Sirach (RSV) 26
26 1 Happy is the husband of a good wife; the number of his days will be doubled.
2 A loyal wife rejoices her husband, and he will complete his years in peace.
3 A good wife is a great blessing; she will be granted among the blessings of the man who fears the Lord.
4 Whether rich or poor, his heart is glad, and at all times his face is cheerful.
5 Of three things my heart is afraid, and of a fourth I am frightened: The slander of a city, the gathering of a mob, and false accusation -- all these are worse than death.
6 There is grief of heart and sorrow when a wife is envious of a rival, and a tongue-lashing makes it known to all.
7 An evil wife is an ox yoke which chafes; taking hold of her is like grasping a scorpion.
8 There is great anger when a wife is drunken; she will not hide her shame.
9 A wife's harlotry shows in her lustful eyes, and she is known by her eyelids.
10 Keep strict watch over a headstrong daughter, lest, when she finds liberty, she use it to her hurt.
11 Be on guard against her impudent eye, and do not wonder if she sins against you.
12 As a thirsty wayfarer opens his mouth and drinks from any water near him, so will she sit in front of every post and open her quiver to the arrow.
13 A wife's charm delights her husband, and her skill puts fat on his bones.
14 A silent wife is a gift of the Lord, and there is nothing so precious as a disciplined soul.
15 A modest wife adds charm to charm, and no balance can weigh the value of a chaste soul.
16 Like the sun rising in the heights of the Lord, so is the beauty of a good wife in her well-ordered home.
17 Like the shining lamp on the holy lampstand, so is a beautiful face on a stately figure.
18 Like pillars of gold on a base of silver, so are beautiful feet with a steadfast heart. 19 At two things my heart is grieved, and because of a third anger comes over me: a warrior in want through poverty, and intelligent men who are treated contemptuously; a man who turns back from righteousness to sin -- the Lord will prepare him for the sword! 20 A merchant can hardly keep from wrongdoing, and a tradesman will not be declared innocent of sin.
27 1 Many have committed sin for a trifle, and whoever seeks to get rich will avert his eyes.
2 As a stake is driven firmly into a fissure between stones, so sin is wedged in between selling and buying.
3 If a man is not steadfast and zealous in the fear of the Lord, his house will be quickly overthrown.
4 When a sieve is shaken, the refuse remains; so a man's filth remains in his thoughts.
5 The kiln tests the potter's vessels; so the test of a man is in his reasoning.
6 The fruit discloses the cultivation of a tree; so the expression of a thought discloses the cultivation of a man's mind.
7 Do not praise a man before you hear him reason, for this is the test of men.
8 If you pursue justice, you will attain it and wear it as a glorious robe.
9 Birds flock with their kind; so truth returns to those who practice it.
10 A lion lies in wait for prey; so does sin for the workers of iniquity.
11 The talk of the godly man is always wise, but the fool changes like the moon.
12 Among stupid people watch for a chance to leave, but among thoughtful people stay on.
13 The talk of fools is offensive, and their laughter is wantonly sinful.
14 The talk of men given to swearing makes one's hair stand on end, and their quarrels make a man stop his ears.
15 The strife of the proud leads to bloodshed, and their abuse is grievous to hear.
16 Whoever betrays secrets destroys confidence, and he will never find a congenial friend.
17 Love your friend and keep faith with him; but if you betray his secrets, do not run after him.
18 For as a man destroys his enemy, so you have destroyed the friendship of your neighbor.
19 And as you allow a bird to escape from your hand, so you have let your neighbor go, and will not catch him again.
20 Do not go after him, for he is too far off, and has escaped like a gazelle from a snare.
21 For a wound may be bandaged, and there is reconciliation after abuse, but whoever has betrayed secrets is without hope.
22 Whoever winks his eye plans evil deeds, and no one can keep him from them.
23 In your presence his mouth is all sweetness, and he admires your words; but later he will twist his speech and with your own words he will give offense.
