Sirach 22

Please or start a free trial to access this content.

Sirach 22

The Idler

1The indolent may be compared to a filthy stone,

and every one hisses at his disgrace.

2The indolent may be compared to the filth of dunghills;

any one that picks it up will shake it off his hand.

Degenerate Children

3It is a disgrace to be the father of an undisciplined son,

and the birth of a daughter is a loss.

4A sensible daughter obtains her husband,

but one who acts shamefully brings grief to her father.

5An impudent daughter disgraces father and husband,

and will be despised by both.

6Like music in mourning is a tale told at the wrong time,

but chastising and discipline are wisdom at all times.

Wisdom and Folly

7He who teaches a fool is like one who glues potsherds together,

or who rouses a sleeper from deep slumber.

8He who tells a story to a fool tells it to a drowsy man;

and at the end he will say, "What is it?"a

11Weep for the dead, for he lacks the light;

and weep for the fool, for he lacks intelligence;

weep less bitterly for the dead, for he has attained rest;

but the life of the fool is worse than death.

12Mourning for the dead lasts seven days,

but for a fool or an ungodly man it lasts all his life.

13Do not talk much with a foolish man,

and do not visit an unintelligent man;

guard yourself from him to escape trouble,

and you will not be soiled when he shakes himself off;

avoid him and you will find rest,

and you will never be wearied by his madness.

14What is heavier than lead?

And what is its name except "Fool"?

15Sand, salt, and a piece of iron

are easier to bear than a stupid man.

16A wooden beam firmly bonded into a building

will not be torn loose by an earthquake;

so the mind firmly fixed on a reasonable counsel

will not be afraid in a crisis.

17A mind settled on an intelligent thought

is like the stucco decoration on the wall of a colonnade.b

18Fences set on a high place

will not stand firm against the wind;

so a timid heart with a fool's purpose

will not stand firm against any fear.

The Preservation of Friendship

19A man who pricks an eye will make tears fall,

and one who pricks the heart makes it show feeling.

20One who throws a stone at birds scares them away,

and one who reviles a friend will break off the friendship.

21Even if you have drawn your sword against a friend,

do not despair, for a renewal of friendship is possible.

22If you have opened your mouth against your friend,

do not worry, for reconciliation is possible;

but as for reviling, arrogance, disclosure of secrets, or a treacherous blow-

in these cases any friend will flee.

23Gain the trust of your neighbor in his poverty,

that you may rejoice with him in his prosperity;

stand by him in time of affliction,

that you may share with him in his inheritance.c

24The vapor and smoke of the furnace precede the fire;

so insults precede bloodshed.

25I will not be ashamed to protect a friend,

and I will not hide from him;

26but if some harm should happen to me because of him,

whoever hears of it will beware of him.

A Prayer for Help against Sinning

27O that a guard were set over my mouth,

and a seal of prudence upon my lips,

that it may keep me from falling,

so that my tongue may not destroy me!d