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Sirach 28Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

28 He that takes vengeance will suffer vengeance from the Lord,
    and he will firmly establish[a] his sins.
Forgive your neighbor the wrong he has done,
    and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray.
Does a man harbor anger against another,
    and yet seek for healing from the Lord?
Does he have no mercy toward a man like himself,
    and yet pray for his own sins?
If he himself, being flesh, maintains wrath,
    who will make expiation for his sins?
Remember the end of your life, and cease from enmity,
    remember destruction and death, and be true to the commandments.
Remember the commandments, and do not be angry with your neighbor;
    remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook ignorance.

Refrain from strife, and you will lessen sins;
    for a man given to anger will kindle strife,
and a sinful man will disturb friends
    and inject enmity among those who are at peace.
10 In proportion to the fuel for the fire, so will be the burning,
    and in proportion to the obstinacy of strife will be the burning;[b]
in proportion to the strength of the man will be his anger,
    and in proportion to his wealth he will heighten his wrath.
11 A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
    and urgent strife sheds blood.

The Evil Tongue

12 If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
    if you spit on it, it will be put out;
    and both come out of your mouth.

13 Curse the whisperer and deceiver,
    for he has destroyed many who were at peace.
14 Slander[c] has shaken many,
    and scattered them from nation to nation,
and destroyed strong cities,
    and overturned the houses of great men.
15 Slander[d] has driven away courageous women,
    and deprived them of the fruit of their toil.
16 Whoever pays heed to slander[e] will not find rest,
    nor will he settle down in peace.
17 The blow of a whip raises a welt,
    but a blow of the tongue crushes the bones.
18 Many have fallen by the edge of the sword,
    but not so many as have fallen because of the tongue.
19 Happy is the man who is protected from it,
    who has not been exposed to its anger,
who has not borne its yoke,
    and has not been bound with its fetters;
20 for its yoke is a yoke of iron,
    and its fetters are fetters of bronze;
21 its death is an evil death,
    and Hades is preferable to it.
22 It will not be master over the godly,
    and they will not be burned in its flame.
23 Those who forsake the Lord will fall into its power;
    it will burn among them and will not be put out.
It will be sent out against them like a lion;
    like a leopard it will mangle them.
24 See that you fence in your property with thorns,
    lock up your silver and gold,
25 make balances and scales for your words,
    and make a door and a bolt for your mouth.
26 Beware lest you err with your tongue,[f]
    lest you fall before him who lies in wait.


  1. Sirach 28:1 Other authorities read closely observe
  2. Sirach 28:10 Other authorities place this line at the end of the verse, or omit it
  3. Sirach 28:14 Gk a third tongue
  4. Sirach 28:15 Gk a third tongue
  5. Sirach 28:16 Gk it
  6. Sirach 28:26 Gk with it
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 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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