Sirach 20

20 There is a reproof that is uncalled fora,

Then he that is silent is wise.

S bHe that reproveth a sinner getteth no thanksb,

But let him that maketh confession cbe spared humiliationc.

HB dAs is an eunuch that sojourneth with a virgindd,

So is he that would do right with violencee.

HC fOnef keepeth silence, and is accountedg wise,

fAnd anotherf is despised for his much talking.

HC One keepeth silence, having naught to say;

And another keepeth silence, for he seeth (it is) a time (for silence).

The wise man is silent until the (proper) time,

But hthe arrogant and the scornerh itake no notei of the time.

G *He that is abundant in word is abhorredk,

And he that taketh to himself authorityl is hatedm.

(f) 20:9–17. Things are not always what they seem

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

n oSometimes it is advantageouso for a manp to be in adversityn,

qAnd sometimes prosperity resulteth in harmq.

10 rSometimes a gift there is that profiteth thee nothing,

And sometimes a gift bringeth double recompense.

11 Sometimes cometh losss through honour,

tAnd sometimes honour cometh through losst r.

12 u uuSome buyuu much for littleu,

And some pay sevenfold.

HC 13 vThe wise man with few words vvmaketh himself belovedvv,

But the pleasantries of fools are wastedw.

G 14 The gift of a fool profiteth thee nothingx,

yFor he looketh for recompensez sevenfolda y;

15 He giveth little, and upbraideth much,

And openeth his mouth blike a crierb;

To-day he lendeth, to-morrow he will demand it back:

Hateful is such an one cto God and menc.

G 16 The fool saith: ‘I have no friend,

And my good deeds receive no thanks;

They that eat my bread are evil-tonguedd.’

17 How oft—and how many there are—they laugh him to scorne.

(g) 20:18–20. Concerning unseasonable speech

(= 3 distichs).

18 f gA slip on the pavement is better than a (slip) of the tongueg;

So doth the fall of the wicked come swiftlyf.

S 19 hAs the fat tail of a sheep, eaten without salt,

So is a word spoken out of seasonh.

G 20 A parable from the mouth of a fool is worthlessi,

For he uttereth it out of season.

(h) 20:21–23. Some are unintentionally without sin, while others sin intentionally

(= 3 distichs).

21 One, through want, is hindered from sinning,

kAnd when he resteth he will not be troubledk;

22 Another destroyeth his life through sense of shame,

And perishethl through mhis want of franknessm.

23 And another, for shame’s sake, maketh promises to a friend,

nThus making for himselfn an enemy owithout reasono.

(i) 20:24–26. The Liar shall be destroyed

(= 3 distichs).

24 A lie is a foul blot in a man,

It is continually [found] in the mouth of the ignorant.

25 pPreferable is a thief to one who continually liethp,

qBut both shall inherit destructionq.

G 26 The endr of a liar is dishonours,

And his shame is evert with him.

(a) 20:27–31. The Reward of the wise and prudent; but wisdom must be apparent

(3 + 2 distichs).

27 u vThe wise man advanceth himself by means of his wordsv,

And a prudent man rulethw the great.

28 xHe that tilleth hisy land raiseth high his heapz,

And he that pleaseth the great atoneth for wrongx.

29 Presents and gifts blind the eyes aof the wisea,

And as a muzzle on the mouth turn away reproofs.

30 bHidden wisdom and concealed treasure,

What profit is there in eitherc?

31 Better is the man that hideth his folly

Than a man that hideth his wisdomb d.

(b) 21:1–10. The Nature of Sin

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

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