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Sirach 31:12-31 Good News Translation (GNT)

Behavior at Dinner Parties

12 When you sit down at a fancy banquet, don't let your mouth hang open, and don't say,
    Look at all that food! 13 It is impolite to have a greedy eye; remember that. Nothing in creation is greedier than the eye; that is why it sheds tears so often.[a] 14 Don't reach out for everything you see, and don't elbow people out of the way to get at the food. 15 Be considerate of the other people at the table and treat them the way you want to be treated. 16 When you get your food, eat it like a human being. Don't smack and slurp; nobody can stand that. 17 It's good manners to be the first to stop eating; stuffing yourself is offensive. 18 If there are many people present, don't try to be the first to be served. 19 A little bit is plenty for anyone with good manners. Besides, you won't be short of breath when you go to bed. 20 People who eat too much get stomach aches and cannot sleep. If you don't overeat, you can get a good night's sleep and wake up early the next morning feeling fine. 21 But if you do get a stomach ache from eating too much, go off and vomit[b] and you will feel better. 22 My child, if you listen to what I am saying and put it into practice, one of these days you will thank me for it. Be moderate[c] in everything you do, and you will never get sick.

23 People appreciate a generous host, and he deserves their praise. 24 But everybody in town will complain about a host who is stingy with food, and their complaints are justified.

25 Don't try to prove your manhood by how much you can drink. Wine has been the ruin of many. 26 An arrogant person's character shows through when he is in a drunken argument, in the same way that iron is tested when it is heated red-hot and then dipped in water. 27 Wine can put new life into you if you drink it in moderation. What would life be like without it? Wine was created to make us happy. 28 If you drink it in moderation and at the right time, it can lift your spirits and make you cheerful, 29 but if you drink when you are angry and upset, it leads to headaches, embarrassment, and disgrace.[d] 30 A drunken fool can lose his temper and hurt himself. His drinking makes him weak and an easy target for angry blows. 31 Never rebuke a person when you have both been drinking. Don't hurt his feelings while he is having a good time. It's not the time to criticize anyone, or to ask him to pay back a debt.

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 31:13 Hebrew so often; Greek on every face.
  2. Sirach 31:21 go off and vomit; some manuscripts have get up in the middle of the meal.
  3. Sirach 31:22 Hebrew moderate; Greek industrious.
  4. Sirach 31:29 Hebrew when you are...disgrace; Greek too much, it leads to bitterness, offense, and stumbling.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Sirach 31:12-31 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Table Etiquette

12 Are you seated at the table of the great?[a]
    Do not be greedy at it,
    and do not say, “How much food there is here!”
13 Remember that a greedy eye is a bad thing.
    What has been created more greedy than the eye?
    Therefore it sheds tears for any reason.
14 Do not reach out your hand for everything you see,
    and do not crowd your neighbor[b] at the dish.
15 Judge your neighbor’s feelings by your own,
    and in every matter be thoughtful.
16 Eat what is set before you like a well brought-up person,[c]
    and do not chew greedily, or you will give offense.
17 Be the first to stop, as befits good manners,
    and do not be insatiable, or you will give offense.
18 If you are seated among many persons,
    do not help yourself[d] before they do.

19 How ample a little is for a well-disciplined person!
    He does not breathe heavily when in bed.
20 Healthy sleep depends on moderate eating;
    he rises early, and feels fit.
The distress of sleeplessness and of nausea
    and colic are with the glutton.
21 If you are overstuffed with food,
    get up to vomit, and you will have relief.
22 Listen to me, my child, and do not disregard me,
    and in the end you will appreciate my words.
In everything you do be moderate,[e]
    and no sickness will overtake you.
23 People bless the one who is liberal with food,
    and their testimony to his generosity is trustworthy.
24 The city complains of the one who is stingy with food,
    and their testimony to his stinginess is accurate.

Temperance in Drinking Wine

25 Do not try to prove your strength by wine-drinking,
    for wine has destroyed many.
26 As the furnace tests the work of the smith,[f]
    so wine tests hearts when the insolent quarrel.
27 Wine is very life to human beings
    if taken in moderation.
What is life to one who is without wine?
    It has been created to make people happy.
28 Wine drunk at the proper time and in moderation
    is rejoicing of heart and gladness of soul.
29 Wine drunk to excess leads to bitterness of spirit,
    to quarrels and stumbling.
30 Drunkenness increases the anger of a fool to his own hurt,
    reducing his strength and adding wounds.
31 Do not reprove your neighbor at a banquet of wine,
    and do not despise him in his merrymaking;
speak no word of reproach to him,
    and do not distress him by making demands of him.

