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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 11

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1The poor man’s wisdom lifts his head high and sets him among princes. 2Praise not a man for his looks; despise not a man for his appearance. 3Least is the bee among winged things, but she reaps the choicest of all harvests. 4Mock not the worn cloak and jibe at no man’s bitter day: For strange are the works of the LORD, hidden from men his deeds. 5The oppressed often rise to a throne, and some that none would consider wear a crown.* 6The exalted often fall into utter disgrace; the honored are given into enemy hands.


7Before investigating, find no fault; examine first, then criticize. 8Before hearing, answer not, and interrupt no one in the middle of his speech. j Prv 18, 13 . 9Dispute not about what is not your concern; in the strife of the arrogant take no part. 10My son, why increase your cares, since he who is avid for wealth will not be blameless? Even if you run after it, you will never overtake it; however you seek it, you will not find it. 11One may toil and struggle and drive, and fall short all the more. k Ps 127, 2; Eccl 4, 8 . 12Another goes his way a weakling and a failure, with little strength and great misery— Yet the eyes of the LORD look favorably upon him; he raises him free of the vile dust, 13Lifts up his head and exalts him to the amazement of the many. 14Good and evil, life and death, l Jb 1, 21; 2, 10 . poverty and riches, are from the LORD.* 15Wisdom and understanding and knowledge of affairs,* love and virtuous paths are from the LORD. 16Error and darkness were formed with sinners from their birth, and evil grows old with evildoers. 17The LORD’s gift remains with the just; his favor brings continued success. 18A man may become rich through a miser’s life, and this is his allotted reward: 19When he says: “I have found rest, m Eccl 4, 8; 6, 2; Lk 12, 19 . now I will feast on my possessions,” He does not know how long it will be till he dies and leaves them to others.*

20My son, hold fast to your duty, busy yourself with it, grow old while doing your task. 21Admire not how sinners live, but trust in the LORD and wait for his light; For it is easy with the LORD suddenly, in an instant, to make a poor man rich. 22God’s blessing is the lot of the just man, and in due time his hopes bear fruit. 23Say not: “What do I need? What further pleasure can be mine?” 24Say not: “I am independent. What harm can come to me now?” 25The day of prosperity makes one forget adversity; the day of adversity makes one forget prosperity. n Sir 18, 25 . 26For it is easy with the LORD on the day of death* to repay man according to his deeds. 27A moment’s affliction brings forgetfulness of past delights; when a man dies, his life is revealed. 28Call no man happy before his death, for by how he ends, a man is known.

Care in Choosing Friends*

29Bring not every man into your house, for many are the snares of the crafty one; 30Though he seem like a bird confined in a cage, yet like a spy he will pick out the weak spots. 31The talebearer turns good into evil; with a spark he sets many coals afire. 32The evil man lies in wait for blood, and plots against your choicest possessions. 33Avoid a wicked man, for he breeds only evil, lest you incur a lasting stain. 34Lodge a stranger with you, and he will subvert your course, and make a stranger of you to your own household.


j: Prv 18, 13 .

k: Ps 127, 2; Eccl 4, 8 .

l: Jb 1, 21; 2, 10 .

m: Eccl 4, 8; 6, 2; Lk 12, 19 .

n: Sir 18, 25 .

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