24 I have hated many things, but none to be compared to him; even the Lord will hate him.
25 Whoever throws a stone straight up throws it on his own head; and a treacherous blow opens up wounds.
26 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and he who sets a snare will be caught in it.
27 If a man does evil, it will roll back upon him, and he will not know where it came from.
28 Mockery and abuse issue from the proud man, but vengeance lies in wait for him like a lion.
29 Those who rejoice in the fall of the godly will be caught in a snare, and pain will consume them before their death.
30 Anger and wrath, these also are abominations, and the sinful man will possess them.
28 1 He that takes vengeance will suffer vengeance from the Lord, and he will firmly establish his sins.
2 Forgive your neighbor the wrong he has done, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray.
3 Does a man harbor anger against another, and yet seek for healing from the Lord?
4 Does he have no mercy toward a man like himself, and yet pray for his own sins?
5 If he himself, being flesh, maintains wrath, who will make expiation for his sins?
6 Remember the end of your life, and cease from enmity, remember destruction and death, and be true to the commandments.
7 Remember the commandments, and do not be angry with your neighbor; remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook ignorance.
8 Refrain from strife, and you will lessen sins; for a man given to anger will kindle strife,
9 and a sinful man will disturb friends and inject enmity among those who are at peace.
10 In proportion to the fuel for the fire, so will be the burning, and in proportion to the obstinacy of strife will be the burning; in proportion to the strength of the man will be his anger, and in proportion to his wealth he will heighten his wrath.
11 A hasty quarrel kindles fire, and urgent strife sheds blood.
12 If you blow on a spark, it will glow; if you spit on it, it will be put out; and both come out of your mouth.
13 Curse the whisperer and deceiver, for he has destroyed many who were at peace.
14 Slander has shaken many, and scattered them from nation to nation, and destroyed strong cities, and overturned the houses of great men.
15 Slander has driven away courageous women, and deprived them of the fruit of their toil.
16 Whoever pays heed to slander will not find rest, nor will he settle down in peace.
17 The blow of a whip raises a welt, but a blow of the tongue crushes the bones.
18 Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not so many as have fallen because of the tongue.
19 Happy is the man who is protected from it, who has not been exposed to its anger, who has not borne its yoke, and has not been bound with its fetters;
20 for its yoke is a yoke of iron, and its fetters are fetters of bronze;
21 its death is an evil death, and Hades is preferable to it.
22 It will not be master over the godly, and they will not be burned in its flame.
23 Those who forsake the Lord will fall into its power; it will burn among them and will not be put out. It will be sent out against them like a lion; like a leopard it will mangle them.
24 See that you fence in your property with thorns, lock up your silver and gold,
25 make balances and scales for your words, and make a door and a bolt for your mouth.
26 Beware lest you err with your tongue, lest you fall before him who lies in wait.
29 1 He that shows mercy will lend to his neighbor, and he that strengthens him with his hand keeps the commandments.
2 Lend to your neighbor in the time of his need; and in turn, repay your neighbor promptly.
3 Confirm your word and keep faith with him, and on every occasion you will find what you need.
4 Many persons regard a loan as a windfall, and cause trouble to those who help them.
5 A man will kiss another's hands until he gets a loan, and will lower his voice in speaking of his neighbor's money; but at the time for repayment he will delay, and will pay in words of unconcern, and will find fault with the time.
6 If the lender exert pressure, he will hardly get back half, and will regard that as a windfall. If he does not, the borrower has robbed him of his money, and he has needlessly made him his enemy; he will repay him with curses and reproaches, and instead of glory will repay him with dishonor.
7 Because of such wickedness, therefore, many have refused to lend; they have been afraid of being defrauded needlessly.
8 Nevertheless, be patient with a man in humble circumstances, and do not make him wait for your alms.
9 Help a poor man for the commandment's sake, and because of his need do not send him away empty.
10 Lose your silver for the sake of a brother or a friend, and do not let it rust under a stone and be lost.
11 Lay up your treasure according to the commandments of the Most High, and it will profit you more than gold.
12 Store up almsgiving in your treasury, and it will rescue you from all affliction;
13 more than a mighty shield and more than a heavy spear, it will fight on your behalf against your enemy.
