Avoid a spoiled son (Sir 30:7-30:13)

“Whoever spoils his son,

Will bind up his wounds.

You will suffer heartache

At every cry.

An unbroken horse

Turns out stubborn.

An unchecked son

Turns out headstrong.

Pamper a child,

Then he will terrorize you.

Play with him,

Then he will give you grief.

Do not laugh with him,

Lest you have sorrow with him.

In the end

You will gnash your teeth.

Give him no freedom

In his youth.

Do not ignore his errors.

Bow down his neck

In his youth.

Beat his sides

While he is young,

Lest he become stubborn.

He will disobey you.

You will have sorrow of soul

From him.

Discipline your son.

Make his yoke heavy.

Thus you may not be offended

By his shamelessness.”

Once again, Sirach reflects the ideals of his time about the importance of discipline and corporal punishment of children. Above all, do not spoil your son! Otherwise, you will spend a lifetime healing his wounds and suffering heartaches at his every cry. The young boy is compared to a horse that is unbroken, stubborn, and headstrong. If you pamper your son, then he will terrorize you. Do not laugh or play with your son! Otherwise, you will end up gnashing your teeth. Do not give him any freedom when he is young! Do not ignore his mistakes! Beat him up on his sides when he is young! If not, he will become stubborn and disobey you. Then you will have a sorrowful soul. Make his iron collar heavy so that he does not end up shameless. Be tough on those kids!

Difficult people (Prov 29:21-29:24)

“A slave pampered from childhood,

Will come to a bad end.

One given to anger

Stirs up strife.

The hot head

Causes much transgression.

A person’s pride will bring humiliation.

Whoever is lowly in spirit

Will obtain honor.

To be a partner of a thief

Is to hate one’s own life.

One hears the victim’s curse,

But discloses nothing.”

Do not pamper a slave or servant from childhood, because there will not be a good ending. The angry hot head stirs up strife and causes a lot of transgressions. Pride will bring humiliation, while the humble will be honored. If you are involved with a thief, you must hate your own life. If you hear a victim cry and do nothing, you are as bad as the thief.