Conduct with others (Sir 13:8-13:11)

“Take care not to be led astray.

Do not be humiliated

When you are enjoying yourself.

When an influential person invites you,

Be reserved.

He will invite you more insistently.

Do not be forward,

Otherwise you may be rebuffed.

Do not stand aloof,

Otherwise you will be forgotten.

Do not try to treat him

As an equal.

Do not trust his lengthy conversations.

He will test you by prolonged talk.

While he smiles,

He will be examining you.”

Sirach has some advice on how you are to deal with other people. You should not be lead astray or humiliated while you are enjoying yourself. If an influential powerful person invites you over, you should be reserved. Thus he will be more insistent. Do not be pushy or you might be pushed back. Do not be aloof and standoffish or you might be forgotten. However, do not treat this person like an equal. Watch out for long conversations because while he is smiling, he is actually examining you.

We do not know love (Eccl 9:1-9:1)

“All this I laid to heart,

Examining it all.

The righteous are in the hand of God.

The wise are in the hand of God.

Their deeds are in the hand of God.

Whether it is love or hate,

One does not know.

Everything that confronts them is vanity.”

Once again, we have the reflective Qoheleth examining his heart. Life and all the deeds of the righteous and the wise are in the hand of God. No one really knows love or hate, since everything they confront is useless or vanity.