Ecclesiasticus Chapter 29
Of charity in lending money, and justice in repaying. Of alms, and of being surety.
29:1. He that sheweth mercy, lendeth to his neighbour: and he that is stronger in hand, keepeth the commandments.
And he that is stronger in hand. . .That is, he that is hearty and bountiful in lending to his neighbour in his necessity.
29:2. Lend to thy neighbour in the time of his need, and pay thou thy neighbour again in due time.
29:3. Keep thy word, and deal faithfully with him: and thou shalt always find that which is necessary for thee.
29:4. Many have looked upon a thing lent as a thing found, and have given trouble to them that helped them.
29:5. Till they receive, they kiss the hands of the lender, and in promises they humble their voice:
29:6. But when they should repay, they will ask time, and will return tedious and murmuring words, and will complain of the time:
29:7. And if he be able to pay, he will stand off, he will scarce pay one half, and will count it as if he had found it:
29:8. But if not, he will defraud him of his money, and he shall get him for an enemy without cause.
29:9. And he will pay him with reproaches and curses, and instead of honour and good turn will repay him injuries.
29:10. Many have refused to lend, not out of wickedness, but they were afraid to be defrauded without cause.
29:11. But yet towards the poor be thou more hearty, and delay not to shew him mercy.
29:12. Help the poor because of the commandment: and send him not away empty handed because of his poverty.
29:13. Lose thy money for thy brother and thy friend: and hide it not under a stone to be lost.
29:14. Place thy treasure in the commandments of the most High, and it shall bring thee more profit than gold.
29:15. Shut up alms in the heart of the poor, and it shall obtain help for thee against all evil.
29:16. Better than the shield of the mighty, and better than the spear:
29:17. It shall fight for thee against thy enemy.
29:18. A good man is surety for his neighbour: and he that hath lost shame, will leave him to himself.
29:19. Forget not the kindness of thy surety: for he hath given his life for thee.
29:20. The sinner and the unclean fleeth from his surety.
29:21. A sinner attributeth to himself the goods of his surety: and he that is of an unthankful mind will leave him that delivered him.
29:22. A man is surety for his neighbour: and when he hath lost all shame, he shall forsake him.
29:23. Evil suretyship hath undone many of good estate, and hath tossed them as a wave of the sea.
29:24. It hath made powerful men to go from place to place round about, and they have wandered in strange countries.
29:25. A sinner that transgresseth the commandment of the Lord, shall fall into an evil suretyship: and he that undertaketh many things, shall fall into judgment.
29:26. Recover thy neighbour according to thy power, and take heed to thyself that thou fall not.
29:27. The chief thing for man's life is water and bread, and clothing, and a house to cover shame.
29:28. Better is the poor man's fare under a roof of boards, than sumptuous cheer abroad in another man's house.
29:29. Be contented with little instead of much, and thou shalt not hear the reproach of going abroad.
29:30. It is a miserable life to go as a guest from house to house: for where a man is a stranger, he shall not deal confidently, nor open his mouth.
29:31. He shall entertain and feed, and give drink to the unthankful, and moreover he shall hear bitter words.
29:32. Go, stranger, and furnish the table, and give others to eat what thou hast in thy hand.
29:33. Give place to the honourable presence of my friends: for I want my house, my brother being to be lodged with me.
29:34. These things are grievous to a man of understanding: the upbraiding of houseroom, and the reproaching of the lender.