, and you will not be worried by the fear of death. But if you approach him, make no misstep, lest he rob you of your life. Know that you are walking in the midst of snares, and that you are going about on the city battlements.
14 As much as you can, aim to know your neighbors, and consult with the wise.
15 Let your conversation be with men of understanding, and let all your discussion be about the law of the Most High.
16 Let righteous men be your dinner companions, and let your glorying be in the fear of the Lord.
17 A work will be praised for the skill of the craftsmen; so a people's leader is proved wise by his words.
18 A babbler is feared in his city, and the man who is reckless in speech will be hated.
10 1 A wise magistrate will educate his people, and the rule of an understanding man will be well ordered.
2 Like the magistrate of the people, so are his officials; and like the ruler of the city, so are all its inhabitants.
3 An undisciplined king will ruin his people, but a city will grow through the understanding of its rulers.
4 The government of the earth is in the hands of the Lord, and over it he will raise up the right man for the time.
5 The success of a man is in the hands of the Lord, and he confers his honor upon the person of the scribe.
6 Do not be angry with your neighbor for any injury, and do not attempt anything by acts of insolence.
7 Arrogance is hateful before the Lord and before men, and injustice is outrageous to both.
8 Sovereignty passes from nation to nation on account of injustice and insolence and wealth.
9 How can he who is dust and ashes be proud? for even in life his bowels decay.
10 A long illness baffles the physician; the king of today will die tomorrow.
11 For when a man is dead, he will inherit creeping things, and wild beasts, and worms.
12 The beginning of man's pride is to depart from the Lord; his heart has forsaken his Maker.
13 For the beginning of pride is sin, and the man who clings to it pours out abominations. Therefore the Lord brought upon them extraordinary afflictions, and destroyed them utterly.
14 The Lord has cast down the thrones of rulers, and has seated the lowly in their place.
15 The Lord has plucked up the roots of the nations, and has planted the humble in their place.
16 The Lord has overthrown the lands of the nations, and has destroyed them to the foundations of the earth.
17 He has removed some of them and destroyed them, and has extinguished the memory of them from the earth.
18 Pride was not created for men, nor fierce anger for those born of women.
19 What race is worthy of honor? The human race. What race is worthy of honor? Those who fear the Lord. What race is unworthy of honor? The human race. What race is unworthy of honor? Those who transgress the commandments.
20 Among brothers their leader is worthy of honor, and those who fear the Lord are worthy of honor in his eyes. 21
22 The rich, and the eminent, and the poor -- their glory is the fear of the Lord.
23 It is not right to despise an intelligent poor man, nor is it proper to honor a sinful man.
24 The nobleman, and the judge, and the ruler will be honored, but none of them is greater than the man who fears the Lord.
25 Free men will be at the service of a wise servant, and a man of understanding will not grumble.
26 Do not make a display of your wisdom when you do your work, nor glorify yourself at a time when you are in want.
27 Better is a man who works and has an abundance of everything, than one who goes about boasting, but lacks bread.
28 My son, glorify yourself with humility, and ascribe to yourself honor according to your worth.
29 Who will justify the man that sins against himself? And who will honor the man that dishonors his own life?
30 A poor man is honored for his knowledge, while a rich man is honored for his wealth.
31 A man honored in poverty, how much more in wealth! And a man dishonored in wealth, how much more in poverty!
11 1 The wisdom of a humble man will lift up his head, and will seat him among the great.
2 Do not praise a man for his good looks, nor loathe a man because of his appearance.
3 The bee is small among flying creatures, but her product is the best of sweet things.
4 Do not boast about wearing fine clothes, nor exalt yourself in the day that you are honored; for the works of the Lord are wonderful, and his works are concealed from men.
5 Many kings have had to sit on the ground, but one who was never thought of has worn a crown.
6 Many rulers have been greatly disgraced, and illustrious men have been handed over to others.
7 Do not find fault before you investigate; first consider, and then reprove.
8 Do not answer before you have heard, nor interrupt a speaker in the midst of his words.
9 Do not argue about a matter which does not concern you, nor sit with sinners when they judge a case.
10 My son, do not busy yourself with many matters; if you multiply activities you will not go unpunished, and if you pursue you will not overtake, and by fleeing you will not escape.
11 There is a man who works, and toils, and presses on, but is so much the more in want.
12 There is another who is slow and needs help, who lacks strength and abounds in poverty; but the eyes of the Lord look upon him for his good; he lifts him out of his low estate
13 and raises up his head, so that many are amazed at him.
14 Good things and bad, life and death, poverty and wealth, come from the Lord. 15 16
17 The gift of the Lord endures for those who are godly, and what he approves will have lasting success.
18 There is a man who is rich through his diligence and self-denial, and this is the reward allotted to him:
19 when he says, "I have found rest, and now I shall enjoy my goods!" he does not know how much time will pass until he leaves them to others and dies.
20 Stand by your covenant and attend to it, and grow old in your work.
21 Do not wonder at the works of a sinner, but trust in the Lord and keep at your toil; for it is easy in the sight of the Lord to enrich a poor man quickly and suddenly.
