The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 28:13–27

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.