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Sirach 11

11 The wisdom of the poor man lifteth up uhis headu,

And causeth him to sit among princes.

(b) 11:2–13. Warnings against hasty judgements

(= 2 + 2 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 1 + 3 distichs).

Praise no man vfor his beautyv,

And abhor no man wfor his appearancew.

xOf no accountx among flying things is the bee,

But her fruit is ysupreme among productsy.

HA zMock not the dress of the wretchedz,

aAnd scoff nota bat those whose day is bitterb:

For wondrous are cthe works of Jahvehc,

And His operation is hid dfrom mand.

Many edowntroddene have sat fupon a thronef,

gAnd those who were never thought ofg have worn ha crownh.

Many exalted have suffered igreati abasement,

And also honourable jbeen delivered upj.

Before thou hast examined kblame notk;

Investigate first, and afterwards lrebukel.

mAnswer not a word before thou hear,

And in the midst of na discoursen speak not.

oIn a matter where thou art not affectedo, penter not into strifep,

qAnd with the quarrels of the arrogant meddle notq.

10 My son, rwhy multiply thy business (unduly)r?

sBut if thou so doest thou shalt not go unpunisheds.

HA tIf thou runnest thou shalt not attaint,

uAnd if thou seekest thou shalt not findu.

11 There is one that toileth and laboureth vand runnethv,

wAnd is so much the morew behind.

12 xThere is (another) that is weak and wandering in miseryx,

yLacking in strength and abounding in frailtyy;

zAnd the eye of Jahveh watcheth him for goodz,

aAnd He shaketh him up out of the stinking dusta.

13 He lifteth up his head band exalteth himb,

So that many may marvel at himc.

(c) 11:14–28. All things are in the hands of God

(= 1 [ + 3] + 1 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 2 distichs).

14 Good and evil, life and death,

dPoverty and wealth come from Jahvehd.

15 e[Wisdom and insight eeand discernment ‘of the Law’ee

Come from Jahveh:

fLovef and upright ways

Come from Jahveh.

16 Folly and darkness have been formed for sinners;

gAnd as for evil-doers—evil abideth with themge.]

HA 17 hThe gift of Jahveh abideth for the righteoush,

And His good pleasure is ever successful.

18 There is that waxeth rich ifrom self-deniali,

jAnd this is his allotted rewardj:

19 kWhat time he saith: ‘I have found rest,

And now lI will enjoy my goods’l

He knoweth not mwhat lot shall befallm;

He shall leave (them) to others and die.

20 nMy sonn, obe steadfasto in thy task pand think thereonp,

And qgrow oldq in thy work.

21 rMarvel not at the doers of iniquityr

sTrusts in Jahveh and wait for tHis lightt;

For it is ueasyu in Jahveh’s sight

Suddenly—in a moment—vto make a poor man richv.

HA 22 wThe blessing of God is xthe portionx of the righteous,

yAnd at the right timey zhis hope shall flourishz.

23 Say not: a‘What is (yet) my desirea?

bAnd what henceforth is left unto meb?’

24 Say not: c‘I have enoughc,

dAnd what mischief can befall med?’

25 eA day’s happiness maketh misfortune to be forgottene,

fAnd a day’s misfortune maketh happiness to be forgottenf.

G 26 gFor it is easy in Jahveh’s sight

At the end to requite a man according to his deedsg.

HA 27 hAn evil time causeth forgetfulness of delightsh,

iAnd the last end of a man will tell of himi.

28 jPronounce no man happy before his death;

kFor by his latter endk a man shall be knownj.

(d) 11:29–34. Beware of intercourse with strangers and bad characters

(= 3 + 1 + 2 distichs).

HA 29 lNot every one is to be brought into mthe housem

nAnd how many are the wounds of a slanderern!

30 oAs a decoy partridge in a cageo, so is the heart of the insolent (sinner),

And as a spy that seeth pthe nakednesspl.

HA 31 qThe backbiter turnethq good into evil,

And in thy loveliest qualities he putteth ra stainr.

32 sFrom a spark cometh much coals,

tAnd a villain lieth in wait for bloodt.

33 Shrink from an evil man, for he begetteth evil—

Why ushouldst thou incuru a lasting blemish?

34 vLet a stranger dwell with thee and he will estrange thy way of life,

And alienate thee from thine own housev.

(e) 12:1–7. Against indiscriminate benevolence

(= 3 + 3 + 1 distichs).

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