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This Book is so called from a Greek word that signifies a preacher: because, like an excellent preacher, it gives admirable lessons of all virtues. The author was Jesus the son of Sirach of Jerusalem, who flourished about two hundred years before Christ. As it was written after the time of Esdras, it is not in the Jewish canon; but is received as canonical and divine by the Catholic Church, instructed by apostolical tradition, and directed by the spirit of God. It was first written in the Hebrew, but afterwards translated into Greek by another Jesus, the grandson of the author, whose prologue to this book is the following:

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Douay Rheims - Old Testament


THE knowledge of many and great things hath been shewn us by the law, and the prophets, and others that have followed them: for which things Israel is to be commended for doctrine and wisdom, because not only they that speak must needs be skilful, but strangers also, both speaking and writing, may by their means become most learned. My grandfather Jesus, after he had much given himself to a diligent reading of the law, and the prophets, and other books, that were delivered to us from our fathers, had a mind also to write something himself, pertaining to doctrine and wisdom: that such as are desirous to learn, and are made knowing in these things, may be more and more attentive in mind, and be strengthened to live according to the law. I entreat you therefore to come with benevolence, and to read with attention, and to pardon us for those things wherein we may seem, while we follow the image of wisdom, to come short in the composition of words; for the Hebrew words have not the same force in them when translated into another tongue. And not only these, but the law also itself, and the prophets, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when they are spoken in their own language. For in the eight and thirtieth year coming into Egypt, when Ptolemy Evergetes was king, and continuing there a long time, I found there books left, of no small nor contemptible learning. Therefore I thought it good, and necessary for me to bestow some diligence and labour to interpret this book; and with much watching and study in some space of time, I brought the book to an end, and set it forth for the service of them that are willing to apply their mind, and to learn how they ought to conduct themselves, who purpose to lead their life according to the law of the Lord. 

Chapter 1

1 All wisdom is from the Lord God, and hath been always with him, and is before all time.

2 Who hath numbered the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of the world? Who hath measured the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the depth of the abyss?

3 Who hath searched out the wisdom of God that goeth before all things?

4 Wisdom hath been created before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting.

5 The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom, and her ways are everlasting commandments.

6 To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed, and who hath known her wise counsels?

7 To whom hath the discipline of wisdom been revealed and made manifest? and who hath understood the multiplicity of her steps?

8 There is one most high Creator Almighty, and a powerful king, and greatly to be feared, who sitteth upon his throne, and is the God of dominion.

9 He created her in the Holy Ghost, and saw her, and numbered her, and measured her.

10 And he poured her out upon all his works, and upon all flesh according to his gift, and hath given her to them that love him.

11 The fear of the Lord is honour, and glory, and gladness, and a crown of joy.

12 The fear of the Lord shall delight the heart, and shall give joy, and gladness, and length of days.

13 With him that feareth the Lord, it shall go well in the latter end, and in the day of his death he shall be blessed.

14 The love of God is honourable wisdom.

15 Ana they to whom she shall shew herself love her by the sight, and by the knowledge of her great works.

16 The fear of the Lord Is the beginning of wisdom, and was created with the faithful in the womb, it walketh with chosen women, and is known with the just and faithful.

17 The fear of the Lord is the religiousness of knowledge.

18 Religiousness shall keep and justify the heart, it shall give joy and gladness.

19 It shall go well with him that feareth the Lord, and in the days of his end he shall be blessed.

20 To fear God is the fulness of wisdom, and fulness is from the fruits thereof.

21 She shall fill all her house with her increase, and the storehouses with her treasures.

22 The fear of the Lord is a crown of wisdom, filling up peace and the fruit of salvation:

23 And it hath seen, and numbered her: but both are the gifts of God.

24 Wisdom shall distribute knowledge, and understanding of prudence: and exalteth the glory of them that hold her.

25 The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord: and the branches thereof are longlived.

26 In the treasures of wisdom is understanding, and religiousness of knowledge: but to sinners wisdom is an abomination.

27 The fear of the Lord driveth out sin:

28 For he that is without fear, cannot be justified: for the wrath of his high spirits is his ruin.

29 A patient man shall bear for a time, and afterwards joy shall be restored to him.

30 A good understanding will hide his words for a time, and the lips of many shall declare his wisdom.

31 In the treasures of wisdom is the signification of discipline:

32 But the worship of God is an abomination to a sinner.

33 Son, if thou desire wisdom, keep justice, and God will give her to thee.

34 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and discipline: and that which is agreeable to him,

35 Is faith, and meekness: and he will fill up his treasures.

36 Be not incredulous to the fear of the Lord: and come not to him with a double heart.

37 Be not a hypocrite in the sight of men, and let not thy lips be a stumblingblock to thee.

38 Watch over them, lest thou fall, and bring dishonour upon thy soul,

39 And God discover thy secrets, and cast thee down in the midst of the congregation.

40 Because thou camest to the Lord wickedly, and thy heart is full of guile and deceit.

Chapter 2

1 Son, when thou comest to the service of God, stand in justice and in fear, and prepare thy soul for temptation.

2 Humble thy heart, and endure: incline thy ear, and receive the words of understanding: and make not haste in the time of clouds.

3 Wait on God with patience: join thyself to God, and endure, that thy life may be increased in the latter end.

4 Take all that shall be brought upon thee: and in thy sorrow endure, and in thy humiliation keep patience.

5 For gold and silver are tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.

6 Believe God, and he will recover thee: and direct thy way, and trust in him. Keep his fear, and grow old therein.

7 Ye that fear the Lord, wait for his mercy: and go not aside from him, lest ye fall.

8 Ye that fear the Lord, believe him: and your reward shall not be made void.

9 Ye that fear the Lord, hope in him: and mercy shall come to you for your delight.

10 Ye that fear the Lord, love him, and your hearts shall be enlightened.

11 My children behold the generations of men: and know ye that no one hath hoped in the Lord, and hath been confounded.

12 For who hath continued in his commandment, and hath been forsaken? or who hath called upon him, and he despised him?

13 For God is compassionate and merciful, and will forgive sins in the day of tribulation: and he is a protector to all that seek him in truth.

14 Woe to them that are of a double heart and to wicked lips, and to the hands that do evil, and to the sinner that goeth on the earth two ways.

15 Woe to them that are fainthearted, who believe not God: and therefore they shall not be protected by him.

16 Woe to them that have lost patience, and that have forsaken the right ways, and have gone aside into crooked ways.

17 And what will they do, when the Lord shall begin to examine?

18 They that fear the Lord, will not be incredulous to his word: and they that love him, will keep his way.

19 They that fear the Lord, will seek after the things that are well pleasing to him: and they that love him, shall be filled with his law.

20 They that fear the Lord, will prepare their hearts, and in his sight will sanctify their souls.

21 They that fear the Lord, keep his Commandments, and will have patience even until his visitation,

22 Saying: If we do not penance, we shall fall into the hands of the Lord, and not into the hands of men.

23 For according to his greatness, so also is his mercy with him.

Chapter 3

1 The sons of wisdom are the church of the just: and their generation, obedience and love.

2 Children, hear the judgment of your father, and so do that you may be saved.

3 For God hath made the father honourable to the children: and seeking the judgment of the mothers, hath confirmed it upon the children.

4 He that loveth God, shall obtain pardon for his sine by prayer, and shall refrain himself from them, and shall be heard in the prayer of days.

5 And he that honoureth his mother is as one that layeth up a treasure.

6 He that honoureth his father shall have joy in his own children, and in the day of his prayer he shall be heard.

7 He that honoureth his father shall enjoy a long life: and he that obeyeth the father, shall be a comfort to his mother.

8 He that feareth the Lord, honoureth his parents, and will serve them as his masters that brought him into the world.

9 Honour thy father, in work and word, and all patience,

10 That a blessing may come upon thee from him, and his blessing may remain in the latter end.

11 The father's blessing establisheth the houses of the children: but the mother's curse rooteth up the foundation.

12 Glory not in the dishonour of thy father: for his shame is no glory to thee.

13 For the glory of a man is from the honour of his father, and a father without honour is the disgrace of the son.

14 Son, support the old age of thy father, and grieve him not in his life;

15 And if his understanding fail, have patience with him, and despise him not when thou art in thy strength: for the relieving of the father shall not be for- gotten.

16 For good shall be repaid to thee for the sin of thy mother.

17 And in justice thou shalt be built up, and in the day of affliction thou shalt be remembered: and thy sine shall melt away as the ice in the fair warm weather.

18 Of what an evil fame is he that forsaketh his father: and he is cursed of God that angereth his mother.

19 My son, do thy works in meekness, and thou shalt be beloved above the glory of men.

20 The greater thou art, the more humble thyself in all things, and thou shalt find grace before God:

21 For great is the power of God alone, and he is honoured by the humble.

22 Seek not the things that are too high for thee, and search not into things above thy ability: but the things that God hath commanded thee, think on them always, and in many of his works be not curious.

