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Sirach 4

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Sirach 4

Duties toward the Poor and the Oppressed

1My son, deprive not the poor of his living,

and do not keep needy eyes waiting.

2Do not grieve the one who is hungry,

nor anger a man in want.

3Do not add to the troubles of an angry mind,

nor delay your gift to a beggar.

4Do not reject an afflicted suppliant,

nor turn your face away from the poor.

5Do not avert your eye from the needy,

nor give a man occasion to curse you;

6for if in bitterness of soul he calls down a curse upon you,

his Creator will hear his prayer.

7Make yourself beloved in the congregation;

bow your head low to a great man.

8Incline your ear to the poor,

and answer him peaceably and gently.

9Deliver him who is wronged from the hand of the wrongdoer;

and do not be fainthearted in judging a case.

10Be like a father to orphans,

and instead of a husband to their mother;

you will then be like a son of the Most High,

and he will love you more than does your mother.

The Rewards of Wisdom

11Wisdom exalts her sons

and gives help to those who seek her.

12Whoever loves her loves life,

and those who seek her early will be filled with joy.

13Whoever holds her fast will obtain glory,

and the Lord will bless the place shea enters.

14Those who serve her will minister to the Holy One;b

the Lord loves those who love her.

15He who obeys her will judge the nations,

and whoever gives heed to her will dwell secure.

16If he has faith in her he will obtain her;

and his descendants will remain in possession of her.

17For at first she will walk with him on tortuous paths,

she will bring fear and cowardice upon him,

and will torment him by her discipline

until she trusts him,

and she will test him with her ordinances.

18Then she will come straight back to him and gladden him,

and will reveal her secrets to him.

19If he goes astray she will forsake him,

and hand him over to his ruin.

20Observe the right time, and beware of evil;c

and do not bring shame on yourself.

21For there is a shame which brings sin,

and there is a shame which is glory and favor.

22Do not show partiality, to your own harm,

or deference, to your downfall.

23Do not refrain from speaking at the crucial time,d

and do not hide your wisdom.e

24For wisdom is known through speech,

and education through the words of the tongue.

25Never speak against the truth,

but be mindful of your ignorance.

26Do not be ashamed to confess your sins,

and do not try to stop the current of a river.

27Do not subject yourself to a foolish fellow,

nor show partiality to a ruler.

28Strive even to death for the truth

and the Lord God will fight for you.

29Do not be reckless in your speech,

or sluggish and remiss in your deeds.

30Do not be like a lion in your home,

nor be a faultfinder with your servants.

31Let not your hand be extended to receive,

but withdrawn when it is time to repay.