The Bible – Old Testament
1 Rely not on your wealth; say not: “I have the power.”
Rely not on your strength in following the desires of your heart.
Say not: “Who can prevail against me?” for the LORD will exact the punishment.
Say not: “I have sinned, yet what has befallen me?” for the LORD bides his time.
Of forgiveness be not overconfident, adding sin upon sin.
Say not: “Great is his mercy; my many sins he will forgive.”
For mercy and anger alike are with him; upon the wicked alights his wrath.
Delay not your conversion to the LORD, put it not off from day to day;
For suddenly his wrath flames forth; at the time of vengeance, you will be destroyed.
Rely not upon deceitful wealth, for it will be no help on the day of wrath.
2 Winnow not in every wind, and start not off in every direction.
3 Be consistent in your thoughts; steadfast be your words.
Be swift to hear, but slow to answer.
If you have the knowledge, answer your neighbor; if not, put your hand over your mouth.
Honor and dishonor through talking! A man’s tongue can be his downfall.
Be not called a detractor; use not your tongue for calumny;
For shame has been created for the thief, and the reproach of his neighbor for the double-tongued.
1 [1-10] The vices of the rich are pride and independence (⇒ Sirach 5:1-2), presumption (⇒ Sirach 5:3), false security (⇒ Sirach 5:4-7), and impenitence (⇒ Sirach 5:8), which cannot escape the divine wrath (⇒ Sirach 5:9, ⇒ 10). Cf ⇒ Proverb 18:23; ⇒ 19:1; ⇒ 28:6.
2  A proverbial expression condemning inconstancy and advocating sincerity and honesty.
3 [⇒ 5:12-⇒ 6:1] Proper use of the tongue requires constancy in speech (⇒ Sirach 5:12), prudence (⇒ Sirach 5:13-14), reserve (⇒ Sirach 5:15), charity (⇒ Sirach 6:1), as well as the avoidance of detraction, calumny (⇒ Sirach 6:16), and double talk, which bring shame and disgrace (⇒ Sirach 5:15; ⇒ 6:1).