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Etiquette at a Banquet

32 If they make you master of the feast, do not exalt yourself;
    be among them as one of their number.
Take care of them first and then sit down;
    when you have fulfilled all your duties, take your place,
so that you may be merry along with them
    and receive a wreath for your excellent leadership.

Speak, you who are older, for it is your right,
    but with accurate knowledge, and do not interrupt the music.
Where there is entertainment, do not pour out talk;
    do not display your cleverness at the wrong time.
A ruby seal in a setting of gold
    is a concert of music at a banquet of wine.
A seal of emerald in a rich setting of gold
    is the melody of music with good wine.

Speak, you who are young, if you are obliged to,
    but no more than twice, and only if asked.
Be brief; say much in few words;
    be as one who knows and can still hold his tongue.
Among the great do not act as their equal;
    and when another is speaking, do not babble.

10 Lightning travels ahead of the thunder,
    and approval goes before one who is modest.
11 Leave in good time and do not be the last;
    go home quickly and do not linger.
12 Amuse yourself there to your heart’s content,
    but do not sin through proud speech.
13 But above all bless your Maker,
    who fills you with his good gifts.

The Providence of God

14 The one who seeks God[a] will accept his discipline,
    and those who rise early to seek him[b] will find favor.
15 The one who seeks the law will be filled with it,
    but the hypocrite will stumble at it.
16 Those who fear the Lord will form true judgments,
    and they will kindle righteous deeds like a light.
17 The sinner will shun reproof,
    and will find a decision according to his liking.

18 A sensible person will not overlook a thoughtful suggestion;
    an insolent[c] and proud person will not be deterred by fear.[d]
19 Do nothing without deliberation,
    but when you have acted, do not regret it.
20 Do not go on a path full of hazards,
    and do not stumble at an obstacle twice.[e]
21 Do not be overconfident on a smooth[f] road,
22     and give good heed to your paths.[g]
23 Guard[h] yourself in every act,
    for this is the keeping of the commandments.

24 The one who keeps the law preserves himself,[i]
    and the one who trusts the Lord will not suffer loss.


  1. Sirach 32:14 Heb: Gk who fears the Lord
  2. Sirach 32:14 Other ancient authorities lack to seek him
  3. Sirach 32:18 Heb: Gk alien
  4. Sirach 32:18 Meaning of Gk uncertain. Other ancient authorities add and after acting, with him, without deliberation
  5. Sirach 32:20 Heb: Gk stumble on stony ground
  6. Sirach 32:21 Or an unexplored
  7. Sirach 32:22 Heb Syr: Gk and beware of your children
  8. Sirach 32:23 Heb Syr: Gk Trust
  9. Sirach 32:24 Heb: Gk who believes the law heeds the commandments

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