Sir 51 Do not choose to seek iniquitous possessions, and you should not say: “I have all I need in life.” For it will be of no benefit to you in the time of retribution and darkness. 2 You should not pursue, in your strength, the desires of your heart. 3 And you should not say: “How powerful am I?” or, “Who will cast me down because of my deeds?” For God will vindicate with vengeance. 4 You should not say, “I sinned, and what grief has befallen me?” For the Most High is a patient recompensor. 5 Do not be willing to be without fear concerning a forgiven sin, and you should not add sin upon sin. 6 And you should not say: “The compassion of the Lord is great; he will take pity on the multitude of my sins.” 7 For both mercy and wrath go forth quickly from him, and his wrath sets its gaze upon sinners. 8 You should not delay being converted to the Lord, and you should not set it aside from day to day. 9 For his wrath will approach suddenly, and in the time of vindication, he will destroy you. 10 Do not choose to be anxious for unjust wealth. For these things will not benefit you in the day of darkness and retribution. 11 You should not winnow in every wind, and you should not go forth into every path. For so is every sinner proven by his duplicitous tongue. 12 Be steadfast in the way of the Lord and in the truth of your understanding and knowledge, and let words of peace and justice overtake you. 13 Be meek when listening to a word, so that you may understand. And offer a true response in wisdom. 14 If you understand, then answer your neighbor. But if you do not, then let your hand be over your mouth, so that you are not caught by an inept word, and then confounded. 15 Honor and glory are in the words of those who understand, yet truly, the tongue of the imprudent man is his undoing. 16 You should not be called a whisperer, and you should not be caught by your own tongue, and then confounded. 17 For confusion and remorse is upon a thief, and a wicked mark is upon the double-tongued; but for the whisperer, there is hatred and animosity and disgrace. 18 Justify the small and the great similarly.
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