- 1 Contend not with an influential man, lest you fall into his power.
- Quarrel not with a rich man, lest he pay out the price of your downfall; For gold has dazzled many, and perverts the character of princes.
- Dispute not with a man of railing speech, heap no wood upon his fire.
- Be not too familiar with an unruly man, lest he speak ill of your forebears.
- 2 Shame not a repentant sinner; remember, we all are guilty.
- Insult no man when he is old, for some of us, too, will grow old.
- Rejoice not when a man dies; remember, we are all to die.
- Spurn not the discourse of the wise, but acquaint yourself with their proverbs; From them you will acquire the training to serve in the presence of princes.
- Reject not the tradition of old men which they have learned from their fathers; From it you will obtain the knowledge how to answer in time of need.
- Kindle not the coals of a sinner, lest you be consumed in his flaming fire.
- 3 Let not the impious man intimidate you; it will set him in ambush against you.
- Lend not to one more powerful than yourself; and whatever you lend, count it as lost.
- Go not surety beyond your means; think any pledge a debt you must pay.
- Contend not at law with a judge, for he will settle it according to his whim.
- Travel not with a ruthless man, lest he weigh you down with calamity; For he will go his own way straight, and through his folly you will perish with him.
- Provoke no quarrel with a quick-tempered man, nor ride with him through the desert, For bloodshed is nothing to him; when there is no one to help you, he will destroy you.
- Take no counsel with a fool, for he can keep nothing to himself.
- Before a stranger do nothing that should be kept secret, for you know not what it will engender.
- Open your heart to no man, and banish not your happiness.
Table of Contents Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Footnotes1 [1-19] A prudent man will be circumspect, avoiding conflict with the powerful, the rich and insolent, the impious, the irascible, and with judges (Sirach 8:1-3, 10-12, 14,16). He will seek friendship not with the undisciplined (Sirach 8:4,12- 13) and the ruthless (Sirach 8:15), nor with fools and strangers (Sirach 8:17-19), but with the wise and the ancients of the people (Sirach 8:8, 9).
2 We all are guilty: cf 1 Kings 8:46; 2 Chron 6:36; Eccl 7:20; Romans 3:9-10; 1 John 1:8.
3 To give in to the wicked in one instance becomes an occasion of sin for the future.
New American Bible Copyright © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
NCCB/USCC Home Page New American Bible Home Page
New American Bible
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20017-1194 (202) 541-3000