Wisdom of Sirach 20
When to Speak
1 There is a rebuke which is not timely, And there is he who is silent but has discernment.
2 How much better it is to rebuke than to seethe with anger.
3 He who confesses his fault will be kept from loss.†
4 Like the desire of a eunuch to violate a maiden, So is the man who executes justice by violence.†
5 There is a man who is silent but is found to be wise, And there is a man who is hateful because he talks too much.†
6 There is a man who is silent because he has no answer, And there is a man who is silent because he knows when to speak.
7 A wise man will keep silent until it is the right time to speak, But an arrogant and undiscerning man will speak out of turn.
8 The man who talks too much will be detested, And the man who stands on his rights will be hated.
Buying and Selling
9 There is prosperity in the midst of adversities, But there is also a sum realized by a sale for a loss.†
10 There is a gift that will not profit you, And there is a gift where the repayment is double.
11 There is a loss because of glory, And there is a man who raises his head from a humble state.
12 There is a man who buys much with little, But pays for it sevenfold.
13 A wise man will make himself beloved through his words, But the kindnesses of fools will be forgotten.
14 The gift of a senseless man will not benefit you, For his eyes are many instead of one.†
15 He will give little but insult much, And he will open his mouth like a herald. Today he will lend but tomorrow he will demand it back; Such a man is hateful.
A Man without Grace
16 A fool will say, “I have no friend, And I get no thanks for my good deeds.†
17 Those who eat my bread are worthless in their speech.” How many will laugh scornfully at him, and how often?
18 A slip on the ground is better than a slip of the tongue; Thus the downfall of evil will come speedily.
19 A man without grace is like a story told at the wrong time; It will continue on the lips of the ignorant.†
20 A parable from the lips of a fool will be rejected, For he does not tell it at its proper time.
Commentary on Sinners
21 There is one who is hindered from sinning because of his poverty, So when he rests, he will not be pierced with sorrow.
22 There is one who may lose his life through shame, Or lose it because of his foolish countenance.
23 There is one who makes a promise to a friend because of shame, And needlessly gains him as an enemy.
24 A lie is an evil disgrace in a man; It will continue on the lips of the ignorant.
25 A thief is preferable to a continual liar; Both, however, will inherit destruction.
26 The character of a liar brings dishonor, And his shame is continually with him.
Ways of the Wise
27 A wise man will advance himself with his words, And a man with discernment will please great men.
28 A man who works the earth will raise up his harvest, And he who pleases great men will atone for wrongdoing.
29 Presents and gifts blind the eyes of the wise, And like a muzzle on the mouth they turn aside rebukes.
30 Wisdom hidden and unseen treasure: What profit is there in either of them?
31 Better is the man who hides his foolishness Than a man who hides his wisdom.
1 Of David; before he was anointed. †The Lord is my light and my savior; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defender of my life; whom shall I dread?
2 When the wicked drew near against me to eat up my flesh, Those who afflict me and are my enemies, they weakened and fell.
3 Though an army should array itself against me, my heart shall not be afraid; Though war should rise up against me, in this I shall hope.
4 One thing I ask from the Lord; this I will seek, That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, And behold the delights of the Lord, And visit His temple.
5 For He hid me in His tabernacle in the day of my troubles; He sheltered me in the secret place of His tabernacle; He set me high upon a rock.
6 And now, behold, He has lifted up my head above my enemies; I went around and offered in His tabernacle a sacrifice of joy; I will sing to the Lord, and praise Him with the harp.
7 O Lord, hear my voice, wherein I cry; Have mercy on me and hear me.
8 My heart speaks to You; my face seeks You; Your face, O Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not turn away Your face from me; Do not turn away from Your servant in wrath; Be my helper; do not utterly cast me away, Nor forsake me, O God my savior.
10 For my father and my mother forsook me, But the Lord laid hold of me.
11 Instruct me, O Lord, in the way of Your law; Set me on a straight path because of my enemies.
12 Do not deliver me to the souls of those who afflict me, For unjust witnesses rise up against me; And injustice lies to itself.
13 I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord; Be courageous, and strengthen your heart, And wait on the Lord.
Proverbs of Solomon 5
The Perils of Sex outside of Marriage
7 Now therefore, my son, hear me, And do not make my words invalid;†
8 Make your way distant from her And do not come near the doors of her house,
9 That you may not give away your life to others And your existence to the merciless;
10 That strangers may not be filled with your strength, And your labors go into the houses of strangers,
11 And you should feel regret at the last, When the flesh of your body is consumed;
12 And you will say, “How I hated instruction And turned my heart away from reproofs;
13 I did not hear the voice of my instructor and teacher, Nor did I incline my ear;
14 Little by little I was in every evil In the midst of the church and congregation.”
1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.” So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself:
2 “I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews,
3 especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which have to do with the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently.
4 “My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know.
5 They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers.
7 To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews.
8 Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?
9 “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them .†
11 And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
12 “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me.
14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.
17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,
18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’
19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me .
22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come—
23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”
The Tribunal’s Reaction
24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.†
26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner.†
27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”†
28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.”
30 When he had said these things, the king stood up, as well as the governor and Bernice and those who sat with them;
31 and when they had gone aside, they talked among themselves, saying, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.”
32 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”†