Wisdom of Sirach 13

He who touches pitch will be defiled.
He who has fellowship with a proud man will become like him.
Don’t take up a burden above your strength.
Have no fellowship with one who is mightier and richer than yourself.
What fellowship would the earthen pot have with the kettle?
The kettle will strike, and the pot will be dashed in pieces.
The rich man does a wrong and threatens.
The poor is wronged and apologizes.
If you are profitable, he will make merchandise of you.
If you are in lack, he will forsake you.
If you own something, he will live with you.
He will drain you bare and will not be sorry.
Does he need you? Then he will deceive you,
smile at you, and give you hope.
He will speak kindly to you and say, “What do you need?”
He will shame you by his meats
until he has made you bare twice or thrice,
and in the end he will laugh you to scorn.
Afterward he will see you, will forsake you,
and shake his head at you.
Beware that you are not deceived
and brought low in your mirth.
If a mighty man invites you, be reserved,
and he will invite you more.
10 Don’t press him, lest you be thrust back.
Don’t stand far off, lest you be forgotten.
11 Don’t try to speak with him as an equal,
and don’t believe his many words;
For he will test you with much talk,
and will examine you in a smiling manner.
12 He who doesn’t keep secrets to himself is unmerciful.
He won’t hesitate to harm and to bind.
13 Keep them to yourself and be careful,
for you walk* in danger of falling.
14  †
15 Every living creature loves its own kind,
and every man loves his neighbor.
16 All flesh associates with their own kind.
A man will stick to people like himself.
17 What fellowship would the wolf have with the lamb?
So is the sinner to the godly.
18 What peace is there between a hyena and a dog?
What peace is there between a rich man and the poor?
19 Wild donkeys are the prey of lions in the wilderness;
likewise poor men are feeding grounds for the rich.
20 Lowliness is an abomination to a proud man;
likewise a poor man is an abomination to the rich.
21 When a rich man is shaken, he is supported by his friends,
but when one of low degree is down, he is pushed away even by his friends.
22 When a rich man falls, there are many helpers.
He speaks things not to be spoken, and men justify him.
A man of low degree falls, and men rebuke him.
He utters wisdom, and is not listened to.
23 A rich man speaks, and all keep silence.
They extol what he says to the clouds.
A poor man speaks, and they say, “Who is this?”
If he stumbles, they will help to overthrow him.
24 Riches are good if they have no sin.
Poverty is evil in the mouth of the ungodly.
25 The heart of a man changes his countenance,
whether it is for good or for evil.‡
26 A cheerful countenance is a sign of a prosperous heart.
Devising proverbs takes strenuous thinking.

 


*13:13 Gr. along with.

13:14 The remainder of verse 13, and verse 14, are omitted by the best authorities.

13:25 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.

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