- 1 2 Be not jealous of the wife of your bosom, lest you teach her to do evil against you.
- Give no woman power over you to trample upon your dignity.
- Be not intimate with a strange woman, lest you fall into her snares.
- With a singing girl be not familiar, lest you be caught in her wiles.
- 3 Entertain no thoughts against a virgin, lest you be enmeshed in damages for her.
- Give not yourself to harlots, lest you surrender your inheritance.
- Gaze not about the lanes of the city and wander not through its squares;
- Avert your eyes from a comely woman; gaze not upon the beauty of another's wife-- Through woman's beauty many perish, for lust for it burns like fire.
- With a married woman dine not, recline not at table to drink by her side, Lest your heart be drawn to her and you go down in blood to the grave.
- 4Discard not an old friend, for the new one cannot equal him. A new friend is like new wine which you drink with pleasure only when it has aged.
- Envy not a sinner's fame, for you know not what disaster awaits him.
- Rejoice not at a proud man's success; remember he will not reach death unpunished.
- Keep far from the man who has power to kill, and you will not be filled with the dread of death. But if you approach him, offend him not, lest he take away your life; Know that you are stepping among snares and walking over a net.
- As best you can, take your neighbors' measure, and associate with the wise.
- With the learned be intimate; let all your conversation be about the law of the LORD.
- Have just men for your table companions; in the fear of God be your glory.
- 5 Skilled artisans are esteemed for their deftness; but the ruler of his people is the skilled sage.
- Feared in the city is the man of railing speech, and he who talks rashly is hated.
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Footnotes1 [1-9] Prudence and reserve in dealing with women are the best defense of morality. To preserve the liberty and dignity of his person and the integrity of his possessions, a man must avoid jealousy toward his own wife and familiarity toward all other women. Cf Sirach 25:12-26:18. 2 Unjust suspicions often engender hatred between husband and wife and may prompt a wife to commit those faults of which heretofore she had been innocent.
3 Cf Exodus 22:15-16: Deut 22:28-29; Job 31:1.
4 [10-16:] In social relations, adherence to the law of the Lord should serve as a guide (Sirach 9:15). Associate with true friends (Sirach 9:10), with the just and the learned (Sirach 9:14-16); avoid the company of the mighty and of sinners doomed to punishment (Sirach 9:11-13). Cf Sirach 8:1-19.
5 [9:17-10:5] Public office as conducted justly or unjustly benefits or destroys the people, according to the axiom, "as the prince, so the people." Cf Isaiah 24:2. God, however, has sovereignty over both.
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