23 For it is not necessary for thee to see with thy eyes those things that are hid.

24 In unnecessary matters be not over curious, and in many of his works thou shalt not be inquisitive.

25 For many things are shewn to thee above the understanding of men.

26 And the suspicion of them hath deceived many, and hath detained their minds in vanity.

27 A hard heart shall fear evil at the last: and he that loveth danger shall perish in it.

28 A heart that goeth two ways shall not have success, and the perverse of heart shall be scandalized therein.

29 A wicked heart shall be laden with sorrows, and the sinner will add sin to sin.

30 The congregation of the proud shall not be healed: for the plant of wickedness shall take root in them, and it shall not be perceived.

31 The heart of the wise is understood in wisdom, and a good ear will hear wisdom with all desire.

32 A wise heart, and which hath under- standing, will abstain from sine, and in the works of justice shall have success.

33 Water quencheth a flaming fire, and alms resisteth sins:

34 And God provideth for him that sheweth favour: he remembereth him afterwards, and in the time of his fall he shall find a sure stay.

Chapter 4

1 Son, defraud not the poor of alms, and turn not away thy eyes from the poor.

2 Despise not the hungry soul: and provoke not the Boor in his want.

3 Afflict not the heart of the needy, and defer not to give to him that is in distress.

4 Reject not the petition of the afflicted: and turn not away thy face from the needy.

5 Turn not away thy eyes from the poor for fear of anger: and leave not to them that ask of thee to curse thee behind thy back.

6 For the prayer of him that curseth thee in the bitterness of his soul, shall be heard, for he that made him will hear him.

7 Make thyself affable to the congregation of the poor, and humble thy soul to the ancient, and bow thy head to a great man.

8 Bow down thy ear cheerfully to the poor, and pay what thou owest, and answer him peaceable words with mildness.

9 Deliver him that suffereth wrong out of the hand of the proud: and be not fainthearted in thy soul.

10 In judging be merciful to the fatherless as a father, and as a husband to their mother.

11 And thou shalt be as the obedient son of the most High, and he will have mercy on thee more than a mother.

12 Wisdom inspireth life into her children, and protecteth them that seek after her, and will go before them in the way of justice.

13 And he that loveth her, loveth life: and they that watch for her, shall embrace her sweetness.

14 They that hold her fast, shall inherit life: and whithersoever she entereth, God will give a blessing.

15 They that serve her, shall be servants to the holy one: and God loveth them that love her.

16 He that hearkeneth to her, shall judge nations: and he that looketh upon her, shall remain secure.

17 If he trust to her, he shall inherit her, and his generation shall be in assurance.

18 For she walketh with him in temptation, and at the first she chooseth him.

19 She will bring upon him fear and dread and trial: and she will scourge him with the affliction of her discipline, till she try him by her laws, and trust his soul.

20 Then she will strengthen him, and make a straight way to him, and give him joy,

21 And will disclose her secrets to him, and will heap upon him treasures of knowledge and understanding of justice.

22 But if he go astray, she will forsake him, and deliver him into the hands of his enemy.

23 Son, observe the time, and fly from evil.

24 For thy soul be not ashamed to say the truth.

25 For there is a shame that bringeth sin, and there is a shame that bringeth glory and grace.

26 Accept no person against thy own person, nor against thy soul a lie.

27 Reverence not thy neighbour in his fall:

28 And refrain not to speak in the time of salvation. Hide not thy wisdom in her beauty.

29 For by the tongue wisdom is discerned: and understanding, and knowledge, and learning by the word of the wise, and steadfastness in the works of justice.

30 In nowise speak against the truth, but be ashamed of the lie of thy ignorance.

31 Be not ashamed to confess thy sins, but submit not thyself to every man for sin.

32 Resist not against the face of the mighty, and do not strive against the stream of the river.

33 Strive for justice for thy soul, and even unto death fight for justice, and God will overthrow thy enemies for thee.

34 Be not hasty in thy tongue: and slack and remiss in thy works.

35 Be not as a lion in thy house, terrifying them of thy household, and oppressing them that are under thee.

36 Let not thy hand be stretched out to receive, and shut when thou shouldst give.

Chapter 5

1 Set not thy heart upon unjust possessions, and say not: I have enough to live on: for it shall be of no service in the time of vengeance and darkness.

2 Follow not in thy strength the desires of thy heart:

3 And say not: How mighty am I? and who shall bring me under for my deeds? for God will surely take revenge.

4 Say not: I have sinned, and whet harm hath befallen me? for the most High is a patient rewarder.

5 Be not without fear about sin forgiven, and add not sin upon sin:

6 And say not: The mercy of the Lord is great, he will have mercy on the multitude of my sins.

7 For mercy and wrath quickly come from him, and his wrath looketh upon sinners.

8 Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day.

9 For his wrath shall come on a sudden, and in the time of vengeance he will destroy thee.

10 Be not anxious for goods unjustly gotten: for they shall not profit thee in the day of calamity and revenge.

11 Winnow not with every wind, and go not into every way: for so is every sinner proved by a double tongue.

12 Be steadfast in the way of the Lord, and in the truth of thy judgment, and in knowledge, and let the word of peace and justice keep with thee.

13 Be meek to hear the word, that thou mayst understand: and return a true answer with wisdom.

14 If thou have understanding, answer thy neighbour: but if not, let thy hand be upon thy mouth, lest thou be surprised in an unskilful word, and be confounded.

15 Honour and glory is in the word of the wise, but the tongue of the fool is his ruin.

16 Be not called a whisperer, and be not taken in thy tongue, and confounded.

17 For confusion and repentance is upon a thief, and an evil mark of disgrace upon the double tongued, but to the whisperer hatred, and enmity, and reproach.

18 Justify alike the small and the great.

Chapter 6

1 Instead of a friend become not an enemy to thy neighbour: for an evil man shall inherit reproach and shame, so shall every sinner that is envious and double tongued.

2 Extol not thyself in the thoughts of thy soul like a bull: lest thy strength be quashed by folly,

3 And it eat up thy leaves, and destroy thy fruit: and thou be left as a dry tree in the wilderness.

4 For a wicked soul shall destroy him that hath it, and maketh him to be a joy to his enemies, and shall lead him into the lot of the wicked.

5 A sweet word multiplieth friends, and appeaseth enemies, and a gracious tongue in a good man aboundeth.

6 Be in peace with many, but let one of a thousand be thy counsellor.

7 If thou wouldst get a friend, try him before thou takest him, and do not credit him easily.

8 For there is a friend for his own occasion, and he will not abide in the day of thy trouble.

9 And there is a friend that turneth to enmity; and there is a friend that will disclose hatred and strife and reproaches.

10 And there is a friend a companion at the table, and he will not abide in the day of distress.

11 A friend ii he continue steadfast, shall be to thee as thyself, and shall act with confidence among them of thy household.

12 If he humble himself before thee, and hide himself from thy face, thou shalt have unanimous friendship for good.

13 Separate thyself from thy enemies, and take heed of thy friends.

14 A faithful friend is a strong defence: and he that hath found him, hath found a treasure.

15 Nothing can be compared to a faithful friend, and no weight of gold and silver is able to countervail the goodness of his fidelity.

16 A faithful friend is the medicine of life and immortality: and they that fear the Lord, shall find him.

17 He that feareth God, shall likewise have good friendship: because according to him shall his friend be.

18 My son, from thy youth up receive instruction, and even to thy grey hairs thou shalt find wisdom.

19 Come to her as one that plougheth, and soweth, and wait for her good fruits:

20 For in working about her thou shalt labour a little, and shalt quickly eat of her fruits.

21 How very unpleasant is wisdom to the unlearned, and the unwise will not continue with her.

22 She shall be to them as a mighty stone of trial, and they will cast her from them before it be long.

23 For the wisdom of doctrine is according to her name, and she is not manifest unto many, but with them to whom she is known, she continueth even to the sight of God.

24 Give ear, my son, and take wise counsel, and cast not away my advice.

25 Put thy feet into her fetters, and thy neck into her chains:

26 Bow down thy shoulder, and bear her, and be not grieved with her bands.

27 Come to her with all thy mind, and keep her ways with all thy power.

28 Search for her, and she shall be made known to thee, and when thou hast gotten her, let her not go:

29 For in the latter end thou shalt find rest in her, and she shall be turned to thy joy.

30 Then shall her fetters be a strong defence for thee, and a firm foundation, and her chain a robe of glory:

31 For in her is the beauty of life, and her bands are a healthful binding.

32 Thou shalt put her on as a robe of glory, and thee shalt set her upon thee as a crown of joy.

33 My son, if thou wilt attend to me, thou shalt learn: and if thou wilt apply thy mind, thou shalt be wise.

34 If thou wilt incline thy ear, thou shalt receive instruction: and if thou love to hear, thou shalt be wise.

35 Stand in the multitude of ancients that are wise, and join thyself from thy heart to their wisdom, that thou mayst hear every discourse of God, and the sayings of praise may not escape thee.

