Sirach 21:1-17 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
21 Have you sinned, my child? Do so no more,
but ask forgiveness for your past sins.
2 Flee from sin as from a snake;
for if you approach sin, it will bite you.
Its teeth are lion’s teeth,
and can destroy human lives.
3 All lawlessness is like a two-edged sword;
there is no healing for the wound it inflicts.
4 Panic and insolence will waste away riches;
thus the house of the proud will be laid waste.
5 The prayer of the poor goes from their lips to the ears of God,
and his judgment comes speedily.
6 Those who hate reproof walk in the sinner’s steps,
but those who fear the Lord repent in their heart.
7 The mighty in speech are widely known;
when they slip, the sensible person knows it.
8 Whoever builds his house with other people’s money
is like one who gathers stones for his burial mound.
9 An assembly of the wicked is like a bundle of tow,
and their end is a blazing fire.
10 The way of sinners is paved with smooth stones,
but at its end is the pit of Hades.
Wisdom and Foolishness
11 Whoever keeps the law controls his thoughts,
and the fulfillment of the fear of the Lord is wisdom.
12 The one who is not clever cannot be taught,
but there is a cleverness that increases bitterness.
13 The knowledge of the wise will increase like a flood,
and their counsel like a life-giving spring.
14 The mind of a fool is like a broken jar;
it can hold no knowledge.
15 When an intelligent person hears a wise saying,
he praises it and adds to it;
when a fool hears it, he laughs at it
and throws it behind his back.
16 A fool’s chatter is like a burden on a journey,
but delight is found in the speech of the intelligent.
17 The utterance of a sensible person is sought in the assembly,
and they ponder his words in their minds.