Paradoxes (Sir 27:25-27:27)

Whoever throws a stone straight up

Throws it on his own head.

A treacherous blow

Opens up many wounds.

Whoever digs a pit

Will fall into it.

Whoever sets a snare

Will be caught in it.

If a person does evil,

It will roll back upon him.

He will not know

Where it came from.”

Sirach then has a series of paradoxes. If you throw a stone straight up in the air, it will land on your head. A treacherous blow opens many wounds. If you dig a pit, you will fall into it. If you set a snare, you will be caught in it. Whenever you do evil, it will roll back on you. However, you will have no idea where it came from.

Paradoxes (Sir 20:9-20:12)

“There may be good fortune

For a man in adversity.

A windfall may result in a loss.

There is the gift

That profits you nothing.

There is the gift

That has to be paid back double.

There are losses

For the sake of glory.

There are some

Who have raised their heads

From humble circumstances.

Some buy much for little.

But they pay for it

Seven times over.”

When you are in adversity, you may find a good fortune. A windfall profit might result in a later loss for you. You may get a gift that does not help you. Sometimes you may have to give back twice as much as the gift you received. For the sake of glory, people will lose things. Some people have raised themselves from humble beginnings. There are times when you get a lot for your money, but then you might have to pay it back seven times as much.