Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sirach 5

*God Is the Lord*
1. Do not set your heart of your possessions,
And do not say, "I am independent."+

2. Do not follow yourself and your strength
So as to walk in the desires of your heart;

3. And do not say, "Who will be lord over me?"
For the Lord will surely punish you.

4. Do not say, "I sinned, so what happened to me?"
For the Lord is patient.

5. Do not be so confident of atonement
That you add sin to sin;

6. And do not say, "His compassion is great;
He will atone for the multitude of my sins,"
For both mercy and wrath come from Him;
And His anger rests on sinners.

7. Do not delay to turn to the Lord,
And do not put it off from day to day;
For suddenly the wrath of the Lord will come forth,
And in the day of vengeance, you will perish.

8. Do not set your heart on dishonest wealth,
For it will profit you nothing in the day of distress.

*Control of the Tongue*
9. Do not winnow with every wind
And do not follow every road;
For a double-tongued sinner is of such a kind.+

10. Be established in your understanding
And let your word be consistent.

11. Be quick to listen
And give your answer with patience.

12. If you have understanding, answer your neighbor,
But if not, let your hand be over your mouth.

13. There is glory and dishonor in speech,
And a man's tongue may cause him to fall.

14. Do not be called a slanderer,
And do not lie in ambush with your tongue;
For shame awaits a thief,
And a grievous condemnation will come upon
A double-tongued man.

15. In a great or in a small matter, do not go wrong.

OSB Notes:

+5:1-8 - Looking to possessions and being independent from God is dangerous to ones soul. To assume that God is unwilling or unable to deal with our sins and therefore we can escape the consequences of our deeds is also dangerous. Thus, Ben Sirach's exhortation: Do not delay to turn to the Lord (v. 7).

+5:9 - 6:1 - The double-tongued man is one who "talks out of both sides of his mouth" and brings shame and disgrace (6:1).


  1. Such excellent, excellent advice! Some I could have used earlier in the week! Thanks for sharing this. It's allllllllll so good!

  2. Susanne,

    It's *all* so good. :) But yeah, the holding your tongue thing is one I should probably reflect on, in depth, for my own good.;)


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