Chapter 37 (Wisdom of Sirach)

Every friend saith, I am his friend also: but there is a friend, which is only a friend in name. 2 Is it not a grief unto death, when a companion and friend is turned to an enemy? 3 O wicked imagination, whence camest thou in to cover the earth with deceit? 4 There is a companion, which rejoiceth in the prosperity of a friend, but in the time of trouble will be against him. 5 There is a companion, which helpeth his friend for the belly, and taketh up the buckler against the enemy.

6 Forget not thy friend in thy mind, and be not unmindful of him in thy riches. 7 Every counsellor extolleth counsel; but there is some that counselleth for himself. 8 Beware of a counsellor, and know before what need he hath; for he will counsel for himself; lest he cast the lot upon thee, 9 And say unto thee, Thy way is good: and afterward he stand on the other side, to see what shall befall thee. 10 Consult not with one that suspecteth thee: and hide thy counsel from such as envy thee.

11 Neither consult with a woman touching her of whom she is jealous; neither with a coward in matters of war; nor with a merchant concerning exchange; nor with a buyer of selling; nor with an envious man of thankfulness; nor with an unmerciful man touching kindness; nor with the slothful for any work; nor with an hireling for a year of finishing work; nor with an idle servant of much business: hearken not unto these in any matter of counsel. 12 But be continually with a godly man, whom thou knowest to keep the commandments of the Lord, whose, mind is according to thy mind, and will sorrow with thee, if thou shalt miscarry. 13 And let the counsel of thine own heart stand: for there is no man more faithful unto thee than it. 14 For a man's mind is sometime wont to tell him more than seven watchmen, that sit above in an high tower. 15 And above all this pray to the most High, that he will direct thy way in truth.

16 Let reason go before every enterprize, and counsel before every action. 17 The countenance is a sign of changing of the heart. 18 Four manner of things appear: good and evil, life and death: but the tongue ruleth over them continually. 19 There is one that is wise and teacheth many, and yet is unprofitable to himself. 20 There is one that sheweth wisdom in words, and is hated: he shall be destitute of all food.

21 For grace is not given, him from the Lord, because he is deprived of all wisdom. 22 Another is wise to himself; and the fruits of understanding are commendable in his mouth. 23 A wise man instructeth his people; and the fruits of his understanding fail not. 24 A wise man shall be filled with blessing; and all they that see him shall count him happy. 25 The days of the life of man may be numbered: but the days of Israel are innumerable.

26 A wise man shall inherit glory among his people, and his name shall be perpetual. 27 My son, prove thy soul in thy life, and see what is evil for it, and give not that unto it. 28 For all things are not profitable for all men, neither hath every soul pleasure in every thing. 29 Be not unsatiable in any dainty thing, nor too greedy upon meats: 30 For excess of meats bringeth sickness, and surfeiting will turn into choler.

31 By surfeiting have many perished; but he that taketh heed prolongeth his life.

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