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Sirach 19

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Sirach 19

1A workman who is a drunkard will not become rich;

he who despises small things will fail little by little.

2Wine and women lead intelligent men astray,

and the man who consorts with harlots is very reckless.

3Decay and worms will inherit him,

and the reckless soul will be snatched away.

Against Loose Talk

4One who trusts others too quickly is lightminded,

and one who sins does wrong to himself.

5One who rejoices in wickednessa will be condemned,b

6and for one who hates gossip evil is lessened.

7Never repeat a conversation,

and you will lose nothing at all.

8With friend or foe do not report it,

and unless it would be a sin for you, do not disclose it;

9for some one has heard you and watched you,

and when the time comes he will hate you.

10Have you heard a word? Let it die with you.

Be brave! It will not make you burst!

11With such a word a fool will suffer pangs

like a woman in labor with a child.

12Like an arrow stuck in the flesh of the thigh,

so is a word inside a fool.

13Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it;

but if he did anything, so that he may do it no more.

14Question a neighbor, perhaps he did not say it;

but if he said it, so that he may not say it again.

15Question a friend, for often it is slander;

so do not believe everything you hear.

16A person may make a slip without intending it.

Who has never sinned with his tongue?

17Question your neighbor before you threaten him;

and let the law of the Most High take its course.c

True and False Wisdom

20All wisdom is the fear of the Lord,

and in all wisdom there is the fulfilment of the law.d

22But the knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom,

nor is there prudence where sinners take counsel.

23There is a cleverness which is abominable,

but there is a fool who merely lacks wisdom.

24Better is the God-fearing man who lacks intelligence,

than the highly prudent man who transgresses the law.

25There is a cleverness which is scrupulous but unjust,

and there are people who distort kindness to gain a verdict.

26There is a rascal bowed down in mourning,e

but inwardly he is full of deceit.

27He hides his face and pretends not to hear;

but where no one notices, he will forestall you.

28And if by lack of strength he is prevented from sinning,

he will do evil when he finds an opportunity.

29A man is known by his appearance,

and a sensible man is known by his face, when you meet him.

30A man's attire and open-mouthed laughter,

and a man's manner of walking, show what he is.