Sirach chapter 29

Be wise in the use of your worldly wealth. The rewards of frugality.

 


 

The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches

 


 

BE WISE IN THE USE OF YOUR WORLDLY WEALTH

 

VERSE 1. He that shows mercy will lend to his neighbor; And he that strengthens him with his hand keeps the commandments.

He that shows mercy. A merciful person is not a miser. Mercy prompts us to loan money to people.

strengthens him with his hand. That is, “holds out a helping hand” (NAB translation).

 

VERSE 2. Lend to your neighbor in time of his need; And pay you your neighbor again in due season.

 

VERSE 3. Confirm your word, and keep faith with him; And at all seasons you shall find what you need.

Confirm your word. We should not make promises. Or vows. Rather, our YES should mean YES. And our NO should mean NO. Read more »

 

VERSE 4. Many have reckoned a loan as a windfall, And have given trouble to those that helped them.

given trouble to those that helped them. Some people take out a loan under false pretenses. They get the money but have no intention of paying it back.

 

VERSE 5. Till he has received, he will kiss a man’s hands; And for his neighbor’s money he will speak submissly: And when payment is due, he will prolong the time, And return words of heaviness, and complain of the times.

 

VERSE 6. If he prevail, he shall hardly receive the half; And he will count it as a windfall: If not, he has deprived him of his money, And he has gotten him for an enemy without cause: He will pay him with cursing and railing; And for honor he will pay him disgrace.

 

VERSE 7. Many on account of men’s ill-dealing have turned away; They have feared to be defrauded for nothing.

feared to be defrauded. This is why people are hesitant to loan money to others. They are afraid they will not get their money back.

 

VERSE 8. However with a man in poor estate be patient; And let him not wait for your alms.

with a man in poor estate be patient. We Christians are called to give away some of our money. We are to give generously and cheerfully. We are to give regularly. We are to give to poor people and …

 

VERSE 9. Help a poor man for the commandment’s sake; And according to his need send him not empty away.

 

VERSE 10. Lose your money for a brother and a friend; And let it not rust under the stone to be lost.

Lose your money. That is, “spend your money.” We cannot be misers.

 

VERSE 11. Bestow your treasure according to the commandments of the Most High; And it shall profit you more than gold.

your treasure. The Bible often refers to money as “treasure.” We are not to store up treasure on earth (money). Rather, we are to store up our treasure in heaven:

irach 29:11. Bestow your treasure according to the commandments of the Most High; And it shall profit you more than gold.

Matthew 6:19. Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal;

Luke 12:33. Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don’t grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn’t fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys.

 

VERSE 12. Shut up alms in your store-chambers; And it shall deliver you out of all affliction:

Shut up alms. It is wise to store up your alms. That way you will not be tempted to squander them on something else.

 

VERSE 13. It shall fight for you against your enemy Better than a mighty shield and a ponderous spear.

 

VERSE 14. A good man will be surety for his neighbor; And he that has lost shame will fail him.

surety. This means to take responsibility for another’s performance of an obligation.

 

VERSE 15. Forget not the good offices of your surety; For he has given his life for you.

 

VERSE 16. A sinner will overthrow the good estate of his surety;

 

VERSE 17. And he that is of an unthankful mind will fail him that delivered him.

 

VERSE 18. Suretiship has undone many that were prospering, And shaken them as a wave of the sea: Mighty men has it driven from their homes; And they wandered among strange nations.

 

VERSE 19. A sinner that falls into suretiship, And undertakes contracts for work, shall fall into lawsuits.

 

VERSE 20. Help your neighbor according to your power, And take heed to yourself that you fall not the same way.

 

THE REWARDS OF FRUGALITY

 

VERSE 21. The chief thing for life is water, and bread, And a garment, and a house to cover shame.

water, and bread, And a garment. Most Christians are as materialistic as anybody else. But the Bible calls us to be content with food and clothing. Read more »

 

VERSE 22. Better is the life of a poor man under a shelter of logs, Than sumptuous fare in another man’s house.

in another man’s house. The author cannot imagine the life of a homeless person. They are constantly traveling from place to place.

 

VERSE 23. With little or with much, be well satisfied.

The remainder of this verse is omitted in the best manuscripts.

 

VERSE 24. It is a miserable life to go from house to house: And where you are a sojourner, you shall not dare to open your mouth.

go from house to house. Most people do best when they have a fixed address. However, some people thrive when they are liberated from “sticks-and-bricks” housing and able to travel at-will. Examples:

  • Native Americans prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus
  • Pioneers who traveled across North America in covered wagons
  • Retired people who live in RVs
  • The Lord Jesus Christ:

Matthew 8:20. Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Luke 9:58. Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

 

VERSE 25. You shall entertain, and give to drink, and have no thanks: And in addition to this you shall hear bitter words.

 

VERSE 26. Come here, you sojourner, furnish a table, And if you have anything in your hand, feed me with it.

 

VERSE 27. Go forth, you sojourner, from the face of honor; My brother is come to be my guest; I have need of my house.

 

VERSE 28. These things are grievous to a man of understanding; The upbraiding of house-room, and the reproaching of the money-lender.

upbraiding of house-room. That is, “abuse at home” (NAB translation).

 


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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.