The profit motive (Sir 27:1-27:3)

“Many have committed sin

For a trifle gain.

Whoever seeks to get rich

Will avert their eyes.

As a stake is driven firmly

Into a fissure between stones,

So sin is wedged

In between

Selling and buying.

If a person is not steadfast

In the fear of the Lord,

His house

Will be quickly overthrown.”

Sirach reminds us that many sins have been committed over the attempt to make a small profit. Those who seek to get rich turn their eyes away from morality. Just as a stake is usually placed between 2 stones, so too you will find some sin between the buying and selling of a product. If you are not steadfast in your fear of the Lord, your house will be quickly overthrown. Sirach was no friend of capitalism.

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