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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 4

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1My son, rob not the poor man of his livelihood: force not the eyes of the needy* to turn away. t Tb 4, 7–11 . 2A hungry man grieve not, a needy man anger not; 3Do not exasperate the downtrodden; delay not to give to the needy. 4A beggar in distress do not reject; avert not your face from the poor. 5From the needy turn not your eyes, give no man reason to curse you; 6For if in the bitterness of his soul he curse you, his Creator will hear his prayer. 7Endear yourself to the assembly; before a ruler bow your head. 8Give a hearing to the poor man, and return his greeting with courtesy; 9Deliver the oppressed from the hand of the oppressor; let not justice be repugnant to you. 10To the fatherless be as a father, and help their mother as a husband would; Thus will you be like a son to the Most High, and he will be more tender to you than a mother.

The Rewards of Wisdom*

11Wisdom instructs her children and admonishes those who seek her. 12He who loves her loves life; those who seek her out win her favor. 13He who holds her fast inherits glory; wherever he dwells, the LORD bestows blessings. 14Those who serve her serve the Holy One; those who love her the LORD loves. u Wis 7, 28 . 15He who obeys her judges nations; he who hearkens to her dwells in her inmost chambers. 16If one trusts her, he will possess her; his descendants too will inherit her. 17She walks with him as a stranger, and at first she puts him to the test; Fear and dread she brings upon him and tries him with her discipline; With her precepts she puts him to the proof, until his heart is fully with her. 18Then she comes back to bring him happiness and reveal her secrets to him. 19But if he fails her, she will abandon him and deliver him into the hands of despoilers.

Sincerity and Justice*

20Use your time well; guard yourself from evil, and bring upon yourself no shame. 21There is a sense of shame laden with guilt, and a shame that merits honor and respect. 22Show no favoritism to your own discredit; let no one intimidate you to your own downfall. 23Refrain not from speaking at the proper time, and hide not away your wisdom; 24For it is through speech that wisdom becomes known, and knowledge through the tongue’s rejoinder. 25Never gainsay the truth, and struggle not against the rushing stream. 26Be not ashamed to acknowledge your guilt, but of your ignorance rather be ashamed. 27Do not abase yourself before an impious man, nor refuse to do so before rulers. 28Even to the death fight for truth, and the LORD your God will battle for you. 29Be not surly in your speech, nor lazy and slack in your deeds. 30Be not a lion at home, nor sly and suspicious at work. 31Let not your hand be open to receive and clenched when it is time to give.

Notes:

t: Tb 4, 7–11 .

u: Wis 7, 28 .

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