Women and friends

Don’t be jealous
of your dearly loved wife
or teach her a bad lesson
that hurts you too.
Don’t give yourself to a woman
so that she crushes your strength.
Don’t meet up with a female escort,
since you might fall into her traps.
Don’t hang around
with a female musician,
since you might get caught
in her advances.
Don’t stare at a young woman,
since you might incur punishment
for her.
Don’t give yourself to prostitutes,
since you might lose your inheritance.
Don’t look around in the city streets,
and don’t wander in its deserted areas.
Turn your eye away from a shapely woman,
and don’t stare at beauty
belonging to someone else.
Many have gone astray
because of a woman’s beauty,
and out of it affection
flames up like a fire.
Don’t ever sit[a] with a married woman,
and don’t share meals
or indulge in wine with her,
since your soul might be attracted to her
and you might slip into destruction
because of your passion.[b]
10 Don’t abandon old friends,
because newer ones are not their equals.
New friends are like new wine;
when wine ages,
you will drink it with good cheer.
11 Don’t envy the good reputation
of sinners,
since you don’t know
how sudden their end will be.
12 Don’t delight in the success
of the ungodly.
Remember that they won’t
be considered righteous,
even in the grave.[c]
13 Keep far away from people
who have the authority to kill,
and you won’t be worried
by the fear of death.
If you do approach them,
don’t make a mistake,
or they might take away your life.
Be aware that you are stepping
among traps
and that you are walking
on the parapet of the city’s walls.
14 As much as you can,
investigate your neighbor
and consult with wise people.
15 Converse with intelligent people,
and talk constantly about the Law
of the Most High.
16 Let righteous people
be your dinner companions,
and let your pride
be in the fear of the Lord.

On rulers

17 A handicraft is praised
because of the craftsperson’s skill,
and the one who leads a people
is wise in speech.
18 Talkative people are feared in their city,
and people who are reckless in speech
will be hated.


  1. Sirach 9:9 Or Don’t sit down at a meal.
  2. Sirach 9:9 Heb in your passion; LXX in your blood
  3. Sirach 9:12 LXX Hades