Sirach 29

Sirach 29

Loans and Repayment
1 # Ex 22.25; Lv 25.35-38 Be kind enough to lend to your neighbor when he needs help. You are keeping the Lord's commands if you help him. 2If he needs something, lend it to him. And when you are in debt, pay it back as soon as you can. 3If you meet your obligations, you will always be able to borrow what you need. 4Many people treat a loan as something they found and can keep, causing embarrassment to those who helped them. 5Some people will speak politely, bow, and scrape until they get the loan they want, but when the time comes to pay it back, they'll put it off, say that it's inconvenient, and make a lot of worthless excuses. 6If the lender insists on being paid, he can count himself lucky to get back half. If he doesn't insist, the borrower has robbed him and made an unnecessary enemy. All the lender will get from him are curses, insults, and disrespect, but never any gratitude.
7Many people refuse to lend at all, not because they are stingy, but because#29.7: not because … stingy, but because; some manuscripts have therefore, because of this wickedness. they don't want to be cheated if they can avoid it.
8Nevertheless, be understanding with those who are poor. Don't keep them waiting for your generosity. 9The Lord has commanded us to help the poor; don't refuse them the help they need. 10It is better to lose your money by helping a relative or a friend than to lose it by letting it rust away under a rock somewhere. 11Use your wealth as the Most High has commanded; this will do you more good than keeping your money for yourself. 12Count among your treasures the fact that you give to the poor. It will save you from all kinds of trouble 13and will be a better defense against your enemies than the strongest shield or stoutest spear.
Guaranteeing Debts
14A good man is willing to guarantee his neighbor's debts. Only someone who has lost all sense of decency would refuse to do so. 15If someone does this favor for you, don't forget it; he has risked his good name for you. 16There are some ungrateful sinners who abandon those who stand behind them, and they cause them loss of property. 17Guaranteeing loans has ruined many prosperous people and caused them unsettling storms of trouble. 18Influential people have lost their homes over it and have had to go wandering in foreign countries. 19A sinner who hopes to make a profit by guaranteeing a loan is going to find himself involved in lawsuits. 20So help your neighbor as much as you can, but protect yourself against the dangers involved.
Home and Hospitality
21The necessities of life are water, food, clothing, and a home where you can have privacy. 22It is better to be poor and live under your own crude roof than to enjoy lavish banquets in other people's homes. 23Be happy with what you have, even if it isn't very much, and don't listen to anyone who would insult your home and family.#29.23: don't listen … family; or don't listen to insults from your family; some manuscripts do not have these words; one ancient translation has don't get a reputation for living off other people. 24Going from house to house is a miserable way to live. Anywhere you go, you don't dare speak. 25You welcome the guests and pour the drinks, and nobody thanks you. Instead, people humiliate you by saying things like: 26“Stranger! Come here and set the table! I want to eat what you've got there! Give it here! 27Go away, stranger! I've got an important guest! My brother is coming to visit, and I need the room!”
28Being denied hospitality or having a moneylender hound you—these are hard things for any sensitive person to endure.

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