True glory is to fear the Lord, continued. Walk the “middle road” path of moderation. Carefully select your friends.
The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
VERSE 1. The wisdom of the lowly will lift up his head, And make him to sit in the midst of great men.
VERSE 2. Commend not a man for his beauty; And abhor not a man for his outward appearance.
VERSE 3. The bee is little among such as fly; And her fruit is the chief of confections.
VERSE 4. Glory not in the putting on of raiment, And exalt not yourself in the day of honor; For the works of the Lord are wonderful, And his works are hidden among men.
Many kings have sat down upon the ground. That is, “The oppressed often rise to a throne” (NAB translation).
VERSE 6. Many mighty men have been greatly disgraced; And men of renown have been delivered into other men’s hands.
NOTE. The path of moderation is often referred to by the Latin phrase “Via media.” It means “the middle road.”
The middle road is recommended in spirituality and philosophy. For example, the Buddha called it the Middle Way. Aristotle called it Moderation.
VERSE 7. Blame not before you have examined: Understand first, and then rebuke.
interrupt not in the midst of speech. Lots of people need someone to actually listen to them. Unfortunately, full-time Christian workers are often the worst of listeners.
If you can actually listen to another person and not interject or be distracted, you can have a lifetime of fruitful ministry.
VERSE 9. Strive not in a matter that concerns you not; And where sinners judge, sit not you with them.
VERSE 10. My son, be not busy about many matters: For if you meddle much, you will not be unpunished; And if you pursue, you will not overtake; And you will not escape by fleeing.
VERSE 11. There is one who toils, and labors, and makes haste, And is so much the more behind.
VERSE 12. There is one that is sluggish, and has need of help, Lacking in strength, and that abounds in poverty; And the eyes of the Lord looked upon him for good, And he set him up from his low estate,
NAB translation. Another goes his way a weakling and a failure, with little strength and great misery—Yet the eyes of the Lord look favorably upon him; he raises him free of the vile dust.
the eyes of the Lord … set him up. When the eyes of the LORD look favorably upon us, good things are in store. He lifts up out of the the stinking mire. He grants advancement.
Psalm 40:2. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (NIV translation)
Psalm 40:3. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. (NIV translation)
VERSE 14. Good things and evil, life and death, Poverty and riches, are from the Lord.
This verse is omitted in the best manuscripts.
This verse is omitted in the best manuscripts.
VERSE 17. The gift of the Lord remains with the godly, And his good pleasure will prosper forever.
VERSE 18. There is that waxes rich by his wariness and pinching, And this is the portion of his reward:
VERSE 19. When he says, I have found rest, And now I will eat of my goods; Yet he knows not what time will pass, And he will leave them to others, and die.
Be stedfast in your covenant. We are to be committed to our duties in life.
wax old in your work. The author envisions that people will be productive even in their old age.
KJV translation. it is an easy thing in the sight of the Lord on the sudden to make a poor man rich.
make a poor man rich. Worldly wealth is in the hand of the Lord. It is a very easy thing for God to grant us wealth, if it would be to our advantage.
ICEL translation. God’s blessing is the lot of the just man, and in due time his hopes bear fruit.
the just man. What is a “just” person?
VERSE 23. Say not, What use is there of me? And what from henceforth will my good things be?
VERSE 24. Say not, I have sufficient, And from henceforth what harm will happen to me?
VERSE 25. In the day of good things there is a forgetfulness of evil things; And in the day of evil things a man will not remember things that are good.
VERSE 26. For it is an easy thing in the sight of the Lord To reward a man in the day of death according to his ways.
VERSE 27. The affliction of an hour causes forgetfulness of delight; And in the last end of a man is the revelation of his deeds.
Call no man blessed before his death. We never really know the inner experience of another person. We merely know the outward signs, such as appearance and demeanor, words and expressions.
VERSE 29. Bring not every man into your house; For many are the plots of the deceitful man.
VERSE 30. As a decoy partridge in a cage, so is the heart of a proud man; And as one that is a spy, he looks upon your falling.
VERSE 31. For he lies in wait to turn things that are good into evil; And in things that are praiseworthy he will lay blame.
VERSE 32. From a spark of fire a heap of many coals is kindled; And a sinful man lies in wait for blood.
VERSE 33. Take heed of an evil-doer, for he contrives wicked things; Lest haply he bring upon you blame forever.
he will distract you with brawls. If you invite a stranger into your house, there is a risk that the stranger will start arguments with you and the members of your household.
However, the LORD God calls us to invite strangers anyway:
Sirach 11:34. Receive a stranger into your house, and he will distract you with brawls, And estrange you from your own.
Isaiah 58:6. “Isn’t this the fast that I have chosen: to release the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
Matthew 9:13. But you go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Matthew 25:35. for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in.
3 John 1:5. Beloved, you do a faithful work in whatever you accomplish for those who are brothers and strangers.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.