*Put Away Evil Acts*
1. Do no evil things.
And evil will never overtake you.+
2. Stay away from wrongdoing,
And it will turn away from you.
3. My son, do not sow on the furrows of wrongdoing,
And you will not reap the same things sevenfold.
4. Do not seek authority from a lord
Nor the seat of honor from a king
5. Do not declare yourself righteous before a lord,
Nor play the wise man before a king.
6. Do not try to be a judge
If you will not be strong enough to remove wrongdoing,
Lest you respect the presence of the powerful
And compromise your integrity.
7. Do not sin against the population of a city,
Nor disgrace yourself before the people.
8. Do not repeat your sin,
For you will not be unpunished even for one.
9. Do not say, "He will look upon the multitude of my gifts,
And when I bring an offering to God Most High, He will accept it."
10. Do not be fainthearted in your prayer
And do not neglect to do alms.+
11. Do not laugh at a man who is in bitterness of soul.
For there is One who humbles and exalts.
12. Do not devise a lie against your brother,
Nor do the same against a friend.
13. Do not desire to tell any lie,
For the habit of lying never does any good.
14. Do not talk idly in the assembly of the elders,
And do not repeat yourself in prayer.
*Farm and Family*
15. Do not hate hard work, especially farming,
Which was created by the Most High.
16. Do not number yourself among an assembly of sinners;
Remember that wrath will not tarry long.
17. Humble yourself greatly,
For the punishment of the ungodly is fire and worms.
18. Do not exchange a friend for money,
Nor a genuine brother for the gold of Ophir.+
19. Do not ignore a wise and good wife,
For her grace is worth more than gold.
20. Do not mistreat a servant who does his work in truth
Nor a hired worker who devotes himself to you.+
21. Let your soul love an intelligent servant;
Do not deprive him of his freedom.
22. Do you have cattle? Take care of them;
And if they are profitable to you, keep them.+
23. Do you have children? Correct them,
And make them obey from their youth.
24. Do you have daughters? Watch carefully over their chastity,
And do not be too easy on them.+
25. Give a daughter in marriage
And you will have completed a great work;
But give her to a man of understanding.
26. Do you have a wife after your own heart? Do not reject her.
But do not trust yourself to a wife whom you disregard.
27. Honor your father with all your heart,
And do not forget the birth pangs of your mother.
28. Remember that you were begotten through them,
And what can you give back to them
To the degree they gave to you?
*The Priests and the Poor*
29. Fear the Lord with all your soul
And honor His priests.+
30. Love Him who made you
And do not forsake His ministers.
31. Fear the Lord and honor His priests,
And give them their portion as commanded:
The firstfruits, the trespass offering,
The gift of the shoulder offering,
The sacrifice of sanctification,
And the firstfruits of the holy things.
32. Stretch forth your hand to the poor,
That your blessing may be complete.+
33. Let the kindness of giving be shown
In the presence of all the living,
And do not withhold kindness from the dead.
34. Do not withdraw yourself from those who weep,
And mourn with those who mourn.
35. Do not hesitate to visit a sick man,
For by such visits you will be loved.
36. With all your words, remember the time you will die,
And you will never sin.
+7:1-3 - Wisdom requires we avoid all forms of evil things. For if we participate in wrongdoing, we reap its bitter fruit sevenfold.
+7:10, 11 - Be bold in prayer and alms, or deeds of mercy. The Lord through His Church both humbles and exalts us by providing special seasons of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving to the needy, especially during Lent and Advent.
+7:18 - Ophir, likely in southwestern Arabia, was a famous source for gold in the ancient world. The queen at Christ's right hand (Ps. 44:10), the Theotokos, is arrayed in gold from Ophir.
+7:20, 21 - The wise employer places high value on a worker who is intelligent and devoted to his job. In ancient times this meant repaying the servant with his freedom. In our times it means providing just compensation and job security.
+7:22 - Because they are God's creation, we take care of animals we own.
+7:24, 25 - The father arranged the marriage of his daughter, and until then he protected her chastity.
+7:29-31 - Love for God and honor for His priests go hand in hand. The OT laws required that part of each sacrifice to God be given to the priests for their support. Here, following give them their portion as commanded, the Syriac version of the LXX includes what some believe to be an emendation by an early Christian copyist. It reads, "the bread of oblations and the firstfruits of the hands." Orthodox Christians would understand this to be the prosphora bread to be used in the Eucharist.
+7:32 - God has always promised blessing to those who give to the poor.