The Book of Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus)
1 – Instead of a friend become not an enemy to thy neighbour: for an evil man shall inherit reproach and shame, so shall every sinner that is envious and double tongued.
2 – Extol not thyself in the thoughts of thy soul like a bull: lest thy strength be quashed by folly,
3 – And it eat up thy leaves, and destroy thy fruit: and thou be left as a dry tree in the wilderness.
4 – For a wicked soul shall destroy him that hath it, and maketh him to be a joy to his enemies, and shall lead him into the lot of the wicked.
5 – A sweet word multiplieth friends, and appeaseth enemies, and a gracious tongue in a good man aboundeth.
6 – Be in peace with many, but let one of a thousand be thy counsellor.
7 – If thou wouldst get a friend, try him before thou takest him, and do not credit him easily.
8 – For there is a friend for his own occasion, and he will not abide in the day of thy trouble.
9 – And there is a friend that turneth to enmity; and there is a friend that will disclose hatred and strife and reproaches.
10 – And there is a friend a companion at the table, and he will not abide in the day of distress.
11 – A friend ii he continue steadfast, shall be to thee as thyself, and shall act with confidence among them of thy household.
12 – If he humble himself before thee, and hide himself from thy face, thou shalt have unanimous friendship for good.
13 – Separate thyself from thy enemies, and take heed of thy friends.
14 – A faithful friend is a strong defence: and he that hath found him, hath found a treasure.
15 – Nothing can be compared to a faithful friend, and no weight of gold and silver is able to countervail the goodness of his fidelity.
16 – A faithful friend is the medicine of life and immortality: and they that fear the Lord, shall find him.
17 – He that feareth God, shall likewise have good friendship: because according to him shall his friend be.
18 – My son, from thy youth up receive instruction, and even to thy grey hairs thou shalt find wisdom.
19 – Come to her as one that plougheth, and soweth, and wait for her good fruits:
20 – For in working about her thou shalt labour a little, and shalt quickly eat of her fruits.
21 – How very unpleasant is wisdom to the unlearned, and the unwise will not continue with her.
22 – She shall be to them as a mighty stone of trial, and they will cast her from them before it be long.
23 – For the wisdom of doctrine is according to her name, and she is not manifest unto many, but with them to whom she is known, she continueth even to the sight of God.
24 – Give ear, my son, and take wise counsel, and cast not away my advice.
25 – Put thy feet into her fetters, and thy neck into her chains:
26 – Bow down thy shoulder, and bear her, and be not grieved with her bands.
27 – Come to her with all thy mind, and keep her ways with all thy power.
28 – Search for her, and she shall be made known to thee, and when thou hast gotten her, let her not go:
29 – For in the latter end thou shalt find rest in her, and she shall be turned to thy joy.
30 – Then shall her fetters be a strong defence for thee, and a firm foundation, and her chain a robe of glory:
31 – For in her is the beauty of life, and her bands are a healthful binding.
32 – Thou shalt put her on as a robe of glory, and thee shalt set her upon thee as a crown of joy.
33 – My son, if thou wilt attend to me, thou shalt learn: and if thou wilt apply thy mind, thou shalt be wise.
34 – If thou wilt incline thy ear, thou shalt receive instruction: and if thou love to hear, thou shalt be wise.
35 – Stand in the multitude of ancients that are wise, and join thyself from thy heart to their wisdom, that thou mayst hear every discourse of God, and the sayings of praise may not escape thee.
36 – And if thou see a man of understanding, go to him early in the morning, and let thy foot wear the steps of his doors.
37 – Let thy thoughts be upon the precepts of God, and meditate continually on his commandments: and he will give thee a heart, and the desire of wisdom shall be given thee.
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The Catholic Bible Online. Scriptures are from The Douay Rheims Catholic Bible 1582-1610 a.d. Version In the Public Domain. The Douay Rheims Bible is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English undertaken by members of the English College, Douai in the service of the Catholic Church.