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Sirach 6Revised Standard Version (RSV)

and do not become an enemy instead of a friend;
for a bad name incurs shame and reproach:
    so fares the double-tongued sinner.

Do not exalt yourself through your soul’s counsel,
    lest your soul be torn in pieces like a bull.[a]
You will devour your leaves and destroy your fruit,
    and will be left like a withered tree.
An evil soul will destroy him who has it,
    and make him the laughingstock of his enemies.

Friendship, False and True

A pleasant voice multiplies friends,
    and a gracious tongue multiplies courtesies.
Let those that are at peace with you be many,
    but let your advisers be one in a thousand.
When you gain a friend, gain him through testing,
    and do not trust him hastily.
For there is a friend who is such at his own convenience,
    but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
And there is a friend who changes into an enemy,
    and will disclose a quarrel to your disgrace.
10 And there is a friend who is a table companion,
    but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
11 In your prosperity he will make himself your equal,
    and be bold with your servants;
12 but if you are brought low he will turn against you,
    and will hide himself from your presence.
13 Keep yourself far from your enemies,
    and be on guard toward your friends.

14 A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter:
    he that has found one has found a treasure.
15 There is nothing so precious as a faithful friend,
    and no scales can measure his excellence.
16 A faithful friend is an elixir of life;
    and those who fear the Lord will find him.
17 Whoever fears the Lord directs his friendship aright,
    for as he is, so is his neighbor also.

Blessings of Wisdom

18 My son, from your youth up choose instruction,
    and until you are old you will keep finding wisdom.
19 Come to her like one who plows and sows,
    and wait for her good harvest.
For in her service you will toil a little while,
    and soon you will eat of her produce.
20 She seems very harsh to the uninstructed;
    a weakling will not remain with her.
21 She will weigh him down like a heavy testing stone,
    and he will not be slow to cast her off.
22 For wisdom is like her name,
    and is not manifest to many.

23 Listen, my son, and accept my judgment;
    do not reject my counsel.
24 Put your feet into her fetters,
    and your neck into her collar.
25 Put your shoulder under her and carry her,
    and do not fret under her bonds.
26 Come to her with all your soul,
    and keep her ways with all your might.
27 Search out and seek, and she will become known to you;
    and when you get hold of her, do not let her go.
28 For at last you will find the rest she gives,
    and she will be changed into joy for you.
29 Then her fetters will become for you a strong protection,
    and her collar a glorious robe.
30 Her yoke[b] is a golden ornament,
    and her bonds are a cord of blue.
31 You will wear her like a glorious robe,
    and put her on like a crown of gladness.

32 If you are willing, my son, you will be taught,
    and if you apply yourself you will become clever.
33 If you love to listen you will gain knowledge,
    and if you incline your ear you will become wise.
34 Stand in the assembly of the elders.
    Who is wise? Cleave to him.
35 Be ready to listen to every[c] narrative,
    and do not let wise proverbs escape you.
36 If you see an intelligent man, visit him early;
    let your foot wear out his doorstep.
37 Reflect on the statutes of the Lord,
    and meditate at all times on his commandments.
It is he who will give insight to[d] your mind,
    and your desire for wisdom will be granted.

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 6:2 The meaning of the Greek of this verse is obscure
  2. Sirach 6:30 Heb: Gk Upon her
  3. Sirach 6:35 Heb: Gk adds divine
  4. Sirach 6:37 Heb: Gk will confirm
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 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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