The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 11:2–9


You should not praise a man for his beauty, and you should not despise a man for his appearances.

Commend not a man for his beauty; neither abhor a man for his outward appearance.


The bee is small among flying things, but its fruit holds the summit of sweetness.


You should not glory in clothing at any time, and you should not let yourself be extolled in the day of your honor. For the works of the Most High alone are wondrous; and glorious and hidden and unseen are his works.

Boast not of thy clothing and raiment, and exalt not thyself in the day of honour: for the works of the Lord are wonderful, and his works among men are hidden.

Many tyrants have sat upon a throne, and one whom no one would admire has worn a diadem.

Many kings have sat down upon the ground; and one that was never thought of hath worn the crown.

Many powerful men have been powerfully cast down, and the illustrious have been handed over into the hands of others.

Many mighty men have been greatly disgraced; and the honourable delivered into other men’s hands.

Before you inquire, you should not place blame on anyone; and when you have inquired, reprove justly.

Blame not before thou hast examined the truth: understand first, and then rebuke.

Before you listen, you should not respond a word; and you should not interrupt in the middle of a discourse.

Answer not before thou hast heard the cause: neither interrupt men in the midst of their talk.

You should not contend in a matter which does not concern you, and you should not sit in judgment together with sinners.

Strive not in a matter that concerneth thee not; and sit not in judgement with sinners.