29 Be kind enough to lend to your neighbor when he needs help. You are keeping the Lord's commands if you help him.2 If he needs something, lend it to him. And when you are in debt, pay it back as soon as you can.3 If you meet your obligations, you will always be able to borrow what you need.4 Many people treat a loan as something they found and can keep, causing embarrassment to those who helped them.5 Some people will speak politely, bow, and scrape until they get the loan they want, but when the time comes to pay it back, they'll put it off, say that it's inconvenient, and make a lot of worthless excuses.6 If the lender insists on being paid, he can count himself lucky to get back half. If he doesn't insist, the borrower has robbed him and made an unnecessary enemy. All the lender will get from him are curses, insults, and disrespect, but never any gratitude.
7 Many people refuse to lend at all, not because they are stingy, but because[a] they don't want to be cheated if they can avoid it.
8 Nevertheless, be understanding with those who are poor. Don't keep them waiting for your generosity.9 The Lord has commanded us to help the poor; don't refuse them the help they need.10 It is better to lose your money by helping a relative or a friend than to lose it by letting it rust away under a rock somewhere.11 Use your wealth as the Most High has commanded; this will do you more good than keeping your money for yourself.12 Count among your treasures the fact that you give to the poor. It will save you from all kinds of trouble13 and will be a better defense against your enemies than the strongest shield or stoutest spear.
14 A good man is willing to guarantee his neighbor's debts. Only someone who has lost all sense of decency would refuse to do so.15 If someone does this favor for you, don't forget it; he has risked his good name for you.16 There are some ungrateful sinners who abandon those who stand behind them, and they cause them loss of property.17 Guaranteeing loans has ruined many prosperous people and caused them unsettling storms of trouble.18 Influential people have lost their homes over it and have had to go wandering in foreign countries.19 A sinner who hopes to make a profit by guaranteeing a loan is going to find himself involved in lawsuits.20 So help your neighbor as much as you can, but protect yourself against the dangers involved.
Home and Hospitality
21 The necessities of life are water, food, clothing, and a home where you can have privacy.22 It is better to be poor and live under your own crude roof than to enjoy lavish banquets in other people's homes.23 Be happy with what you have, even if it isn't very much, and don't listen to anyone who would insult your home and family.[b]24 Going from house to house is a miserable way to live. Anywhere you go, you don't dare speak.25 You welcome the guests and pour the drinks, and nobody thanks you. Instead, people humiliate you by saying things like:
26 Stranger! Come here and set the table! I want to eat what you've got there! Give it here!27 Go away, stranger! I've got an important guest! My brother is coming to visit, and I need the room!
28 Being denied hospitality or having a moneylender hound you—these are hard things for any sensitive person to endure.
Sirach 29:7not because...stingy, but because; some manuscripts have therefore, because of this wickedness.
Sirach 29:23don't listen...family; or don't listen to insults from your family; some manuscripts do not have these words; one ancient translation has don't get a reputation for living off other people.
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