The young people at the banquet (Sir 32:7-32:9)

“Speak!

You who are young!

If you are obliged to.

But speak

No more than twice,

And only if asked.

Be brief!

Say much in few words!

Be as one

Who knows!

Be as one

Who can still hold his tongue!

Among the great,

Do not act as their equal!

When another is speaking,

Do not babble!”

Sirach thinks that the young people should speak only if they are asked to do so. They should never speak more than twice and with few words. They should be like someone who knows something, but still holds their tongues. They should not act as equals among the great people. If someone is speaking, they should not babble. This is actually good advice for everyone.

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