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Sirach 20:21-31 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

21 One may be prevented from sinning by poverty;
    so when he rests he feels no remorse.
22 One may lose his life through shame,
    or lose it because of human respect.[a]
23 Another out of shame makes promises to a friend,
    and so makes an enemy for nothing.


24 A lie is an ugly blot on a person;
    it is continually on the lips of the ignorant.
25 A thief is preferable to a habitual liar,
    but the lot of both is ruin.
26 A liar’s way leads to disgrace,
    and his shame is ever with him.

Proverbial Sayings[b]

27 The wise person advances himself by his words,
    and one who is sensible pleases the great.
28 Those who cultivate the soil heap up their harvest,
    and those who please the great atone for injustice.
29 Favors and gifts blind the eyes of the wise;
    like a muzzle on the mouth they stop reproofs.
30 Hidden wisdom and unseen treasure,
    of what value is either?
31 Better are those who hide their folly
    than those who hide their wisdom.[c]


  1. Sirach 20:22 Other ancient authorities read his foolish look
  2. Sirach 20:27 This heading is included in the Gk text.
  3. Sirach 20:31 Other ancient authorities add 32 Unwearied endurance in seeking the Lord is better than a masterless charioteer of one’s own life.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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