36 And if thou see a man of understanding, go to him early in the morning, and let thy foot wear the steps of his doors.

37 Let thy thoughts be upon the precepts of God, and meditate continually on his commandments: and he will give thee a heart, and the desire of wisdom shall be given thee.

Chapter 7

1 Do no evils, and no evils shall lay hold of thee.

2 Depart from the unjust, and evils shall depart from thee.

3 My son, sow not evils in the furrows of injustice, and thou shalt not reap them sevenfold.

4 Seek not of the Lord a pre-eminence, nor of the king the seat of honour.

5 Justify not thyself before God, for he knoweth the heart: and desire not to appear wise before the king.

6 Seek not to be made a judge, unless thou have strength enough to extirpate iniquities: lest thou fear the person of the powerful, and lay a stumblingblock for thy integrity.

7 Offend not against the multitude of a city, neither cast thyself in upon the people,

8 Nor bind sin to sin: for even in one thou shalt not be unpunished.

9 Be not fainthearted in thy mind:

10 Neglect not to pray, and to give alms.

11 Say not: God will have respect to the multitude of my gifts, and when I offer to the most high God, he will accept my offerings.

12 Laugh no man to scorn in the bitterness of his soul: for there is one that humbleth and exalteth, God who seeth

13 Devise not a lie against thy brother: neither do the like against thy friend.

14 Be not willing to make any manner of lie: for the custom thereof is not good.

15 Be not full of words in a multitude of ancients, and repeat not the word in thy prayer.

16 Hate not laborious works, nor husbandry ordained by the most High.

17 Number not thyself among the multitude of the disorderly.

18 Remember wrath, for it will not tarry long.

19 Humble thy spirit very much: for the vengeance on the flesh of the ungodly is fire and worms.

20 Do not transgress against thy friend deferring money, nor despise thy dear brother for the sake of gold.

21 Depart not from a wise and good wife, whom thou best gotten in the fear of the Lord: for the grace of her modesty is above gold.

22 Hurt not the servant that worketh faithfully, nor the hired man that giveth thee his life.

23 Let a wise servant be dear to thee as thy own soul, defraud him not of liberty, nor leave him needy.

24 Hast thou cattle? have an eye to them: and if they be for thy profit, keep them with thee.

25 Hast thou children? instruct them, and bow down their neck from their childhood.

26 Hast thou daughters? have a care of their body, and shew not thy countenance gay towards them.

27 Marry thy daughter well, and then shalt do a great work, and give her to a wise man.

28 If thou hast a wife according to thy soul, cast her not off: and to her that is hateful, trust not thyself. With thy whole heart,

29 Honour thy father, and forget not the groanings of thy mother:

30 Remember that thou hadst not been born but through them: and make a return to them as they have done for thee.

31 With all thy soul fear the Lord, and reverence his priests.

32 With all thy strength love him that made thee: and forsake not his ministers.

33 Honour God with all thy soul, and give honour to the priests, and purify thyself with thy arms.

34 Give them their portion, as it is commanded thee, of the firstfruits and of purifications: and for thy negligences purify thyself with a few.

35 Offer to the Lord the gift of thy shoulders, and the sacrifice of sanctification, and the firstfruits of the holy things:

38 And stretch out thy hand to the poor, that thy expiation and thy blessing may be perfected.

37 A gift hath grace in the sight of all the living, and restrain not grace from the dead.

38 Be not wanting in comforting them that weep, and walk with them that mourn.

39 Be not slow to visit the sick: for by these things thou shalt be confirmed in love.

40 In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.

Chapter 8

1 Strive not with a powerful man, lest thou fall into his hands.

2 Contend not with a rich man, lest he bring an action against thee.

3 For gold and silver hath destroyed many, and hath reached even to the heart of kings, and perverted them.

4 Strive not with a man that is full of tongue, and heap not wood upon his fire.

5 Communicate not with an ignorant man, lest he speak ill of thy family.

6 Despise not a man that turneth away from sin, nor reproach him therewith: remember that we are all worthy of reproof.

7 Despise not a man in his old age; for we also shall become old.

8 Rejoice not at the death of thy enemy; knowing that we all die, and are not willing that others should rejoice at our death.

9 Despise not the discourse of them that are ancient and wise, but acquaint thyself with their proverbs.

10 For of them thou shalt learn wisdom, and instruction of understanding, and to serve great men without blame.

11 Let not the discourse of the ancients escape thee, for they have learned of their fathers:

12 For of them thou shalt learn understanding, and to give an answer in time of need.

13 Kindle not the coals of sinners by rebuking them, lest thou be burnt with the flame of the fire of their sins.

14 Stand not against the face of an injurious person, lest he sit as a spy to entrap thee in thy words.

15 Lend not to a man that is mightier than thyself: and if thou lendest, count it as lost.

16 Be not surety above thy power: and if thou be surety, think as if thou wert to pay it.

17 Judge not against a judge: for he judgeth according to that which is just.

18 Go not on the way with a bold man, lest he burden thee with his evils: for he goeth according to his own will, and thou shalt perish together with his folly.

19 Quarrel not with a passionate man, and go not into the desert with a bold man: for blood is as nothing in his sight, and where there is no help he will overthrow thee.

20 Advise not with fools, for they cannot love but such things as please them.

21 Before a stranger do no matter of counsel: for thou knowest not what he will bring forth.

22 Open not thy heart to every man: lest he repay thee with an evil turn, and speak reproachfully to thee.

Chapter 9

1 Be not jealous over the wife of thy bosom, lest she shew in thy regard the malice of a wicked lesson.

2 Give not the power of thy soul to a woman, lest she enter upon thy strength, and thou be confounded.

3 Look not upon a woman that hath a mind for many: lest thou fall into her snares.

4 Use not much the company of her that is a dancer, and hearken not to her, lest thou perish by the force of her charms.

5 Gaze not upon a maiden, lest her beauty be a stumblingblock to thee.

6 Give not thy soul to harlots in any point: lest thou destroy thyself and thy inheritance.

7 Look not round about thee in the of the city, nor wander up and down in the streets thereof.

8 Turn away thy face from a woman dressed up, and gaze not about upon another's beauty.

9 For many have perished by the beauty of a woman, and hereby lust is enkindled as a fire.

10 Every woman that is a harlot, shall be trodden upon as dung in the way.

11 Many by admiring the beauty of another man's wife, have become reprobate, for her conversation burneth as fire.

12 Sit not at all with another man's wife, nor repose upon the bed with her:

13 And strive not with her over wine, lest thy heart decline towards her, and by thy blood thou fall into destruction.

14 Forsake not an old friend, for the new will not be like to him.

15 A new friend is as new wine: it shall grow old, and thou shalt drink it with pleasure.

16 Envy not the glory and riches of a sinner: for thou knowest not what his ruin shall be.

17 Be not pleased with the wrong done by the unjust, knowing that even to hell the wicked shall not please.

18 Keep thee far from the man that hath power to kill, so thou shalt not suspect the fear of death.

19 And if thou come to him, commit no fault, lest he take away thy life.

20 Know it to be a communication with death: for thou art going in the midst of snares, and walking upon the arms of them that are grieved:

21 According to thy power beware of thy neighbor, and treat with the wise and prudent.

22 Let just men be thy guests, and let thy glory be in the fear of God.

23 And let the thought of God be in thy mind, and all thy discourse on the commandments of the Highest.

24 Works shall be praised for the hand of the artificers, and the prince of the people for the wisdom of his speech, but word of the ancients for the sense.

25 A man full of tongue is terrible in his city, and he that is rash in his word shall be hateful.

Chapter 10

1 A wise judge shall judge his people, and the government of a prudent man shall be steady.

2 As the judge of the people is himself, so also are his ministers: and what manner of man the ruler of a city is, such also are they that dwell therein.

3 An unwise king shall be the ruin of his people: and cities shall be inhabited through the prudence of the rulers.

4 The power of the earth is in the hand of God, and in his time he will raise up a profitable ruler over it.

5 The prosperity of man is in the hand of God, and upon the person of the scribe he shall lay his honour.

6 Remember not any injury done thee by thy neighbour, and do thou nothing by deeds of injury.

7 Pride is hateful before God and men: and ah iniquity of nations is execrable.

8 A kingdom is translated from one people to another, because of injustices, and wrongs, and injuries, and divers deceits.

9 But nothing is more wicked than the covetous man. Why is earth and ashes proud?

10 There is not a more wicked thing than to love money: for such a one setteth even his own soul to sale: because while he liveth he hath cast away his bowels.

