The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 9:1–25


You should not be jealous of the wife of your bosom, lest she reveal, because of you, the malice of a wicked lesson.

Be not jealous over the wife of thy bosom, and teach her not an evil lesson against thyself.

You should not give authority over your soul to a woman, lest she obtain your strength, and then you would be confounded.

Give not thy soul unto a woman to set her foot upon thy substance.

You should not look with favor on a woman with many desires, lest perhaps you may fall into her traps.

Meet not with an harlot, lest thou fall into her snares.

You should not be continually in need of entertainment, nor should you be persuaded by it, lest perhaps you may perish by its effectiveness.

Use not much the company of a woman that is a singer, lest thou be taken with her attempts.

You should not stare at a virgin, lest perhaps you may be scandalized by her beauty.

Gaze not on a maid, that thou fall not by those things that are precious in her.

You should not give your soul, in any way, to fornicators, lest you destroy yourself and your inheritance.

Give not thy soul unto harlots, that thou lose not thine inheritance.

Do not choose to look around in the streets of the city, nor should you wander along its thoroughfares.

Look not round about thee in the streets of the city, neither wander thou in the solitary place thereof.

Avert your face from an ornate woman, for you should not gaze upon strange beauty.

Turn away thine eye from a beautiful woman, and look not upon another’s beauty; for many have been deceived by the beauty of a woman; for herewith love is kindled as a fire.


Many have perished because of the beauty of a woman; and by this, desire is kindled like a fire.

10  Every woman who is a fornicator will be trampled down, like the filth in the street.

11  Many, by admiring the beauty of the wife of another, have become reprobate. For familiarity with her flares up like a fire.


12  You should not sit down at all with another man’s wife, nor recline with her on a couch.

Sir9:9  Sit not at all with another man’s wife, nor sit down with her in thine arms, and spend not thy money with her at the wine; lest thine heart incline unto her, and so through thy desire thou fall into destruction.


13  And you should not argue with her over wine, lest perhaps your heart may turn toward her, and by your emotion, you would be toppled into perdition.


14  You should not abandon a old friend. For a new one will not be similar to him.

Sir9:10  Forsake not an old friend; for the new is not comparable to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old, thou shalt drink it with pleasure.


15  A new friend is like new wine. It will grow old, and then you will enjoy drinking it.


16  You should not envy the glory and wealth of a sinner. For you do not know what may be his undoing in the future.

Sir9:11  Envy not the glory of a sinner: for thou knowest not what shall be his end.

17  The injury of the unjust should not please you, knowing that, until they are in hell, the impious will not please.

Sir9:12  Delight not in the thing that the ungodly have pleasure in; but remember they shall not go unpunished unto their grave.

18  Keep yourself far from a man having the power to kill, and then you will not have the fear of death suspended over you.

Sir9:13  Keep thee far from the man that hath power to kill; so shalt thou not doubt the fear of death: and if thou come unto him, make no fault, lest he take away thy life presently: remember that thou goest in the midst of snares, and that thou walkest upon the battlements of the city.


19  But if you do approach him, do nothing to offend, lest perhaps he may take away your life.

20  Know that this is a communion with death. For you would be entering the midst of snares, and walking upon the arms of the grieving.


21  According to your ability, be cautious of your neighbor, and treat him as the wise and prudent would.

Sir9:14  As near as thou canst, guess at thy neighbour, and consult with the wise.

22  Let just men be your companions, and let your glory be in the fear of God.

Sir9:15  Let thy talk be with the wise, and all thy communication in the law of the most High.

23  And let the thought of God be in your mind, and let all your discourse be on the precepts of the Most High.

Sir9:16  And let just men eat and drink with thee; and let thy glorying be in the fear of the Lord.

24  Works will be praised for the hands of the artists, and a leader of the people will be praised for the wisdom of his words, yet truly, the word of the elders will be praised for its understanding.

Sir9:17  For the hand of the artificer the work shall be commended: and the wise ruler of the people for his speech.

25  A man full of words is a dread to his city, but one who speaks rashly will be hated for his word.

Sir9:18  A man of an ill tongue is dangerous in his city; and he that is rash in his talk shall be hated.