Sir 291 He shows mercy who lends to his neighbor, for he keeps the commandments by strengthening him. 2 Lend to your neighbor in his time of need, and receive it again from your neighbor in his time. 3 Keep your word, and act faithfully with him, and then you will find whatever you need in every time. 4 Many have treated a loan like found money, and they offered trouble to those who helped them. 5 Until they receive, they kiss the hands of the giver, and they humble their voice in promises. 6 But at the time of repayment, they will ask for more time, and they will speak annoying and complaining words, and they will make excuses for the time. 7 Then, if he is able to repay, he will turn away. He will pay barely one half, and he will consider it as if he had found it. 8 But if not, then he will defraud him of his money, and he will have him as an enemy without cause. 9 And he will repay him with accusations and curses, and he will repay him with contempt, instead of with honor and kindness. 10 Many have refused to lend, not because of wickedness, but because they were afraid to be defrauded without cause. 11 Yet truly, be more steadfast toward the humble, and you should not delay in acts of mercy toward them. 12 Assist the poor because of the commandment. And you should not send him away empty because of his dire need. 13 Lose your money to your brother and your friend. For you should not hide it under a stone to be lost. 14 Let your treasure be in the precepts of the Most High, and it will benefit you more than gold. 15 Store your alms in the hearts of the poor, and it will obtain help for you against all evil. 16 Better than the shield or the lance of a powerful man, 17 it will fight for you against your enemy. 18 A good man offers credit for the sake of his neighbor. But one who abandons him to himself will perish in shame. 19 You should not forget the kindness of your benefactor. For he has offered his life on your behalf. 20 The sinner and the unclean flee from such promises. 21 A sinner attributes to himself the goods of his loan. And an ungrateful mind will abandon the one who has freed him. 22 A man offers credit to his neighbor. But when he will have lost respect, he will abandon him. 23 A wicked promise has destroyed many who had good intentions, and has tossed them like a wave on the ocean. 24 It has caused powerful men to travel around, and they have wandered amid foreign nations. 25 A sinner transgressing the commandment of the Lord will fall into a wicked promise. And he who undertakes many things will fall into judgment. 26 Help your neighbor to recover according to your ability, but attend to yourself, lest you also fall. 27 The primary need in a man’s life is water and bread, and clothing, and a house to protect modesty. 28 A pauper’s food under a roof of boards is better than a splendid feast on a sojourn away from home. 29 Let yourself be pleased with little instead of much, and you will not hear the reproach of being away from home. 30 It is a wicked life to go from house to house as a guest. For wherever he is a guest, he will not act confidently, nor open his mouth. 31 He will entertain, and feed, and give drink to the ungrateful, and beyond this, he will listen to bitter words: 32 “Go, my guest, and set the table, and let others eat from what you have in your hand.” 33 “Depart from the honored face of my friends. For it has become necessary for my house to host my brother instead.” 34 These things are grievous to a man having understanding: to take advantage of a household, and to reproach a lender.
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