Sensible person (Sir 32:18-32:23)

“A sensible person

Will not overlook

A thoughtful suggestion.

An insolent proud person

Will not be deterred

By fear.

Do nothing

Without deliberation.

But when you have acted,

Do not regret it!

Do not go on a path

Full of hazards!

Do not stumble

On stony ground!

Do not stumble

At an obstacle twice!

Do not be overconfident

On an unexplored smooth way!

Give good heed

To your paths!

Guard yourself

In every act!

This is the keeping of the commandments.”

Sirach says that a sensible person will not overlook thoughtful suggestions. At the same time, the insolent and proud person is not deterred by fear, so that they do not fear the Lord. You should deliberate before you act. After your action, you should not regret it. Stay away from hazardous paths. Be careful on stony ground. Don’t stumble on the same obstacle twice. Don’t be overconfident on unexplored smooth paths. Be careful in all that you do. Then you will be keeping the commandments of the Lord.

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Be firm (Sir 5:8-5:12)

“Do not depend on dishonest wealth.

It will not benefit you

In the day of calamity.

Do not winnow with every wind.

Do not follow every path.

Stand firm for what you know.

Let your speech be consistent.

Be quick to hear.

But be deliberate in answering.

If you know what to say,

Answer your neighbor.

But if you do not know,

Put your hand on your mouth.”

Now the righteous person is asked to stand firm. They should not depend on dishonest wealth to benefit them in the days of their trouble. They were not to follow every wind and every path. They should stand firm for what they know. Their speech should be consistent. They should be quick to listen, but deliberate in answering. If they know what to say, say so. However, if they do not know what to say, they should put their hand over their mouth and be silent.

The trust worthy Roman Senate (1 Macc 8:12-8:16)

“The Romans kept their friendship with their friends and those who relied on them. They subdued kings far and near. As many as have heard of their fame, they have feared them. Those whom they wish to help and to make kings, they make kings. Those whom they wish, they depose. They have been greatly exalted. However, even with all this power, not one of them has put on a crown or worn purple as a mark of pride. They built for themselves a senate chamber. Every day, three hundred twenty senators constantly deliberate concerning the people, to govern them well. They trust one man each year to rule over them and to control all their land. They all heed the one man. There is no envy or jealousy among them.”

This biblical author explains that the Romans were a republic and not an empire. They were good friends to those who are friends and relied on them. They had the power to make or break kings. However, not one of them put on a crown or wore purple. This biblical author stated that they had a senate chamber, where 320 senators deliberated to govern their land and people every day. In fact, they met 3 times a month. They let one man rule for a year so that there was no jealously among them. Obviously, there was some jealously as Roman history seems to indicate. This biblical author had a very favorable view of the Romans.