The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Ecclesiasticus
Sin comes often of an empty purse; nothing distorts the eye like the love of riches.
Stake that is held between two stones cannot escape; nor may sin be avoided when there is seller on this side, buyer on that.
Wrong done shall be undone, and the doer of it as well;
hold fast to thy fear of the Lord, or thy wealth shall soon come to ruin.
The sieve shaken, nothing is left but refuse; so thou wilt find a man’s poverty in his thought.✻
Pottery is tested in the furnace, man in the crucible of suffering.
Good fruit comes from a tree well dressed, and a man will be in word what he is in thought;
do not give thy opinion of a man till he has spoken; there lies the proof.
Make right-doing thy quest, and thou wilt not miss the mark; this shall be a robe of honour to clothe thee, a welcome guest in thy house, to watch over thee continually, and to be thy stronghold at the hour when all is made known.
Bird mates with bird, and he that shews faithfulness faithfulness shall meet.
The lion waits in ambush for his prey; leave the right path, and sin shall be ever at thy heels.
Unfailing as the sun is the wisdom of a devout mind; moon and fool change continually.
When thou hast fools for thy company, thy word can wait; be closeted continually with the wise.
Out upon the wearisome talk of sinners, that of sin and its dalliance makes a jest!
Out upon the man that uses oaths lightly; hair stands upright at his blaspheming, and ears are stopped!
Out upon the proud, that provoke bloodshed with their quarrelling, and by their cursing offend all who listen!
Betray thy friend’s secret, and all confidence is lost; never more shalt thou have friend to comfort thee.
Use such a man lovingly, and keep faith with him;
if once thou hast betrayed him, court no more his company.
Friendship thus killed, thy friend is dead to thee;
bird let go from the hand is not lost more irretrievably;
he is gone, like hind released from the snare, gone beyond thy pursuit. The wound that hurts a man’s soul
there is no healing; the bitter taunt may yet be unsaid,
but once the secret is out all is misery, all is despair.
Sly glance of the false friend! How shall a man be rid of him?
Here in thy presence, he smooths his brow, and is all in wonderment at thy wise sayings; but ere long he will change his tune, and lend thy words an ill colour.
Above all else, he earns my hatred; God’s hatred too, I doubt not.
None can throw stone in air but at his own head’s peril, nor ever was blow struck treacherously, but the traitor must have his share of hurt;
a man may fall into the pit he dug, trip on the stone he set in his neighbour’s path, perish in the snare he laid for another.
Plot ill, and the ill shall recoil on thyself, springing up beyond all thy expectation.
For the proud, mockery and shame! Vengeance, like a lion, couches in wait for them.
For all who triumph at the ill fortune of the just, a snare to catch them, and a long remorse before death takes them!
Rancour and rage are detestable things both; and the sinner has both in store.
The Holy Bible