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1O death, how bitter is the reminder of you
to one who lives at peace among his possessions,
to a man without distractions, who is prosperous in everything,
and who still has the vigor to enjoy his food!
2O death, how welcome is your sentence
to one who is in need and is failing in strength,
very old and distracted over everything;
to one who is contrary, and has lost his patience!
3Do not fear the sentence of death;
remember your former days and the end of life;
this is the decree from the Lord for all flesh,
4and how can you reject the good pleasure of the Most High?
Whether life is for ten or a hundred or a thousand years,
there is no inquiry about it in Hades.
The Fate of the Wicked
5The children of sinners are abominable children,
and they frequent the haunts of the ungodly.
6The inheritance of the children of sinners will perish,
and on their posterity will be a perpetual reproach.
7Children will blame an ungodly father,
for they suffer reproach because of him.
8Woe to you, ungodly men,
who have forsaken the law of the Most High God!
9When you are born, you are born to a curse;
and when you die, a curse is your lot.
10Whatever is from the dust returns to dust;
so the ungodly go from curse to destruction.
11The mourning of men is about their bodies,
but the evil name of sinners will be blotted out.
12Have regard for your name, since it will remain for you
longer than a thousand great stores of gold.
13The days of a good life are numbered,
but a good name endures for ever.
14My children, observe instruction and be at peace;
hidden wisdom and unseen treasure,
what advantage is there in either of them?
A Series of Contrasts
15Better is the man who hides his folly
than the man who hides his wisdom.
16Therefore show respect for my words:
For it is good to retain every kind of shame,
and not everything is confidently esteemed by every one.
17Be ashamed of immorality, before your father or mother;
and of a lie, before a prince or a ruler;
18of a transgression, before a judge or magistrate;
and of iniquity, before a congregation or the people;
of unjust dealing, before your partner or friend;
19and of theft, in the place where you live.
Be ashamed before the truth of God and his covenant.
Be ashamed of selfish behavior at meals,a
of surliness in receiving and giving,
20and of silence, before those who greet you;
of looking at a woman who is a harlot,
21and of rejecting the appeal of a kinsman;
of taking away some one's portion or gift,
and of gazing at another man's wife;
22of meddling with his maidservant-
and do not approach her bed;
of abusive words, before friends-
and do not upbraid after making a gift;
23of repeating and telling what you hear,
and of revealing secrets.
Then you will show proper shame,
and will find favor with every man.