The author continues to describe the proper use of speech. Building a close spiritual friendship. We are to invest our whole lifetime in seeking wisdom.
The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
VERSE 1. And instead of a friend become not an enemy; For an evil name will inherit shame and reproach: Even so will the sinner that has a double tongue.
Exalt not yourself. That is, don’t be arrogant.
VERSE 3. You will eat up your leaves, and destroy your fruits, And leave yourself as a dry tree.
VERSE 4. A wicked soul will destroy him that has gotten it, And will make him a laughing stock to his enemies.
Sweet words. Speak in winsome ways:
Proverbs 4:24. Put away from yourself a perverse mouth. Put corrupt lips far from you.
Proverbs 25:28. Like a city that is broken down and without walls is a man whose spirit is without restraint.
Sirach 6:5. Sweet words will multiply a man’s friends; And a fair-speaking tongue will multiply courtesies.
Ephesians 4:29. Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but only what is good for building others up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear.
at peace with you be many. It is great to be at peace with lots of people. It is great to have many acquaintances.
your counselors one of a thousand. A true spiritual friend is a very rare find, an incredible gift of God. It might be one person in a thousand, or maybe less.
get him by proving. That is, “test” the relationship.
VERSE 8. For there is a friend that is so for his own occasion; And he will not continue in the day of your affliction.
VERSE 9. And there is a friend that turns to enmity; And he will discover strife to your reproach.
VERSE 10. And there is a friend that is a companion at the table; And he will not continue in the day of your affliction.
VERSE 11. And in your prosperity he will be as yourself, And will be bold over your servants:
VERSE 12. If you shall be brought low, he will be against you, And will hide himself from your face.
Separate yourself from your enemies. We need to distance ourselves from people who try to destroy us.
beware of your friends. Be on guard with your friends. They might turn on you.
a strong defence. A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter.
has found a treasure. A truly close friend is a great treasure of an entire lifetime.
VERSE 15. There is nothing that can be taken in exchange for a faithful friend; And his excellency is beyond price.
VERSE 16. A faithful friend is a medicine of life; And those who fear the Lord will find him.
VERSE 17. He that fears the Lord directs his friendship aright; For as he is, so is his neighbor also.
gather instruction from your youth up. From our childhood on, we are to to be seekers of wisdom. We disciples are to be lifelong learners.
even to hoar hairs you will find wisdom. That is, “You will find wisdom with graying hair.” (NAB translation)
VERSE 19. Come to her as one that plows and sows, And wait for her good fruits; For your toil will be little in the tillage of her, And you will eat of her fruits right soon.
VERSE 20. How exceedingly harsh is she to the unlearned! And he that is without understanding will not remain in her.
VERSE 21. As a mighty stone of trial she will rest upon him; And he will not delay to cast her from him.
NAB translation. For discipline is like her name, she is not accessible to many.
discipline is like her name. The word “discipline” is like the word “disciple.”
VERSE 23. Give ear, my son, and accept my judgement, And refuse not my counsel,
VERSE 24. And bring your feet into her fetters, And your neck into her chain.
be not grieved with her bonds. To live a life of seeking wisdom, you must make certain sacrifices. Time, for example. To seek wisdom takes time. Some other interests may need to be sacrificed so as to make time for wisdom.
Come to her with all your soul. We are to draw near to wisdom with all our soul.
when you have got hold of her, let her not go. A good path of wisdom is not abundant. You do not find them easily. Once you do, do not give it up.
she will be turned for you into gladness. Wisdom will become your joy.
VERSE 29. And her fetters will be to you for a covering of strength, And her chains for a robe of glory.
VERSE 30. For there is a golden ornament upon her, And her bands are a riband of blue.
VERSE 31. You shall put her on as a robe of glory, And shall array you with her as a crown of rejoicing.
VERSE 32. My son, if you will, you shall be instructed; And if you will yield your soul, you will be prudent.
VERSE 33. If you love to hear, you will receive; And if you incline your ear, you will be wise.
VERSE 34. Stand you in the multitude of the elders; And whoso is wise, cleave you to him.
Be willing to listen to every godly discourse. Many Christians fill their lives with trivialities. They listen to the mindless banter on cable news channels and follow celebrity gossip. However, the seeker of wisdom needs to set those aside. Instead, we are to listen to elevated discourse.
a man of understanding. There are not many people that are truly wise.
get you betimes to him. That is, “seek him out.”
let your foot wear out the steps of his doors. If you find a truly wise person, try to be around him or her all the time.
VERSE 37. Let your mind dwell upon the ordinances of the Lord, And meditate continually in his commandments: He will establish your heart, And your desire of wisdom will be given to you.
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.