Wisdom of Sirach 37
1 Every friend will say, “I too am your friend,” But sometimes a friend is a friend in name only.†
2 Is it not a grief to the death When a companion and friend turns to hatred?
3 O evil reasoning! Why were you involved To cover the land with deceit?
4 A companion delights in the gladness of a friend, But in time of affliction, he will be against him.
5 A companion labors to help a friend for his stomach’s sake, And in a time of battle he will take up the shield.
6 Do not forget a friend in your soul, And do not be unmindful of him with your wealth.
7 Every counselor extols his own counsel, And some offer advice in their own interest.†
8 Protect yourself from a counselor And know beforehand what is his interest; For he will take thought for himself Lest he cast his vote against you
9 And say to you, “Your path is good.” Then he will stand aside to see what will happen to you.
10 Do not consult with a man who looks at you suspiciously, And hide your counsel from those who envy you.
11 Also, do not consult with a woman about her rival, Nor with a coward about battle, Nor with a merchant about exchange, Nor with a buyer about selling, Nor with a slanderer about gratitude, Nor with an unmerciful man about generosity, Nor with an idler about any work, Nor with a seasonal hired hand about completing his work, Nor with a lazy servant about a big job. Pay no attention to these in any counsel.
12 Instead, persevere with a godly man Who you know keeps the commandments, Whose soul accords with your soul And will share in your suffering if you fall.
13 Stand firm on the counsel of your heart, For no one is more faithful to you than it.
14 For a man’s soul sometimes tells him more Than seven watchmen sitting high on a watchtower.
15 And in all matters, pray to the Most High That He may direct your way in truth.
Wisdom, False and True
16 A word is the beginning of every work, And counsel comes before every action.
17 Four types of things appear As a clue to a change of heart:
18 Good and evil, life and death; And it is the tongue that continually rules them.
19 There is an astute man who is a teacher of many, But is useless to his own soul.
20 A man who devises words craftily will be hated. This man will go hungry,
21 For grace was not given to him from the Lord, Because he is destitute of all wisdom.†
22 There is a man wise in his own soul, And the fruits of his understanding are trustworthy when he speaks.
23 A wise man will instruct his own people, And the fruits of his understanding are trustworthy.
24 A wise man shall be filled with blessing, And all who see him will consider him blessed.
25 The life of a man is numbered by days, But the days of Israel are without number.
26 The wise man will inherit trust among his people, And his name will live forever.
27 My son, while you are still living, test your soul, And see what is bad for it, and do not give in to that.
28 For not everything is profitable for everyone, And not every soul enjoys everything.
29 Do not be gluttonous for every dainty food, And do not give yourself over to food.†
30 For overeating will bring sickness, And gluttony will lead to nausea.
31 Many have died because of gluttony, But the careful man will prolong his life.
12 My friends and neighbors draw near and stand against me, And my near of kin stand far off;
13 And those who seek my soul use violence, And those who seek evil for me speak folly; And they meditate on deceit all the day long.
14 But I like a deaf man do not hear, And I am like a mute who does not open his mouth.
15 I am like a man who does not hear, And who has no reproofs in his mouth.
16 For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God.
17 For I said, “Let not my enemies rejoice over me, For when my foot was shaken, they boasted against me.”
18 For I am ready for wounds, And my pain is continually with me.
19 For I will declare my transgression, And I will be anxious about my sin.
20 But my enemies live, and are become stronger than I; And those who hate me unjustly are multiplied;
21 Those who repaid me evil for good Slandered me, because I pursue righteousness; And they threw away my love as though it were a stinking corpse.
22 Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, do not depart from me;
23 Give heed to help me, O Lord of my salvation.
Proverbs of Solomon 8
6 Obey me, for I speak sacred things, And from my lips I will bring forth things that are true.
7 For my mouth shall speak the truth, But false lips are an abomination before me.†
8 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; There is nothing in them crooked or twisted.
9 All things are evident to those who understand And true to those who find knowledge.†
10 Lay hold of instruction and not silver, And knowledge rather than tested gold, And choose perception rather than pure gold.†
God Will Yet Restore Israel
16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.†
17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,
18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”
20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.
21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?†
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.†
26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.
29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience,†
31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
Doxology to God’s Ways
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
34 “For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?”
36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.†