14 A good man will be surety for his neighbor, but a man who has lost his sense of shame will fail him.
15 Do not forget all the kindness of your surety, for he has given his life for you.
16 A sinner will overthrow the prosperity of his surety,
17 and one who does not feel grateful will abandon his rescuer.
18 Being surety has ruined many men who were prosperous, and has shaken them like a wave of the sea; it has driven men of power into exile, and they have wandered among foreign nations.
19 The sinner who has fallen into suretyship and pursues gain will fall into lawsuits.
20 Assist your neighbor according to your ability, but take heed to yourself lest you fall.
21 The essentials for life are water and bread and clothing and a house to cover one's nakedness.
22 Better is the life of a poor man under the shelter of his roof than sumptuous food in another man's house.
23 Be content with little or much.
24 It is a miserable life to go from house to house, and where you are a stranger you may not open your mouth;
25 you will play the host and provide drink without being thanked, and besides this you will hear bitter words:
26 "Come here, stranger, prepare the table, and if you have anything at hand, let me have it to eat."
27 "Give place, stranger, to an honored person; my brother has come to stay with me; I need my house."
28 These things are hard to bear for a man who has feeling: scolding about lodging and the reproach of the moneylender.
30 1 He who loves his son will whip him often, in order that he may rejoice at the way he turns out.
2 He who disciplines his son will profit by him, and will boast of him among acquaintances.
3 He who teaches his son will make his enemies envious, and will glory in him in the presence of friends.
4 The father may die, and yet he is not dead, for he has left behind him one like himself;
5 while alive he saw and rejoiced, and when he died he was not grieved;
6 he has left behind him an avenger against his enemies, and one to repay the kindness of his friends.
7 He who spoils his son will bind up his wounds, and his feelings will be troubled at every cry.
8 A horse that is untamed turns out to be stubborn, and a son unrestrained turns out to be wilful.
9 Pamper a child, and he will frighten you; play with him, and he will give you grief.
10 Do not laugh with him, lest you have sorrow with him, and in the end you will gnash your teeth.
11 Give him no authority in his youth, and do not ignore his errors.
12 Bow down his neck in his youth, and beat his sides while he is young, lest he become stubborn and disobey you, and you have sorrow of soul from him.
13 Discipline your son and take pains with him, that you may not be offended by his shamelessness.
14 Better off is a poor man who is well and strong in constitution than a rich man who is severely afflicted in body.
15 Health and soundness are better than all gold, and a robust body than countless riches.
16 There is no wealth better than health of body, and there is no gladness above joy of heart.
17 Death is better than a miserable life, and eternal rest than chronic sickness.
18 Good things poured out upon a mouth that is closed are like offerings of food placed upon a grave.
19 Of what use to an idol is an offering of fruit? For it can neither eat nor smell. So is he who is afflicted by the Lord;
20 he sees with his eyes and groans, like a eunuch who embraces a maiden and groans.
21 Do not give yourself over to sorrow, and do not afflict yourself deliberately.
22 Gladness of heart is the life of man, and the rejoicing of a man is length of days.
23 Delight your soul and comfort your heart, and remove sorrow far from you, for sorrow has destroyed many, and there is no profit in it.
24 Jealousy and anger shorten life, and anxiety brings on old age too soon.
25 A man of cheerful and good heart will give heed to the food he eats.
31 1 Wakefulness over wealth wastes away one's flesh, and anxiety about it removes sleep.
