1For the sake of profit many sin, and the struggle for wealth blinds the eyes. i Sir 7, 18; 31, 6; Prv 30, 8f . 2Like a peg driven between fitted stones, between buying and selling sin is wedged in. 3Unless you earnestly hold fast to the fear of the LORD, suddenly your house will be thrown down. 4When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear; so do a man’s faults when he speaks. 5As the test of what the potter molds is in the furnace, so in his conversation is the test of a man. j 1 Pt 1, 7 . 6The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so too does a man’s speech disclose the bent of his mind. k Mt 7, 20 . 7Praise no man before he speaks, for it is then that men are tested. 8If you strive after justice you will attain it, and put it on like a splendid robe. 9Birds nest with their own kind, and fidelity comes to those who live by it. 10As a lion crouches in wait for prey, so do sins for evildoers. 11Ever wise are the discourses of the devout, but the godless man, like the moon, is inconstant. 12Limit the time you spend among fools, but frequent the company of thoughtful men. 13The conversation of the wicked is offensive, their laughter is wanton guilt. 14Their oath-filled talk makes the hair stand on end, their brawls make one stop one’s ears. 15Wrangling among the haughty ends in bloodshed, their cursing is painful to hear. l Sir 23, 9–15 . 16He who betrays a secret cannot be trusted,* he will never find an intimate friend. m Prv 11, 13; 20, 19 . 17Cherish your friend, keep faith with him; but if you betray his confidence, follow him not; 18For as an enemy might kill a man, you have killed your neighbor’s friendship. 19Like a bird released from the hand, you have let your friend go and cannot recapture him; 20Follow him not, for he is far away, he has fled like a gazelle from the trap. 21A wound can be bound up, and an insult forgiven, but he who betrays secrets does hopeless damage. n Sir 22, 20 .
Malice, Anger and Vengeance
22He who has shifty eyes plots mischief and no one can ward him off; 23In your presence he uses honeyed talk, and admires your every word, But later he changes his tone and twists your words to your ruin. o Prv 26, 24ff . 24There is nothing that I hate so much, and the LORD hates him as well. p Prv 6, 13. 16 . 25As a stone falls back on him who throws it up, q 25f: Ps 7, 16f; Prv 26, 27: Eccl 10, 8 . so a blow struck in treachery injures more than one. 26As he who digs a pit falls into it, and he who lays a snare is caught in it, 27Whoever does harm will be involved in it without knowing how it came upon him.
28Mockery and abuse will be the lot of the proud, and vengeance lies in wait for them like a lion. 29The trap seizes those who rejoice in pitfalls, and pain will consume them before they die; 30Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.