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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 37

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1Every friend declares his friendship, but there are friends who are friends in name only. h Sir 6, 7ff . 2Is it not a sorrow unto death when your bosom companion becomes your enemy? 3“Alas, my companion! Why were you created to blanket the earth with deceit?” 4A false friend will share your joys, but in time of trouble he stands afar off. 5A true friend will fight with you against the foe, against your enemies he will be your shield-bearer. 6Forget not your comrade during the battle, and neglect him not when you distribute your spoils.

7Every counselor points out a way, but some counsel ways of their own; 8Be on the alert when one proffers advice, find out first of all what he wants. For he may be thinking of himself alone; why should the profit fall to him? 9He may tell you how good your way will be, and then stand by to watch your misfortune. 10Seek no advice from one who regards you with hostility; from those who envy you, keep your intentions hidden. 11Speak not to a woman about her rival, nor to a coward about war, to a merchant about business, to a buyer about value, to a miser about generosity, to a cruel man about mercy, to a lazy man about work, to a seasonal laborer about the harvest, to an idle slave about a great task: pay no attention to any advice they give. 12Instead, associate with a religious man, who you are sure keeps the commandments; Who is like-minded with yourself and will feel for you if you fall. 13Then, too, heed your own heart’s counsel; for what have you that you can depend on more? 14A man’s conscience can tell him his situation better than seven watchmen in a lofty tower. 15Most important of all, pray to God to set your feet in the path of truth.

Wisdom and Temperance*

16A word is the source of every deed;* a thought, of every act. i Sir 32, 19 . 17The root of all conduct is the mind; four branches it shoots forth: 18Good and evil, death and life, their absolute mistress is the tongue. j Prv 18, 21 . 19A man may be wise and benefit many, yet be of no use to himself. 20Though a man may be wise, if his words are rejected he will be deprived of all enjoyment. 21When a man is wise to his own advantage, the fruits of his knowledge are seen in his own person; 22When a man is wise to his people’s advantage, the fruits of his knowledge are enduring: k Sir 15, 1ff . 23Limited are the days of one man’s life, but the life of Israel is days without number. 24One wise for himself has full enjoyment, and all who see him praise him; 25One wise for his people wins a heritage of glory, and his name endures forever. l Sir 39, 9; 44, 13f .

26My son, while you are well, govern your appetite* so that you allow it not what is bad for you; 27For not every food is good for everyone, nor is everything suited to every taste. m 1 Cor 6, 12; 10, 23 . 28Be not drawn after every enjoyment, n 28f: Sir 31, 13. 16ff . neither become a glutton for choice foods, 29For sickness comes with overeating, and gluttony brings on biliousness. 30Through lack of self-control many have died, but the abstemious man prolongs his life.

Notes:

h: Sir 6, 7ff .

i: Sir 32, 19 .

j: Prv 18, 21 .

k: Sir 15, 1ff .

l: Sir 39, 9; 44, 13f .

m: 1 Cor 6, 12; 10, 23 .

n: 28f: Sir 31, 13. 16ff .

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