22 The blessing of the Lord is the reward of the godly, and quickly God causes his blessing to flourish.
23 Do not say, "What do I need, and what prosperity could be mine in the future?"
24 Do not say, "I have enough, and what calamity could happen to me in the future?"
25 In the day of prosperity, adversity is forgotten, and in the day of adversity, prosperity is not remembered.
26 For it is easy in the sight of the Lord to reward a man on the day of death according to his conduct.
27 The misery of an hour makes one forget luxury, and at the close of a man's life his deeds will be revealed.
28 Call no one happy before his death; a man will be known through his children.
29 Do not bring every man into your home, for many are the wiles of the crafty.
30 Like a decoy partridge in a cage, so is the mind of a proud man, and like a spy he observes your weakness;
31 for he lies in wait, turning good into evil, and to worthy actions he will attach blame.
32 From a spark of fire come many burning coals, and a sinner lies in wait to shed blood.
33 Beware of a scoundrel, for he devises evil, lest he give you a lasting blemish.
34 Receive a stranger into your home and he will upset you with commotion, and will estrange you from your family.
12 1 If you do a kindness, know to whom you do it, and you will be thanked for your good deeds.
2 Do good to a godly man, and you will be repaid -- if not by him, certainly by the Most High.
3 No good will come to the man who persists in evil or to him who does not give alms.
4 Give to the godly man, but do not help the sinner.
5 Do good to the humble, but do not give to the ungodly; hold back his bread, and do not give it to him, lest by means of it he subdue you; for you will receive twice as much evil for all the good which you do to him.
6 For the Most High also hates sinners and will inflict punishment on the ungodly.
7 Give to the good man, but do not help the sinner.
8 A friend will not be known in prosperity, nor will an enemy be hidden in adversity.
9 A man's enemies are grieved when he prospers, and in his adversity even his friend will separate from him.
10 Never trust your enemy, for like the rusting of copper, so is his wickedness.
11 Even if he humbles himself and goes about cringing, watch yourself, and be on your guard against him; and you will be to him like one who has polished a mirror, and you will know that it was not hopelessly tarnished.
12 Do not put him next to you, lest he overthrow you and take your place; do not have him sit at your right, lest he try to take your seat of honor, and at last you will realize the truth of my words, and be stung by what I have said.
13 Who will pity a snake charmer bitten by a serpent, or any who go near wild beasts?
14 So no one will pity a man who associates with a sinner and becomes involved in his sins.
15 He will stay with you for a time, but if you falter, he will not stand by you.
16 An enemy will speak sweetly with his lips, but in his mind he will plan to throw you into a pit; an enemy will weep with his eyes, but if he finds an opportunity his thirst for blood will be insatiable.
17 If calamity befalls you, you will find him there ahead of you; and while pretending to help you, he will trip you by the heel;
18 he will shake his head, and clap his hands, and whisper much, and change his expression.
13 1 Whoever touches pitch will be defiled, and whoever associates with a proud man will become like him.
2 Do not lift a weight beyond your strength, nor associate with a man mightier and richer than you. How can the clay pot associate with the iron kettle? The pot will strike against it, and will itself be broken.
3 A rich man does wrong, and he even adds reproaches; a poor man suffers wrong, and he must add apologies.
4 A rich man will exploit you if you can be of use to him, but if you are in need he will forsake you.
5 If you own something, he will live with you; he will drain your resources and he will not care.
6 When he needs you he will deceive you, he will smile at you and give you hope. He will speak to you kindly and say, "What do you need?"
7 He will shame you with his foods, until he has drained you two or three times; and finally he will deride you. Should he see you afterwards, he will forsake you, and shake his head at you.
8 Take care not to be led astray, and not to be humiliated in your feasting.
9 When a powerful man invites you, be reserved; and he will invite you the more often.
10 Do not push forward, lest you be repulsed; and do not remain at a distance, lest you be forgotten.
11 Do not try to treat him as an equal, nor trust his abundance of words; for he will test you through much talk, and while he smiles he will be examining you.
12 Cruel is he who does not keep words to himself; he will not hesitate to injure or to imprison.
13 Keep words to yourself and be very watchful, for you are walking about with your own downfall. 14
15 Every creature loves its like, and every person his neighbor;
16 all living beings associate by species, and a man clings to one like himself.
17 What fellowship has a wolf with a lamb? No more has a sinner with a godly man.
18 What peace is there between a hyena and a dog? And what peace between a rich man and a poor man?
19 Wild asses in the wilderness are the prey of lions; likewise the poor are pastures for the rich.
20 Humility is an abomination to a proud man; likewise a poor man is an abomination to a rich one.
21 When a rich man totters, he is steadied by friends, but when a humble man falls, he is even pushed away by friends.
22 If a rich man slips, his helpers are many; he speaks unseemly words, and they justify him. If a humble man slips, they even reproach him; he speaks sensibly, and receives no attention.
23 When the rich man speaks all are silent, and they extol to the clouds what he says. When the poor man speaks they say, "Who is this fellow?" And should he stumble, they even push him down.
24 Riches are good if they are free from sin, and poverty is evil in the opinion of the ungodly.
25 A man's heart changes his countenance, either for good or for evil.
26 The mark of a happy heart is a cheerful face, but to devise proverbs requires painful thinking.
Sirach (RSV) 1