The blow of the tongue (Sir 28:17-28:21)

“The blow of a whip

Raises a welt.

But a blow of the tongue

Crushes the bones.

Many have fallen

By the edge of the sword.

But not as many as have fallen

Because of the tongue.

Happy is the one

Who is protected from it.

Happy is the one

Who has not been exposed to its anger.

Happy is the one

Who has not borne its yoke.

Happy is the one

Who has not been bound

With its fetters.

Its yoke is

A yoke of iron.

Its fetters are

Fetters of bronze.

Its death is an evil death.

Hades is preferable to it.”

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.

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The foolish children (Prov 17:21-17:28)

“The one who begets a fool gets trouble.

The parent of a fool has no joy.

A cheerful heart is a good medicine.

But a downcast spirit dries up the bones.

The wicked accept a concealed bribe.

They pervert the ways of justice.

The discerning person looks to wisdom.

But the eyes of a fool look to the ends of the earth.

Foolish children are

A grief to their father.

Foolish children are

Bitterness to her who bore them.

To impose a fine on the innocent

Is not right.

To flog the noble for their integrity

Is not right.

Whoever spares words is knowledgeable.

Whoever is cool in spirit has understanding.

Even fools who keep silent

Are considered wise.

When they closes their lips,

They are deemed intelligent.”

Foolish children are trouble. There is no joy in dealing with them. A cheerful heart is good medicine for you, while a downcast spirit will dry up your bones. The wicked judges, when they accept a concealed bribe, are perverting justice. A discerning person looks for wisdom, but fools try to go to the ends of the earth in search of something or other. Foolish children are a grief to their father and bitterness to their mother. You should not impose a fine on the innocent ones. You should not flog the noblemen for their integrity. If you do not speak too much you give the impression of being knowledgeable. If you appear cool, people assume you understand things. Thus even fools who keep silent are sometimes considered wise. Some people appear to be more intelligent when they never open their mouth or move their lips.

The ruler king (Prov 14:28-14:35)

“The glory of a king

Is a multitude of people.

Without people

A prince is ruined.

Whoever is slow to anger

Has great understanding.

But one who has a hasty temper

Exalts folly.

A tranquil mind

Gives life to the flesh.

But passion

Makes the bones rot.

Those who oppresses the poor

Insult their maker.

But those who are kind to the needy

Honor him.

The wicked are overthrown

By their evildoing.

But the righteous find

A refuge in their integrity.

Wisdom is at home

In the mind of one who has understanding.

But it is not known

In the heart of fools.

Righteousness exalts a nation.

But sin is a reproach to any people.

A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor.

But his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.”

The great kings rule over a large amount of people. Without people, there cannot be any ruling princes. Those who are slow to anger have great understanding. Those with a hasty temper are foolish. Tranquility gives life to your body, while passion rots your bones. If you oppress the poor, you insult the creator. If you are kind to the needy, then you honor your creator. The wicked will be overthrown by their own evildoing. The righteous will always have integrity. Wisdom belongs to those who have understanding. There is no wisdom in the heart of fools. Righteousness will exalt a nation, but sin can be a reproach to a whole group of people. A wise servant gains the king’s favor, while wrath falls on those servants who act shamefully.