11 All power is of short life. A long sickness is troublesome to the physician.

12 The physician cutteth off it short sickness: so also a king is to day, and to morrow he shall die.

13 For when a man shall die, he shall inherit serpents, end beasts, and worms.

14 The beginning of the pride of man, is to fall off from God:

15 Because his heart is departed from him that made him: for pride is the beginning of all sin: be that holdeth it, shall be filled with maledictions, and it shall ruin him in the end.

16 Therefore hath the Lord disgraced the assemblies of the wicked, and hath utterly destroyed them.

17 God hath overturned the thrones of proud princes, and hath set up the meek in their stead.

18 God hath made the roots of proud nations to wither, and hath planted the humble of these nations.

19 The Lord hath overthrown the lands of the Gentiles, and hath destroyed them even to the foundation.

20 He hath made some of them to wither away, and hath destroyed them, and hath made the memory of them to cease from the earth.

21 God hath abolished the memory of the proud, and hath preserved the memory of them that are humble in mind.

22 Pride was not made for men: nor wrath for the race of women.

23 That seed of men shall be honoured, which feareth God: but that seed shall be dishonoured, which transgresseth the commandments of the Lord.

24 In the midst of brethren their chief is honourable: so shall they that fear the Lord, be in his eyes.

25 The fear of God is the glory of the rich, and of the honourable, and of the poor:

26 Despise not a just man that is poor, and do not magnify a sinful man that is rich.

27 The great man, and the judge, and the mighty is in honour: and there is none greater than he that feareth God.

28 They that are free shall serve a servant that is wise: and a man that is prudent and well instructed will not murmur when he is reproved; and he that is ignorant, shall not be honoured.

29 Extol not thyself in doing thy work, and linger not in the time of distress:

30 Better is he that laboureth, and aboundeth in all things, than he that boasteth himself and wanteth bread.

31 My son, keep thy soul in meekness, and give it honour according to its desert.

32 Who will justify him that sinneth against his own soul? and who will honour him that dishonoureth his own soul?

33 The poor man is glorified by his discipline and fear: and there is a man that is honoured for his wealth.

34 But he that is glorified in poverty, how much more in wealth? and he that is glorified in wealth, let him fear poverty.

Chapter 11

1 The wisdom of the humble shall exalt his head, and shall make him sit in the midst of great men.

2 Praise not a man for his beauty, neither despise a man for his look.

3 The bee is small among flying things, but her fruit hath the chiefest sweetness.

4 Glory not in apparel at any time, and be not exalted in the day of thy honour: for the works of the Highest only are wonderful, and his works are glorious, and secret, end hidden.

5 Many tyrants have sat on the throne, and he whom no man would think on, hath worn the crown.

6 Many mighty men have been greatly brought down, and the glorious have been delivered into the hand of others.

7 Before thou inquire, blame no man: and when thou hast inquired, reprove justly.

8 Before thou hear, answer not a word: and interrupt not others in the midst of their discourse.

9 Strive not in a matter which doth not concern thee, and sit not in judgment with sinners.

10 My son, meddle not with many matters: and if thou be rich, thou shalt not be free from sin: for if thou pursue after thou shalt not overtake: and if thou run before thou shalt not escape.

11 There is an ungodly man that laboureth, and maketh haste, and is in sorrow, and is so much the more in want.

12 Again, there is an inactive man that wanteth help, is very weak in ability, and full of poverty:

13 Yet the eye of God hath looked upon him for good, and hath lifted him up from his low estate, and hath exalted his head: and many have wondered at him, and have glorified God.

14 Good things and evil, life and death, poverty and riches, are from God.

15 Wisdom and discipline, and the knowledge of the law are with God. Love and the ways of good things are with him

16 Error and darkness are created with sinners: and they that glory in evil things, grow old in evil.

17 The gift of God abideth with the just, and his advancement shall have success for ever.

18 There is one that is enriched by living sparingly, and this is the portion of his reward.

19 In that he saith: I have found me rest, and now I will eat of my goods alone:

20 And he knoweth not what time shall pass, and that death approacheth, and that he must leave all to others, and shall die.

21 Be steadfast in thy covenant, and be conversant therein, and grow old in the work of thy commandments.

22 Abide not in the works of sinners. But trust in God, and stay in thy place.

23 For it is easy in the eyes of God on a sudden to make the poor man rich.

24 The blessing of God maketh haste to reward the just, and in a swift hour his blessing beareth fruit.

25 Say not: What need I, and what good shall I have by this?

26 Say not: I am sufficient for myself: and what shall I be made worse by this?

27 In the day of good things be not unmindful of evils: and in the day of evils be not unmindful of good things:

28 For it is easy before God in the day of death to reward every one according to his ways.

29 The affliction of an hour maketh one forget great delights, and in the end of a man is the disclosing of his works.

30 Praise not any man before death, for a man is known by his children.

31 Bring not every man into thy house: for many are the snares of the deceitful.

32 For as corrupted bowels send forth stinking breath, and as the partridge is brought into the cage, and as the roe into the snare: so also is the heart of the proud, and as a spy that looketh on the fall of his neighbour.

33 For he lieth in wait and turneth good into evil, and on the elect he will lay a blot.

34 Of one spark cometh a great fire, and of one deceitful man much blood: and a sinful man lieth in wait for blood.

35 Take heed to thyself of a mischievous man, for he worketh evils: lest he bring upon thee reproach for ever.

36 Receive a stranger in, and he shall overthrow thee with a whirlwind, and shall turn thee out of thy own.

Chapter 12

1 If thou do good, know to whom thou dost it, and there shall be much thanks for thy good deeds.

2 Do good to the just, and thou shalt find great recompense: and if not of him, assuredly of the Lord.

3 For there is no good for him that is always occupied in evil, and that giveth no alms: for the Highest hateth sinners, and hath mercy on the penitent.

4 Give to the merciful and uphold not the sinner: God will repay vengeance to the ungodly and to sinners, and keep them against the day of vengeance.

5 Give to the good, and receive not a sinner.

6 Do good to the humble, and give not to the ungodly: hold back thy bread, and give it not to him, lest thereby he overmaster thee.

7 For thou shalt receive twice as much evil for all the good thou shalt have done to him: for the Highest also hateth sinners, and will repay vengeance to the ungodly.

8 A friend shall not be known in prosperity, and an enemy shall not be hidden in adversity.

9 In the prosperity of a man, his enemies are grieved: and a friend is known in his adversity.

10 Never trust thy enemy: for as a brass pot his wickedness rusteth:

11Though he humble himself and go crouching, yet take good heed and beware of him.

12 Set him not by thee, neither let him sit on thy right hand, lest he turn into thy place, and seek to take thy seat: and at the last thou acknowledge my words, and be pricked with my sayings.

13 Who will pity an enchanter struck by a serpent, or any that come near wild beasts? so is it with him that keepeth company with a wicked man, and is involved in his sins.

14 For an hour he will abide with thee: but if thou begin to decline, he will not endure it.

15 An enemy speaketh sweetly with his lips, but in his heart he lieth in wait, to throw thee into a pit.

16 An enemy weepeth with his eyes: but if he find an opportunity he will not be satisfied with blood:

17 And if evils come upon thee, thou shalt find him there first.

18 An enemy hath tears in his eyes, and while he pretendeth to help thee, will undermine thy feet.

19 He will shake his head, and clap his hands, and whisper much, and change his countenance.

Chapter 13

1 He that toucheth pitch, shall be defiled with it: and he that hath fellowship with the proud, shall put on pride.

2 He shall take a burden upon him that hath fellowship with one more honour- able than himself. And have no fellow- ship with one that is richer than thyself.

3 What agreement shall the earthen pot have with the kettle? for if they knock one against the other, it shall be broken.

4 The rich man hath done wrong, and yet he will fume: but the poor is wronged and must hold his peace.

5 If thou give, he will make use of thee: and if thou have nothing, he will forsake thee.

6 If thou have any thing, he will live with thee, and will make thee bare, and he will not be sorry for thee.

7 If he have need of thee he will deceive thee, and smiling upon thee will put thee in hope; he will speak thee fair, and will say: What wantest thou?

8 And he will shame thee by his meats, till he have drawn thee dry twice or thrice, and at last he will laugh at thee: and afterward when he seeth thee, he will forsake thee, and shake his head at thee.

9 Humble thyself to God, and wait for his hands.

10 Beware that thou be not deceived Into folly, and be humbled.

11 Be not lowly in thy wisdom, lest being humbled thou be deceived into folly.

12 If thou be invited by one that is mightier, withdraw thyself: for so he will invite thee the more.

13 Be not troublesome to him, lest thou be put back: and keep not far from him, lest thou be forgotten.

14 Affect not to speak with him as an equal: and believe not his many words: for by much talk he will sift thee, and smiling will examine thee concerning thy secrets.

