Sirach 19:4-17 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Against Loose Talk
4 One who trusts others too quickly is lightminded,
and one who sins does wrong to himself.
5 One who rejoices in wickedness will be condemned,
6 and for one who hates gossip evil is lessened.
7 Never repeat a conversation,
and you will lose nothing at all.
8 With friend or foe do not report it,
and unless it would be a sin for you, do not disclose it;
9 for some one has heard you and watched you,
and when the time comes he will hate you.
10 Have you heard a word? Let it die with you.
Be brave! It will not make you burst!
11 With such a word a fool will suffer pangs
like a woman in labor with a child.
12 Like an arrow stuck in the flesh of the thigh,
so is a word inside a fool.
13 Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it;
but if he did anything, so that he may do it no more.
14 Question a neighbor, perhaps he did not say it;
but if he said it, so that he may not say it again.
15 Question a friend, for often it is slander;
so do not believe everything you hear.
16 A person may make a slip without intending it.
Who has never sinned with his tongue?
17 Question your neighbor before you threaten him;
and let the law of the Most High take its course.
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.