Sirach 29

1 He that sheweth mercy will lend unto his neighbour; And he that strengtheneth him with his hand keepeth the commandments.

2 Lend to thy neighbour in time of his need; And pay thou thy neighbour again in due season.

3 Confirm thy word, and keep faith with him; And at all seasons thou shalt find what thou needest.

4 Many have reckoned a loan as a windfall, And have given trouble to those that helped them.

5 Till he hath received, he will kiss a man’s hands; And for his neighbour’s money he will speak submissly: And when payment is due, he will prolong the time, And return words of heaviness, and complain of the times.

6 If he prevail, he shall hardly receive the half; And he will count it as a windfall: If not, he hath deprived him of his money, And he hath gotten him for an enemy without cause: He will pay him with cursings and railings; And for honour he will pay him disgrace.

7 Many on account of men’s ill-dealing have turned away; They have feared to be defrauded for nought.

8 Howbeit with a man in poor estate be longsuffering; And let him not wait for thine alms.

9 Help a poor man for the commandment’s sake; And according to his need send him not empty away.

10 Lose thy money for a brother and a friend; And let it not rust under the stone to be lost.

11 Bestow thy treasure according to the commandments of the Most High; And it shall profit thee more than gold.

12 Shut up alms in thy store-chambers; And it shall deliver thee out of all affliction:

13 It shall fight for thee against thine enemy Better than a mighty shield and a ponderous spear.

14 A good man will be surety for his neighbour; And he that hath lost shame will fail him.

15 Forget not the good offices of thy surety; For he hath given his life for thee.

16 A sinner will overthrow the good estate of his surety;

17 And he that is of an unthankful mind will fail him that delivered him.

18 Suretiship hath undone many that were prospering, And shaken them as a wave of the sea: Mighty men hath it driven from their homes; And they wandered among strange nations.

19 A sinner that falleth into suretiship, And undertaketh contracts for work, shall fall into lawsuits.

20 Help thy neighbour according to thy power, And take heed to thyself that thou fall not to the same.

21 The chief thing for life is water, and bread, And a garment, and a house to cover shame.

22 Better is the life of a poor man under a shelter of logs, Than sumptuous fare in another man’s house.

23 With little or with much, be well satisfied.

24 It is a miserable life to go from house to house: And where thou art a sojourner, thou shalt not dare to open thy mouth.

25 Thou shalt entertain, and give to drink, and have no thanks: And besides this thou shalt hear bitter words.

26 Come hither, thou sojourner, furnish a table, And if thou hast aught in thy hand, feed me with it.

27 Go forth, thou sojourner, from the face of honour; My brother is come to be my guest; I have need of my house.

28 These things are grievous to a man of understanding; The upbraiding of house-room, and the reproaching of the money-lender.

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