Sir 61 Do not be willing to become an enemy instead of a friend to your neighbor. For an evil man will inherit reproach and disgrace, as will every sinner who is envious and double-tongued. 2 You should not extol yourself, like a bull, in the thoughts of your soul, lest perhaps your strength may be cast down through foolishness, 3 which would consume your leaves, and destroy your fruit, and leave you behind like a dry tree in the desert. 4 For a wicked soul will destroy the one who has it. For it gladly provides enemies to him, and it will lead him to the fate of the impious. 5 A sweet word multiplies friends and mitigates enemies. And thankful words abound in a good man. 6 Allow many to be at peace with you, but allow one out of a thousand to be your counselor. 7 If you would obtain a friend, test him before you accept him, and do not trust him readily. 8 For there is a friend according to his own time, but he will not remain in the day of tribulation. 9 And there is a friend who can be turned to animosity. And there is a friend who will reveal hatred and ridicule and insults. 10 And there is a friend who is a companion at table, but he will not remain in a day of need. 11 A friend, if he remains steadfast, will be to you as you are to yourself, and he will act with faithfulness among those of your household. 12 If he humbles himself before you and hides himself from your face, you shall have a noble and harmonious friendship. 13 Distance yourself from your enemies, and pay attention to your friends. 14 A faithful friend is a strong shelter, and whoever has found one has found a treasure. 15 Nothing is comparable to a faithful friend, and no weight of silver or gold is worth more than the goodness of his fidelity. 16 A faithful friend is a medicine for life and immortality; and those who fear the Lord will find one. 17 He who fears God will have a similar good friendship, because his friend will be like him. 18 Son, from your youth receive instruction, and then you will find wisdom, even to your grey hairs. 19 Approach wisdom like one who plows and sows, and then wait for her good fruits. 20 For in doing her work, you will labor a little, but you will soon eat from her produce. 21 How exceedingly harsh is wisdom to unlearned men! And so, the witless will not remain with her. 22 She will be to them like a great stone of trial, and they will cast her away from them without delay. 23 For the wisdom of doctrine is in accord with her name, and she is not manifest to many. But she continues with those by whom she is recognized, even in the sight of God. 24 Listen, son, and accept an understanding counsel, for you should not discard my advice. 25 Set your feet in her fetters and your neck in her chains. 26 Incline your shoulder, and carry her, for you will not be grieved by her bindings. 27 Approach her with all your soul, and serve her ways with all your strength. 28 Examine her, and she will be revealed to you, and when you have obtained her, you should not abandon her. 29 For, in the very end, you will find rest in her, and she will turn into your delight. 30 Then her fetters will be a strong protection and a firm foundation for you, and her chains will be a robe of glory. 31 For in her is the beauty of life, and her bindings are a healing bandage. 32 You will be clothed with her as with a robe of glory, and you will set her upon your head like a crown of rejoicing. 33 Son, if you heed me, you will learn. And if you adapt your mind, you will be wise. 34 If you incline your ear, you will receive doctrine. And if you love to listen, you will be wise. 35 Stand among the multitude of prudent elders, and join yourself to their wisdom from the heart, so that you may be able to hear every discourse about God, and so that the proverbs of praise may not flee from you. 36 And if you see a man of understanding, stand watch for him, and let your feet wear down the steps of his doors. 37 Set your thoughts on the precepts of God, and be entirely constant in his commandments. And he himself will give a heart to you, and the desire of wisdom will be given to you.
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