Sir 371 Every friend will say: “I also am a close friend.” But there is a friend who is a friend in name only. Is this not a grief even unto death? 2 But a companion and friend may turn into an enemy. 3 O wicked presumption! From what were you created that you would cover the dry land with your malice and deceitfulness? 4 A companion may rejoice with his friend in good times, but in a time of tribulation, he will be an adversary. 5 There is a companion who commiserates with a friend for the sake of the stomach, but he will shield himself from the enemy. 6 You should not forget your friend in your soul, and you should not be unmindful of him in your wealth. 7 Do not choose to consult with someone who waits in ambush for you. And hide your counsel from those who rival you. 8 Every counselor offers advice, but some are counselors only for themselves. 9 Guard your soul from a counselor. And know beforehand what his interests are. For he will form thoughts from his own soul. 10 Otherwise, he may set a signpost in the ground, and he may say to you: 11 “Your own way is good.” But then he will stand at a distance to see what befalls you. 12 Do not discuss holiness with an irreligious man, nor justice with one who is unjust. You should not speak with a woman about her who is a rival, nor with a coward about war, nor with a merchant about exaggeration, nor with a buyer about selling, nor with a spiteful man about giving thanks, 13 nor with the impious about piety, nor with the dishonest about honesty, nor with the field worker about other kinds of work, 14 nor with a worker hired for a year about the end of the year, nor with a lazy servant about great works. You should pay no heed to these persons in any matter of counsel. 15 But be continually with a holy man, with anyone whom you know to observe the fear of God, 16 whose soul is in agreement with your own soul, and who, when you falter in the dark, will share your sorrows. 17 And establish a heart of good counsel within yourself. For there is nothing of greater usefulness to you than this. 18 At any time, the soul of a holy man declares more truths than seven vigilant watchmen sitting in a high place. 19 But concerning all things, pray to the Most High, so that he may direct your way in truth. 20 In all your works, let a true word precede you, with steadfast counsel before every deed. 21 A wicked word can change the heart. From the heart four kinds of things arise: good and evil, life and death. And the tongue is continually their ruler. There is a man who is an astute teacher of many, and yet this is useless to his own soul. 22 A man of experience has taught many, and this is pleasant to his own soul. 23 Whoever speaks mere rhetoric is hateful; he will be deceived in every matter. 24 Grace is not given to him from the Lord. For he has been deprived of all wisdom. 25 There is a wise man who is wise within his own soul, and the fruit of his understanding is praiseworthy. 26 A wise man instructs his own people, and the fruit of his understanding is faithful. 27 A wise man will be filled with blessings, and those who see will praise him. 28 The life of a man is in the number of his days. But the days of Israel are innumerable. 29 A wise man will inherit honor among the people, and his name will live in eternity. 30 Son, test your own mind in your life, and if it is lacking, you should not give it authority. 31 For not all things are fitting for all persons, and not every kind of thing is agreeable to every soul. 32 Do not choose to be eager during any feast, and you should not act with excess toward any food. 33 For in excessive eating there will be infirmity, and gluttony will continue even unto illness. 34 By excessive drinking, many have passed away. But he who abstains will add to his life.
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