Wickedness (Sir 19:4-19:5)

“Whoever trusts others too quickly

Has a shallow mind.

Whoever sins

Does wrong to himself.

Whoever rejoices in wickedness

Will be condemned.

Whoever withstands pleasures

Crowns his life.”

If you trust people too quickly, you have a shallow mind. When you do sin, you are really harming yourself. If you rejoice in your wickedness, you will be condemned. If you can hold off against various pleasures, you will have the crown of life.

The discipline of wisdom (Sir 6:18-6:22)

“My child!

From your youth,

Choose discipline.

When you have gray hair,

You will still find wisdom.

Come to her like one who plows.

Come to her like one who sows.

Wait for her good harvest.

When you cultivate her,

You will toil but little.

Soon you will eat of her produce.

She seems very harsh to the undisciplined.

Fools cannot remain with her.

She will be like a heavy stone to test them.

They will not delay in casting her aside.

Wisdom is like her name.

She is not really perceived by many.”

Once again, Sirach has a series of admonitions about wisdom. The young people should choose discipline. Even when they have gray hair, they should still seek wisdom. You have to have the discipline to plow and sow in order to get a good harvest of wisdom. You do not have to work too hard to eat of her products. However, this seems very harsh to the undisciplined since fools cannot remain with her. She seems to be a test like a heavy stone to these foolish undisciplined ones. The name of wisdom implies that only a few, not many people, will actually perceive her.