Sirach 4

4 aMy son, bdefraud notb the poor of his sustenancec,

And grieve not dthe eyes of him that is bitter in (his) sould.

eDespise notf the needy soul,

And vexg not the hearth of the oppressed.

Hurt not the feelingsi of the afflicted,

And withhold not a gift kfrom the poork.

HA lDespise not the supplication of the poorl,

llAnd turn not away from the afflicted soulll.

G mFrom him that asketh turn not thine eye awaym n,

HA And give him none occasiono to curse thee;

When in anguish of soul the broken-heartedp criethq,

rHe that created himr heareth his plaint.

sMake thyself beloved in the assemblys t,

And to the ruleru uuof the cityuu bow thy head.

Incline thine ear to the afflictedv w,

And return his salutationx in meekness.

Deliver the oppressed from his oppressors,

y And let not thy spirit hatey zjust judgementz.

10 Be as a father to orphans,

And in place of a husband ato widowsa;

Then God will call thee ‘son’,

And aawill be gracious to theeaa, band deliver thee from the Pitb.

(a) 4:11–19. The Reward of those who seek Wisdom

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

H 11 Wisdom instructeth her sons,

And enlightenetha all who give heed to her.

12 They that love her love life,

And they that seek her bshall obtain grace from the Lordb.

13 They that take hold of her shall find glory bbfrom the Lordbb,

And they shall abide in the blessing of the Lord.

14 They that serve her serve the Holy One,

cAnd God loveth them that love herc.

15 He that hearkeneth unto me shall judged (in) truthe,

And he that giveth ear unto me shall dwell in my innermost chamberf.

G 16 gIf he trusth mei, he shall possessk mel,

And his posteritym nshall hold meo fastng.

HA 17 But I will walk with him in disguisep,

And at first qIr will try him with temptationsq.

G s Fear and dread will It bring upon himus,

HA And I will torment him with chastisements,

Until his heart is filleduu with me,

G v And I try him with my ordinancesv.

HA 18 (Then) will I lead him on againvv,

And will reveal to him my secrets.

19 wIf he turn away (from me), I will forsakex himw,

And will deliver him over to the spoilers.

(b) 4:20–28. Practical Precepts on Right-doing

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

20 My son, observe ytimes and seasonsy, and beware ofz evil,

And be not ashameda concerning thy soul.

21 For there is a shameb that bringeth sin,

And there is a shame (that bringeth) honour and favour.

22 cRespect no man to thine own detrimentc,

And be not ashamedd, to thine own stumblinge.

23 Withhold not speechf in due seasong,

HAHC hAnd hide noti thy wisdomh.

HA 24 For Wisdom is known kthrough utterancek,

And understanding by the word of the tongue.

25 Speak not against the truthl,

mAnd be humble towards Godm.

HA 26 Be not ashamed to confessn (thy) sins,

And stand not against the stream.

27 Prostrate not thy soul in the sight of a fool,

nnAnd accept not the person of one that is mightynn o.

28 Strive for the rightp until death,

And the Lord will fight for theeq.

(c) 4:29–5:3. Further precepts for everyday life

(= 3 + 3 distichs).

29 Be not boastfulr with thy tongues,

(Nor) slack and negligent in thy work.

HAHC 30 Be not like a liont in thy home,

And utyrannous and terribleu towards thy servantsv.

31 Let not thy hand be stretched outw to takex,

yAnd closedz aat the time of giving backay.

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