Sirach Chapter 27 Vs 1-21
1For the sake of profit many sin,
and the struggle for wealth blinds the eyes.a
2A stake will be driven between fitted stones—
sin will be wedged in between buying and selling.
3Unless one holds fast to the fear of the Lord,
with sudden swiftness will one’s house be thrown down.
4When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear;
so do people’s faults when they speak.*
5The furnace tests the potter’s vessels;
the test of a person is in conversation.b
6The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had;
so speech discloses the bent of a person’s heart.c
7Praise no one before he speaks,
for it is then that people are tested.
8If you strive after justice, you will attain it,
and wear it like a splendid robe.
9Birds nest with their own kind,
and honesty comes to those who work at it.
10A lion lies in wait for prey,
so does sin for evildoers.
11The conversation of the godly is always wisdom,
but the fool changes like the moon.
12Limit the time you spend among the stupid,
but frequent the company of the thoughtful.
13The conversation of fools is offensive,
and their laughter is wanton sin.
14Their oath-filled talk makes the hair stand on end,
and their brawls make one stop the ears.
15The wrangling of the proud ends in bloodshed,
and their cursing is painful to hear.d
16Whoever betrays a secret destroys confidence,*
and will never find a congenial friend.e
17Cherish your friend, keep faith with him;
but if you betray his secrets, do not go after him;
18For as one might kill another,
you have killed your neighbor’s friendship.
19Like a bird released from your hand,
you have let your friend go and cannot recapture him.
20Do not go after him, for he is far away,
and has escaped like a gazelle from a snare.
21For a wound can be bandaged, and an insult forgiven,
but whoever betrays secrets does hopeless damage.