2 Wakeful anxiety prevents slumber, and a severe illness carries off sleep.
3 The rich man toils as his wealth accumulates, and when he rests he fills himself with his dainties.
4 The poor man toils as his livelihood diminishes, and when he rests he becomes needy.
5 He who loves gold will not be justified, and he who pursues money will be led astray by it.
6 Many have come to ruin because of gold, and their destruction has met them face to face.
7 It is a stumbling block to those who are devoted to it, and every fool will be taken captive by it.
8 Blessed is the rich man who is found blameless, and who does not go after gold.
9 Who is he? And we will call him blessed, for he has done wonderful things among his people.
10 Who has been tested by it and been found perfect? Let it be for him a ground for boasting. Who has had the power to transgress and did not transgress, and to do evil and did not do it?
11 His prosperity will be established, and the assembly will relate his acts of charity.
12 Are you seated at the table of a great man? Do not be greedy at it, and do not say, "There is certainly much upon it!"
13 Remember that a greedy eye is a bad thing. What has been created more greedy than the eye? Therefore it sheds tears from every face.
14 Do not reach out your hand for everything you see, and do not crowd your neighbor at the dish.
15 Judge your neighbor's feelings by your own, and in every matter be thoughtful.
16 Eat like a human being what is set before you, and do not chew greedily, lest you be hated.
17 Be the first to stop eating, for the sake of good manners, and do not be insatiable, lest you give offense.
18 If you are seated among many persons, do not reach out your hand before they do.
19 How ample a little is for a well-disciplined man! He does not breathe heavily upon his bed.
20 Healthy sleep depends on moderate eating; he rises early, and feels fit. The distress of sleeplessness and of nausea and colic are with the glutton.
21 If you are overstuffed with food, get up in the middle of the meal, and you will have relief.
22 Listen to me, my son, and do not disregard me, and in the end you will appreciate my words. In all your work be industrious, and no sickness will overtake you.
23 Men will praise the one who is liberal with food, and their testimony to his excellence is trustworthy.
24 The city will complain of the one who is niggardly with food, and their testimony to his niggardliness is accurate.
25 Do not aim to be valiant over wine, for wine has destroyed many.
26 Fire and water prove the temper of steel, so wine tests hearts in the strife of the proud.
27 Wine is like life to men, if you drink it in moderation. What is life to a man who is without wine? It has been created to make men glad.
28 Wine drunk in season and temperately is rejoicing of heart and gladness of soul.
29 Wine drunk to excess is bitterness of soul, with provocation and stumbling.
30 Drunkenness increases the anger of a fool to his injury, reducing his strength and adding wounds.
31 Do not reprove your neighbor at a banquet of wine, and do not despise him in his merrymaking; speak no word of reproach to him, and do not afflict him by making demands of him.
32 1 If they make you master of the feast, do not exalt yourself; be among them as one of them; take good care of them and then be seated;
2 when you have fulfilled your duties, take your place, that you may be merry on their account and receive a wreath for your excellent leadership.
3 Speak, you who are older, for it is fitting that you should, but with accurate knowledge, and do not interrupt the music.
4 Where there is entertainment, do not pour out talk; do not display your cleverness out of season.
5 A ruby seal in a setting of gold is a concert of music at a banquet of wine.
6 A seal of emerald in a rich setting of gold is the melody of music with good wine.
7 Speak, young man, if there is need of you, but no more than twice, and only if asked.
8 Speak concisely, say much in few words; be as one who knows and yet holds his tongue.
9 Among the great do not act as their equal; and when another is speaking, do not babble.
10 Lightning speeds before the thunder, and approval precedes a modest man.
11 Leave in good time and do not be the last; go home quickly and do not linger.
12 Amuse yourself there, and do what you have in mind, but do not sin through proud speech.
13 And for these things bless him who made you and satisfies you with his good gifts.
14 He who fears the Lord will accept his discipline, and those who rise early to seek him will find favor.
15 He who seeks the law will be filled with it, but the hypocrite will stumble at it.
16 Those who fear the Lord will form true judgments, and like a light they will kindle righteous deeds.
17 A sinful man will shun reproof, and will find a decision according to his liking.
18 A man of judgment will not overlook an idea, and an insolent and proud man will not cower in fear.
19 Do nothing without deliberation; and when you have acted, do not regret it.
20 Do not go on a path full of hazards, and do not stumble over stony ground.
21 Do not be overconfident on a smooth way,
22 and give good heed to your paths.
