A blow of the tongue is worse than a blow from a whip because the blow from the tongue crushes your bones, not merely a welt on your skin. This blow of the tongue is something that somebody has said that ruins your life. More people have fallen from this blow of the tongue than from the sword. You will be happy if you are protected from this blow from the tongue. If you have not been exposed to its anger or yoke, consider yourself happy. The blow of the tongue is like being put in bronze chains with an iron yoke on your neck. Hades would be preferable to the slow evil death from a blow of the tongue. Be careful when you say things about others.
Sirach wanted his readers to listen to his instructions about their mouths. Do not get caught up by saying something you might regret. It is usually the words that you utter from your mouth that causes problems for sinners, revilers, and the arrogant.
If you talk too much, the chance of transgression increases. The prudent are more restrained in speech. The righteous have a silver tongue, while the wicked have very little worthwhile in their mind. The lips of the righteous can feed many people, but fools die for a lack of good sense.