The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 5:9–18


For his wrath will approach suddenly, and in the time of vindication, he will destroy you.


10  Do not choose to be anxious for unjust wealth. For these things will not benefit you in the day of darkness and retribution.

Sir5:8  Set not thine heart upon goods unjustly gotten, for they shall not profit thee in the day of calamity.

11  You should not winnow in every wind, and you should not go forth into every path. For so is every sinner proven by his duplicitous tongue.

Sir5:9  Winnow not with every wind, and go not into every way: for so doth the sinner that hath a double tongue.

12  Be steadfast in the way of the Lord and in the truth of your understanding and knowledge, and let words of peace and justice overtake you.

Sir5:10  Be stedfast in thy understanding; and let thy word be the same.

13  Be meek when listening to a word, so that you may understand. And offer a true response in wisdom.

Sir5:11  Be swift to hear; and let thy life be sincere; and with patience give answer.

14  If you understand, then answer your neighbor. But if you do not, then let your hand be over your mouth, so that you are not caught by an inept word, and then confounded.

Sir5:12  If thou hast understanding, answer thy neighbour; if not, lay thy hand upon thy mouth.

15  Honor and glory are in the words of those who understand, yet truly, the tongue of the imprudent man is his undoing.

Sir5:13  Honour and shame is in talk: and the tongue of man is his fall.

16  You should not be called a whisperer, and you should not be caught by your own tongue, and then confounded.

Sir5:14  Be not called a whisperer, and lie not in wait with thy tongue: for a foul shame is upon the thief, and an evil condemnation upon the double tongue.


17  For confusion and remorse is upon a thief, and a wicked mark is upon the double-tongued; but for the whisperer, there is hatred and animosity and disgrace.


18  Justify the small and the great similarly.

Sir5:15  Be not ignorant of any thing in a great matter or a small.