Sir 231 Lord, Father and Ruler of my life: may you not abandon me to their counsel, nor permit me to fall by them. 2 They would impose scourges over my thoughts and over the discipline of wisdom in my heart. And they would not spare me from their ignorances, nor would they allow their own offenses to become apparent. 3 And they intend that my ignorances would increase, and my offenses be multiplied, and my sins abound. And so I would fall in the sight of my adversaries, and be rejoiced over by my enemy. 4 Lord, Father and God of my life: may you not abandon me to their plans. 5 Do not leave me with the haughtiness of my eyes. And avert all desire from me. 6 Take the desire of the body from me, and do not allow sexual desire to take hold of me, and do not permit an irreverent and senseless mind within me. 7 O sons: listen to the doctrine of my mouth. For those who observe it will not perish by the lips, nor be scandalized into wicked works. 8 A sinner is held by his own emptiness. And the arrogant and those who speak evil will be scandalized by these things. 9 Do not allow your mouth to become accustomed to swearing oaths. For in this, there are many pitfalls. 10 Truly, do not allow the naming of God to be continually in your mouth, and do not treat as if common the names of the holy ones. For you will not escape punishment by them. 11 Just as a servant, continually interrogated, will not be without a bruise, so everyone who swears oaths and takes God’s name will not be entirely free from sin. 12 A man who swears many oaths will be filled with iniquity, and scourges will not depart from his house. 13 And if he fails to fulfill it, his offense will be over him, and if he pretends he fulfilled it, he offends doubly. 14 And if he swears an oath insincerely, he will not be justified. For his house will be filled with retribution for him. 15 There is yet another kind of talk which faces death; let it not be found in the inheritance of Jacob. 16 For all these things will be taken away from the merciful, and they shall not wallow in offenses. 17 Do not allow your mouth to become accustomed to undisciplined speech. For in this, there is the sin of words. 18 When you sit in the midst of great men, remember your father and mother. 19 Otherwise, God may forget you, when you are in their sight, and then you would be repeatedly ridiculed and would suffer disgrace, and you might wish that you had never been born, and you might curse the day of your nativity. 20 The man who is accustomed to disgraceful words will not accept instruction, all the days of his life. 21 Two kinds of persons abound in sins, and a third adds wrath and perdition. 22 A desirous soul is like a burning fire, it will not be quenched, until it devours something. 23 And a man who is wicked in the desires of his flesh will not desist until he has kindled a fire. 24 To a man of fornication, all bread is sweet; he will not tire of transgression, to the very end. 25 Every man who transgresses his own bed has contempt for his own soul. And so he says: “Who can see me? 26 Darkness surrounds me, and the walls enclose me, and no one catches sight of me. Whom should I fear? The Most High will not remember my offenses.” 27 And he does not understand that God’s eye sees all things. For fear within a man such as this drives away from him both the fear of God and the eyes of those men who fear God. 28 And he does not acknowledge that the eyes of the Lord are much brighter than the sun, keeping watch over all the ways of men, even to the depths of the abyss, and gazing into the hearts of men, even to the most hidden parts. 29 For all things, before they were created, were known to the Lord God. And even after their completion, he beholds all things. 30 This man will be punished in the streets of the city, and he will be chased like a young horse. And in a place that he does not suspect, he will be captured. 31 And because he did not understand the fear of the Lord, he will be in disgrace before all men, 32 as will be every woman, too, who abandons her husband and establishes an inheritance by marriage to another man. 33 For first, she was unbelieving of the law of the Most High. Second, she offended against her husband. Third, she fornicated by adultery, and so established her children by another man. 34 This woman will be led into the assembly, and she will be stared at by her children. 35 Her children will not take root, and her branches will not produce fruit. 36 She will leave behind her memory as a curse, and her infamy will not be wiped away. 37 And those who are left behind will acknowledge that there is nothing better than the fear of God, and that there is nothing sweeter than to have respect for the commandments of the Lord. 38 It is a great glory to follow the Lord. For length of days will be received from him.
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