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Sirach 23

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Sirach 23

1O Lord, Father and Ruler of my life,

do not abandon me to their counsel,

and let me not fall because of them!

2O that whips were set over my thoughts,

and the discipline of wisdom over my mind!a

That they may not spare me in my errors,

and that it may not pass by myb sins;

3in order that my mistakes may not be multiplied,

and my sins may not abound;

then I will not fall before my adversaries,

and my enemy will not rejoice over me.

4O Lord, Father and God of my life,

do not give me haughty eyes,

5and remove from me evil desire.

6Let neither gluttony nor lust overcome me,

and do not surrender me to a shameless soul.

7Listen, my children, to instruction concerning speech;

the one who observes it will never be caught.

8The sinner is overtaken through his lips,

the reviler and the arrogant are tripped by them.

9Do not accustom your mouth to oaths,

and do not habitually utter the name of the Holy One;

10for as a servant who is continually examined under torture

will not lack bruises,

so also the man who always swears and utters the Name

will not be cleansed from sin.

11A man who swears many oaths will be filled with iniquity,

and the scourge will not leave his house;

if he offends, his sin remains on him,

and if he disregards it, he sins doubly;

if he has sworn needlessly, he will not be justified,

for his house will be filled with calamities.

Foul Language

12There is an utterance which is comparable to death;c

may it never be found in the inheritance of Jacob!

For all these errors will be far from the godly,

and they will not wallow in sins.

13Do not accustom your mouth to lewd vulgarity,

for it involves sinful speech.

14Remember your father and mother

whend you sit among great men;

lest you be forgetful in their presence,

and be deemed a fool on account of your habits;

then you will wish that you had never been born,

and you will curse the day of your birth.

15A man accustomed to use insulting words

will never become disciplined all his days.

Concerning Sexual Sins

16Two sorts of men multiply sins,

and a third incurs wrath.

The soul heated like a burning fire

will not be quenched until it is consumed;

a man who commits fornication with his near of kine

will never cease until the fire burns him up.

17To a fornicator all bread tastes sweet;

he will never cease until he dies.

18A man who breaks his marriage vows

says to himself, "Who sees me?

Darkness surrounds me, and the walls hide me,

and no one sees me. Why should I fear?

The Most High will not take notice of my sins."

19His fear is confined to the eyes of men,

and he does not realize that the eyes of the Lord

are ten thousand times brighter than the sun;

they look upon all the ways of men,

and perceive even the hidden places.

20Before the universe was created, it was known to him;

so it was also after it was finished.

21This man will be punished in the streets of the city,

and where he least suspects it, he will be seized.

22So it is with a woman who leaves her husband

and provides an heir by a stranger.

23For first of all, she has disobeyed the law of the Most High;

second, she has committed an offense against her husband;

and third, she has committed adultery through harlotry

and brought forth children by another man.

24She herself will be brought before the assembly,

and punishment will fall on her children.

25Her children will not take root,

and her branches will not bear fruit.

26She will leave her memory for a curse,

and her disgrace will not be blotted out.

27Those who survive her will recognize

that nothing is better than the fear of the Lord,

and nothing sweeter than to heed the commandments of the Lord.f