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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 19


He who does so grows no richer; he who wastes the little he has will be stripped bare.


Wine and women make the mind giddy, and the companion of harlots becomes reckless.


He who lightly trusts in them has no sense, and he who strays after them sins against his own life.


Rottenness and worms will possess him, for contumacious desire destroys its owner.


1 He who gloats over evil will meet with evil, and he who repeats an evil report has no sense.


Never repeat gossip, and you will not be reviled.


Tell nothing to friend or foe; if you have a fault, reveal it not,


For he who hears it will hold it against you, and in time become your enemy.


Let anything you hear die within you; be assured it will not make you burst.


When a fool hears something, he is in labor, like a woman giving birth to a child.


Like an arrow lodged in a man's thigh is gossip in the breast of a fool.


Admonish your friend - he may not have done it; and if he did, that he may not do it again.


Admonish your neighbor - he may not have said it; and if he did, that he may not say it again.


Admonish your friend - often it may be slander; every story you must not believe.


Then, too, a man can slip and not mean it; who has not sinned with his tongue?


Admonish your neighbor before you break with him; thus will you fulfill the law of the Most High.


2 All wisdom is fear of the LORD; perfect wisdom is the fulfillment of the law.


The knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom, nor is there prudence in the counsel of sinners.


There is a shrewdness that is detestable, while the simple man may be free from sin.


There are those with little understanding who fear God, and those of great intelligence who violate the law.


There is a shrewdness keen but dishonest, which by duplicity wins a judgment.


There is the wicked man who is bowed in grief, but is full of guile within;


He bows his head and feigns not to hear, but when not observed, he will take advantage of you:


Even though his lack of strength keeps him from sinning, when he finds the opportunity, he will do harm.


One can tell a man by his appearance; a wise man is known as such when first met.


A man's attire, his hearty laughter and his gait, proclaim him for what he is.



1 [5-16] An excellent commentary on the eighth commandment of the Decalogue, forbidding intemperance in speech through calumny, rash judgment, and detraction ( Sirach 19:5-6), and inculcating discreet silence in defense of self and of neighbor ( Sirach 19:7-11). Justice requires that an accused neighbor be given a hearing, and charity urges fraternal correction; both together fulfill the law of the Most High ( Sirach 19:12-16); cf Matthew 7:1-2; 18:15-16.

2 [17-26] True and false wisdom as here described are synonymous with virtue and vice, with the fulfillment of the law and the violation of it.

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