Wisdom of Sirach 21, 22
1 My son, have you sinned?
No longer add to them, but pray about your former sins.
2 Flee from sin as you would from the presence of a snake,
For if you approach it, it will bite you;
Its teeth are like lion’s teeth, destroying the souls of men.
3 All lawlessness is like a two-edged sword,
For there is no healing from its wound.
4 Panic and violence will lay waste to wealth.
Likewise, the house of an arrogant man will be laid waste.
5 The prayer of a poor man goes from his mouth to God’s ears,
And His judgment comes speedily.
6 Whoever hates rebuke walks in the steps of a sinner,
But he who fears the Lord will return to Him with his heart.
7 A man powerful in speech is known from afar,
But an intelligent man knows when he slips.
8 He who builds his house with other people’s money
Is like a man who gathers his stones in a storm.
9 The assembly of the lawless is like a bundle of kindling
Whose end is a flame of fire.
10 The way of sinners is paved with stones,
But at its end is the pit of Hades.
Wise or Foolish?
11 He who keeps the law controls his thoughts;
The end result of the fear of the Lord is wisdom.
12 He who is not astute cannot be taught,
But there is an astuteness that increases bitterness.
13 The knowledge of a wise man is like a flood,
And his counsel will flow abundantly as a fountain of life.
14 The inner workings of a fool are like a broken vessel,
For he will not hold onto any knowledge.
15 If a man of understanding hears a wise word,
He will praise it and add to it;
But if a self-indulgent man hears it, it displeases him,
And he turns his back on it.
16 The explanation of a fool is like a burden on a journey,
But grace will be on the lips of an intelligent man.
17 The utterance of a sensible person will be sought in the assembly,
And they will ponder his words in their heart.
18 Like a house that has disappeared,
So is wisdom to a fool,
And the knowledge of a foolish man is words
That will not stand up to examination.
19 To a foolish man, instruction is like chains on the feet
And like handcuffs on the right hand.
20 A fool raises his voice when he laughs,
But an astute man will smile quietly with some hesitation.
21 To a wise man instruction is like a golden ornament
And like a bracelet on the right arm.
22 The foot of a fool quickly enters a house,
But a man with much experience will stand respectfully outside.
23 A man without discernment peers into a house from the door,
But a well-educated man will stand outside.
24 A man shows his lack of education when he listens at the door,
But a prudent man will be grieved by this disgrace.
25 The lips of the unwise will describe things in detail,
But the words of the prudent will balance the scale.
26 The heart of fools is in their mouth,
But the mouth of the wise is in their heart.
27 When an ungodly man curses Satan,
He curses his own soul.
28 The whisperer defiles his own soul
And will be hated in his own neighborhood.
1 A lazy man may be compared to a filthy stone,
And everyone hisses at his dishonor.
2 A lazy man may be compared to the filth of manure;
Everyone who picks it up will shake it off his hand.
A Father’s Disgrace
3 The disgrace of a father is begetting an undisciplined son,
And a foolish daughter is born to his loss.
4 A sensible daughter will bring an inheritance to her husband,
But a shameful one is a grief to her father.
5 An arrogant daughter shames both father and husband,
And she will be dishonored by both.
6 An ill-timed statement is like mournful music,
But the chastising and instruction of wisdom are always timely.
7 He who teaches a fool is like one who glues pottery together,
Or like trying to arouse one from a sound sleep.
8 He who tells something to a fool tells it to a drowsy man,
And at the end he will say, “What is it?”
9 If children live honestly, and have wherewithal,
They shall cover the baseness of their parents.
10 But children, being haughty, through disdain and want of nurture
Stain the nobility of their kindred.
11 Weep for a dead man, for he left the light behind;
But weep over a fool, for he left intelligence behind.
Weep gladly for a dead man, because he is at rest;
But the life of the fool is worse than death.
12 Mourning for a dead man lasts seven days,
But mourning for a fool or an ungodly man lasts all his life.
13 Do not hold a conversation with a fool,
And do not visit with a senseless man.
Beware of him, so as to avoid trouble,
And you will not be defiled when he shakes himself off.
Stay away from him, and you will find rest
And not be exhausted by his insanity.
14 What will be heavier than lead?
And what will be his name but “Fool”?
15 Sand, salt, and a piece of iron are easier to bear
Than a senseless man.
16 A wooden beam bound together in a building
Will not be broken loose in an earthquake;
So a heart strengthened by reasonable counsel
Will not be afraid in a crisis.
17 A heart settled on intelligent thought
Is like a plaster decoration on a smooth wall.
18 As fences set on a high place will not stand firm against the wind,
So a cowardly heart in the thought of a fool
Cannot stand firm against any kind of fear.
19 He who pokes his eye will cause tears to fall,
And he who pierces a heart reveals its feeling.
20 Throwing a rock at birds scares them away,
And disgracing a friend will break up a friendship.
21 If you draw a sword against a friend,
Do not despair, for a restoration of friendship is possible.
22 If you open your mouth against a friend,
Do not worry, for reconciliation is possible.
But as for reviling or arrogance or revealing secrets or a treacherous blow—
with behavior like this any friend will flee.
23 Gain your neighbor’s trust when he is poor,
So you may be fulfilled with him when he prospers.
Stand by him in his time of trouble,
That when he gets his inheritance, you may share it with him.
24 As the smoke and vapor of a furnace precede a fire,
So abuses precede bloodshed.
25 I will not be ashamed to shelter a friend,
And I will not hide from his face.
26 If anything bad happens to me because of him,
Everyone who hears about it will beware of him.
27 Who will set a guard over my mouth,
And a prudent seal over my lips,
That I may not fall because of them,
And that my tongue may not destroy me?
14 But I will hope continually,
And I will add to all Your praise.
15 My mouth shall proclaim Your righteousness,
Your salvation all the day,
For I am not acquainted with learning.
16 I shall enter into the power of the Lord;
O Lord, I shall remember Your righteousness, Yours alone.
17 You taught me, O God, from my youth,
And from then until now I will proclaim Your wonders.
18 And even to old age and to my last breath,
O God, do not abandon me,
Until I proclaim Your arm to every coming generation,
Yes, Your mighty deeds and Your righteousness.
19 O God, I proclaim the magnificent things You did,
Even to the highest heaven;
O God, who is like You?
20 How great and evil are the afflictions You showed me,
And You returned, and made me live;
And You raised me up again from the depths of the earth.
21 You multiplied Your greatness,
And You returned and comforted me;
You brought me up again from the depths of the earth.
22 Truly, I will give thanks to You with the instrument of a psalm, O God;
I will sing to You with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will greatly rejoice when I sing to You;
So will my soul, which You redeemed.
24 My tongue shall meditate on Your righteousness all the day long,
When those who seek evils for me are dishonored and shamed.
26 A faithful witness will rescue a soul from evil men,
But a deceitful man kindles lies.
27 In the fear of the Lord there is hope of strength,
And to His children there remains support.
28 The command of the Lord is a fountain of life,
For it causes one to turn from the snare of death.
29 The glory of a king is in a large nation,
But the destruction of a ruler is in a lack of people.
30 A longsuffering man is strong in discernment,
But the fainthearted man is strongly without discernment.
2 Corinthians 11:16–33
16 I say again, let no one think me a fool. If otherwise, at least receive me as a fool, that I also may boast a little.
17 What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were, foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
18 Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast.
19 For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise!
20 For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face.
21 To our shame I say that we were too weak for that! But in whatever anyone is bold—I speak foolishly—I am bold also.
Suffering for Christ
22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.
23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.
24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.
25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—
28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.
31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
32 In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me;
33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.