If they have appointed you
as the banquet leader,
don’t think too much of yourself;
behave toward them
as if you were one of them.
Take care of their needs
and then sit down.
When you have done
everything necessary, recline,
so that you can have fun with them,
and because of your excellent behavior
you will receive a wreath.
Speak, you who are older,
for it’s your privilege.
But know what you’re talking about,
and don’t interrupt the music.
Where there’s a performance,
don’t talk too much,
and don’t be clever at the wrong time.
A musical performance at a wine party
is like a ruby seal on a gold ornament.
Melodic music accompanying sweet wine
is like an emerald seal
in a setting of gold.
Speak, you who are young,
if it’s necessary,
but only twice,
and only if you are asked.
Sum up what you have to say;
much can be said in few words.
Be like one who knows
but who can keep silent.
When you are among the more influential, don’t presume authority;
and where elders are present,
don’t talk idly about many things.
10 Lightning comes before thunder,
and good favor walks
in front of a modest person.
11 Rise up to leave in time,
and don’t be the last person out;
go back to your own home,
and don’t miss your work
the next day.
12 Enjoy yourself there,
and do what you please,
but don’t sin with arrogant words.
13 More than this,
bless the one who made you
and who lets you drink freely
from his good bounty.

On divine providence

14 Whoever fears the Lord
will accept instruction;
those who rise early
will find approval.
15 Whoever seeks the Law
will be filled with it,
but the hypocrite will stumble over it.
16 Those who fear the Lord
will discover his decree,
and they will kindle righteous deeds
like a lamp.
17 Sinful people turn away from correction;
they will look for a judgment
that suits them.
18 A well-advised person
won’t overlook an intelligent thought;
the stranger and the arrogant
won’t cower out of fear.
19 Do nothing without deliberation,
and when you have acted,
don’t feel regret.
20 Don’t walk on a hazardous path,
and don’t stumble on stony ground.[a]
21 Don’t trust an unexplored road,
22 and be on guard
concerning your children.[b]
23 Trust yourself[c] in every action,
because this also means
keeping the commandments.
24 Whoever has faith in the Law
pays attention to the commandments;
whoever trusts the Lord
won’t suffer loss.


  1. Sirach 32:20 Heb don’t stumble twice on an obstacle
  2. Sirach 32:22 Heb Be careful of your paths
  3. Sirach 32:23 Heb be careful of yourself