On wealth

Sleeplessness over wealth
makes the body waste away,
and anxiety about wealth
keeps sleep away.
Worrying will keep you awake,
and serious illness
will chase sleep away.
Rich people have worked
to accumulate money,
and when they rest,
they fill themselves with their luxuries.
Poor people have worked
to eke out a living,
and when they rest,
they become needy again.
Whoever loves gold won’t be declared just,
and whoever pursues profits
will be led astray by them.
Many have been ruined because of gold,
and their destruction has met them head-on.[a]
It’s a stumbling block for those
who are possessed by it,
and it will take
every senseless person captive.
Happy are the rich
who are without blame
and who don’t follow after gold.
Who are they,
so that we might praise them?
They have done wonders
among the people.
10 Who has been tested by wealth[b]
and been found perfect?
For them it will be a reason to boast.
Who had the power to sin and didn’t,
and could do evil but didn’t?
11 The possessions of such people
will be secure,
and the congregation will tell
of their acts of charity.

Behavior at meals

12 Have you been seated
at a magnificent table?
Don’t be greedy as you sit there,
and don’t say,
“Look how much food there is!”
13 Remember, a greedy eye is a bad thing.
What has been created more greedy
than the eye?
For this reason, every face sheds tears.
14 Don’t reach out your hand
for whatever you see,
and don’t crowd your dinner companion by reaching into the same bowl.
15 Put yourself in your companion’s place,
and be considerate in everything.
16 Eat what’s put in front of you
like a normal human being,[c]
and don’t chew rudely,
or you will be hated.
17 Be the first to stop,
to show your good breeding,
and don’t be gluttonous;
otherwise, you will offend.
18 If you have been seated
with a lot of people,
don’t help yourself before they do.
19 A little food is more than enough
for well-educated people!
They won’t gasp for breath
when they lie down to sleep.
20 Healthy sleep depends
on not stuffing yourself.
Such people arise early and feel good.[d]
The gluttons suffer the pains of insomnia, nausea, and colic.
21 If you’ve overstuffed yourself,
get up, vomit far away,
and you will feel better.
22 Listen to me, my child,
and don’t show me contempt,
and in the end you will understand
what I’m saying;
be careful[e] in everything you do,
and you will never fall sick.
23 People will bless those
who are generous with bread;
they give reliable testimony
to the excellence of such people.
24 The city will murmur about those
who are stingy with bread,
giving accurate witness
to the wickedness of such people.
25 Don’t demonstrate your bravado
in wine drinking,
because wine has destroyed many.
26 A furnace tests the hardening of steel
when it’s dipped,[f]
so wine tests the heart
when the arrogant quarrel.
27 If taken in moderation,
wine makes people’s lives better.
What’s life to those who
don’t have wine?
It was created from the beginning
to bring merriment.
28 The right amount of wine
consumed at the right time
makes for a joyful heart
and a light spirit.
29 Too much wine drunk
in the midst of strife and conflict
makes for a bitter spirit.
30 Getting drunk causes fools to lose
their temper and do themselves harm,
reducing their strength,
and adding injuries as well.
31 Don’t correct your neighbors
at a wine banquet,
and don’t show them contempt
when they are partying;
don’t say any reproachful word
to them,
and don’t trouble them
with any demands.


  1. Sirach 31:6 Heb and who have trusted in jewels.
  2. Sirach 31:10 Gk it
  3. Sirach 31:16 Heb like a well-mannered person
  4. Sirach 31:20 LXX and their spirit with them
  5. Sirach 31:22 Heb moderate
  6. Sirach 31:26 Heb tests the work of the smith