Sirach 21 Good News Translation (GNT)
21 My child, have you sinned? Don't do it again, and pray for forgiveness for what you have already done. 2 Avoid sin as if it were a snake. If you get too near, it will sink its teeth into your soul like a lion, and destroy you. 3 Every lawless act leaves an incurable wound, like one left by a double-edged sword.
4 If a person is insolent and arrogant, he may lose everything he has.
5 When poor people pray, God hears them and quickly answers their prayers.
6 If you refuse to accept correction, you are committing a sin; and if you fear the Lord, you will make a sincere change in your ways.
7 Someone may be famous as a good speaker, but when he is wrong, a sensible person will detect it.
8 Anyone who borrows money to build a house is just collecting stones for his own tomb.[a]
9 A group of people who have no respect for the Law is like a pile of kindling; they will meet a fiery end. 10 The road that sinners walk is smooth and paved, but it leads to the world of the dead.
Wisdom and Foolishness
11 Whoever wants to keep the Law must learn what the Law means. If you fear the Lord in every sense of the term, you will have wisdom. 12 You have to be intelligent to learn anything; but there is such a thing as just pretending to be intelligent, which only makes people bitter. 13 A wise person's knowledge is like a river that never runs dry, like an everflowing stream of good advice.
14 A fool, on the other hand, has a mind like a jar with a hole in it; anything he learns is soon lost.
15 When an educated person hears something that shows insight, it stimulates his mind and leads him on to other ideas. But when someone who is satisfied with ignorance hears it, he won't like it, and will forget it as soon as he can. 16 Listening to a foolish person talk is like traveling with a heavy load on your back, but it is a pleasure to hear what intelligent people have to say.17 The assembly will be eager to hear from an intelligent person and will take his opinion seriously.
18 To an ignorant person, wisdom is as useless as a house gone to ruin. He has never even thought about the things he is so sure of. 19 To a person without any sense, an education is like handcuffs, 20-21 but to a sensible person, it is like gold bracelets. An intelligent person will smile quietly while a fool roars with laughter. 22-23 A stupid person will peep into someone's house through the door and then march right in, but someone with experience and good manners will have enough respect to wait outside. 24 Eavesdropping at doors is bad manners, and anyone with a sense of decency would be ashamed to do it.
25 Presumptuous people talk about things that are none of their business,[b] but the wise will consider the consequences of what they say. 26 Fools say whatever comes to mind; wise people think before they speak.
27 When a wicked person curses his enemy[c]he is cursing himself.
28 A gossip ruins his own character, and everyone in the neighborhood hates him.