Sirach 31

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Sirach 31

Right Attitude toward Riches

1Wakefulness over wealth wastes away one's flesh,

and anxiety about it removes sleep.

2Wakeful anxiety prevents slumber,

and a severe illness carries off sleep.a

3The rich man toils as his wealth accumulates,

and when he rests he fills himself with his dainties.

4The poor man toils as his livelihood diminishes,

and when he rests he becomes needy.

5He who loves gold will not be justified,

and he who pursues money will be led astrayb by it.

6Many have come to ruin because of gold,

and their destruction has met them face to face.

7It is a stumbling block to those who are devoted to it,

and every fool will be taken captive by it.

8Blessed is the rich man who is found blameless,

and who does not go after gold.

9Who is he? And we will call him blessed,

for he has done wonderful things among his people.

10Who has been tested by it and been found perfect?

Let it be for him a ground for boasting.

Who has had the power to transgress and did not transgress,

and to do evil and did not do it?

11His prosperity will be established,

and the assembly will relate his acts of charity.

Table Etiquette

12Are you seated at the table of a great man?c

Do not be greedyd at it,

and do not say, "There is certainly much upon it!"

13Remember that a greedye eye is a bad thing.

What has been created more greedyf than the eye?

Therefore it sheds tears from every face.

14Do not reach out your hand for everything you see,

and do not crowd your neighborg at the dish.

15Judge your neighbor's feelings by your own,

and in every matter be thoughtful.

16Eat like a human being what is set before you,

and do not chew greedily, lest you be hated.

17Be the first to stop eating, for the sake of good manners,

and do not be insatiable, lest you give offense.

18If you are seated among many persons,

do not reach out your hand before they do.

19How ample a little is for a well-disciplined man!

He does not breathe heavily upon his bed.

20Healthy sleep depends on moderate eating;

he rises early, and feels fit.h

The distress of sleeplessness and of nausea

and colic are with the glutton.

21If you are overstuffed with food,

get up in the middle of the meal, and you will have relief.

22Listen to me, my son, and do not disregard me,

and in the end you will appreciate my words.

In all your work be industrious,

and no sickness will overtake you.

23Men will praise the one who is liberal with food,

and their testimony to his excellence is trustworthy.

24The city will complain of the one who is niggardly with food,

and their testimony to his niggardliness is accurate.

Temperance in Drinking Wine

25Do not aim to be valiant over wine,

for wine has destroyed many.

26Fire and water provei the temper of steel,

so wine tests hearts in the strife of the proud.

27Wine is like life to men,

if you drink it in moderation.

What is life to a man who is without wine?

It has been created to make men glad.

28Wine drunk in season and temperately

is rejoicing of heart and gladness of soul.

29Wine drunk to excess is bitterness of soul,

with provocation and stumbling.

30Drunkenness increases the anger of a fool to his injury,

reducing his strength and adding wounds.

31Do not reprove your neighbor at a banquet of wine,

and do not despise him in his merrymaking;

speak no word of reproach to him,

and do not afflict him by making demands of him.