Wisdom of Sirach 19
The Reckless Soul
1 A working man who is a drunk will not become wealthy, And he who despises small things will fail little by little.†
2 Wine and women will draw away intelligent men, And he who joins himself to prostitutes shall become very reckless.
3 Decay and worms will inherit him, And his reckless soul will be carried away.
4 He who trusts quickly is unwise in heart, And he who sins will err against his own soul.
5 He who rejoices in evil shall be condemned,
6 And he who hates talkativeness will sin less.
7 Never repeat a word and you will lose nothing at all;
8 With friend or enemy, do not report it, And unless it is a sin for you, do not reveal it.†
9 For someone heard you and watched you, And in time will hate you.
10 Have you heard a word? Let it die with you. Take courage; it will not burst you.
11 But a fool will suffer birth-pangs because of such a word, Like a woman in labor with a child.
12 Like an arrow stuck in the flesh of a thigh, So is a word inside a fool.
13 Question a friend; perhaps he did not do it. And if he did something, perhaps he will not repeat it.†
14 Question a neighbor; perhaps he did not say it. And if he did say it, may he not say it twice.
15 Question a friend, for often it is slander. So do not believe every word.
16 A person slips, but it was not his intention; For who has not sinned with his tongue?
17 Question your neighbor before you threaten him, And give place to the law of the Most High.
The Wise and the Clever
18 All wisdom is the fear of the Lord, And in all wisdom there is the doing of the Law.†
19 Wisdom is not the knowledge of evil, Nor is there discernment in the counsel of sinners.
20 There is a cleverness that is an abomination, And there is a fool who is lacking in wisdom.
21 Better is a man who is afraid but lacks understanding, Than a man who abounds in discernment but transgresses the law.
22 There is a precise cleverness which itself is unjust; And there is one who is offensive that justice may be revealed.
23 There is an evildoer bowed down in mourning, But inwardly he is full of deceit.
24 He covers his face and pretends to be deaf, But when no one notices, he will take advantage of you.
25 If he is prevented from sinning because he lacks strength, When he later finds an opportunity, he will do evil.
26 A man will be known by his appearance, And a man of intelligence will be known By his countenance when you meet him.†
27 The clothing of a man and the way he laughs and walks Give indication of who he is.
1 Of David. †Judge me, O Lord, for I walk in my innocence, And by hoping in the Lord, I shall not weaken.
2 Prove me, O Lord, and test me, Try my reins and my heart in the fire.
3 For Your mercy is before my eyes, And I was well-pleasing in Your truth.
4 I have not sat down with vain councils, Nor will I go in with those who transgress the law.
5 I hate the assembly of evildoers, And I will not sit with the ungodly.
6 I will wash my hands in innocence; So I will go about Your altar, O Lord,
7 That I may hear the voice of praise And tell of all Your wondrous works.
8 O Lord, I love the beauty of Your house, And the place where Your glory dwells.
9 Do not destroy my soul with the ungodly, Nor my life with men of blood,
10 In whose hands is lawlessness; Their right hand is full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I walk in my innocence; Redeem me and have mercy on me.
12 For my foot stands in uprightness; In the churches I will bless You, O Lord.
Proverbs of Solomon 5
Fornication or Marriage
1 My son, hold fast to wisdom And incline your ear to my words,
2 That you may guard good thinking; And I command you with the perception of my lips.
3 Do not join yourself to a base woman, For honey drips from the lips of a prostitute, Or for a season she is pleasing to your taste;
4 Afterward, however, you will find her more bitter than gall And sharper than a two-edged sword.
5 For feet lacking discernment lead those using her down into Hades with death; Her footsteps are not planted,
6 For she does not travel the ways of life; And her paths are slippery and not easy to discern.
The Trial Before Festus
1 Now when Festus had come to the province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
2 Then the high priest and the chief men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they petitioned him,
3 asking a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem—while they lay in ambush along the road to kill him.†
4 But Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself was going there shortly.
5 “Therefore,” he said, “let those who have authority among you go down with me and accuse this man, to see if there is any fault in him.”
6 And when he had remained among them more than ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day, sitting on the judgment seat, he commanded Paul to be brought.
7 When he had come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood about and laid many serious complaints against Paul, which they could not prove,†
8 while he answered for himself, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all.”
9 But Festus, wanting to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and there be judged before me concerning these things?”
10 So Paul said, “I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you very well know.
11 For if I am an offender, or have committed anything deserving of death, I do not object to dying; but if there is nothing in these things of which these men accuse me, no one can deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar.”†
12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, “You have appealed to Caesar? To Caesar you shall go!”
13 And after some days King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to greet Festus.†
14 When they had been there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying: “There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix,
15 about whom the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me , when I was in Jerusalem, asking for a judgment against him.
16 To them I answered, ‘It is not the custom of the Romans to deliver any man to destruction before the accused meets the accusers face to face, and has opportunity to answer for himself concerning the charge against him.’
17 Therefore when they had come together, without any delay, the next day I sat on the judgment seat and commanded the man to be brought in.
18 When the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation against him of such things as I supposed,†
19 but had some questions against him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.
20 And because I was uncertain of such questions, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters.
21 But when Paul appealed to be reserved for the decision of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I could send him to Caesar.”
22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.”
23 So the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and had entered the auditorium with the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at Festus’ command Paul was brought in.†
24 And Festus said: “King Agrippa and all the men who are here present with us, you see this man about whom the whole assembly of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying out that he was not fit to live any longer.
25 But when I found that he had committed nothing deserving of death, and that he himself had appealed to Augustus, I decided to send him.
26 I have nothing certain to write to my lord concerning him. Therefore I have brought him out before you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the examination has taken place I may have something to write.†
27 For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not to specify the charges against him.”