Susanne, you get to go first:
*Care of the Poor and Needy*
1. My son, do not deprive the poor of his living,
And do not keep eyes in need waiting.
2. Do not grieve a soul who is hungry,
Nor provoke to anger a man in despair.
3. Do not trouble a heart that was made resentful,
And do not put off the gift of a man in need.
4. Do not reject a supplicant who is afflicted
Nor turn your face away from a poor man.
5. Do not turn your eye away from a needy man,
And do not give a man occasion to curse you;
6. For if he curses you in the bitterness of his soul,
His Maker will hear his prayer.
7. Make yourself beloved in the assembly
And bow your head to a great man.
8. Incline your ear to a poor man
And answer him peaceably and with gentleness.
9. Deliver a person who has been wronged
From the hand of the wrongdoer,
And do not be fainthearted when you judge his case.
10. Be like a father to orphans
And like a husband to their mother;
And you will be like a son of the Most High,
And He will love you more than your mother.+
*Pursuit of Wisdom*
11. Wisdom exalts her children
And lays hold of those who seek her.+
12. Whoever loves her loves life,
And those who come to her early in the morning
Will be filled with gladness.
13. He who holds fast to her will inherit glory,
And the Lord blesses every place she enters.
14. Those who serve her will minister to the Holy One.
And the Lord loves those who love her.
15. He who obeys her will judge the nations;
And he that gives heed to her will live with confidence.
16. If he trusts in her, he will inherit her.
And his posterity will be in possession of her.
17. At first she will walk with him on disturbing paths
And bring fear and dread upon him;
And she will torment him with her discipline
Until she can trust his soul
And test him with her ordinances.
18. Then she will come straight back to him,
And will gladden him, and reveal her secrets to him.
19. If he wanders away, she will forsake him
And hand him over to his ruin.
*Shame and Sin*
20. Watch for a proper opportunity and keep yourself from evil;
And do not bring shame upon your soul.
21. For there is a shame that brings sin,
And there is a shame which is glory and grace.
22. Do not show partiality to someone to your own harm,
And do not let your respect cause another to fall.
23. Do not withhold a word in time of need;
24. For wisdom is made known be a word,
And instruction by a word of the tongue.
25. Do not speak against the truth,
And do not be put to shame by your ignorance.
26. Do not be ashamed to confess your sins,
And do not exercise force against the current of a river.
27. Do not subject yourself to a foolish man,
And do not show partiality to a ruler.
28. Fight to the death for the truth,
And the Lord God will fight for you.
29. Do not be rash with your tongue
And sluggish and neglectful in your works.
30. Do not be like a lion in your home
And act in pretense with your servants.
31. Do not let your hand be extended to receive
And shut when you should repay.
Notes from OSB:
+4:10 - The care of the poor, the needy, and the orphan is nothing short of Christlike: you will be like a son of the Most High.
+4:11-19 - Gaining wisdom is not passive or automatic. Note the action verbs: seek (v. 11); loves (v. 12); come (v. 12); holds fast (v. 13); serve (v. 14); obeys (v. 15); gives heed (v. 15); trusts (v. 16).
And now for me:
1. Do not be an enemy instead of a friend;
For a bad name brings disgrace,
And a double-tongued sinner is of such a kind.
2. Do not exalt yourself with your own counsel,
Lest your soul be torn in pieces as by a bull.+
3. You will devour your leaves and lose your fruit,
And be left like a withered tree.
4. An evil soul will destroy him who possesses it
And make him an object of malignant joy to his enemies.
5. Pleasant speech will multiply his friends,
And a gracious tongue will multiply many kind greetings.+
6. Let those who live at peace with you be many,
But let your counselors be one in a thousand.
7. If you gain a friend, gain him in testing,
And do not be in a hurry to trust him.
8. For there is a friend who is such to his own advantage,
But he will not remain beside you in the day of your affliction.
9. There is also a friend who changes into an enemy
And will reveal a quarrel to your disgrace.
