The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Ecclesiasticus
If quarrel thou hast, let it not be with a prince, that may attach thy person;
nor with a rich man, that may implead thee,
with all the power there is in silver and gold to corrupt men, and sway even the hearts of kings;
nor with a glib talker; thou dost but add fuel to his fire.
Be not familiar with a boor; thou wilt hear no good of thy ancestry.
Scorn not the sinner that would amend his ways; reproach comes amiss, where all stand in need of correction.
Nor fail in respect for the aged; it is of our stuff grey hairs are made.✻
Rejoice not over thy neighbour’s death; we all die, and would not have men rejoice over it.
Do not be contemptuous of what older and wiser men have to tell thee; by their lore live thou,
if wise thou wouldst be, and have the secret of discernment, and live contentedly in the service of the great.
Do not let them pass thee by, these traditions older men have inherited from their fathers;
they will turn thee into a man of judgement, that answer can make when answer is needed.
Wouldst thou remonstrate with a sinner? Make sure thou art not fanning the flame of his passions, thyself in peril of a scorching.
Wouldst thou make reply to the railing accuser? Make sure he is not baiting a trap to ensnare thee.
Lend to one who can master thee? Then lent is lost.
Pledge not thyself beyond thy means; count ever thy pledge forfeit.
Dispute not a judge’s award; who judges by right rule if not he?
Travel not with a rash companion, if thou wouldst not shoulder all his misfortune; he will go his own way, and thou share the reward of his folly.
Quarrel not with a man of quick moods; on a desert road he is no companion for thee; he cares nothing for bloodshed, and will lay thee in the dust when none is by to aid thee.
Take not counsel with a fool; he knows none but his own way of it.
Share not thy secret plans with a stranger; thou knowest not what trouble he may breed.
Never open to any man thy whole heart; an ill requital he may make, by bringing shame on thee.
The Holy Bible