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Ecclesiasticus / Sirach - Chapter 11

1 Wisdom enables the poor to stand erect, and gives to the poor a place with the great.

2 Do not praise anyone for good looks, nor dislike anyone for mere appearance.

3 Small among winged creatures is the bee but her produce is the sweetest of the sweet.

4 Do not grow proud when people honour you; for the works of the Lord are wonderful but hidden from human beings.

5 Many monarchs have been made to sit on the ground, and the person nobody thought of has worn the crown.

6 Many influential people have been utterly disgraced, and prominent people have fallen into the power of others.

7 Do not find fault before making thorough enquiry; first reflect, then give a reprimand.

8 Listen before you answer, and do not interrupt a speech before it is finished.

9 Do not wrangle about something that does not concern you, do not interfere in the quarrels of sinners.

10 My child, do not take on a great amount of business; if you multiply your interests, you are bound to suffer for it; hurry as fast as you can, yet you will never arrive, nor will you escape by running away.

11 Some people work very hard at top speed, only to find themselves falling further behind.

12 Or there is the slow kind of person, needing help, poor in possessions and rich in poverty; and the Lord turns a favourable eye on him, lifts him out of his wretched condition,

13 and enables him to hold his head high, thus causing general astonishment.

14 Good and bad, life and death, poverty and wealth, all come from the Lord.



17 To the devout the Lord's gift remains constant, and his favour will be there to lead them for ever.

18 Others grow rich by pinching and scraping, and here is the reward they receive for it:

19 although they say, 'Now I can sit back and enjoy the benefit of what I have got,' they do not know how long this will last; they will have to leave their goods to others and die.

20 Stick to your job, work hard at it and grow old at your work.

21 Do not admire the achievements of sinners, trust the Lord and mind your own business; since it is a trifle in the eyes of the Lord, in a moment, suddenly to make the poor rich.

22 The blessing of the Lord is the reward of the devout, in a moment God brings his blessing to flower.

23 Do not say, 'What are my needs, how much shall I have in the future?'

24 And do not say, 'I am self-sufficient, what disaster can affect me now?'

25 In prosperous times, disasters are forgotten and in times of disaster, no one remembers prosperity.

26 Yet it is a trifle for the Lord on the day someone dies to repay him as his conduct deserves.

27 A moment's adversity, and pleasures are forgotten; in a person's last hour his deeds will stand revealed.

28 Call no one fortunate before his death; it is by his end that someone will be known.

29 Do not bring everyone home with you, for many are the traps of the crafty.

30 Like a captive partridge in a cage, so is the heart of the proud: like a spy he watches for your downfall,

31 ever on the look-out, turning good into bad and finding fault with what is praiseworthy.

32 A hearthful of glowing coals starts from a single spark, and the sinner lurks for the chance to spill blood.

33 Beware of a scoundrel and his evil contrivances, in case he puts a smear on you for ever.

34 Give a home to a stranger and he will start trouble and estrange you from your own family.

Book of Ecclesiasticus / Sirach Chapters

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