Sirach 37

1 Every friend will say, I also am his friend: But there is a friend, which is only a friend in name.

2 Is there not a grief in it even unto death, When a companion and friend is turned to enmity?

3 O wicked imagination, whence camest thou rolling in To cover the dry land with deceitfulness?

4 There is a companion, which rejoiceth in the gladness of a friend, But in time of affliction will be against him.

5 There is a companion, which for the belly’s sake laboureth with his friend, In the face of battle will take up the buckler.

6 Forget not a friend in thy soul; And be not unmindful of him in thy riches.

7 Every counsellor extolleth counsel; But there is that counselleth for himself.

8 Let thy soul beware of a counsellor, And know thou before what is his interest (For he will take counsel for himself); Lest he cast the lot upon thee,

9 And say unto thee, Thy way is good: And he will stand over against thee, to see what shall befall thee.

10 Take not counsel with one that looketh askance at thee; And hide thy counsel from such as are jealous of thee.

11 Take not counsel with a woman about her rival; Neither with a coward about war; Nor with a merchant about exchange; Nor with a buyer about selling; Nor with an envious man about thankfulness; Nor with an unmerciful man about kindliness; Nor with a sluggard about any kind of work; Nor with a hireling in thy house about finishing his work; Nor with an idle servant about much business: Give not heed to these in any matter of counsel.

12 But rather be continually with a godly man, Whom thou shalt have known to be a keeper of the commandments, Who in his soul is as thine own soul, And who will grieve with thee, if thou shalt miscarry.

13 And make the counsel of thy heart to stand; For there is none more faithful unto thee than it.

14 For a man’s soul is sometime wont to bring him tidings, More than seven watchmen that sit on high on a watch-tower.

15 And above all this intreat the Most High, That he may direct thy way in truth.

16 Let reason be the beginning of every work, And let counsel go before every action.

17 As a token of the changing of the heart,

18 four manner of things do rise up, Good and evil, life and death; And that which ruleth over them continually is the tongue.

19 There is one that is shrewd and the instructor of many, And yet is unprofitable to his own soul.

20 There is one that is subtil in words, and is hated; He shall be destitute of all food:

21 For grace was not given him from the Lord; Because he is deprived of all wisdom.

22 There is one that is wise to his own soul; And the fruits of his understanding are trustworthy in the mouth.

23 A wise man will instruct his own people; And the fruits of his understanding are trustworthy.

24 A wise man shall be filled with blessing; And all they that see him shall call him happy.

25 The life of man is numbered by days; And the days of Israel are innumerable.

26 The wise man shall inherit confidence among his people, And his name shall live for ever.

27 My son, prove thy soul in thy life, And see what is evil for it, and give not that unto it.

28 For all things are not profitable for all men, Neither hath every soul pleasure in every thing.

29 Be not insatiable in any luxury, And be not greedy on the things that thou eatest.

30 For in multitude of meats there shall be disease, And surfeiting shall come nigh unto colic.

31 Because of surfeiting have many perished; But he that taketh heed shall prolong his life.

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