The author shares wisdom for selecting your confidants and counselors. We are to train our ways of thinking.
The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
only a friend in name. Some people are friends with you in name only.
VERSE 2. Is there not a grief in it even to death, When a companion and friend is turned to enmity?
VERSE 3. O wicked imagination, whence came you rolling in To cover the dry land with deceitfulness?
VERSE 4. There is a companion, which rejoices in the gladness of a friend, But in time of affliction will be against him.
VERSE 5. There is a companion, which for the belly’s sake labors with his friend, In the face of battle will take up the buckler.
VERSE 6. Forget not a friend in your soul; And be not unmindful of him in your riches.
that counsels for himself. Some counselors are not looking out for your best interests. Instead, they counsel you in such a way as to further their own agenda. They are manipulating you. It is an abuse of trust.
beware of a counselor. If someone offers you advice, do not accept it immediately.
know you before what is his interest. First find out what they want. Assume they are insincere and fathom their self-interest.
VERSE 9. And say to you, Your way is good: And he will stand near you, to see what will happen to you.
NAB translation. Seek no advice from one who regards you with hostility; from those envy you, keep your intentions hidden.
one who regards you with hostility. There are plenty of hostile people. Do not go to any of them for advice. Do not even heed advice from a hostile person.
Many people in church ministry are inwardly hostile or controlling. They are not capable of advising others. Yet because of their church office, people stream to them for advice.
VERSE 11. Take not counsel with a woman about her rival; Neither with a coward about war; Nor with a merchant about exchange; Nor with a buyer about selling; Nor with an envious man about thankfulness; Nor with an unmerciful man about kindliness; Nor with a sluggard about any kind of work; Nor with a hireling in your house about finishing his work; Nor with an idle servant about much business: Give not heed to these in any matter of counsel.
VERSE 12. But rather be continually with a godly man, Whom you shall have known to be a keeper of the commandments, Who in his soul is as your own soul, And who will grieve with you, if you shall miscarry.
KJV translation. But be continually with a godly man, whom thou knowest to keep the commandments of the Lord, whose, mind is according to thy mind, and will sorrow with thee, if thou shalt miscarry.
be continually with a godly man. We are spiritual companions on the biblical journey. To have friends on that path is rare and a real privilege.
We pray that you will have deep spiritual friendships for the rest of your life. May you and your spiritual friends treasure and encourage one another. You will be sowing seeds of faith into our own life, into each other’s lives, and into the lives of your spiritual progeny.
make the counsel of your heart to stand. We should heed our own heart. The path of sincerity is the best path.
NAB translation. A man’s conscience can tell him his situation better than seven watchmen in a lofty tower.
A man’s conscience. The best life is a life that is lived according to the dictates of your own conscience.
VERSE 15. And above all this entreat the Most High, That he may direct your way in truth.
VERSE 16. Let reason be the beginning of every work, And let counsel go before every action.
VERSE 17. As a token of the changing of the heart,
VERSE 18. four manner of things do rise up, Good and evil, life and death; And that which rules over them continually is the tongue.
VERSE 19. There is one that is shrewd and the instructor of many, And yet is unprofitable to his own soul.
VERSE 20. There is one that is subtle in words, and is hated; He shall be destitute of all food:
VERSE 21. For grace was not given him from the Lord; Because he is deprived of all wisdom.
wise to his own soul. As lovers and disciples of the LORD God, we are called to develop wholesome thinking patterns. We are to renew our mind. Read more »
VERSE 23. A wise man will instruct his own people; And the fruits of his understanding are trustworthy.
VERSE 24. A wise man shall be filled with blessing; And all those who see him shall call him happy.
VERSE 25. The life of man is counted by days; And the days of Israel are innumerable.
VERSE 26. The wise man shall inherit confidence among his people, And his name shall live forever.
NAB translation. My son, while you are well, govern your appetite so that you allow it not what is bad for you;
allow it not what is bad for you. Not every food is good for you. But very few Christians heed this. Instead, they eat the same food as most people.
For all things are not profitable for all men. That is, “for not every food is good for everyone” (NAB translation).
VERSE 29. Be not insatiable in any luxury, And be not greedy on the things that you eatest.
VERSE 30. For in multitude of meats there shall be disease, And surfeiting shall come near to colic.
surfeiting. This is the uncomfortably full feeling you get after excessive eating or drinking.
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.