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Ecclesiasticus / Sirach - Chapter 6

1 for a bad name will earn you shame and reproach, as happens to the double-talking sinner.

2 Do not get carried aloft on the wings of passion, for fear your strength tear itself apart like a bull,

3 and you devour your own foliage and destroy your own fruit and end by making yourself like a piece of dried-up wood.

4 An evil temper destroys the person who has it and makes him the laughing-stock of his enemies.

5 A kindly turn of speech attracts new friends, a courteous tongue invites many a friendly response.

6 Let your acquaintances be many, but for advisers choose one out of a thousand.

7 If you want to make a friend, take him on trial, and do not be in a hurry to trust him;

8 for one kind of friend is so only when it suits him but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.

9 Another kind of friend will fall out with you and to your dismay make your quarrel public,

10 and a third kind of friend will share your table, but not stand by you in your day of trouble:

11 when you are doing well he will be your second self, ordering your servants about;

12 but, if disaster befalls you, he will recoil from you and keep out of your way.

13 Keep well clear of your enemies, and be wary of your friends.

14 A loyal friend is a powerful defence: whoever finds one has indeed found a treasure.

15 A loyal friend is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth.

16 A loyal friend is the elixir of life, and those who fear the Lord will find one.

17 Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends, for as a person is, so is his friend too.

18 My child, from your earliest youth choose instruction, and till your hair is white you will keep finding wisdom.

19 Like ploughman and sower, cultivate her and wait for her fine harvest, for in tilling her you will toil a little while, but very soon you will be eating her crops.

20 How very harsh she is to the undisciplined! The senseless does not stay with her for long:

21 she will weigh as heavily on the senseless as a touchstone and such a person will lose no time in throwing her off;

22 for Wisdom is true to her name, she is not accessible to many.

23 Listen, my child, and take my advice, do not reject my counsel:

24 put your feet into her fetters, and your neck into her collar;

25 offer your shoulder to her burden, do not be impatient of her bonds;

26 court her with all your soul, and with all your might keep in her ways;

27 search for her, track her down: she will reveal herself; once you hold her, do not let her go.

28 For in the end you will find rest in her and she will take the form of joy for you:

29 her fetters you will find a mighty defence, her collars, a precious necklace.

30 Her yoke will be a golden ornament, and her bonds be purple ribbons;

31 you will wear her like a robe of honour, you will put her on like a crown of joy.

32 If you wish it, my child, you can be taught; apply yourself, and you will become intelligent.

33 If you love listening, you will learn, if you pay attention, you will become wise.

34 Attend the gathering of elders; if there is a wise man there, attach yourself to him.

35 Listen willingly to any discourse coming from God, do not let wise proverbs escape you.

36 If you see a man of understanding, visit him early, let your feet wear out his doorstep.

37 Reflect on the injunctions of the Lord, busy yourself at all times with his commandments. He will strengthen your mind, and the wisdom you desire will be granted you.

Book of Ecclesiasticus / Sirach Chapters

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