The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 28:1–30


Whoever wishes for vengeance will find vengeance from the Lord, and he will surely be attentive to his sins.

He that revengeth shall find vengeance from the Lord, and he will surely keep his sins in remembrance.

Forgive your neighbor, if he has harmed you, and then your sins will be forgiven you when you pray.

Forgive thy neighbour the hurt that he hath done unto thee, so shall thy sins also be forgiven when thou prayest.

A man holds on to anger against another man, and does he then seek a remedy from God?

One man beareth hatred against another, and doth he seek pardon from the Lord?

He has no mercy on a man like himself, and does he then entreat for his own sins?

He sheweth no mercy to a man, which is like himself: and doth he ask forgiveness of his own sins?

He who is but flesh holds on to anger, and does he then request forgiveness from God? Who can obtain pardon for his sins in this way?

If he that is but flesh nourish hatred, who will intreat for pardon of his sins?


Remember your very end, and let animosities cease.

For corruption and death are suspended over his commandments.


Remember the fear of God, and do not be angry with your neighbor.

Sir28:6  Remember thy end, and let enmity cease; remember corruption and death, and abide in the commandments.

Remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook the ignorant offenses of your neighbor.

Sir28:7  Remember the commandments, and bear no malice to thy neighbour: remember the covenant of the Highest, and wink at ignorance.

10  Refrain from strife, and you will diminish your sins.

Sir28:8  Abstain from strife, and thou shalt diminish thy sins: for a furious man will kindle strife,

11  For a ill-tempered man enflames conflict, and a sinful man troubles his friends, and he casts hostility into the midst of those who have peace.

Sir28:9  A sinful man disquieteth friends, and maketh debate among them that be at peace.

12  For the fire burns according to the wood of the forest. And the anger of a man burns according to the strength of the man. And according to his resources, he will exalt his anger.

Sir28:10  As the matter of the fire is, so it burneth: and as a man’s strength is, so is his wrath; and according to his riches his anger riseth; and the stronger they are which contend, the more they will be inflamed.

13  A hasty contention kindles a fire. And a hasty quarrel sheds blood. And an accusatory tongue brings death.

Sir28:11  An hasty contention kindleth a fire: and an hasty fighting sheddeth blood.

14  If you blow on a spark, it will increase to a fire. But if you spit on it, it will be extinguished. Both of these proceed from the mouth.

Sir28:12  If thou blow the spark, it shall burn: if thou spit upon it, it shall be quenched: and both these come out of thy mouth.

15  The double-tongued whisperer is accursed. For he has disturbed many who had peace.

Sir28:13  Curse the whisperer and doubletongued: for such have destroyed many that were at peace.


16  A third tongue has stirred up many, and has scattered them from nation to nation.

17  It has destroyed the walled cities of the wealthy, and has undermined the houses of the great.


18  It has cut down the virtues of the peoples, and has broken strong nations.

Sir28:14  A backbiting tongue hath disquieted many, and driven them from nation to nation: strong cities hath it pulled down, and overthrown the houses of great men.

19  A third tongue has cast down virtuous women, and has deprived them of their labors.

Sir28:15  A backbiting tongue hath cast out virtuous women, and deprived them of their labours.

20  Whoever favors it will not have rest, nor will he have a friend in whom he may find peace.

Sir28:16  Whoso hearkeneth unto it shall never find rest, and never dwell quietly.

21  The wound of a whip causes a bruise, but the wound of the tongue will crush the bones.

Sir28:17  The stroke of the whip maketh marks in the flesh: but the stroke of the tongue breaketh the bones.


22  Many have fallen by the mouth of the sword, but not as many as have perished by their own tongue.


23  Blessed is he who is protected from a wicked tongue, who has not gone over to its wrath, and has not pulled its yoke, and has not been bound by its chains.

Sir28:19  Well is he that is defended through the venom thereof; who hath not drawn the yoke thereof, nor hath been bound in her bands.

24  For its yoke is a yoke of iron. And its chains are chains of brass.

Sir28:20  For the yoke thereof is a yoke of iron, and the bands thereof are bands of brass.

25  Its death is a most wicked death. And hell is more useful than it is.

Sir28:21  The death thereof is an evil death, the grave were better than it.

26  Its continuance will not be permanent, but it will take hold of the ways of the unjust. And the just will not be burned by its flame.

Sir28:22  It shall not have rule over them that fear God, neither shall they be burned with the flame thereof.

27  Those who abandon God will fall by it, and it will burn within them and not be quenched. And it will be sent upon them, like a lion, and it will wound them, like a leopard.

Sir28:23  Such as forsake the Lord shall fall into it; and it shall burn in them, and not be quenched; it shall be sent upon them as a lion, and devour them as a leopard.

28  Hedge your ears with thorns. Do not be willing to listen to a wicked tongue. And make doors and bars for your mouth.

Sir28:24  Look that thou hedge thy possession about with thorns, and bind up thy silver and gold,

29  Melt down your gold and your silver. And make a scale for your words, and an upright bridle for your mouth.

Sir28:25  And weigh thy words in a balance, and make a door and bar for thy mouth.

30  And be attentive, lest perhaps you may slip with your tongue, and fall in the sight of your enemies, who are lying in wait for you, and then your fall may be incurable unto death.

Sir28:26  Beware thou slide not by it, lest thou fall before him that lieth in wait.