23 Guard yourself in every act, for this is the keeping of the commandments.
24 He who believes the law gives heed to the commandments, and he who trusts the Lord will not suffer loss.
33 1 No evil will befall the man who fears the Lord, but in trial he will deliver him again and again.
2 A wise man will not hate the law, but he who is hypocritical about it is like a boat in a storm.
3 A man of understanding will trust in the law; for him the law is as dependable as an inquiry by means of Urim.
4 Prepare what to say, and thus you will be heard; bind together your instruction, and make your answer.
5 The heart of a fool is like a cart wheel, and his thoughts like a turning axle.
6 A stallion is like a mocking friend; he neighs under every one who sits on him.
7 Why is any day better than another, when all the daylight in the year is from the sun?
8 By the Lord's decision they were distinguished, and he appointed the different seasons and feasts;
9 some of them he exalted and hallowed, and some of them he made ordinary days.
10 All men are from the ground, and Adam was created of the dust.
11 In the fulness of his knowledge the Lord distinguished them and appointed their different ways;
12 some of them he blessed and exalted, and some of them he made holy and brought near to himself; but some of them he cursed and brought low, and he turned them out of their place.
13 As clay in the hand of the potter -- for all his ways are as he pleases -- so men are in the hand of him who made them, to give them as he decides.
14 Good is the opposite of evil, and life the opposite of death; so the sinner is the opposite of the godly.
15 Look upon all the works of the Most High; they likewise are in pairs, one the opposite of the other.
16 I was the last on watch; I was like one who gleans after the grape-gatherers; by the blessing of the Lord I excelled, and like a grape-gatherer I filled my wine press.
17 Consider that I have not labored for myself alone, but for all who seek instruction.
18 Hear me, you who are great among the people, and you leaders of the congregation, hearken.
19 To son or wife, to brother or friend, do not give power over yourself, as long as you live; and do not give your property to another, lest you change your mind and must ask for it.
20 While you are still alive and have breath in you, do not let any one take your place.
21 For it is better that your children should ask from you than that you should look to the hand of you sons.
22 Excel in all that you do; bring no stain upon your honor.
23 At the time when you end the days of your life, in the hour of death, distribute your inheritance.
24 Fodder and a stick and burdens for an ass; bread and discipline and work for a servant.
25 Set your slave to work, and you will find rest; leave his hands idle, and he will seek liberty.
26 Yoke and thong will bow the neck, and for a wicked servant there are racks and tortures.
27 Put him to work, that he may not be idle, for idleness teaches much evil.
28 Set him to work, as is fitting for him, and if he does not obey, make his fetters heavy.
29 Do not act immoderately toward anybody, and do nothing without discretion.
30 If you have a servant, let him be as yourself, because you have bought him with blood.
31 If you have a servant, treat him as a brother, for as your own soul you will need him. If you ill-treat him, and he leaves and runs away, which way will you go to seek him?
34 1 A man of no understanding has vain and false hopes, and dreams give wings to fools.
2 As one who catches at a shadow and pursues the wind, so is he who gives heed to dreams.
3 The vision of dreams is this against that, the likeness of a face confronting a face.
4 From an unclean thing what will be made clean? And from something false what will be true?
5 Divinations and omens and dreams are folly, and like a woman in travail the mind has fancies.
6 Unless they are sent from the Most High as a visitation, do not give your mind to them.
7 For dreams have deceived many, and those who put their hope in them have failed.
8 Without such deceptions the law will be fulfilled, and wisdom is made perfect in truthful lips.
9 An educated man knows many things, and one with much experience will speak with understanding.
10 He that is inexperienced knows few things, but he that has traveled acquires much cleverness.
11 I have seen many things in my travels, and I understand more than I can express.
12 I have often been in danger of death, but have escaped because of these experiences.
13 The spirit of those who fear the Lord will live, for their hope is in him who saves them.
14 He who fears the Lord will not be timid, nor play the coward, for he is his hope.
15 Blessed is the soul of the man who fears the Lord! To whom does he look? And who is his support?
16 The eyes of the Lord are upon those who love him, a mighty protection and strong support, a shelter from the hot wind and a shade from noonday sun, a guard against stumbling and a defense against falling.
