Sirach 7Good News Translation (GNT)
1-2 If you do no wrong, no wrong will ever come to you. 3 Do not plow the ground to plant seeds of injustice; you may reap a bigger harvest than you expect.
4 Don't ask the Lord for a place of honor or ask the king for an important position. 5 Don't try to convince the Lord that you are righteous or make a show of your wisdom before the king. 6 Don't set your heart on being a judge, unless you have the strength of character it takes to put an end to injustice. If you let yourself be influenced by someone in a position of power, your integrity will be damaged. 7 Don't commit any crime against the general public, and don't disgrace yourself among your townspeople.
8 Don't commit the same sin twice. The punishment you get the first time ought to be enough.
9 Don't think that God Most High is going to take into account how very generous you are and so accept any offering you decide to make.
10 Never get tired of praying, and never miss a chance to give to the poor.
11 Don't laugh at someone who has been humiliated. It is the Lord who humbles a person, but the Lord also raises him up again.
12 Don't think up lies to tell about your friends. 13 Don't tell lies at all. It never does any good.
14 In an official assembly, don't get up and talk a lot of nonsense. And don't repeat yourself when you pray.
15 Don't try to avoid farm work or other hard labor; the Most High has given us these jobs to do.
16 Don't join up with a crowd of sinners; remember that the Lord's punishment is sure to come.
17 Be very humble, because the decay of death awaits us all.[a]
Relations with Others
18 Don't betray a friend for money. Don't betray a real friend for all the gold in the world.
19 Don't miss your chance to marry a wise and good woman. A gracious wife is worth more than gold.
20 Don't mistreat servants who do their work well, or employees who do their best for you.
21 Show the same love to wise servants that you would show to yourself,[b] and let them have their freedom.
22 Take good care of any animals you own. If they make money for you, keep them.
23 If you have sons, educate them. Teach them self-discipline while they are young.
24 If you have daughters, keep them virtuous, and don't be too indulgent with them. 25 When you give your daughter in marriage, you have finished a great task, but give her to a sensible man.
26 If you have a good wife, do not divorce her, but do not trust yourself to someone you don't love.
27 Honor your father with all your heart, and never forget how your mother suffered when you were born. 28 Remember that you owe your life to them. How can you ever repay them for all they have done for you?
29 Fear the Lord with all your heart, and have respect for his priests. 30 Love your Creator with all your strength, and give his ministers your support. 31 Honor the Lord and respect the priests. Supply them with what you have been commanded to give: the first produce, the offering for sin, the shoulder of the sacrificial animal—all the required sacrifices and offerings.
32 Give your help to the poor, and the Lord will give you his perfect blessing. 33 Be generous to every living soul, and be gracious to the memory of the dead. 34 Show sympathy to those who have lost a loved one, and mourn with them. 35 Do not hesitate to visit the sick. You will be loved for things like these. 36 Whatever you do, remember that some day you must die. As long as you keep this in mind, you will never sin.
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