15 His cruel mind will lay up thy words: and he will not spare to do thee hurt, and to cast thee into prison.

16 Take heed to thyself, and attend diligently to what thou hearest: for thou walkest in danger of thy ruin.

17 When thou hearest those things, see as it were in sleep, and thou shalt awake.

18 Love God all thy life, and call upon him for thy salvation.

19 Every beast loveth its like: so also every man him that is nearest to himself.

20 All flesh shall consort with the like to itself, and every man shall associate himself to his like.

21 If the wolf shall at any time have fellowship with the lamb, so the sinner with the just.

22 What fellowship hath a holy man with a dog, or what part hath the rich with the poor?

23 The wild ass is the lion's prey in the desert: so also the poor are devoured by the rich.

24 And as humility is an abomination to the proud: so also the rich man abhorreth the poor.

25 When a rich man is shaken, he is kept up by his friends: but when a poor man is fallen down, he is thrust away even by his acquaintance.

26 When a rich man hath been deceived, he hath many helpers: he hath spoken proud things, and they have justified him.

27 The poor man was deceived, and he is rebuked also: he hath spoken wisely, and could have no place.

28 The rich man spoke, and all held their peace, and what he said they extol even to the clouds.

29 The poor man spoke, and they say: Who is this? and if he stumble, they will overthrow him.

30 Riches are good to him that hath no sin in his conscience: and poverty is very wicked in the mouth of the ungodly.

31 The heart of a man changeth his countenance, either for good, or for evil.

32 The token of a good heart, and a good countenance thou shalt hardly find, and with labour.

Chapter 14

1 Blessed is the man that hath not slipped by a word out of his mouth, and is not pricked with the remorse of sin.

2 Happy is he that hath had no sadness of his mind, and who is not fallen from his hope.

3 Riches are not comely for a covetous man and a niggard, and what should an envious man do with gold?

4 He that gathereth together by wronging his own soul, gathereth for others, and another will squander away his goods in rioting.

5 He that is evil to himself, to whom will he be good? and he shall not take pleasure in his goods.

6 There is none worse than he that envieth himself, and this is the reward of his wickedness:

7 And if he do good, he doth it ignorantly, and unwillingly: and at the last he discovereth his wickedness.

8 The eye of the envious is wicked: and he turneth away his face, and despiseth his own soul.

9 The eye of the covetous man is insatiable in his portion of iniquity: he will not be satisfied till he consume his own soul, drying it up.

10 An evil eye is towards evil things: and he shall not have his fill of bread, but shall be needy and pensive at his own table.

11 My son, if thou have any thing, do good to thyself, and offer to God worthy offerings.

12 Remember that death is not slow, and that the covenant of hell hath been shewn to thee: for the covenant of this world shall surely die.

13 Do good to thy friend before thou die, and according to thy ability, stretching out thy hand give to the poor.

14 Defraud not thyself of the good day, and let not the part of a good gift over- pass thee.

15 Shalt thou not leave to others to divide by lot thy sorrows and labours?

16 Give and take, and justify thy soul.

17 Before thy death work justice: for in hell there is no finding food.

18 All flesh shall fade as grass, and as the leaf that springeth out on a green tree.

19 Some grow, and some fall off: so is the generation of flesh and blood, one cometh to an end, and another is born.

20 Every work that is corruptible shall fail in the end: and the worker thereof shall go with it.

21 And every excellent work shall be justified: and the worker thereof shall be honoured therein.

22 Blessed is the man that shall continue in wisdom, and that shall meditate in his justice, and in his mind shall think of the all seeing eye of God.

23 He that considereth her ways in his heart, and hath understanding in her secrets, who goeth after her as one that traceth, and stayeth in her ways:

24 He who looketh in at her windows, and hearkeneth at her door:

25 He that lodgeth near her house, and fastening a pin in her walls shall set up his tent nigh unto her, where good things shall rest in his lodging for ever.

26 He shall set his children under her shelter, and shall lodge under her branches:

27 He shall be protected under her covering from the heat, and shall rest in her glory.

Chapter 15

1 He that feareth God, will do good: and he that possesseth justice, shall lay hold on her,

2 And she will meet him as an honourable mother, and will receive him as a wife married of a virgin.

3 With the bread of life and understanding, she shall feed him, and give him the water of wholesome wisdom to drink: and she shall be made strong in him, and he shall not be moved:

4 And she shall hold him fast, and he shall not be confounded: and she shall exalt him among his neighbours.

5 And in the midst of the church she shall open his mouth, and shall fill him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and shall clothe him with a robe of glory.

6 She shall heap upon him a treasure of joy and gladness, and shall cause him to inherit an everlasting name.

7 But foolish men shall not obtain her, and wise men shall meet her, foolish men shall not see her: for she is far from pride and deceit.

8 Lying men shall not be mindful of her: but men that speak truth shall be found with her, and shall advance, even till they come to the sight of God.

9 Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner:

10 For wisdom came forth from God: for praise shall be with the wisdom of God, and shall abound in a faithful mouth, and the sovereign Lord will give praise unto it.

11 Say not: It is through God, that she is not with me: for do not thou the things that he hateth.

12 Say not: He hath caused me to err: for he hath no need of wicked men.

13 The Lord hateth all abomination of error, and they that fear him shall not love it.

14 God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his own counsel.

15 He added his commandments and precepts.

16 If thou wilt keep the commandments and perform acceptable fidelity for ever, they shall preserve thee.

17 He hath set water and fire before thee: stretch forth thy hand to which thou wilt.

18 Before man is life and death, good and evil, that which he shall choose shall be given him:

19 For the wisdom of God is great, and he is strong in power, seeing all men without ceasing.

20 The eyes of the Lord are towards them that fear him, and he knoweth all the work of man.

21 He hath commanded no man to do wickedly, and he hath given no man license to sin:

22 For he desireth not a multitude of faithless and unprofitable children.

Chapter 16

1 Rejoice not in ungodly children, if they be multiplied: neither be delighted in them, if the fear of God be not with them.

2 Trust not to their life, and respect not their labours.

3 For better is one that feareth God, than a thousand ungodly children.

4 And it is better to die without children, than to leave ungodly children.

5 By one that is wise a country shall be inhabited, the tribe of the ungodly shall become desolate.

6 Many such things hath my eyes seen, and greater things than these my ear hath heard.

7 In the congregation of sinners a fire shall be kindled, and in an unbelieving nation wrath shall dame out.

8 The ancient giants did not obtain pardon for their sine, who were destroyed trusting to their own strength:

9 And he spared not the place where Lot sojourned, but abhorred them for the pride of their word.

10 He had not pity on them, destroying the whole nation that extolled them- selves in their sine.

11 So did he with the six hundred thousand footmen, who were gathered together in the hardness of their heart: and if one had been stiffnecked, it is a wonder if he had escaped unpunished:

12 For mercy and wrath are with him. He is mighty to forgive, and to pour out indignation:

13 According as his mercy is, so his correction judgeth a man according to his works.

14 The sinner shall not escape in his rapines, and the patience of him that sheweth mercy shall not be put off.

15 All mercy shall make a place for every man according to the merit of his works, and according to the wisdom of his sojournment.

16 Say not: I shall be hidden from God. and who shall remember me from on high?

17 In such a multitude I shall not be known: for what is my soul in such an immense creation?

18 Behold the heaven, and the heavens of heavens, the deep, and all the earth, and the things that are in them, shall be moved in his sight,

19 The mountains also, and the hills, end the foundations of the earth: when God shall look upon them, they shall be shaken with trembling.

20 And in all these things the heart is senseless: and every heart is understood by him:

21 And his ways who shall understand, and the storm, which no eye of man see?

22 For many of his works are hidden: hut the works of his justice who shall declare? or who shall endure? for the testament is far from some, and the examination of all is in the end.

23 He that wanteth understanding thinketh vain things: and the foolish, and erring man, thinketh foolish things.

24 Hearken to me, my son, and learn the discipline of understanding, and attend to my words in thy heart.

25 And I will shew forth good doctrine in equity, and will seek to declare wisdom: and attend to my words in thy heart, whilst with equity of spirit I tell thee the virtues that God hath put upon his works from the beginning, and I shew forth in truth his knowledge.

26 The works of God are done in judgment from the beginning, and from the making of them he distinguished their parts, and their beginnings in their generations.

27 He beautified their works for ever, they have neither hungered, nor laboured, and they have not ceased from their works.

28 Nor shall any of them straiten his neighbour at any time.

29 Be not thou incredulous to his word.

30 After this God looked upon the earth, and filled it with his goods.

31 The soul of every living thing hath shewn forth before the face thereof, and into it they return again.

Chapter 17

1 God created man of the earth, and made him after his own image.

2 And he turned him into it again, and clothed him with strength according to himself.

3 He gave him the number of his days and time, and gave him power over all things that are upon the earth.

4 He put the fear of him upon all flesh, and he had dominion over beasts and fowls.

5 He created of him a helpmate like to himself: he gave them counsel, and a tongue, and eyes, and ears, and a heart to devise: and he filled them with the knowledge of understanding.

