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Ecclesiasticus / Sirach - Chapter 20

Ecclesiasticus / Sirach Chapters

1 There is the rebuke that is untimely, and there is the person who keeps quiet, and he is the shrewd one.

2 But how much better to rebuke than to fume!

3 The person who acknowledges a fault wards off punishment.

4 Like a eunuch trying to take a girl's virginity is someone who tries to impose justice by force.

5 There is the person who keeps quiet and is considered wise, another incurs hatred for talking too much.

6 There is the person who keeps quiet, not knowing how to answer, another keeps quiet, knowing when to speak.

7 The wise will keep quiet till the right moment, but a garrulous fool will always misjudge it.

8 Someone who talks too much will earn dislike, and someone who usurps authority will earn hatred.

9 There is the person who finds misfortune a boon, and the piece of luck that turns to loss.

10 There is the gift that affords you no profit, and the gift that repays you double.

11 There is the honour that leads to humiliation, and there are people in a low state who raise their heads.

12 There is the person who buys much for little, yet pays for it seven times over.

13 The wise wins love with words, while fools may shower favours in vain.

14 The gift of the stupid will bring you no advantage, his eyes look for seven times as much in return.

15 He gives little and reviles much, he opens his mouth like the town crier, he lends today and demands payment tomorrow; he is a detestable fellow.

16 The fool will say, 'I have no friends, I get no gratitude for my good deeds;

17 those who eat my bread have malicious tongues.' How often he will be laughed at, and by how many!

18 Better a slip on the pavement than a slip of the tongue; this is how ruin takes the wicked by surprise.

19 A coarse-grained person is like an indiscreet story endlessly retold by the ignorant.

20 A maxim is rejected when coming from a fool, since the fool does not utter it on the apt occasion.

21 There is a person who is prevented from sinning by poverty; no qualms of conscience disturb that person's rest.

22 There is a person who courts destruction out of false shame, courts destruction for the sake of a fool's opinion.

23 There is a person who out of false shame makes promises to a friend, and so makes an enemy for nothing.

24 Lying is an ugly blot on anyone, and ever on the lips of the undisciplined.

25 A thief is preferable to an inveterate liar, but both are heading for ruin.

26 Lying is an abominable habit, the liar's disgrace lasts for ever.

27 The wise gains advancement by words, the shrewd wins favour from the great.

28 Whoever tills the soil will have a full harvest, whoever wins favour from the great will secure pardon for offences.

29 Presents and gifts blind the eyes of the wise and stifle rebukes like a muzzle on the mouth.

30 Wisdom concealed, and treasure undiscovered, what use is either of these?

31 Better one who conceals his folly than one who conceals his wisdom.

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New Jerusalem Bible

New Jerusalem Bible

The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.

Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.

Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.

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