Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 14
1Happy are those who do not blunder with their lips,
and need not suffer remorse for sin.
2Happy are those whose hearts do not condemn them,
and who have not given up their hope.
Responsible Use of Wealth
3Riches are inappropriate for a small-minded person;
and of what use is wealth to a miser?
4What he denies himself he collects for others;
and others will live in luxury on his goods.
5If one is mean to himself, to whom will he be generous?
He will not enjoy his own riches.
6No one is worse than one who is grudging to himself;
this is the punishment for his meanness.
7If ever he does good, it is by mistake;
and in the end he reveals his meanness.
8The miser is an evil person;
he turns away and disregards people.
9The eye of the greedy person is not satisfied with his share;
greedy injustice withers the soul.
10A miser begrudges bread,
and it is lacking at his table.
11My child, treat yourself well, according to your means,
and present worthy offerings to the Lord.
12Remember that death does not tarry,
and the decree#14.12 Heb Syr: Gk covenant of Hades has not been shown to you.
13Do good to friends before you die,
and reach out and give to them as much as you can.
14Do not deprive yourself of a day's enjoyment;
do not let your share of desired good pass by you.
15Will you not leave the fruit of your labors to another,
and what you acquired by toil to be divided by lot?
16Give, and take, and indulge yourself,
because in Hades one cannot look for luxury.
17All living beings become old like a garment,
for the decree#14.17 Heb: Gk covenant from of old is, “You must die!”
18Like abundant leaves on a spreading tree
that sheds some and puts forth others,
so are the generations of flesh and blood:
one dies and another is born.
19Every work decays and ceases to exist,
and the one who made it will pass away with it.
The Happiness of Seeking Wisdom
20Happy is the person who meditates on#14.20 Other ancient authorities read dies in wisdom
and reasons intelligently,
21who#14.21 The structure adopted in verses 21-27 follows the Heb reflects in his heart on her ways
and ponders her secrets,
22pursuing her like a hunter,
and lying in wait on her paths;
23who peers through her windows
and listens at her doors;
24who camps near her house
and fastens his tent peg to her walls;
25who pitches his tent near her,
and so occupies an excellent lodging place;
26who places his children under her shelter,
and lodges under her boughs;
27who is sheltered by her from the heat,
and dwells in the midst of her glory.

New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1989 Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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