Sirach - Chapter 13

[Sirach 13]
{13:1} Whoever touches pitch will be contaminated by it. And whoever associates with the arrogant will be clothed by arrogance.
{13:2} Whoever associates with those more honorable than himself sets a burden on himself. And so, you should have no fellowship with someone who is wealthier than you.
{13:3} What will the cooking pot have in common with the earthen vessel? And when they collide with one another, one will be broken.
{13:4} The rich man has suffered no injustice, and yet he fumes. But the poor man, though he has been wounded, will remain silent.
{13:5} If you are generous, he will take you up; and when you have nothing, he will cast you aside.
{13:6} If you possess, he will feast with you, and he will empty you, and he will not grieve over you.
{13:7} If he has need of you, he will deceive you; and while smiling, he will give you hope. He will converse with you pleasantly, and he will say: "What is it that you need?"
{13:8} And he will impress you with his foods, until he has drained you two or three times, and in the very end, he will ridicule you. And afterward, when he sees you, he will abandon you, and he will shake his head at you.
{13:9} Humble yourself before God, and wait for his hands.
{13:10} Be careful. Otherwise, having been seduced into foolishness, you will be humiliated.
{13:11} Do not choose to be low in your wisdom, otherwise, having been brought low, you will be seduced into foolishness.
{13:12} If you are invited by someone who is more powerful than you, you should decline. Otherwise, he will invite you all the more.
{13:13} You cannot be rude to him, lest you be pushed away. And you cannot stray far from him, lest you be forgotten.
{13:14} You cannot hold a discussion with him as with an equal. You should not trust his many words. For by much talking, he will probe you, and while smiling, he will question you about your secrets.
{13:15} His cruel mind will store up your words; and he will not spare you from affliction, nor from prison.
{13:16} Be cautious of yourself, and attend diligently to what you are hearing. For you are walking toward your own destruction.
{13:17} Yet truly, while listening to these things, consider it as if it were a dream, and you will awaken.
{13:18} Love God for your entire life, and call upon him for your salvation.
{13:19} Every animal loves its own kind; so also every man loves those closest to himself.
{13:20} All flesh will join with whatever is similar to itself, and every man will associate with whomever is similar to himself.
{13:21} If a wolf would at any time have fellowship with a lamb, so also would a sinner have fellowship with the just.
{13:22} What fellowship does a holy man have with a dog? Or what portion do the wealthy have with the poor?
{13:23} In the desert, the wild donkey is the prey of the lion. So also are the poor the pasture of the rich.
{13:24} And just as humility is an abomination to the arrogant, so also does the rich man abhor the poor man.
{13:25} When a wealthy man has been shaken, he is strengthened by his friends. But when a lowly man has fallen, he is expelled even by those who know him well.
{13:26} When a rich man has been deceived, many will help him recover; he has spoken arrogantly, and yet they justify him.
{13:27} When a poor man has been deceived, in addition he is rebuked; he has spoken with understanding, and no place is given to him.
{13:28} The rich man has spoken, and all remain silent, and they repeat his words, even to the clouds.
{13:29} The poor man has spoken, and they say: "Who is this?" And if he stumbles, they will overthrow him.
{13:30} Substance is good for him who has no sin on his conscience. And poverty is called very wicked by the mouth of the impious.
{13:31} The heart of a man changes his face, either for better or for worse.
{13:32} You will find, with difficulty and much labor, the sign of a good heart and a good face.

In Chapter 13 Sirach warns of the dangers in associating with the rich and powerful of the earth. What does he recommend one does instead?


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