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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.
Lend to neighbors in their time of need,
    and pay your neighbor back again
    on time.
Keep your word,
and be trustworthy in your dealings,
    and you will find what you need
    every time.
Many think of a loan as a windfall,
    and they have caused trouble
    for those who have helped them.
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.
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.
Many have refused to make a loan,
not because they were vicious
    but because they were cautious
    about being needlessly cheated.

Even so, be patient with those
in humble circumstances,
    and don’t make them wait for assistance.
Help the needy for the
        commandment’s sake,
    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
for neighbors,
    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,
bread, clothing,
    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
without thanks,
    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.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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