The Bible – Old Testament
1 Contend not with an influential man, lest you fall into his power.
Quarrel not with a rich man, lest he pay out the price of your downfall; For gold has dazzled many, and perverts the character of princes.
Dispute not with a man of railing speech, heap no wood upon his fire.
Be not too familiar with an unruly man, lest he speak ill of your forebears.
2 Shame not a repentant sinner; remember, we all are guilty.
Insult no man when he is old, for some of us, too, will grow old.
Rejoice not when a man dies; remember, we are all to die.
Spurn not the discourse of the wise, but acquaint yourself with their proverbs; From them you will acquire the training to serve in the presence of princes.
Reject not the tradition of old men which they have learned from their fathers; From it you will obtain the knowledge how to answer in time of need.
Kindle not the coals of a sinner, lest you be consumed in his flaming fire.
3 Let not the impious man intimidate you; it will set him in ambush against you.
Lend not to one more powerful than yourself; and whatever you lend, count it as lost.
Go not surety beyond your means; think any pledge a debt you must pay.
Contend not at law with a judge, for he will settle it according to his whim.
Travel not with a ruthless man, lest he weigh you down with calamity; For he will go his own way straight, and through his folly you will perish with him.
Provoke no quarrel with a quick-tempered man, nor ride with him through the desert, For bloodshed is nothing to him; when there is no one to help you, he will destroy you.
Take no counsel with a fool, for he can keep nothing to himself.
Before a stranger do nothing that should be kept secret, for you know not what it will engender.
Open your heart to no man, and banish not your happiness.
1 [1-19] A prudent man will be circumspect, avoiding conflict with the powerful, the rich and insolent, the impious, the irascible, and with judges (⇒ Sirach 8:1-3, ⇒ 10-12, ⇒ 14, ⇒ 16). He will seek friendship not with the undisciplined (⇒ Sirach 8:4, ⇒ 12- 13) and the ruthless (⇒ Sirach 8:15), nor with fools and strangers (⇒ Sirach 8:17-19), but with the wise and the ancients of the people (⇒ Sirach 8:8, 9).
3  To give in to the wicked in one instance becomes an occasion of sin for the future.