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Sirach 21Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

21 Son, thou hast done sin? add thou (to it) not again; but beseech thou for the former sins, that those be forgiven to thee. [Son, hast thou sinned? not add thou to again; but of thy rather lowly pray, that to thee they be forgiven.]

As from the face of a serpent flee thou sins; and if thou nighest (or approachest) to them, those shall take thee. The teeth of a lion be (as) the teeth thereof, that slay the souls of men. [As from the face of a shadow adder flee sins; and if thou shalt nigh to them, they shall take thee. The teeth of a lion the teeth of it, slaying the souls of men.]

All wickedness is as a sharp sword on either side; health is not to the wound thereof [or of the wound of it is no health].

Chidings and wrongs shall destroy chattel; and an house that is over-rich, shall be destroyed by pride; so the chattel of a proud man shall be drawn up by the root. [Against-chiding and wrongs to nought shall bring substance; and the house that full much is rich, shall be brought to nought by pride; so the substance of the proud shall be taken up by the root.]

The prayer of a poor man shall come from the mouth unto (the) ears of God; and doom shall come to him hastily.

He that hateth reproving, is (in) a step of the sinner; and (or but) he that dreadeth God, shall be turned to (him in) his heart. [Who hateth chastising, the step is of a sinner; and who dreadeth God, shall be converted to (him in) his heart.]

A mighty man with an hardy tongue is known afar; and a witty man can or knoweth how to keep himself [or to slide] from that man.

He that buildeth his house with other men’s costs, is as he that gathereth his stones in winter.

Sheaves or stubble, [or flax top(s)], gathered together is the synagogue of sinners; and the ending of them is the flame of fire.

10 The way of sinners is set (al)together [or planted] with stones; and in the end of them be hells[a] [or hell], and darknesses, and pains.

11 He that keepeth rightfulness, shall hold the wit (or the understanding) thereof. The perfection of God’s dread is wisdom and wit.

12 He shall not be taught, which is not wise in good. Forsooth unwisdom is, which is plenteous in evil; and wit is not, where (there) is bitterness. [He shall not be learned, that is not wise in good. There is forsooth unwisdom, that aboundeth in evil; and there is not wit, where is bitterness.]

13 The cunning (or The knowing, or the knowledge,) of a wise man shall be plenteous [or abound] as flowing (water); and the counsel of him dwelleth as a well of life.

14 The heart of a fool is as a broken vessel; and it shall not hold any wisdom.

15 Whatever wise word a cunning (or a knowing) man heareth, he shall praise (it), and lay to (or add to it). A lecherous man heard (it), and it shall displease him; and he shall cast it away [or he shall throw it away] behind his back.

16 The telling of a fool is as a burden in (or on) the way; for why grace shall be found in (or on) the lips of a wise man.

17 The mouth of a prudent man is sought in the church; and men shall think (on) his words in their hearts.

18 As an house destroyed, so is wisdom to a fool; and the cunning (or the knowing) of an unwise man is words that may not be (or that be not able to be) told out [or untellable].

19 Stocks in (or on) the feet is teaching [or doctrine] to a fool; and as bonds of hands on the right hand.

20 A fool enhanceth his voice in laughing; but a wise man shall laugh scarcely still.

21 Teaching is a golden ornament to a prudent man; and as an ornament of the arm [or an arm-circle] in (or on) the right arm.

22 The foot of a fool is light (or easily) into the house of a neighbour; and a wise man shall be ashamed of the person of a mighty man.

23 A fool beholdeth from the window into the house; but a learned man shall stand withoutforth.

24 It is folly of a man to harken by the door; and a prudent man shall be grieved by despising [or with strife].

25 The lips of unprudent men shall tell fond things [or follies]; but the words of prudent men shall be weighed in a balance.

26 The heart of fools is in their mouth; and the mouth of wise men is in their heart.

27 When a wicked man curseth the devil, he curseth his own soul. [When the unpious curseth the devil, he curseth his own soul.]

28 A privy backbiter shall defoul his soul, and in all things he shall be hated, and he that dwelleth, shall be hated; a still man and wise shall be honoured.


  1. Sirach 21:10 It is said ‘hells’ in plural number, for many places be there.

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