12 When you do a good deed, make sure you know who is benefiting from it; then what you do will not be wasted.[a]2 You will be repaid for any kindness you show to a devout person. If he doesn't repay you, the Most High will.3 No good ever comes to a person who gives comfort to the wicked; it is not a righteous act.[b]4 Give to religious people, but don't help sinners.5 Do good to humble people, but don't give anything to those who are not devout. Don't give them food, or they will use your kindness against you. Every good thing you do for such people will bring you twice as much trouble in return.6 The Most High himself hates sinners, and he will punish them.7 Give to good people, but do not help sinners.
8 When things are going well, it is hard to tell who your real friends are, but in hard times you can recognize your enemies;9 even your friends will leave you then. But when you are successful, your enemies will act like friends.[c]10 Never trust an enemy; his wickedness is as destructive as rust.11 Watch out, and be on guard against him, even if he acts ever so humble. He is like a metal mirror that rusts away if you don't keep it polished.12 Seat an enemy at your right hand, and the next thing you know he'll be trying to get your own place of honor. Put him next to you, and he will overthrow you. Then you will realize the truth of my words, and be stung with regret when you remember them.13 Nobody feels sorry for snake charmers or wild animal tamers who get bitten,14 and nobody will feel sorry for you if you run around with sinners and get involved in their wrongdoing.
15 An enemy will stay with you for a while, but not when trouble comes.16 He will speak fine words while he plots how to trap you. He will pretend to share your sorrows, but he will kill you if he gets a chance.17 If trouble comes your way, you will find him waiting, ready to trip you up while he pretends to help you.18 He will be a different person then, rubbing his hands, nodding his head, and spreading rumors about you.
Sirach 12:1what you do...wasted; or you will be thanked for what you do.
Sirach 12:3Hebrew gives...act; Greek makes evil a habit or refuses to give to the poor.
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