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Sirach 32Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

Etiquette at a Banquet

32 If they make you master of the feast, do not exalt yourself;
    be among them as one of them;
take good care of them and then be seated;
    when you have fulfilled your duties, take your place,
that you may be merry on their account
    and receive a wreath for your excellent leadership.

Speak, you who are older, for it is fitting that you should,
    but with accurate knowledge, and do not interrupt the music.
Where there is entertainment, do not pour out talk;
    do not display your cleverness out of season.
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, young man, if there is need of you,
    but no more than twice, and only if asked.
Speak concisely, say much in few words;
    be as one who knows and yet holds his tongue.
Among the great do not act as their equal;
    and when another is speaking, do not babble.

10 Lightning speeds before the thunder,
    and approval precedes a modest man.
11 Leave in good time and do not be the last;
    go home quickly and do not linger.
12 Amuse yourself there, and do what you have in mind,
    but do not sin through proud speech.
13 And for these things bless him who made you
    and satisfies you with his good gifts.

The Providence of God

14 He who fears the Lord will accept his discipline,
    and those who rise early to seek him[a] will find favor.
15 He 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 like a light they will kindle righteous deeds.
17 A sinful man will shun reproof,
    and will find a decision according to his liking.

18 A man of judgment will not overlook an idea,
    and an insolent[b] and proud man will not cower in fear.[c]
19 Do nothing without deliberation;
    and when you have acted, do not regret it.
20 Do not go on a path full of hazards,
    and do not stumble over stony ground.
21 Do not be overconfident on a smooth[d] way,
22     and give good heed to your paths.[e]
23 Guard[f] yourself in every act,
    for this is the keeping of the commandments.

24 He who believes the law gives heed to the commandments,
    and he who trusts the Lord will not suffer loss.


  1. Sirach 32:14 Other authorities omit to seek him
  2. Sirach 32:18 Heb: Gk alien
  3. Sirach 32:18 The meaning of this line is uncertain. Other authorities add the phrases and after acting, with him, without deliberation
  4. Sirach 32:21 Or an unexplored
  5. Sirach 32:22 Syr Vg: Gk and beware of your children
  6. Sirach 32:23 Heb Syr: Gk Trust
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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