6 He created in them the science of the spirit, he filled their heart with wisdom, and shewed them both good and evil.

7 He set his eye upon their hearts to shew them the greatness of his works:

8 That they might praise the name which he hath sanctified: and glory in his wondrous acts, that they might declare the glorious things of his works.

9 Moreover he gave them instructions, and the law of life for an inheritance.

10 He made an everlasting covenant with them, and he shewed them his justice and judgments.

11 And their eye saw the majesty of his glory. and their ears heard his glorious voice, and he said to them: Beware of all iniquity.

12 And he gave to every one of them commandment concerning his neighbour.

13 Their ways are always before him, they are not hidden from his eyes.

14 Over every nation he set a ruler.

15 And Israel was made the manifest portion of God.

16 And all their works are as the sun in the sight of God: and his eyes are continually upon their ways.

17 Their covenants were not hid by their iniquity, and all their iniquities are in the sight of God.

18 The alms of a man is as a signet with him, and shall preserve the grace of a man as the apple of the eye:

19 And afterward he shall rise up, and shall render them their reward, to every one upon their own head, and shall turn them down into the bowels of the earth.

20 But to the penitent he hath given the way of justice, and he hath strengthened them that were fainting in patience, and hath appointed to them the lot of truth.

21 Turn to the Lord, and forsake thy sins:

22 Make thy prayer before the face of the Lord, and offend less.

23 Return to the Lord, and turn away from thy injustice, and greatly hate abomination.

24 And know the justices and judgments of God, and stand firm in the lot set before thee, and in prayer to the most high God.

25 Go to the side of the holy age, with them that live and give praise to God.

26 Tarry not in the error of the ungodly, give glory before death. Praise perisheth from the dead as nothing.

27 Give thanks whilst thou art living, whilst thou art alive and in health thou shalt give thanks, and shalt praise God, and shalt glory in his mercies.

28 How great is the mercy of the Lord, and his forgiveness to them that turn to him !

29 For all things cannot be in men, because the son of man is not immortal, and they are delighted with the vanity of evil.

30 What is brighter than the sun; yet it shall be eclipsed. Or what is more wicked than that which flesh and blood hath invented? and this shall be reproved.

31 He beholdeth the power of the height of heaven: and all men are earth and ashes.

Chapter 18

1 He that liveth for ever created all things together. God only shall be justified, and he remaineth an invincible king for ever.

2 Who is able to declare his works?

3 For who shall search out his glorious acts?

4 And who shall shew forth the power of his majesty? or who shall be able to declare his mercy?

5 Nothing may be taken away, nor added, neither is it possible to find out the glorious works of God:

6 When a man hath done, then shall he begin: and when he leaveth off, he shall be at a loss.

7 What is man, and what is his grace? and what is his good, or what is his evil?

8 The number of the days of men at the most are a hundred years: as a drop of water of the sea are they esteemed: and as a pebble of the sand, so are a few years compared to eternity.

9 Therefore God is patient in them, and poureth forth his mercy upon them.

10 He hath seen the presumption of their heart that it is wicked, and hath known their end that it is evil.

11 Therefore bath he filled up his mercy in their favour, and hath shewn them the way of justice.

12 The compassion of man is toward his neighbour: but the mercy of God is upon all flesh.

13 He hath mercy, and teacheth, and correcteth, as a shepherd doth his hock.

14 He hath mercy on him that receiveth the discipline of mercy, and that maketh haste in his judgments.

15 My son, in thy good deeds, make no complaint, and when thou givest any thing, add not grief by an evil word.

16 Shall not the dew assuage the heat? so also the good word is better than the gift.

17 Lo, is not a word better than a gift? but both are with a justified man.

18 A fool will upbraid bitterly: and a gift of one ill taught consumeth the eyes.

19 Before judgment prepare thee justice, and learn before thou speak.

20 Before sickness take a medicine, and before judgment examine thyself, and thou shalt find mercy in the sight of God.

21 Humble thyself before thou art sick, and in the time of sickness shew thy conversation.

22 Let nothing hinder thee from praying always, and be not afraid to be justified even to death: for the reward of God continueth for ever.

23 Before prayer prepare thy soul: and be not as a man that tempteth God.

24 Remember the wrath that shall be at the last day, and the time of repaying when he shall turn away his face.

25 Remember poverty is the time of abundance, and the necessities of poverty in the day of riches.

26 From the morning until the evening the time shall be changed, and all these are swift in the eyes of God.

27 A wise man will fear in every thing, and in the days of sine will beware of sloth.

28 Every man of understanding knoweth wisdom, and will give praise to him that findeth her.

29 They that were of good understanding in words, have also done wisely themselves: and have understood truth and justice, and have poured forth pro- verbs and judgments.

30 Go not after thy lusts, but turn away from thy own will.

31 If thou give to thy soul her desires, she will make thee a joy to thy enemies.

32 Take no pleasure in riotous assemblies, be they ever so small: for their concertation is continual.

33 Make not thyself poor by borrowing to contribute to feasts when thou hast nothing in thy purse : for thou shalt be an enemy to thy own life.

Chapter 19

1 A workman that is a drunkard shall not be rich: and he that contemneth small things, shall fall by little and little.

2 Wine and women make wise men fall off, and shall rebuke the prudent:

3 And he that joineth himself to harlots, will be wicked. Rottenness and worms shall inherit him, and he shall be lifted up for a greater example, and his soul shall be taken away out of the number.

4 He that is hasty to give credit, is light of heart, and shall be lessened: and he that sinneth against his own soul, shall be despised.

5 He that rejoiceth in iniquity, shall be censured, and he that hateth chastisement, shall have less life: and he that hateth babbling, extinguisheth evil.

6 He that sinneth against his own soul, shall repent: and he that is delighted with wickedness, shall be condemned.

7 Rehearse not again a wicked and harsh word, and thou shalt not fare the worse.

8 Tell not thy mind to friend or foe: and if there be a sin with thee, disclose it not.

9 For he will hearken to thee, and will witch thee, and as it were defending thy sin he will hate thee, and so will he be with thee always.

10 Hast thou heard a word against thy neighbour? let it die within thee, trusting that it will not burst thee.

11 At the hearing of a word the fool is in travail, as a woman groaning. in the bringing forth a child.

12 As an arrow that sticketh in a man's thigh: so is a word in the heart of a fool.

13 Reprove a friend, lest he may not have understood, and say : f did it not: or if he did it, that he may do it no more.

14 Reprove thy neighbour, for it may be he hath not said it: and if he hath said it, that he may not say it again.

15 Admonish thy friend: for there is often a fault committed.

16 And believe not every word. There is one, that slippeth with the tongue, but not from his heart.

17 For who is there that hath not offended with his tongue? Admonish thy neighbour before thou threaten him.

18 And give place to the fear of the most High: for the fear of God is all wisdom, and therein is to fear God, and the disposition of the law is in all wisdom.

19 But the learning of wickedness is not wisdom: and the device of sinners is not prudence.

20 There is a subtle wickedness, and the same is detestable: and there is a man that is foolish, wanting in wisdom.

21 Better is a man that hath less wisdom, and wanteth understanding, with the fear of God, than he that aboundeth in understanding, and transgresseth the law of the most High.

22 There is an exquisite subtilty, and the same is unjust.

23 And there is one that uttereth an exact word telling the truth. There is one that humbleth himself wickedly, and his interior is full of deceit:

24 And there is one that submitteth himself exceedingly with a great lowliness: and there is one that casteth down his countenance, and maketh as if he did not see that which is unknown:

25 And if he be hindered from sinning for want of power, if he shall find opportunity to do evil, he will do it.

26 A man is known by his look, and a wise man, when thou meetest him, is known by his countenance.

27 The attire of the body, and the laughter of the teeth, and the gait of the man, shew what he is.

28 There is a lying rebuke in the anger of an injurious man: and there is a judgment that is not allowed to be good: and there is one that holdeth his peace, he is wise.

Chapter 20

1 How much better is it to reprove, than to be angry, and not to hinder him that confesseth in prayer.

2 The lust of an eunuch shall devour a young maiden:

3 So is he that by violence executeth unjust judgment.

4 How good is it, when thou art reproved, to shew repentance! for so thou shalt escape wilful sin.

5 There is one that holdeth his peace, that is found wise: and there is another that is hateful, that is bold in speech.

6 There is one that holdeth his peace, because he knoweth not what to say: and there is another that holdeth his peace, knowing the proper time.

