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Ecclesiasticus / Sirach - Chapter 10

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1 A sagacious ruler educates his people, and he makes his subjects understand order.

2 As the magistrate is, so will his officials be, as the governor is, so will be the inhabitants of his city.

3 An undisciplined king will be the ruin of his people, a city owes its prosperity to the intelligence of its leading men.

4 The government of the earth is in the hands of the Lord, he sets the right leader over it at the right time.

5 Human success is in the hands of the Lord. He invests the scribe with honour.

6 Do not resent your neighbour's every offence, and never act in a fit of passion.

7 Pride is hateful to God and humanity, and injustice is abhorrent to both.

8 Sovereignty passes from nation to nation because of injustice, arrogance and money.

9 What has dust and ashes to pride itself on? Even in life its entrails are repellent.

10 A long illness makes a fool of the doctor; a king today is a corpse tomorrow.

11 For in death the portion of all alike will be insects, wild animals and worms.

12 The first stage of pride is to desert the Lord and to turn one's heart away from one's Maker.

13 Since the first stage of pride is sin, whoever clings to it will pour forth filth. This is why the Lord inflicts unexpected punishments on such people, utterly destroying them.

14 The Lord has turned mighty princes off their thrones and seated the humble there instead.

15 The Lord has plucked up the proud by the roots, and planted the lowly in their place.

16 The Lord has overthrown the lands of the nations and destroyed them to the very foundations of the earth.

17 Sometimes he has taken them away and destroyed them, and blotted out their memory from the earth.

18 Pride was not created for human beings, nor furious rage for those born of woman.

19 What race deserves honour? The human race. What race deserves honour? Those who fear the Lord. What race deserves contempt? The human race. What race deserves contempt? Those who break the Law.

20 A leader is honoured by his brothers, and those who fear the Lord are honoured by him.


22 The rich, the noble, the poor, let them pride themselves on fearing the Lord.

23 It is not right to despise one who is poor but intelligent, and it is not good to honour one who is a sinner.

24 Magnate, magistrate, potentate, all are to be honoured, but none is greater than the one who fears the Lord.

25 A wise slave will have free men waiting on him, and the enlightened will not complain.

26 Do not try to be smart when you do your work, do not put on airs when you are in difficulties.

27 Better the hardworking who has plenty of everything, than the pretentious at a loss for a meal.

28 My child, be modest in your self-esteem, and value yourself at your proper worth.

29 Who can justify one who inflicts injuries on himself, or respect one who is full of self-contempt?

30 The poor is honoured for wit, and the rich for wealth.

31 Honoured in poverty, how much the more in wealth! Dishonoured in wealth, how much the more in poverty!

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