The Bible – Old Testament
1 Do no evil, and evil will not overtake you;
avoid wickedness, and it will turn aside from you.
Sow not in the furrows of injustice, lest you harvest it sevenfold.
Seek not from the LORD authority, nor from the king a place of honor.
Parade not your justice before the Lord, and before the king flaunt not your wisdom.
Seek not to become a judge if you have not strength to root out crime, Or you will show favor to the ruler and mar your integrity.
Be guilty of no evil before the city’s populace, nor disgrace yourself before the assembly.
Do not plot to repeat a sin; not even for one will you go unpunished.
Say not: “He will appreciate my many gifts; the Most High will accept my offerings.”
Be not impatient in prayers, and neglect not the giving of alms.
2 Laugh not at an embittered man; be mindful of him who exalts and humbles.
Plot no mischief against your brother, nor against your friend and companion.
Delight not in telling lie after lie, for it never results in good.
3 Thrust not yourself into the deliberations of princes, and repeat not the words of your prayer.
Hate not laborious tasks, nor farming, which was ordained by the Most High.
Do not esteem yourself better than your fellows; remember, his wrath will not delay.
More and more, humble your pride; what awaits man is worms.
4 5 Barter not a friend for money, nor a dear brother for the gold of Ophir.
Dismiss not a sensible wife; a gracious wife is more precious than corals.
Mistreat not a servant who faithfully serves, nor a laborer who devotes himself to his task.
6 Let a wise servant be dear to you as your own self; refuse him not his freedom.
If you have livestock, look after them; if they are dependable, keep them.
7 If you have sons, chastise them; bend their necks from childhood.
If you have daughters, keep them chaste, and be not indulgent to them.
Giving your daughter in marriage ends a great task; but give her to a worthy man.
If you have a wife, let her not seem odious to you; but where there is ill-feeling, trust her not.
With your whole heart honor your father; your mother’s birthpangs forget not.
Remember, of these parents you were born; what can you give them for all they gave you?
With all your soul, fear God, revere his priests.
With all your strength, love your Creator, forsake not his ministers.
8 Honor God and respect the priest; give him his portion as you have been commanded: First fruits and contributions, due sacrifices and holy offerings.
To the poor man also extend your hand, that your blessing may be complete;
9 Be generous to all the living, and withhold not your kindness from the dead.
Avoid not those who weep, but mourn with those who mourn;
Neglect not to visit the sick – for these things you will be loved.
In whatever you do, remember your last days, and you will never sin.
1 [1-17] In the conduct of social relations wisdom forbids evil and injustice (⇒ Sirach 7:1-3), pride (⇒ Sirach 7:5, ⇒ 15-17), ambition and human respect (⇒ Sirach 7:4, 6), public disorder (⇒ Sirach 7:7), presumption and impatience toward God (⇒ Sirach 7:9-10), ridicule (⇒ Sirach 7:11), mischief and deceit toward one’s neighbor (⇒ Sirach 7:8, ⇒ 12-13).
4 [18-36] The duties of respect and appreciation, justice and kindness should characterize relations toward members of the household (⇒ Sirach 7:18-28), and also toward God and his priests (⇒ Sirach 7:29-31), the poor and afflicted, the living and the dead (⇒ Sirach 7:32-36).
5  Ophir was the port, at present unidentified, to which the ships of Solomon sailed and from which they brought back gold and silver; cf note on ⇒ Psalm 45:10.
7  Bend their necks: keep them from rebellious pride; so with the Greek. Cf ⇒ Sirach 30:12. The present Hebrew text, which is probably not original here, reads: “Choose wives for them while they are young.”
9  This seems to refer to the observances ordained toward the dead, that is, proper mourning and burial. Cf ⇒ 2 Sam 21:12-14; ⇒ Tobit 1:20; ⇒ 12:12. When this verse is read in the light of later teaching, prayers for the souls of the deceased would also be recommended. Cf ⇒ 2 Macc 12:43-45.