7 A wise man will hold his peace till he see opportunity: but a babbler, and a fool, will regard no time.

8 He that useth many words shall hurt his own soul: and he that taketh authority to himself unjustly shall be hated.

9 There is success in evil things to a man without discipline, and there is a finding that turneth to loss.

10 There is a gift that is not profitable: and there is a gift, the recompense of which is double.

11 There is an abasement because of glory: and there is one that shall lift up his head from a low estate.

12 There is that buyeth much for a small price, and restoreth the same sevenfold.

13 A man wise in words shall make himself beloved: but the graces of fools shall be poured out.

14 The gift of the fool shall do thee no good: for his eyes are sevenfold.

15 He will give a few things, and upbraid much: and the opening of his mouth is the kindling of a fire.

16 To day a man lendeth, and to morrow he asketh it again: such a man as this is hateful.

17 A fool shall have no friend, and there shall be no thanks for his good deeds.

18 For they that eat his bread, are of a false tongue. How often, and how many will laugh him to scorn!

19 For he doth not distribute with right understanding that which was to be had: in like manner also that which was not to be had.

20 The slipping of a false tongue is as one that falleth on the pavement: so the fall of the wicked shall come speedily.

21 A man without grace is as a vain fable, it shall be continually in the mouth of the unwise.

22 A parable coming out, of a fool's mouth shall be rejected: for he doth not speak it in due season.

23 There is that is hindered from sinning through want, and in his rest he shall be pricked.

24 There is that will destroy his own soul through shamefacedness, and by occasion of an unwise person he will destroy it: and by respect of person he will destroy himself.

25 There is that for bashfulness promiseth to his friend, and maketh him his enemy for nothing.

26 A lie is a foul blot in a man, and yet it will be continually in the mouth of men without discipline.

27 A thief is better than a man that is always lying: but both of them shall inherit destruction.

28 The manners of lying men are without honour: and their confusion is with them without ceasing.

29 A wise man shall advance himself with his words, and a prudent man shall please the great ones.

30 He that tilleth his land shall make a high heap of corn: and he that worketh justice shall be exalted: and he that pleaseth great men shall escape iniquity.

31 Presents and gifts blind the eyes of judges, and make them dumb in the mouth, so that they cannot correct.

32 Wisdom that is hid, and treasure that is not seen: what profit is there in them both?

33 Better is he that hideth his folly, than the man that hideth his wisdom.

Chapter 21

1 My son, hast thou sinned? do so no more: but for thy former sins also pray that they may be forgiven thee.

2 Flee from sins as from the face of a serpent: for if thou comest near them, they will take hold of thee.

3 The teeth thereof are the teeth of a lion, killing the souls of men.

4 All iniquity is like a two-edged sword, there is no remedy for the wound thereof.

5 Injuries and wrongs will waste riches: and the house that is very rich shall be brought to nothing by pride : so the substance of the proud shall be rooted out.

6 The prayer out of the mouth of the poor shall reach the ears of God, and judgment shall come for him speedily.

7 He that hateth to be reproved walketh in the trace of a sinner: and he that feareth God will turn to his own heart.

8 He that is mighty by a bold tongue is known afar off, but a wise man knoweth to slip by him.

9 He that buildeth his house at other men's charges, is as he that gathereth himself stones to build in the winter.

10 The congregation of sinners is like tow heaped together, and the end of them is a flame of fire.

11 The way of sinners is made plain with stones, and in their end is hell, and darkness, and pains.

12 He that keepeth justice shall get the understanding thereof.

13 The perfection of the fear of God is wisdom and understanding.

14 He that is not wise in good, will not be taught.

15 But there is a wisdom that aboundeth in evil : and there is no understanding where there is bitterness.

16 The knowledge of a wise man shall abound like a flood, and his counsel continueth like a fountain of life.

17 The heart of a fool is like a broken vessel, and no wisdom at all shall it hold.

18 A man of sense will praise every wise word he shall hear, and will apply it to himself: the luxurious man hath heard it, and it shall displease him, and he will cast it behind his back.

19 The talking of a fool is like a burden in the way: but in the lips of the wise, grace shall be found.

20 The mouth of the prudent is sought after in the church, and they will think upon his words in their hearts.

21 As a house that is destroyed, so is wisdom to a fool : and the knowledge of the unwise is as words without sense.

22 Doctrine to a fool is as fetters on the feet, and like manacles on the right hand.

23 A fool lifteth up his voice in laughter: but a wise man will scarce laugh low to himself.

24 Learning to the prudent is as an ornament of gold, and like a bracelet upon his right arm.

25 The foot of a fool is soon in his neighbour's house: but a man of experience will be abashed at the person of the mighty.

26 A fool will peep through the window into the house: but he that is well taught will stand without.

27 It is the folly of a man to hearken at the door: and a wise man will be grieved with the disgrace.

28 The lips of the unwise will be telling foolish things but the words of the wise shall be weighed in a balance.

29 The heart of fools is in their mouth: and the mouth of wise men is in their heart.

30 While the ungodly curseth the devil, he curseth his own soul.

31 The talebearer shall defile his own soul, and shall be hated by all: and he that shall abide with him shall be hateful: the silent and wise man shall be honoured.

Chapter 22

1 The sluggard is pelted with a dirty stone, and all men will speak of his disgrace.

2 The sluggard is pelted with the dung of oxen: and every one that toucheth him will shake his hands.

3 A son ill taught is the confusion of the father: and a foolish daughter shall be to his loss.

4 A wise daughter shall bring an inheritance to her husband: but she that confoundeth, becometh a disgrace to her father.

5 She that is bold shameth both her father and husband, and will not be inferior to the ungodly: and shall be disgraced by them both.

6 A tale out of time is like music in mourning: but the stripes and instruction of wisdom are never out of time.

7 He that teacheth a fool, is like one that glueth a potsherd together.

8 He that telleth a word to him that heareth not, is like one that waketh a man out of a deep sleep.

9 He speaketh with one that is asleep, who uttereth wisdom to a fool: and in the end of the discourse he saith: Who is this?

10 Weep for the dead, for his light hath failed: and weep for the fool, for his understanding faileth.

11 Weep but a little for the dead, for he is at rest.

12 For the wicked life of a wicked fool is worse than death.

13 The mourning for the dead is seven days: but for a fool and an ungodly man all the days of their life.

14 Talk not much with a fool, and go not with him that hath no sense.

15 Keep thyself from him, that thou mayst not have trouble, and thou shalt not be defiled with his sin.

16 Turn away from him, and thou shalt find rest, and shalt not be wearied out with his folly.

17 What is heavier than lead? and what other name hath he but fool?

18 Sand and salt, and a mass of iron is easier to bear, than a man without sense, that is both foolish and wicked.

19 A frame of wood bound together in the foundation of a building, shall not be loosed: so neither shall the heart that is established by advised counsel.

20 The thought of him that is wise at all times, shall not be depraved by fear.

21 As pales set in high places, and plasterings made without cost, will not stand against the face of the wind:

22 So also a fearful heart in the imagination of a fool shall not resist against the violence of fear.

23 As a fearful heart in the thought of a fool at all times will not fear, so neither shall he that continueth always in the commandments of God.

24 He that pricketh the eye, bringeth out tears: and he that pricketh the heart, bringeth forth resentment.

25 He that flingeth a stone at birds, shall drive them away: so he that upbraideth his friend, breaketh friendship.

26 Although thou hast drawn a sword at a friend, despair not: for there may be a returning. To a friend,

27 If thou hast opened a sad mouth, fear not, for there may be a reconciliation: except upbraiding, and reproach, and pride, and disclosing of secrets, or a treacherous wound: for in all these cases a friend will flee away.

28 Keep fidelity with a friend in his poverty, that in his prosperity also thou mayst rejoice.

29 In the time of his trouble continue faithful to him, that thou mayst also be heir with him in his inheritance.

30 As the vapour of a chimney, and the smoke of the fire goeth up before the fire: so also injurious words, and reproaches, and threats, before blood.

31 I will not be ashamed to salute a friend, neither will I hide myself from his face: and if any evil happen to me by him, I will bear it.

32 But every one that shall hear it, will beware of him.

33 Who will set a guard before my mouth, and a sure seal upon my lips, that I fall not by them, and that my tongue destroy me not?

Chapter 23

1 O Lord, father, and sovereign ruler of my life, leave me not to their counsel: nor suffer me to fall by them.

2 Who will set scourges over my thoughts, and the discipline of wisdom over my heart, that they spare me not in their ignorances, and that their sine may not appear:

3 Lest my ignorances increase, and my offences be multiplied, and my sine abound, and I fall before my adversaries, and my enemy rejoice over me?

4 O Lord, father, and God of my life, leave me not to their devices.

5 Give me not haughtiness of my eyes, and turn away from me all coveting.

6 Take from me the greediness of the belly, and let not the lusts of the flesh take hold of me, and give me not over to a shameless and foolish mind.

7 Hear, O ye children, the discipline of the mouth: and he that will keep it shall not perish by his lips, nor be brought to fall into most wicked works.

8 A sinner is caught in his own vanity, and the proud and the evil speakers shall fall thereby.

9 Let not thy mouth be accustomed to swearing: for in it there are many falls.

10 And let not the naming of God be usual in thy mouth, and meddle not with the names of saints, for thou shalt not escape free from them.

