Sirach 13

13 Whoso toucheth pitch, xit cleaveth to his handx,

And he that associateth with a scorner ywill learn his wayy.

(g) 13:2–13. Against dangerous and unequal association (a) with the rich, (b) with rulers

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

(a) vv. 2–8.

zWhat is too heavy for thee ado not lifta,

bAnd with one that is richer than thyselfb cassociate notc.

HA What association can djar and kettled have in common

ddWhendd, if the one smite, the other is smashede?

The rich man fif he perpetrateth a wrongf gplumeth himselfg,

While if a wrong is perpetrated upon a poor man hhe must implore favourh.

iIf thou art useful to himi he maketh a slave of thee,

jBut if thou be brought lowj khe is sparing of theek.

kkIf thou possessest anythingkk lhe will live with theel,

And will impoverish thee without a pang.

mHath he need of theem? nthen he will deceive theen,

oAnd will smile upon theeo and raise thy hopes.

G(S) pHe will speak thee fairp,

qAnd shame thee with his hospitalityq.

HA rSo long as it profiteth he will cajole thee,

Twice (or) thrice he will … theer;

HA sAnd thens he will see thee tand pass thee byt,

And wag his head at thee.

Take care uthat thou be not overbearingu,

vAnd that thou be not crushed by senseless follyv.

(b) vv. 9–13.

Doth a noble wdraw nearw? xkeep at a distancex

yAnd so much the morey zwill he cause thee to approachz.

10 aDo not thyself draw neara, lest thou be put at a distance;

And keep not (too) far away, lest b[thou be forgotten]b.

11 cVenture notc dto be freed with him,

And mistrust his much conversation.

eFor fby his conversation at largef ghe is testing theeg,

hAnd when he smileth at thee he is probing theeh e.

12 iA ruthless one maketh peace,

While plotting against the life of manyi.

HA 13 Take heed jand be waryj,

kAnd go not about with men of violencekl.

(h) 13:15–20. Like consorteth with like: what common bond can there be between rich and poor?

(= 2 + 3 + 1 distichs).

15 mAll fleshm loveth nits kindn,

oAnd every man his likeo.

16 pAll flesh consorteth according to its kindp,

And with his kind man qassociatethq.

17 rWhat associationr can wolf have with lamb?

sEven so is the ungodly that consorteth with the righteouss.

18 tWhat peacet can the hyena have with the dog?

uOr whatu peace rich with poor?

19 vFoodv for the lion are the wild asses of the desert:

Even so the pasture of the rich are the poor.

HA 20 wAn abomination xto pridex is humility;

Even so an abomination to the rich are the poor.

(i) 13:21–23. The world’s treatment of rich and poor—a contrast

(= 1 + 2 + 2 distichs).

21 A rich man ywhen he is shakeny zis supported by a friendz,

aBut the poor mana bwhen he is shakenb is thrust away cby a friendc.

22 A rich man dspeakethd, and his helpers are many;

eAnd though his words be unseemly, they are pronounced lovelye.

A poor man fspeakethf, gand they jeer at himg;

hYea, though he speak with wisdomh, ithere is no place for himi.

23 When the rich man jspeakethj, all kkeep silencek,

And they extol lhis intelligencel to the clouds.

When the poor man speaketh: ‘Who is this?’ say they;

And if mhe stumblem nthey will assist his overthrown.

(j) 13:24–14:2. A Collection of Miscellaneous Proverbs

(= 1 + 2 + 2 distichs).

24 Wealth is good if it be without sin,

And evil is poverty awhich is due to presumptiona.

25 The heartb of a man changeth his countenance,

Whether for good or for evilc.

HA 26 The outcomed of a happy heart is a cheerful countenance,

But solitude and meditation occasion toilsome thoughts.

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