Sirach 21

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Sirach 21

Various Sins

1Have you sinned, my son? Do so no more,

but pray about your former sins.

2Flee from sin as from a snake;

for if you approach sin, it will bite you.

Its teeth are lion's teeth,

and destroy the souls of men.

3All lawlessness is like a two-edged sword;

there is no healing for its wound.

4Terror and violence will lay waste riches;

thus the house of the proud will be laid waste.

5The prayer of a poor man goes from his lips to the ears of God,a

and his judgment comes speedily.

6Whoever hates reproof walks in the steps of the sinner,

but he that fears the Lord will repent in his heart.

7He who is mighty in speech is known from afar;

but the sensible man, when he slips, is aware of it.

8A man who builds his house with other people's money

is like one who gathers stones for his burial mound.b

9An assembly of the wicked is like tow gathered together,

and their end is a flame of fire.

10The way of sinners is smoothly paved with stones,

but at its end is the pit of Hades.

Wisdom and Foolishness

11Whoever keeps the law controls his thoughts,

and wisdom is the fulfilment of the fear of the Lord.

12He who is not clever cannot be taught,

but there is a cleverness which increases bitterness.

13The knowledge of a wise man will increase like a flood,

and his counsel like a flowing spring.

14The mind of a fool is like a broken jar;

it will hold no knowledge.

15When a man of understanding hears a wise saying,

he will praise it and add to it;

when a reveler hears it, he dislikes it

and casts it behind his back.

16A fool's narration is like a burden on a journey,

but delight will be found in the speech of the intelligent.

17The utterance of a sensible man will be sought in the assembly,

and they will ponder his words in their minds.

18Like a house that has vanished, so is wisdom to a fool;

and the knowledge of the ignorant is unexamined talk.

19To a senseless man education is fetters on his feet,

and like manacles on his right hand.

20A fool raises his voice when he laughs,

but a clever man smiles quietly.

21To a sensible man education is like a golden ornament,

and like a bracelet on the right arm.

22The foot of a fool rushes into a house,

but a man of experience stands respectfully before it.

23A boor peers into the house from the door,

but a cultivated man remains outside.

24It is ill-mannered for a man to listen at a door,

and a discreet man is grieved by the disgrace.

25The lips of strangers will speak of these things,c

but the words of the prudent will be weighed in the balance.

26The mind of fools is in their mouth,

but the mouth of wise men is ind their mind.

27When an ungodly man curses his adversary,e

he curses his own soul.

28A whisperer defiles his own soul

and is hated in his neighborhood.