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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 13

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Caution Regarding Associates*

1He who touches pitch blackens his hand; he who associates with an impious man learns his ways. 2Bear no burden too heavy for you; go with no one greater or wealthier than yourself. How can the earthen pot go with the metal cauldron? When they knock together, the pot will be smashed: 3The rich man does wrong and boasts of it, the poor man is wronged and begs forgiveness. 4As long as the rich man can use you he will enslave you, but when you are exhausted, he will abandon you. 5As long as you have anything he will speak fair words to you, and with smiles he will win your confidence; 6When he needs something from you he will cajole you, then without regret he will impoverish you. 7While it serves his purpose he will beguile you, then twice or three times he will terrify you; When later he sees you he will pass you by, and shake his head over you. 8Guard against being presumptuous; be not as those who lack sense. 9When invited by a man of influence, keep your distance; then he will urge you all the more. 10Be not bold with him lest you be rebuffed, but keep not too far away lest you be forgotten. 11Engage not freely in discussion with him, trust not his many words; For by prolonged talk he will test you, and though smiling he will probe you. 12Mercilessly he will make of you a laughingstock, and will not refrain from injury or chains. 13Be on your guard and take care never to accompany men of violence.

14Every living thing loves its own kind, every man a man like himself. 15Every being is drawn to its own kind; with his own kind every man associates. 16Is a wolf ever allied with a lamb? So it is with the sinner and the just. r 2 Cor 6, 14ff . 17Can there be peace between the hyena and the dog? Or between the rich and the poor can there be peace?* 18Lion’s prey are the wild asses of the desert; so too the poor are feeding grounds for the rich. 19A proud man abhors lowliness; so does the rich man abhor the poor. 20When a rich man stumbles he is supported by a friend; when a poor man trips he is pushed down by a friend. 21Many are the supporters for a rich man when he speaks; though what he says is odious, it wins approval. When a poor man speaks they make sport of him; he speaks wisely and no attention is paid him. 22A rich man speaks and all are silent, his wisdom they extol to the clouds. A poor man speaks and they say: “Who is that?” If he slips they cast him down. 23Wealth is good when there is no sin; but poverty is evil by the standards of the proud. 24The heart of a man changes his countenance, either for good or for evil. s Prv 15, 13 . 25The sign of a good heart is a cheerful countenance; withdrawn and perplexed is the laborious schemer.

Notes:

r: 2 Cor 6, 14ff .

s: Prv 15, 13 .

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