Sirach 29

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Sirach 29

On Lending and Borrowing

1He that shows mercy will lend to his neighbor,

and he that strengthens him with his hand keeps the commandments.

2Lend to your neighbor in the time of his need;

and in turn, repay your neighbor promptly.

3Confirm your word and keep faith with him,

and on every occasion you will find what you need.

4Many persons regard a loan as a windfall,

and cause trouble to those who help them.

5A man will kiss another's hands until he gets a loan,

and will lower his voice in speaking of his neighbor's money;

but at the time for repayment he will delay,

and will pay in words of unconcern,

and will find fault with the time.

6If the lendera exert pressure, he will hardly get back half,

and will regard that as a windfall.

If he does not, the borrowerb has robbed him of his money,

and he has needlessly made him his enemy;

he will repay him with curses and reproaches,

and instead of glory will repay him with dishonor.

7Because of such wickedness, therefore,c many have refused to lend;

they have been afraid of being defrauded needlessly.

8Nevertheless, be patient with a man in humble circumstances,

and do not make him wait for your alms.

9Help a poor man for the commandment's sake,

and because of his need do not send him away empty.

10Lose your silver for the sake of a brother or a friend,

and do not let it rust under a stone and be lost.

11Lay up your treasure according to the commandments of the Most High,

and it will profit you more than gold.

12Store up almsgiving in your treasury,

and it will rescue you from all affliction;

13more than a mighty shield and more than a heavy spear,

it will fight on your behalf against your enemy.

On Guaranteeing Debts

14A good man will be surety for his neighbor,

but a man who has lost his sense of shame will fail him.

15Do not forget all the kindness of your surety,

for he has given his life for you.

16A sinner will overthrow the prosperity of his surety,

17and one who does not feel grateful will abandon his rescuer.

18Being surety has ruined many men who were prosperous,

and has shaken them like a wave of the sea;

it has driven men of power into exile,

and they have wandered among foreign nations.

19The sinner who has fallen into suretyship

and pursues gain will fall into lawsuits.

20Assist your neighbor according to your ability,

but take heed to yourself lest you fall.

Home and Hospitality

21The essentials for life are water and bread

and clothing and a house to cover one's nakedness.

22Better is the life of a poor man under the shelter of his roof

than sumptuous food in another man's house.

23Be content with little or much.d

24It is a miserable life to go from house to house,

and where you are a stranger you may not open your mouth;

25you will play the host and provide drink without being thanked,

and besides this you will hear bitter words:

26"Come here, stranger, prepare the table,

and if you have anything at hand, let me have it to eat."

27"Give place, stranger, to an honored person;

my brother has come to stay with me; I need my house."

28These things are hard to bear for a man who has feeling:

scolding about lodginge and the reproach of the moneylender.