Many have sinned because of money,
and whoever seeks to get more
will turn a blind eye.
A stake is driven
between cracks in stones,
and sin will be wedged
between selling and buying.
If people don’t remain mindful
of the respect due the Lord,
their houses will be quickly overthrown.
When a sieve is shaken,
rubbish remains behind;
so in the process of reasoning,
a person’s flaws appear.
A kiln tests a potter’s jars,
and decision making tests a person.
A tree’s fruit reveals
how well it has been cultivated.
In the same way, reasoning makes plain
a person’s thoughts.
Don’t praise people
until after they present an argument,
for this is how people are tested.
If you pursue what’s just,
you will possess it
and wear it like a glorious robe.
Birds will nest with their own kind,
and truth comes back
to those who practice it.
10 A lion lies in wait for prey
just as sin lies in wait
for those who practice injustice.
11 The godly always speak wisdom,
but the fool changes like the moon.
12 Limit the time you spend
with unintelligent people,
but linger with the thoughtful.
13 The conversation of fools is offensive,
as is their laughter
over sinful pleasures.
14 Their speech, full of profanity,
makes a person’s hair stand on end,
and their conflicts make people
stop up their ears.
15 The conflict of the arrogant
ends in bloodshed,
and their abuse is miserable to hear.

Relations with associates

16 Those who reveal secrets
have destroyed trust,
and they will never find a friend
for themselves.
17 Show affection to friends
and be loyal to them,
but if you reveal their secrets,
don’t follow after them.
18 Just as people destroy an enemy,[a]
so you have destroyed your friendship
with your neighbors.
19 And as you set a bird free from your hand,
so too you have let your neighbors go,
and you won’t catch them.
20 Don’t pursue them,
because they have withdrawn
far away from you,
and they have escaped
like a gazelle from a trap.
21 In the same way that it’s possible
to bandage a wound,
there’s also reconciliation for insult,
but the one who has let a friend’s secrets slip out has no hope.
22 Those who wink their eye plan evil,
and whoever recognizes them
will keep their distance.
23 To your face their speech will be sweet,
and they will express amazement
at your words.
But later they will distort what they said,
and they will use your own words
against you.
24 I’ve hated many things,
but nothing compares with them.
Even the Lord will hate them.
25 Those who throw stones up high
throw them on their own heads,
and a deceitful blow
will open up wounds.
26 Whoever digs a hole will fall into it,
and whoever sets a trap
will get caught in it.
27 Evil will roll back upon those
who practice evil,
and they will never know
where it came from.
28 Mocking and blaming
belong to the arrogant,
and vengeance, like a lion,
will lie in wait for them.
29 Those who rejoice when godly people fall
will get caught in a trap,
and pain will consume them
before their death.
30 Wrath and anger—
these also are detestable,
and they will possess the sinful person.


  1. Sirach 27:18 Some manuscripts a corpse