Ecclesiasticus Chapter 37

Of the choice of friends and counsellors.

37:1. Every friend will say: I also am his friend: but there is a friend, that is only a friend in name. Is not this a grief even to death?

37:2. But a companion and a friend shall be turned to an enemy.

37:3. O wicked presumption, whence camest thou to cover the earth with thy malice, and deceitfulness?

37:4. There is a companion who rejoiceth with his friend in his joys, but in the time of trouble, he will be against him.

37:5. There is a companion who condoleth with his friend for his belly's sake, and he will take up a shield against the enemy.

37:6. Forget not thy friend in thy mind, and be not unmindful of him in thy riches.

37:7. Consult not with him that layeth a snare for thee, and hide thy counsel from them that envy thee.

37:8. Every counsellor giveth out counsel, but there is one that is a counsellor for himself.

37:9. Beware of a counsellor. And know before what need he hath: for he will devise to his own mind:

37:10. Lest he thrust a stake into the ground, and say to thee:

37:11. Thy way is good; and then stand on the other side to see what shall befall thee.

37:12. Treat not with a man without religion concerning holiness, nor with an unjust man concerning justice, nor with a woman touching her of whom she is jealous, nor with a coward concerning war, nor with a merchant about traffic, nor with a buyer of selling, nor with an envious man of giving thanks,

37:13. Nor with the ungodly of piety, nor with the dishonest of honesty, nor with the field laborer of every work,

37:14. Nor with him that worketh by the year of the finishing of the year, nor with an idle servant of much business: give no heed to these in any matter of counsel.

37:15. But be continually with a holy man, whomsoever thou shalt know to observe the fear of God,

37:16. Whose soul is according to thy own soul: and who, when thou shalt stumble in the dark, will be sorry for thee.

37:17. And establish within thyself a heart of good counsel: for there is no other thing of more worth to thee than it.

37:18. The soul of a holy man discovereth sometimes true things, more than seven watchmen that sit in a high place to watch.

37:19. But above all these things pray to the most High, that he may direct thy way in truth.

37:20. In all thy works let the true word go before thee, and steady counsel before every action.

37:21. A wicked word shall change the heart: out of which four manner of things arise, good and evil, life and death: and the tongue is continually the ruler of them. There is a man that is subtle and a teacher of many, and yet is unprofitable to his own soul.

37:22. A skilful man hath taught many, and is sweet to his own soul.

37:23. He that speaketh sophistically, is hateful: he shall be destitute of every thing.

37:24. Grace is not given him from the Lord: for he is deprived of all wisdom.

37:25. There is a wise man that is wise to his own soul: and the fruit of his understanding is commendable.

37:26. A wise man instructeth his own people, and the fruits of his understanding are faithful.

37:27. A wise man shall be filled with blessings, and they that see shall praise him.

37:28. The life of a man is in the number of his days: but the days of Israel are innumerable.

37:29. A wise man shall inherit honour among his people, and his name shall live for ever.

37:30. My son, prove thy soul in thy life: and if it be wicked, give it no power:

37:31. For all things are not expedient for all, and every kind pleaseth not every soul.

37:32. Be not greedy in any feasting, and pour not out thyself upon any meat:

37:33. For in many meats there will be sickness, and greediness will turn to choler.

37:34. By surfeiting many have perished, but he that is temperate, shall prolong life.