Sirach 29Common English Bible (CEB)
Lending and borrowing
29 Those who show compassion
will lend to a neighbor,
and those who lend a helping hand
keep the commandments.
2 Lend to neighbors in their time of need,
and pay your neighbor back again
3 Keep your word,
and be trustworthy in your dealings,
and you will find what you need
4 Many think of a loan as a windfall,
and they have caused trouble
for those who have helped them.
5 Until they receive the loan,
they will kiss the hands of those
who can help,
and they will speak with deference
about their neighbor’s money,
but when it’s time for repayment,
they will put it off,
offer weak excuses,
and say it is a bad time.
6 If they can repay, their creditors
will barely recover half the amount,
and the creditors will consider
that much a windfall;
but if they can’t pay,
they have defrauded their creditors
of their money,
and they have made enemies
out of them needlessly.
They will repay their creditors
with curses and insults,
and they will repay them with dishonor
rather than glory.
7 Many have refused to make a loan,
not because they were vicious
but because they were cautious
about being needlessly cheated.
8 Even so, be patient with those
in humble circumstances,
and don’t make them wait for assistance.
9 Help the needy for the
and in proportion to their need
don’t turn them away empty-handed.
10 Part with silver for a relative’s
or friend’s sake,
and don’t let it corrode under a stone
and be destroyed.
11 Invest your treasure
according to the commandments
of the Most High,
and it will profit you more than gold.
12 Store up acts of charity in your treasuries,
and it will deliver you
from every distress.
13 More than a sturdy shield
and more than a hefty spear,
it will fight for you against an enemy.
14 Good people will guarantee a loan
and those who have lost any
sense of shame will abandon them.
15 Don’t forget the kindness of those
who have guaranteed a loan,
since they gave their life
on your behalf.
16 Sinners will ruin
their guarantor’s property,
17 and ungrateful persons
intentionally abandon their rescuers.
18 Guaranteeing a loan
has ruined many prosperous people
and tossed them about
like a wave on the sea.
It has led to the exile of the powerful,
and they have wandered
among foreign nations.
19 Sinners will fall into guaranteeing loans,
and when they chase profits,
they will fall into lawsuits.
20 Help your neighbor as much as you can,
but keep yourself from ruin.
Home and children
21 Life’s foundations are water,
and a house for ensuring privacy.
22 Better is the life of the poor
under a shelter of rafters
than magnificent food
in foreign countries.
23 Be content with a little or a lot,
and you will never be put down
for being a sojourner.
24 Going from house to house
is a miserable life,
and wherever you are an immigrant,
don’t open your mouth.
25 You will entertain and provide drink
and you will hear bitter words
such as these:
26 “Come here, foreigner, prepare a table;
and if there’s something in your hand,
feed it to me.
27 Go away, foreigner,
I have a reputable guest;
my brother has come to visit,
and I need the house.”
28 These are difficult things
for a person of intelligence:
criticism for being an immigrant
and rebuke from a moneylender.