The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Ecclesiasticus
Favour if thou grantest, look well to whom thou grantest it; so shall thy favours earn abundant gratitude.
A good turn done to an honest man is well rewarded; if not he, then the Lord will repay thee.
It goes ill with the man who spends all his time courting the wicked, and alms gives none; does not the most High himself treat sinners as his enemies, never sparing them till they repent?
… For rebellious sinners he has nothing but punishment, although he may save up the day of their punishing.✻
Keep thy favours for the kind-hearted, and let the sinners go without their welcome.
The friendless man deserves thy alms; to the godless give nothing; nay, prevent food reaching him, or he will have the mastery of thee.
All his gain will be doubly thy loss; and so it is that the most High both hates sinners and will bring retribution on their impiety.
Prosperity will not shew thee who are thy friends. In bad times, thy enemies may triumph openly,
that till now were grieved at thy good fortune; but it is these bad times will shew thee thy friends too.
Never trust an enemy; deep as verdigris on copper his malice is ingrained.
Lout he never so low, look to it well and be on thy guard against him;
never let him attend on thee, or sit at thy right hand. His eyes are on thy place; a time will come when he will sit where thou sittest, when thou wilt recognize the truth of my warning, and be stung by the memory.
Who shall pity snake-charmer or beast-tamer if he takes hurt? And he deserves no less, who consorts with rogues and is entangled in their sinful ways.
This false friend will be thy companion for an hour, then, if thou art for altering thy course, he will not hear of it;
all those honeyed words do but mask a plot to lure thee into some ditch.
How he weeps for thee, this enemy of thine! Yet, if his chance comes, there will be no glutting him with thy blood;
come thou into mischief, he is there already waiting for thee.
How he weeps for thee, this enemy of thine! If he makes to aid thee, it is only to trip thy heel;
then what mopping and mowing, what clapping of the hands and whispering, what a change of mien!
The Holy Bible