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 31:12 Heb Syr: Gk at a great table
  2. Sirach 31:14 Gk him
  3. Sirach 31:16 Heb: Gk like a human being
  4. Sirach 31:18 Gk reach out your hand
  5. Sirach 31:22 Heb Syr: Gk industrious
  6. Sirach 31:26 Heb: Gk tests the hardening of steel by dipping
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 31:12-31 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Table Etiquette[a]

12 Are you seated at the table of the great?
    Bring to it no greedy gullet,
Nor say, “How much food there is here!”
13     Remember that the greedy eye is evil.
What has been created more greedy than the eye?
    Therefore, it weeps for any cause.
15 Recognize that your neighbor feels as you do,
    and keep in mind everything you dislike.
14 Toward what he looks at, do not put out a hand;
    nor reach for the same dish when he does.
16 Eat, like anyone else, what is set before you,
    but do not eat greedily, lest you be despised.
17 Be the first to stop, as befits good manners;
    and do not gorge yourself, lest you give offense.
18 If there are many with you at table,
    do not be the first to stretch out your hand.
19 Does not a little suffice for a well-bred person?
    When he lies down, he does not wheeze.
20 Moderate eating ensures sound slumber
    and a clear mind on rising the next day.
The distress of sleeplessness and of nausea
    and colic are with the glutton!
21 Should you have eaten too much,
    get up to vomit[b] and you will have relief.

22 Listen to me, my child, and do not scorn me;
    later you will find my advice good.
In whatever you do, be moderate,
    and no sickness will befall you.
23 People bless one who is generous with food,
    and this testimony to his goodness is lasting.
24 The city complains about one who is stingy with food,
    and this testimony to his stinginess is lasting.
25 Let not wine be the proof of your strength,
    for wine has been the ruin of many.
26 As the furnace tests the work of the smith,
    so does wine the hearts of the insolent.
27 Wine is very life to anyone,
    if taken in moderation.
Does anyone really live who lacks the wine
    which from the beginning was created for joy?
28 Joy of heart, good cheer, and delight
    is wine enough, drunk at the proper time.
29 Headache, bitterness, and disgrace
    is wine drunk amid anger and strife.
30 Wine in excess is a snare for the fool;
    it lessens strength and multiplies wounds.
31 Do not wrangle with your neighbor when wine is served,
    nor despise him while he is having a good time;
Say no harsh words to him
    nor distress him by making demands.

Footnotes:

  1. 31:12–32:13 Whoever observes etiquette at table avoids greed and selfishness (31:12–13), is considerate of a neighbor’s likes and dislikes and is generous toward him (31:15, 14, 23, 24), observes proper manners (31:16–18), is moderate in eating and drinking (31:19–20, 25–30). A good host is solicitous for the guests (32:1–2), provides conversation and diversion (32:3–6), is modest in speech (32:7, 8, 10), is respectful of elders (32:9), polite in comportment and grateful to God for his favors (32:11–13).
  2. 31:21 Get up to vomit: the practice of induced vomiting, well-known among Romans, and less well-known among the Jews, seems to be referred to here.
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 31:12-31 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Table Etiquette

12 Are you seated at the table of the great?[a]
    Do not be greedy at it,
    and do not say, ‘How much food there is here!’
13 Remember that a greedy eye is a bad thing.
    What has been created more greedy than the eye?
    Therefore it sheds tears for any reason.
14 Do not reach out your hand for everything you see,
    and do not crowd your neighbour[b] at the dish.
15 Judge your neighbour’s feelings by your own,
    and in every matter be thoughtful.
16 Eat what is set before you like a well-bred person,[c]
    and do not chew greedily, or you will give offence.
17 Be the first to stop, as befits good manners,
    and do not be insatiable, or you will give offence.
18 If you are seated among many others,
    do not help yourself[d] before they do.

19 How ample a little is for a well-disciplined person!
    He does not breathe heavily when in bed.
20 Healthy sleep depends on moderate eating;
    he rises early, and feels fit.
The distress of sleeplessness and of nausea
    and colic are with the glutton.
21 If you are overstuffed with food,
    get up to vomit, and you will have relief.
22 Listen to me, my child, and do not disregard me,
    and in the end you will appreciate my words.
In everything you do be moderate,[e]
    and no sickness will overtake you.
23 People bless someone who is liberal with food,
    and their testimony to his generosity is trustworthy.
24 The city complains of someone who is stingy with food,
    and their testimony to his stinginess is accurate.

Temperance in Drinking Wine

25 Do not try to prove your strength by wine-drinking,
    for wine has destroyed many.
26 As the furnace tests the work of the smith,[f]
    so wine tests hearts when the insolent quarrel.
27 Wine is very life to human beings
    if taken in moderation.
What is life to one who is without wine?
    It has been created to make people happy.
28 Wine drunk at the proper time and in moderation
    is rejoicing of heart and gladness of soul.
29 Wine drunk to excess leads to bitterness of spirit,
    to quarrels and stumbling.
30 Drunkenness increases the anger of a fool to his own hurt,
    reducing his strength and adding wounds.
31 Do not reprove your neighbour at a banquet of wine,
    and do not despise him in his merrymaking;
speak no word of reproach to him,
    and do not distress him by making demands of him.

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 31:12 Heb Syr: Gk at a great table
  2. Sirach 31:14 Gk him
  3. Sirach 31:16 Heb: Gk like a human being
  4. Sirach 31:18 Gk reach out your hand
  5. Sirach 31:22 Heb Syr: Gk industrious
  6. Sirach 31:26 Heb: Gk tests the hardening of steel by dipping
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 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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