Sirach 18

1 The one who lives forever created everything in a common fashion.
2 Only the Lord will be declared just.
4 He has given no one the power to proclaim his works. Who can search out his majestic deeds?
5 Who will measure the power of his greatness? Who will continue to recount his mercy?
6 It's impossible to diminish or to increase these things, and it's impossible to search out the wonders of the Lord.
7 When people finish, then they are just beginning, and when they pause, then they are puzzled.
8 What are human beings, and what use are they? What's good about them, and what's evil about them?
9 The length of a person's life is as much as one hundred years.
10 Like a drop of water from the sea or a grain of sand, so are a few years in the span of eternity.
11 Therefore, the Lord was patient with them, and he poured out his mercy upon them.
12 He saw and knew that their end was terrible; therefore, his willingness to be reconciled increased.
13 Neighbors display mercy toward each other, but the mercy of the Lord is for all beings: he corrects, instructs, teaches, and turns them back, as a shepherd does his flock.
14 He shows mercy to those who accept discipline and to those who passionately pursue his judgments.

Speech and self-control

15 My child, let the good you do be without blemish, and don't give harsh words along with your gifts.
16 Doesn't dew put an end to scorching heat? So a word is better than a gift.
17 Look! Doesn't a word exceed a good gift? And both come from a person who is gracious.
18 A fool reproaches ungraciously, and a gift from a begrudging giver becomes an eyesore.
19 Learn before you speak, and attend to yourself before you get sick.
20 Examine yourself before judgment, and you will be reconciled when you are examined.
21 Humble yourself before you get sick,
22 and when you commit sins show a changed heart and mind. Don't be prevented from repaying a solemn promise in a timely way, and don't wait until death to be vindicated.
23 Prepare yourself before making a solemn promise, and don't be like someone who tests the Lord.
24 Be mindful of his wrath in times of death and in times of vengeance when he turns his face away.
25 Remember a time of hunger in a time of plenty, a time of poverty and want in times of wealth.
26 From morning until evening opportune times change, and all things are fleeting in the Lord's presence.
27 Wise people exercise caution in everything, and in times of sin they will take heed against error.
28 All intelligent people have recognized Wisdom, and they will acknowledge anyone who finds her.
29 Those who are intelligent with words have become wise themselves, and they have poured forth fitting proverbs.


30 Don't go after your desires, and restrain yourself from your appetites.
31 If you cater to your desires, you will become a laughingstock to your enemies.
32 Don't be glad for great luxury, and don't be made needy by an encounter with it.
33 Don't become poor by feasting with borrowed money, when you have nothing in your pocket.