10. Again, there is a friend who is a companion at table,
But will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
11. Further, when you prosper, he will be like you,
And speak boldly to your servants.
12. But if you are brought low, he will be against you,
And will hide himself from your presence.
13. Stay away from your enemies
And hold onto your friends.
14. A faithful friend is a strong shelter,
And he who finds one finds a treasure.
15. There is nothing that can take the place of a faithful friend,
And there is no way to measure his worth.
16. A faithful friend is a medicine of life,
And those who fear the Lord will find him.
17. He who fears the Lord guides his friendship rightly,
Because as he is, so also is his neighbor.
*Instruction Brings Wisdom*
18. My son, from your youth up, choose instruction,
And you will find wisdom also into old age.+
19. Come to her as one who plows and sows,
And wait expectantly for her good fruits;
For in her work you will labor a little while,
Then you will quickly eat of her fruit.
20. She is very harsh on the undisciplined
And on the one who lacks the heart to continue with her.+
21. She will be like a heavy stone of trial upon him,
And he will not delay to throw her off.
22. For wisdom is like her name and is not manifest to many.
23. Listen, my son, and accept my judgment,
And do not reject my advice.
24. Put your feet into her fetters and your neck into her collar.
25. Put your shoulder under her and carry her,
And do not be angry with her bonds.
26. Come to her with all your soul,
And keep her ways with all your strength.
27. Search for her and seek her out,
And she will become known to you;
And when you become self-controlled, do not let her go.
28. For in he end you will find her rest,
And she will turn to you in gladness.
29. Then her fetters will be as strong protection for you,
And her collar a glorious robe.
30. For there is a golden adornment upon her,
And her bonds are a blue thread.
31. You will wear her as a glorious robe
And put her on yourself as a crown of exceeding joy.
32. If you are willing, my son, you will be taught,
And if you apply yourself, you will be prudent.+
33. If you love to listen, you will wait with anticipation,
And if you incline your ear, you will be wise.
34. Stand in an assembly of elders,
And who is wise? Attach yourself to him.
35. Desire to listen to every divine narrative,
And do not let proverbs of understanding escape you.
36. If you see a man who has understanding,
Rise early in the morning
And let your foot wear out the threshold of his door.
37. Set your mind on the ordinances of the Lord
And practice His commandments.
He will strengthen your heart continually,
And the desire for wisdom will be given to you.
(+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))
+6:2-4 - In ancient agrarian societies where fences were few, a young bull would be forced from his herd and would wander about looking for a herd where he was strong enough to assert dominance. But in doing so he was in danger of encountering stronger bulls and being torn in pieces. So is a man who looks only to himself for counsel and wisdom. One Orthodox saint teaches, "He is a fool who has himself as a spiritual father."
+6:5-17 - There are also those who are fair-weather friends and appear to be especially close when one is prosperous. But if things turn for the worse, these false friends will become enemies (v. 13). Faithful friends are a great treasure (v. 14). Such friendships are beyond worth (v. 15) and are like a good and healing medicine (v. 16).
+6:18, 19 - Lifelong instruction is essential to gaining wisdom. As a farmer patiently plows and sows in order to produce good fruit, so is the one who gains the fruit of wisdom.
+6:20 - To the undisciplined and spiritually ignorant, the gaining of wisdom seems to be harsh and overly demanding. But the person seeking wisdom will gladly continue with her because of the great good she will bring into his or her life.
+6:32-37 - The requirements for gaining wisdom: (1) be willing to be taught - have a teachable spirit; (2) love to listen (v. 33) rather than persistently talking; (3) attach ourselves (v. 34) to those older and wiser; (4) listen carefully to divine narrative and wise proverbs (v. 35); (5) continuously practice the commandments (v. 37) of the Lord. As we do these things, He will grant our desire for wisdom. Remember, the early church fathers saw the Wisdom of the Proverbs and Sirach as speaking of the preincarnate Christ. We find Him in the complete personification of Wisdom.