Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sirach 13

*Choosing Colleagues*
1. Whoever touches pitch will be stained,
And whoever associates with an arrogant man will become like him.

2. Do not lift a weight too heavy for you,
Nor associate with a man stronger and richer than you.
What does a clay pot have in common with a copper kettle?
For the clay pot will strike against the kettle and will itself be broken.

3. A rich man does wrong and even proves himself to be the one wronged.
A poor man is wronged, and he must apologize.+

4. If you can be useful to him, a rich man will make use of you;
But if you are in need, he will abandon you.

5. If you own anything, he will live with you,
And he will exhaust you, but will not feel sorry for you.

6. When he needs you, he will deceive you and smile at you;
And he will give you hope and say good things to you.
He will even say, "What do you need?"

7. He will shame you with his foods
Until he exhausts you two or three times.
Then at last he will mock you.
If he should see you after this, he will forsake you
And shake his head over you.

8. Take heed, lest you be led astray
And be humiliated in your folly.

9. When a ruler invites you, be slow to accept,
And he will invite you more often.

10. Do not press upon him, lest you be rejected,
But do not withdraw at a distance, lest you be forgotten.

11. Do not intend to speak to him as an equal,
And do not trust his abundance of words;
For he will test you with a lot of talk,
And while he is smiling, he will scrutinize you.

12. He who does not guard your words is unmerciful,
And he will not hesitate to harm or imprison you.

13. Keep your words to yourself, and be very careful,
For you are walking near your own fall.

*Like Attracts Like*
14. Every living creature loves its like,
And every man his neighbor.+

15. All flesh gathers together by species,
And every man clings to one like himself.

16. What wolf will associate with a lamb?
No more will the sinner with a godly man.

17. What peace is there between a hyena and a dog?
And what peace does a rich man have with a poor man?

18. The prey of lions are wild asses in the wilderness.
Similarly, the pastures of the rich are the poor.

*Rich and Poor*
19. Lowness of stature is an abomination to the arrogant;
Thus a poor man is an abomination to a rich man.

20. When a rich man is shaken, he is strengthened by friends;
But when a humble man falls, he is pushed away by friends.

21. When a rich man falls, there are man to help him;
And when he speaks abominable words, they justify him.
If a humble man falls, they criticize him further;
And when he speaks with intelligence, no place is given to him.

22. When a rich man speaks, everyone is silent,
And they exalt his word to the clouds.
A poor man speaks, and they say, "Who is this man?"
And if he stumbles, they push him down even further.

23. Wealth in which there is no sin is good,
But poverty is evil in the mouth of an ungodly man.

24. The heart of a man changes the expression on his face,
Either for good or for evil.

25. The mark of a heart filled with goodness is a cheerful face,
But the invention of proverbs requires laborious reasoning.

+13:3, 4 - When a rich man falls, he has many helpers. But when a poor man is wronged, often even his friends push him down further.

+13:14-17 - Everything in creation loves its like! Thus, we have nations, tongues, and tribes (see Rev. 5:9), and that is natural. But for Christians, we do not first identify ourselves as Greek or Russian or American. Rather our allegiance is first to "a holy nation" (1Pt 2:9), which is the Kingdom of God.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely bits of wisdom to start my Saturday. Thank you!


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