Don’t become an enemy
instead of a friend.
If you get a bad name, you will also inherit shame and reproach,
as is the case with the
deceitful[a] sinner.
Don’t be enamored
of your own intelligence
lest your strength be taken captive
like a bull.
You will devour your leaves,
destroy your fruit,
and leave yourself like a withered tree.
If you have a bad soul, it will destroy you;
it will make you a joke to your enemies.


Pleasant speech gains more friends for itself,
and a sweet-speaking tongue
will multiply pleasant exchanges.
Let those who are at peace with you
be many,
but let only one in a thousand
be your advisor.
If you make friends, test them thoroughly
and don’t trust them quickly.
Some are friends when it is convenient,
but they won’t stay around
during hard times.
There are friends who turn into enemies,
and they will reveal
your disgraceful arguments.
10 There are friends who are companions
at your table,
but they won’t stay during hard times.
11 They will act as if your belongings
are theirs,
and they will be bold
toward your household slaves.
12 If you are brought low,
they will be against you,
and they will abandon you.
13 Stay away from your enemies,
and be careful with your friends.
14 Trustworthy friends are a strong shelter;
whoever finds one
has found a treasure.
15 Trustworthy friends have no price,
and no one can estimate their worth.
16 Trustworthy friends are life’s medicine,
and those who fear the Lord
will find them.
17 Those who fear the Lord
will direct their friendships well,
because they will associate with people
of like mind.[b]

Submission to Wisdom

18 My child, from your youth
welcome education, and you will continue to discover Wisdom
until you are gray-haired.
19 Approach her like one who plows
and one who sows,
and wait for her good fruits.
When cultivating her,
you will labor a little,
but you will eat her produce soon.
20 Wisdom is rugged terrain
to the uneducated,
and the fainthearted
won’t persevere with her.
21 She will be like a heavy stone
that tests them,
and they won’t hesitate
to throw her aside.
22 Wisdom is like her name,
and she won’t be visible to many.
23 Listen, my child,
and welcome my opinion.
Don’t reject my advice.
24 Put your feet into her shackles
and your neck into her collar.
25 Bend your shoulder down and carry her,
and don’t chafe at her bonds.
26 Come to her with your whole being,
and keep to her ways
with all your strength.
27 Track her down and seek her,
and she will become known to you.
When you get possession of her,
don’t let her go.
28 In the end, you will find rest in her,
and she will turn to you
and make you happy.
29 Her shackles will be
a strong shelter for you,
and her collar will be a glorious robe.
30 She bears[c]
a gold ornament,
and her bonds
will be like blue embroidery.[d]
31 You will wear her like a glorious robe,
and you will put her on
like a crown of joy.
32 If you want, my child,
you will be instructed,
and if you devote your whole being,
you will be intelligent.
33 If you love to listen, you will receive,
and if you pay attention,
you will be wise.
34 Keep company with the elders,
and stick closely to their wisdom.
35 Desire to listen
to every godly conversation,
and don’t let intelligent proverbs escape you.
36 If you find individuals who are intelligent,
get up before dawn to see those people,
and let your foot
wear out their doorsteps.
37 Think about the Lord’s decrees,
and meditate constantly
on his commandments.
He will make your heart steadfast,
and will grant your desire for wisdom.


  1. Sirach 6:1 LXX double-tongued
  2. Sirach 6:17 LXX because as they are, so are their neighbors
  3. Sirach 6:30 Or her yoke is
  4. Sirach 6:30 LXX thread