Sirach 37

37HD(B) Every friend saith: hI am a friendh;

iBut there is a friend who is (only) friend in namei.

Is there not j[a sorrow]j kthat cometh nigh unto deathk

lA deeply loved friendl mwho changeth to an enemym?

nO base nature! why then wast thou createdn,

oTo fillo pthe world’s facep qwith deceitq!

HD(B) rBase is the friend who hath regard to (one’s) tabler,

But in the time of stress standeth aloof.

sA good friend contendeth with (one’s) enemys,

tAndt against uadversariesu holdeth the shield.

vForget notv a comrade win conflictw,

xAnd forsake him not when thou takest spoilx.

(d) 37:7–15: Of counsellors true and false

(= 4 + 6 + 2 + 2 + 1 distichs).

Every counsellor apointeth (with) the handa,

But there is he that counselleth ba way to suit himselfb;

Beware of the counsellor,

And inform thyself beforehand what is his interest:

cFor he himself will alsoc take thought:

cc‘Why should it fall out as he wishes?’cc

And will say to thee: dHow goodd is thy course!

And (then) stand off to watch ddthy misfortunedd.

HD 10 Consult not ewith [those opposed to thee]e,

And hide thy counsel from him that is envious—

HB(D) 11 Withf a woman gaboutg her rival,

hAnd from [an enemy]h iabout war with himi;

With a merchant about jbusinessj,

And from a buyer about selling;

kWith an evil-disposed mank labout benevolencel,

And a merciless man mabout human happinessm;

n(With) the worthless workmann about his work,

nnAnd the yearly hirelingnn oabout the sowing of seedo;

G (With) the idle slave about much work—

Put no trust in these pfor any counselp!

HB(D) 12 qBut rather with a man that feareth alwaysq,

rWhom thou knowest to be a keeper of the Lawr;

sWhose heart is at one with thine owns,

tWhot, if thou stumblest, uwill be grieved for theeu.

HB(D) 13 Do thou also vtake knowledgev of the counsel of (thine own) heart,

wFor thou hast no one more true to theew.

14 The heart of a man xtelleth (him) his opportunitiesx

Better than seven watchmen yon a towery.

15 But in all this intreat God,

That He may direct thy steps in truth.

(a) 37:16–26. True and false wisdom

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

16 aThe beginning of every action is speech,

And before every work is the thoughta.

17 bThe roots of the heart’s deliberations

(18) Bring forth four branchesb:

18 Good and evil, life and death;

cBut the tongue ruleth over them altogetherc.

HBD(C) 19 dThere is a wise man who is wise for manyd

But for himself eis a foole.

HBHD 20 f gAnd there is a wise man who is loathed for his speechg,

And is cut off hfrom all enjoymenth;

G 21 [For winning grace has not been bestowed upon him from the Lord,

And he depriveth himself of all honour].

HBHD(C) 22 iAnd there is ja wise man who is wisej for himself,

The fruit of whose understanding (is) kupon his bodyk.

HBHD 23 iAnd there is a wise man lwho is wise for his peoplel,

The fruit of whose understanding is mlastingm.

25 nThe life of a man (numbers) odays but fewo,

pBut the life of Jeshurun days innumerablep.

HBHD(C) 24 n qWho is wise for himselfq shall have his fill rof enjoymentr,

And sall who see hims count him happy.

26 tWho is wise (for his) peoplet gaineth uhonouru,

And his name vabideth in life eternalv.

(b) 37:27–31. Wisdom or discretion applied to eating

(= 2 + 2 + 1 distichs).

HBHD 27 My son, prove thy soul win thy lifew,

And see (that) what harmeth it xthou give it not.

HB(HD) 28 For not yeverythingy is good for every one—

zEvery soul maketh not its choice of every kindz.

29 aIndulge not excessa bin anyb enjoyment,

cNor immoderationc in danyd dainties.

30 eFor in much eatinge fnesteth sicknessf,

gAnd he that indulgeth excessg cometh nigh to hloathingh.

31 iBy intemperancei many have perished,

But he that is on his guard prolongeth life.

(a) 38:1–15. The physician has been ordained by God and should be resorted to in sickness

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

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