17 He lifts up the soul and gives light to the eyes; he grants healing, life, and blessing.
18 If one sacrifices from what has been wrongfully obtained, the offering is blemished; the gifts of the lawless are not acceptable.
19 The Most High is not pleased with the offerings of the ungodly; and he is not propitiated for sins by a multitude of sacrifices.
20 Like one who kills a son before his father's eyes is the man who offers a sacrifice from the property of the poor.
21 The bread of the needy is the life of the poor; whoever deprives them of it is a man of blood.
22 To take away a neighbor's living is to murder him; to deprive an employee of his wages is to shed blood.
23 When one builds and another tears down, what do they gain but toil?
24 When one prays and another curses, to whose voice will the Lord listen?
25 If a man washes after touching a dead body, and touches it again, what has he gained by his washing?
26 So if a man fasts for his sins, and goes again and does the same things, who will listen to his prayer? And what has he gained by humbling himself?
35 1 He who keeps the law makes many offerings; he who heeds the commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
2 He who returns a kindness offers fine flour, and he who gives alms sacrifices a thank offering.
3 To keep from wickedness is pleasing to the Lord, and to forsake unrighteousness is atonement.
4 Do not appear before the Lord empty-handed,
5 for all these things are to be done because of the commandment.
6 The offering of a righteous man anoints the altar, and its pleasing odor rises before the Most High.
7 The sacrifice of a righteous man is acceptable, and the memory of it will not be forgotten.
8 Glorify the Lord generously, and do not stint the first fruits of your hands.
9 With every gift show a cheerful face, and dedicate your tithe with gladness.
10 Give to the Most High as he has given, and as generously as your hand has found.
11 For the Lord is the one who repays, and he will repay you sevenfold.
12 Do not offer him a bribe, for he will not accept it; and do not trust to an unrighteous sacrifice; for the Lord is the judge, and with him is no partiality.
13 He will not show partiality in the case of a poor man; and he will listen to the prayer of one who is wronged.
14 He will not ignore the supplication of the fatherless, nor the widow when she pours out her story.
15 Do not the tears of the widow run down her cheek as she cries out against him who has caused them to fall?
16 He whose service is pleasing to the Lord will be accepted, and his prayer will reach to the clouds.
17 The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds, and he will not be consoled until it reaches the Lord; he will not desist until the Most High visits him, and does justice for the righteous, and executes judgment.
18 And the Lord will not delay, neither will he be patient with them, till he crushes the loins of the unmerciful and repays vengeance on the nations; till he takes away the multitude of the insolent, and breaks the scepters of the unrighteous;
19 till he repays the man according to his deeds, and the works of men according to their devices; till he judges the case of his people and makes them rejoice in his mercy.
20 Mercy is as welcome when he afflicts them as clouds of rain in the time of drought.
36 1 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, the God of all, and look upon us,
2 and cause the fear of thee to fall upon all the nations.
3 Lift up thy hand against foreign nations and let them see thy might.
4 As in us thou hast been sanctified before them, so in them be thou magnified before us;
5 and let them know thee, as we have known that there is not God but thee, O Lord.
