1Say nothing harmful, small or great; be not a foe instead of a friend; A bad name and disgrace will you acquire: “That for the evil man with double tongue!”*
2Fall not into the grip of desire, y 2–3: Sir 9, 8; 23, 17; Jb 31, 12; Is 56, 3 . lest, like fire, it consume your strength; 3Your leaves it will eat, your fruits destroy, and you will be left a dry tree, 4For contumacious desire destroys its owner and makes him the sport of his enemies.
5A kind mouth multiplies friends, and gracious lips prompt friendly greetings. 6Let your acquaintances be many, but one in a thousand your confidant. 7When you gain a friend, first test him, z 7ff: Sir 12, 8f; 37, 1–5; Prv 19, 4 . and be not too ready to trust him. 8For one sort of friend is a friend when it suits him, but he will not be with you in time of distress. 9Another is a friend who becomes an enemy, and tells of the quarrel to your shame. 10Another is a friend, a boon companion, who will not be with you when sorrow comes. 11When things go well, he is your other self, and lords it over your servants; 12But if you are brought low, he turns against you and avoids meeting you. 13Keep away from your enemies; be on your guard with your friends. 14A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. 15A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth. 16A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds; 17For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself.
Blessings of Wisdom*
18My son, from your youth embrace discipline; thus will you find wisdom with graying hair. 19As though plowing and sowing, draw close to her; then await her bountiful crops. 20For in cultivating her you will labor but little, and soon you will eat of her fruits. 21How irksome she is to the unruly! The fool cannot abide her. 22She will be like a burdensome stone to test him, and he will not delay in casting her aside. 23For discipline* is like her name, she is not accessible to many.
24Listen, my son, and heed my advice; refuse not my counsel. 25Put your feet into her fetters, and your neck under her yoke. 26Stoop your shoulders and carry her and be not irked at her bonds. 27With all your soul draw close to her; with all your strength keep her ways. 28Search her out, discover her; seek her and you will find her. Then when you have her, do not let her go; 29Thus will you afterward find rest in her, and she will become your joy. 30Her fetters will be your throne of majesty; her bonds, your purple cord. 31You will wear her as your robe of glory, a Is 62, 3 . bear her as your splendid crown.*
32My son, if you wish, you can be taught; if you apply yourself, you will be shrewd. 33If you are willing to listen, you will learn; if you give heed, you will be wise. 34Frequent the company of the elders; whoever is wise, stay close to him. 35Be eager to hear every godly discourse; let no wise saying escape you. b Sir 8, 9 . 36If you see a man of prudence, seek him out; let your feet wear away his doorstep! 37Reflect on the precepts of the LORD, let his commandments be your constant meditation; Then he will enlighten your mind, and the wisdom you desire he will grant. c Ps 1, 2 .