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Sirach 27

27 Many have sinned for the sake of gaingg;

And he that seeketh to multiply (gain)h turneth away his eye.

iA nail sticketh fast between kthe joinings ofk stonesl,

mAnd nsin will thrust itself inn between buyer and seller.

oMy sono, if pthou hold notp diligently to the fear of the Lord,

qThyr house will soon be overthrownq.

(a) 27:4–7. The appraising of a man’s value

(= 3 + 1 distichs).

sWhen a sieve is shaken, the refuse remaineth;

So (it is with) the filth of man in his reasonings.

HA tThe furnace provethu the potter’s vessels,

vAnd the tryingv of a man (is done) by examining him.

Upon the cultivation of the tree dependeth the fruit;

So (dependeth) man’svv thought upon his naturet.

G wPraise no man xbefore taking stock (of him)x,

For this (is) the (way to make) trial of menw.

(b) 27:8–10. Reward and retribution

(= 3 distichs).

If thou follow after righteousnessy, thou wilt attainz,

Baba Qamma And put it on as a robe of glory.

92b Every birda dwellethb with its kind,

G And truth returnethc to them who practise her.

10 The lion lieth in wait for prey;

So do sinsd for those who ework iniquitye.

(c) 27:11–15. Concerning varieties of speech

(= 2 + 3 distichs).

11 The discourse of the wisef man continuethg hin wisdomh,

But the fool changeth as the moon.

12 In the midst of fools iwatch closely the timei,

But kamong the wise abide continuallyk.

13 The discourse of foolsl is an annoyancem,

And their laughter is nsinful wantonnessn.

14 oThe oath of the godlesso maketh the hair stand upright;

Their strife maketh one stop his ears.

15 The strife of the proud is shedding of blood,

And their reviling is grievousp hearing.

(d) 27:16–21. The evil consequences of betraying secrets

(= 2 + 3 + 1 distichs).

G 16 He who revealeth secretsq losethr credit,

And he findeth no friend to his mindrr.

17 Proves a friend, and tkeep faith with himt,

But if thou reveal his secrets, follow not after him;

18 For as a man that hath destroyed his inheritancev,

So hast thou destroyed the friendship of thyw neighbour.

19 And as a bird which thou hast loosed out of thy hand,

So hast thou let thyx neighbour go, and thou wilt not catch him again.

20 Pursue him not, xxfor he is gone far awayxx,

And hath escapedy like a gazelle out of a snareyy.

21 For a wound may be bound up, and for slanderz there is reconciliation,

But he that revealeth secrets zzhath no hopezz.

(e) 27:22–24. The hatefulness of insincerity

(= 3 + 1 distichs).

22 aHe that winketh with his eye planneth evil things,

70, 248 And he that knoweth him keepeth far from him.

G 23 Before thy face he speaketh sweetly,

And will admire thy words;

But afterward he will alter his speech,

And with thy words will make a stumbling-block.

24 Many things I hate, but nothing like him,

And the Lord will hate him (too), band curse himb.

(f) 27:25–29. Nemesis

(= 3 + 2 distichs).

25 He that casteth a stone bbon highbb ccasteth it on his own headc,

L dAnd a deceitful blow apportions wounds to the deceiverd.

G 26 He that diggeth a pit eshall fall into ite;

And he that setteth a snare shall be taken therein.

27 He that doeth evil things, they shall rollf upon him,

And he will not know whence gthey cameg to him.

28 hMockery and reproach (are the lot) of the proud,

And vengeance, like a lion, lieth in wait for themi h.

29 kThey that rejoice at the fall of the godly shall be taken in a snare,

And anguish shall consume them ere they diek.

(g) 27:30–28:7. Concerning forgiveness; vengeance belongs to God alone

(= 3 + 3 + 2 distichs).

30 Wrathl and anger, these also are abominations,

mAnd a sinful man clingeth to themm.

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