6 Show signs anew, and work further wonders; make thy hand and thy right arm glorious.
7 Rouse thy anger and pour out thy wrath; destroy the adversary and wipe out the enemy.
8 Hasten the day, and remember the appointed time, and let people recount thy mighty deeds.
9 Let him who survives be consumed in the fiery wrath, and may those who harm thy people meet destruction.
10 Crush the heads of the rulers of the enemy, who say, "There is no one but ourselves."
11 Gather all the tribes of Jacob, and give them their inheritance, as at the beginning.
12 Have mercy, O Lord, upon the people called by thy name, upon Israel, whom thou hast likened to a first-born son.
13 Have pity on the city of thy sanctuary, Jerusalem, the place of thy rest.
14 Fill Zion with the celebration of thy wondrous deeds, and thy temple with thy glory.
15 Bear witness to those whom thou didst create in the beginning, and fulfil the prophecies spoken in thy name.
16 Reward those who wait for thee, and let thy prophets be found trustworthy.
17 Hearken, O Lord, to the prayer of thy servants, according to the blessing of Aaron for thy people, and all who are on the earth will know that thou art the Lord, the God of the ages.
18 The stomach will take any food, yet one food is better than another.
19 As the palate tastes the kinds of game, so an intelligent mind detects false words.
20 A perverse mind will cause grief, but a man of experience will pay him back.
21 A woman will accept any man, but one daughter is better than another.
22 A woman's beauty gladdens the countenance, and surpasses every human desire.
23 If kindness and humility mark her speech, her husband is not like other men.
24 He who acquires a wife gets his best possession, a helper fit for him and a pillar of support.
25 Where there is no fence, the property will be plundered; and where there is no wife, a man will wander about and sigh.
26 For who will trust a nimble robber that skips from city to city? So who will trust a man that has no home, and lodges wherever night finds him?
37 1 Every friend will say, "I too am a friend"; but some friends are friends only in name.
2 Is it not a grief to the death when a companion and friend turns to enmity?
3 O evil imagination, why were you formed to cover the land with deceit?
4 Some companions rejoice in the happiness of a friend, but in time of trouble are against him.
5 Some companions help a friend for their stomach's sake, and in the face of battle take up the shield.
6 Do not forget a friend in your heart, and be not unmindful of him in your wealth.
7 Every counselor praises counsel, but some give counsel in their own interest.
8 Be wary of a counselor, and learn first what is his interest -- for he will take thought for himself -- lest he cast the lot against you
9 and tell you, "Your way is good," and then stand aloof to see what will happen to you.
10 Do not consult the one who looks at you suspiciously; hide your counsel from those who are jealous of you.
11 Do not consult with a woman about her rival or with a coward about war, with a merchant about barter or with a buyer about selling, with a grudging man about gratitude or with a merciless man about kindness, with an idler about any work or with a man hired for a year about completing his work, with a lazy servant about a big task -- pay no attention to these in any matter of counsel.
12 But stay constantly with a godly man whom you know to be a keeper of the commandments, whose soul is in accord with your soul, and who will sorrow with you if you fail.
13 And establish the counsel of your own heart, for no one is more faithful to you than it is.
14 For a man's soul sometimes keeps him better informed than seven watchmen sitting high on a watchtower.
15 And besides all this pray to the Most High that he may direct your way in truth.
16 Reason is the beginning of every work, and counsel precedes every undertaking.
17 As a clue to changes of heart
18 four turns of fortune appear, good and evil, life and death; and it is the tongue that continually rules them.
19 A man may be shrewd and the teacher of many, and yet be unprofitable to himself.
20 A man skilled in words may be hated; he will be destitute of all food,
21 for grace was not given him by the Lord, since he is lacking in all wisdom.
22 A man may be wise to his own advantage, and the fruits of his understanding may be trustworthy on his lips.
23 A wise man will instruct his own people, and the fruits of his understanding will be trustworthy.
24 A wise man will have praise heaped upon him, and all who see him will call him happy.
25 The life of a man is numbered by days, but the days of Israel are without number.
26 He who is wise among his people will inherit confidence, and his name will live for ever.
27 My son, test your soul while you live; see what is bad for it and do not give it that.
28 For not everything is good for every one, and not every person enjoys everything.
29 Do not have an insatiable appetite for any luxury, and do not give yourself up to food;
30 for overeating brings sickness, and gluttony leads to nausea.
31 Many have died of gluttony, but he who is careful to avoid it prolongs his life.
Sirach (RSV) 26