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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 28


The vengeful will suffer the LORD'S vengeance, for he remembers their sins in detail.


Forgive your neighbor's injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.


Should a man nourish anger against his fellows and expect healing from the LORD?


Should a man refuse mercy to his fellows, yet seek pardon for his own sins?


If he who is but flesh cherishes wrath, who will forgive his sins?


Remember your last days, set enmity aside; remember death and decay, and cease from sin!


Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor; of the Most High's covenant, and overlook faults.


Avoid strife and your sins will be fewer, for a quarrelsome man kindles disputes,


Commits the sin of disrupting friendship and sows discord among those at peace.


The more wood, the greater the fire, the more underlying it, the fiercer the fight; The greater a man's strength, the sterner his anger, the greater his power, the greater his wrath.


Pitch and resin make fires flare up, and insistent quarrels provoke bloodshed.


1 If you blow upon a spark, it quickens into flame, if you spit on it, it dies out; yet both you do with your mouth!


Cursed be gossips and the double-tongued, for they destroy the peace of many.


A meddlesome tongue subverts many, and makes them refugees among the peoples; It destroys walled cities, and overthrows powerful dynasties.


A meddlesome tongue can drive virtuous women from their homes and rob them of the fruit of their toil;


Whoever heeds it has no rest, nor can he dwell in peace.


A blow from a whip raises a welt, but a blow from the tongue smashes bones;


Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not as many as by the tongue.


Happy he who is sheltered from it, and has not endured its wrath; Who has not borne its yoke nor been fettered with its chain;


For its yoke is a yoke of iron and its chains are chains of bronze!


Dire is the death it inflicts, besides which even the nether world is a gain;


It will not take hold among the just nor scorch them in its flame,


But those who forsake the LORD will fall victims to it, as it burns among them unquenchably! It will hurl itself against them like a lion; like a panther, it will tear them to pieces.


As you hedge round your vineyard with thorns, set barred doors over your mouth;


As you seal up your silver and gold, so balance and weigh your words.


Take care not to slip by your tongue and fall victim to your foe waiting in ambush.



1 [12-26] Further treatment of sins of the tongue and their havoc; cf Sirach 5:12- 6:1; 19:5-16; 20:17-25; 23:7-15. Gossips and the double-tongued destroy domestic peace ( Sirach 28:12-16). The whip, the sword, chains, even the nether world, are not so cruel as the suffering inflicted by an evil tongue ( Sirach 28:17-21). Not the just but those who forsake the LORD are victims of their evil tongues ( Sirach 28:22, 23). Therefore, guard your mouth and tongue as you would guard treasure against an enemy ( Sirach 28:24-26).

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