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Sirach 18:14-29 Good News Translation (GNT)

14 He will have compassion on us if we accept his guidance and are eager for him to show us where we are wrong.

Kindness and Charity

15 My child, when you help someone, don't reprimand him at the same time. When you make a gift, don't say anything that hurts. 16 Your words count for more than what you give. Even dew gives some relief during a spell of hot weather. 17 Yes, kind words are more effective than the best of gifts, and if you are really concerned, you will give both. 18 It is stupid to be unkind and insulting. No one's eyes are going to sparkle at a gift that you resent giving.

Self-examination

19 Know what you are talking about before you speak, and give attention to your health before you get sick. 20 Examine your conscience before the Lord judges you; then when that time comes, he will forgive you. 21 Humble yourself before you are punished with sickness. When you have sinned, show repentance. 22 If you make a promise to the Lord, keep it as soon as you can. Don't wait until you are about to die to set things straight. 23 But before you make such a promise, be prepared to keep it. Don't try to test the Lord's patience. 24 Think! Do you want him to be angry with you on the day you die? When you face his judgment, do you want him to turn his back on you? 25 When you have all you want, think what it is like to be hungry, what it is to be poor. 26 Things can change in a single day; the Lord can act very quickly. 27 If you are wise, you will be careful in everything you do. When sin is all around you, be especially careful that you do not become guilty. 28 Every intelligent person can recognize wisdom and will honor anyone who shows it. 29 If you appreciate wisdom when you hear it, you will become wise yourself, and your words will be a source of wisdom for others.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Sirach 18:14-29 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

14 He has compassion on those who accept his discipline
    and who are eager for his precepts.

The Right Spirit in Giving Alms

15 My child, do not mix reproach with your good deeds,
    or spoil your gift by harsh words.
16 Does not the dew give relief from the scorching heat?
    So a word is better than a gift.
17 Indeed, does not a word surpass a good gift?
    Both are to be found in a gracious person.
18 A fool is ungracious and abusive,
    and the gift of a grudging giver makes the eyes dim.

The Need of Reflection and Self-control

19 Before you speak, learn;
    and before you fall ill, take care of your health.
20 Before judgment comes, examine yourself;
    and at the time of scrutiny you will find forgiveness.
21 Before falling ill, humble yourself;
    and when you have sinned, repent.
22 Let nothing hinder you from paying a vow promptly,
    and do not wait until death to be released from it.
23 Before making a vow, prepare yourself;
    do not be like one who puts the Lord to the test.
24 Think of his wrath on the day of death,
    and of the moment of vengeance when he turns away his face.
25 In the time of plenty think of the time of hunger;
    in days of wealth think of poverty and need.
26 From morning to evening conditions change;
    all things move swiftly before the Lord.

27 One who is wise is cautious in everything;
    when sin is all around, one guards against wrongdoing.
28 Every intelligent person knows wisdom,
    and praises the one who finds her.
29 Those who are skilled in words become wise themselves,
    and pour forth apt proverbs.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 18:29 Other ancient authorities add Better is confidence in the one Lord than clinging with a dead heart to a dead one.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 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.

Ben Sira 18:14-29 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

14 He has compassion on those who accept his discipline,
    who are eager for his precepts.

The Need for Prudence

15 My child, add no reproach to your charity,[a]
    or spoil any gift by harsh words.
16 Does not the dew give relief from the scorching heat?
    So a word can be better than a gift.
17 Indeed does not a word count more than a good gift?
    But both are offered by a kind person.
18 The fool is ungracious and abusive,
    and a grudging gift makes the eyes smart.

19 Before you speak, learn;
    before you get sick, prepare the cure.
20 Before you are judged, examine yourself,
    and at the time of scrutiny you will have forgiveness.
21 Before you fall ill, humble yourself;
    and when you have sinned, show repentance.[b]
Do not delay forsaking your sins;
    do not neglect to do so until you are in distress.

22 Let nothing prevent the prompt payment of your vows;
    do not wait until death to fulfill them.
23 Before making a vow prepare yourself;
    do not be like one who puts the Lord to the test.
24 Think of wrath on the day of death,
    the time of vengeance when he will hide his face.
25 Think of the time of hunger in the time of plenty,
    poverty and need in the day of wealth.
26 Between morning and evening there is a change of time;
    before the Lord all things are fleeting.

27 The wise are discreet in all things;
    where sin is rife they keep themselves from wrongdoing.
28 Every wise person teaches wisdom,[c]
    and those who know her declare her praise;
29 Those skilled in words become wise themselves,
    and pour forth apt proverbs.

Footnotes:

  1. 18:15–27 The practice of charity, especially almsgiving, is an art which avoids every offense to another (vv. 15–18). Prudence directs the changing circumstances of daily life in view of the time of scrutiny (i.e., the day of reckoning, or death, v. 24).
  2. 18:21 Sickness was often viewed as a punishment for sin; hence, the need for repentance. Cf. 38:9–10; Jb 15:20–24.
  3. 18:28–29 A general statement on the teaching of wisdom, serving either as a conclusion to the preceding section or as an introduction to the following one.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Sirach 18:14-29 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

14 He has compassion on those who accept his discipline
    and who are eager for his precepts.

The Right Spirit in Giving Alms

15 My child, do not mix reproach with your good deeds,
    or spoil your gift by harsh words.
16 Does not the dew give relief from the scorching heat?
    So a word is better than a gift.
17 Indeed, does not a word surpass a good gift?
    Both are to be found in a gracious person.
18 A fool is ungracious and abusive,
    and the gift of a grudging giver makes the eyes dim.

The Need for Reflection and Self-Control

19 Before you speak, learn;
    and before you fall ill, take care of your health.
20 Before judgement comes, examine yourself;
    and at the time of scrutiny you will find forgiveness.
21 Before falling ill, humble yourself;
    and when you have sinned, repent.
22 Let nothing hinder you from paying a vow promptly,
    and do not wait until death to be released from it.
23 Before making a vow, prepare yourself;
    do not be like one who puts the Lord to the test.
24 Think of his wrath on the day of death,
    and of the moment of vengeance when he turns away his face.
25 In the time of plenty think of the time of hunger;
    in days of wealth think of poverty and need.
26 From morning to evening conditions change;
    all things move swiftly before the Lord.

27 One who is wise is cautious in everything;
    when sin is all around, one guards against wrongdoing.
28 Every intelligent person knows wisdom,
    and praises one who finds her.
29 Those who are skilled in words become wise themselves,
    and pour forth apt proverbs.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 18:29 Other ancient authorities add Better is confidence in the one Lord than clinging with a dead heart to a dead one.
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 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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