Sirach 21

21 aMy son, hast thou sinned, (then) add not thereto;

And pray concerning thy former (sins)a b.

cFlee from sin das from the face of a serpentd;

For if thou come nigh it, it will bite theee;

Likef the teeth of a lion gare the teeth thereof,g

It slayethh the souls of men.

Like a two-edged sword is iall iniquityi,

From the stroke thereof is no healing.

G kTyranny and violencek makekk habitationsl desolate,

Andll the housem nof the arrogantn is rooted outo.

The supplication of the poor man comethp unto His ears,

qAnd his vindicationr cometh quicklyq.

He that hateth reproof s[walketh] in the path of a sinners,

But he that feareth Godt will turn [to Him] whole-heartedlyu.

S vThe wise discerneth him that is before him,

And spieth out the sinner at oncev.

G He that buildeth his house with other men’s money

Is as one gathering stones for his wsepulchral moundw.

(Like) tow wrapped together is the assembly of the ungodly,

And their end is the flame of firex.

10 The way of sinners is ymade smooth withoutz stonesy,

And at the end thereof is zzthe pit of Hadeszz.

(c) 21:11–17. The contrast between the godly man who is wise and the godless man who is a fool

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

11 He that keepeth the Law controlleth ahis natural tendencya,

bAnd the fear of the Lord is the consummation of Wisdomb c.

G 12 dHe that is not wisee will not be instructed,

Andee there is a wisdomf which maketh bitterness to aboundd.

13 The knowledge of a wise man aboundeth like a gspring of waterg,

And his counsel his likeh ithe wateri of life.

14 The heart kof a fool is like a broken vessel,

lHe holdeth no knowledgel.

15 If a man of understanding hear a wise word,

He commendeth it, and addeth thereto;

S mIf a foolish man hear it, he mocketh at itm,

G And casteth it behind his back.

16 The discourse of a fooln is like a burdeno on a journey,

But gracep is found qon the lips of the wiseq.

17 The utterancer of the prudent is sought for in the assembly,

And his words are pondered in the heart.

(d) 21:18–28. Further contrast between the godly man and the fool

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

18 As a prison-houses is Wisdom to a fool,

And the knowledge of the wiset as ucoals of fireu.

19 Asv chainsw on (their) feet is instruction to the foolish,

And as manacles on their right hand.

21 As a golden ornament is instruction to the wise,

And as a bracelet upon their right arm.

20 The fool lifteth up his voice with laughter,

But the wisex man smilethy in silencez.

HC 22a The foot of a fool hasteth into a house,

23b But it is agood mannersa bto stand outsideb.

23a The fool through the door looketh into a house,

22b But the cautious man cdemeans himself humblyc.

G 24 ‘Tis unseemlye for one to listen at the door,

And the wise man would be grieved fat the shameful actf.

25 The lips of babblersg [only] repeath iwhat others sayi,

jBut the words of the wise are weighed in the balancej.

26 The heart of fools is in their mouth,

But the mouth of the wise is kin their heartk.

27 When the fooll curseth his adversarym,

He curseth his own soul.

28 The whisperer defileth his own soul,

And is hated nwheresoever he sojournethn.

(e) 22:1–2. The Despicableness of Sloth

(= 2 distichs).

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