11 For as a slave daily put to the question, is never without a blue mark: so every one that sweareth, and nameth, shall not be wholly pure from sin.

12 A man that sweareth much, shall be filled with iniquity, and a scourge shall not depart from his house.

13 And if he make it void, his sin shall be upon him: and if he dissemble it, he offendeth double:

14 And if he swear in vain, he shall not be justified: for his house shall be filled with his punishment.

15 There is also another speech opposite to death, let it not be found in the inheritance of Jacob.

16 For from the merciful all these things shall be taken away, and they shall not wallow in sins.

17 Let not thy mouth be accustomed to indiscreet speech: for therein is the word of sin.

18 Remember thy father and thy mother, for thou sittest is the midst of great men:

19 Lest God forget thee in their sight, and thou, by thy daily custom, be infatuated and suffer reproach: and wish that thou hadst not been born, and curse the day of thy nativity.

20 The man that is accustomed to opprobrious words, will never be corrected all the days of his life.

21 Two sorts of men multiply sins, and the third bringeth wrath and destruction.

22 A hot soul is a burning fire, it will never be quenched, till it devour some thing.

23 And a man that is wicked in the mouth of his flesh, will not leave off till he hath kindled a fire.

24 To a man that is a fornicator all bread is sweet, he will not be weary of sinning unto the end.

25 Every man that passeth beyond his own bed, despising his own soul, and saying: Who seeth me?

26 Darkness compasseth me about, and the walls cover me, and no man seeth me: whom do I fear? the most High will not remember my sins.

27 And he understandeth not that his eye seeth all things, for such a man's fear driveth from him the fear of God, and the eyes of men fearing him:

28 And he knoweth not that the eyes of the Lord are far brighter than the sun, beholding round about all the ways of men, and the bottom of the deep, and looking into the hearts of men, into the most hidden parts.

29 For all things were known to the Lord God, before they were created: so also after they were perfected he beholdeth all things.

30 This man shall be punished in the streets of the city, and he shall be chased as a colt: and where he suspected not, he shall be taken.

31 And he shall be in disgrace with all men, because he understood not the fear of the Lord.

32 So every woman also that leaveth her husband, and bringeth in an heir by another :

33 For first she hath been unfaithful to the law of the most High: and secondly, she hath offended against her husband: thirdly, she hath fornicated in adultery, end hath gotten her children of another man.

34 This woman shall be brought into the assembly, and inquisition shall be made of her children.

35 Her children shall not take root, and her branches shall bring forth no fruit.

36 She shall leave her memory to be cursed, and her infamy shall not be blotted out.

37 And they that remain shall know. that there is nothing better than the fear of God: and that there is nothing sweeter than to have regard to the commandments of the Lord.

38 It is great glory to follow the Lord for length of days shall be received from him.

Chapter 24

1 Wisdom shall praise her own self, and shall be honoured in God, and shall glory in the midst of her people,

2 And shall open her mouth in the churches of the most High, and shall glorify herself in the sight of his power,

3 And in the midst of her own people she shall be exalted, and shall be ad- mired in the holy assembly.

4 And in the multitude of the elect she shall have praise, and among the blessed she shall be blessed, saying:

5 I came out of the mouth of the most High, the firstborn before all creatures:

6 I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never faileth, and as a cloud I covered all the earth:

7 I dwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of a cloud.

8 I alone have compassed the circuit of heaven, and have penetrated into the bottom of the deep, and have walked in the waves of the sea,

9 And have stood in all the earth: and in every people,

10 And in every nation I have had the chief rule:

11 And by my power I have trodden under my feet the hearts of all the high and low: and in all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord.

12 Then the creator of all things commanded, and said to me: and he that made me, rested in my tabernacle,

13 And he said to me: Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in my elect.

14 From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before him.

15 And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem.

16 And I took root in an honourable people, and in the portion of mg God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints.

17 I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a cypress tree on mount Sion.

18 I was exalted like a palm tree in Cades, and as a rose plant in Jericho:

19 As a fair olive tree in the plains, and as a plane tree by the water in the streets, was I exalted.

20 I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon. and aromatical balm: I yielded a sweet odour like the best myrrh:

21 And I perfumed my dwelling as storax, and galbanum, and onyx, and aloes, and as the frankincense not cut, and my odour is as the purest balm.

22 I have stretched out my branches as the turpentine tree, and my branches are of honour and grace.

23 As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odour: and my flowers are the fruit of honour and riches.

24 I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope.

25 In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue.

26 Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.

27 For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb.

28 My memory is unto everlasting generations.

29 They that eat me, shall yet hunger: and they that drink me, shall yet thirst.

30 He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin.

31 They that explain me shall have life everlasting.

32 All these things are the book of life, and the covenant of the most High, and the knowledge of truth.

33 Moses commanded a law in the precepts of justices, and an inheritance to the house of Jacob, and the promises to Israel.

34 He appointed to David his servant to raise up of him a most mighty king, and sitting on the throne of glory for ever.

35 Who filleth up wisdom as the Phison, and as the Tigris in the days of the new fruits.

36 Who maketh understanding to abound as the Euphrates, who multiplieth it as the Jordan in the time of harvest.

37 Who sendeth knowledge as the light, and riseth up as Gehon in the time of the vintage.

38 Who first hath perfect knowledge of her, and a weaker shall not search her out.

39 For her thoughts are more vast than the sea, and her counsels more deep than the great ocean.

40 I, wisdom, have poured out rivers.

41 I, like a brook out of a river of a mighty water; I, like a channel of a river. and like an aqueduct, came out of paradise.

42 I said: I will water my garden of plants, and I will water abundantly the fruits of my meadow.

43 And behold my brook became a great river, and my river came near to a sea:

44 For I make doctrine to shine forth to all as the morning light, and I will declare it afar off.

45 I will penetrate to all the lower parts of the earth, and will behold all that sleep, and will enlighten all that hope in the Lord.

46 I will yet pour out doctrine as prophecy, and will leave it to them that seek wisdom, and will not cease to instruct their offspring even to the holy age.

47 See ye that I have not laboured for myself only, but for all that seek out the truth.

Chapter 25

1 With three things my spirit is pleased, which are approved before God and men:

2 The concord of brethren, and the love of neighbours, and mall and wife that agree well together.

3 Three sorts my soul hateth, and I am greatly grieved at their life:

4 A poor man that is proud: a rich man that is a liar: an old man that is a fool, and doting.

5 The things that thou hast not gathered in thy youth, how shalt thou find them in thy old age?

6 O how comely is judgment for a grey head, and for ancients to know counsel!

7 O how comely is wisdom for the aged, and understanding and counsel to men of honour!

8 Much experience is the crown of old men, and the fear of God is their glory.

9 Nine things that are not to be imagined by the heart have I magnified, and the tenth I will utter to men with my tongue.

10 A man that hath joy of his children: and he that liveth and seeth the fall of his enemies.

11 Blessed is he. that dwelleth with a wise woman, and that hath not slipped with his tongue, and that hath not served such as are unworthy of him.

12 Blessed is he that findeth a true friend, and that declareth justice to an ear that heareth.

13 How great is he that findeth wisdom and knowledge! but there is none above him that feareth the Lord.

14 The fear of God hath set itself above all things:

15 Blessed is the man, to whom it is given to have the fear of God: he that holdeth it, to whom shall he be likened?

16 The fear of God is the beginning of his love: and the beginning of faith is to be fast joined unto it.

17 The sadness of the heart is every plague: and the wickedness of a woman is all evil.

18 And a man will choose any plague, but the plague of the heart:

19 And ally wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman:

20 And any affliction, but the affliction from them that hate him:

21 And ally revenge, but the revenge of enemies.

22 There is no head worse than the head of a serpent:

23 And there is no anger above the anger of a woman. It will be more agreeable to abide with a lion and a dragon, than to dwell with a wicked woman.

24 The wickedness of a woman changeth her face: and she darkeneth her countenance as a bear: and sheweth it like sackcloth. In the midst of her neighbours,

25 Her husband groaned, and hearing he sighed a little.

26 All malice is shore to the malice of a woman, let the lot of sinners fall upon her.

27 As the climbing of a sandy way is to the feet of the aged, so is a wife full of tongue to a quiet man.

28 Look not upon a woman's beauty, and desire not a woman for beauty.

29 A woman's anger, and impudence, and confusion is great.

30 A woman, if she have superiority, is contrary to her husband.

31 A wicked woman abateth the courage, and maketh a heavy countenance, and a wounded heart.

32 Feeble hands, and disjointed knees, a woman that doth not make her husband happy.

33 From the woman came the beginning of sin, and by her we all die.

34 Give no issue to thy water, no, not a little: nor to a wicked woman liberty to gad abroad.

35 If she walk not at thy hand, she will confound thee in the sight of thy enemies.

36 Cut her off from thy flesh, lest she always abuse thee.

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