Almsgiving (Sir 29:8-29:13)

“Be patient with someone

In humble circumstances.

Do not keep him waiting

For your alms.

Help the poor man

For the commandment’s sake.

In their need,

Do not send them away

Empty-handed.

Lose your silver

For the sake of a brother.

Lose your silver

For the sake of a friend.

Do not let your silver rust

Under a stone.

Do not let your silver be lost.

Lay up your treasure

According to the commandments

Of the Most High.

It will profit you

More than gold.

Store up almsgiving

In your treasury.

It will rescue you

From every disaster.

Better than a stout shield,

Better than a sturdy spear,

It will fight for you

Against the enemy.”

You should be patient with people in humble poor circumstances. You should not make them wait for your almsgiving gift. You are only following the commandments when you give to the poor. You should not send the needy away empty-handed. You should give your silver to a brother or a friend. Do not let your silver rust or get lost under a stone. Circulate money. Your treasure should be in the commandments of the Most High God that are more profitable than gold. Your treasury should be filled with almsgiving, so that it can rescue you from any disaster that might come your way. Almsgiving is better than a strong shield or spear in the fight against your enemy.

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Justice and your enemy (Ex 23:1-23:9)

“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness.  You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing.  When you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice.  Nor shall you be partial to the poor in a law-suit.”

You should not spread a false report.  Do not be a wicked malicious witness.  You must not follow the wrongdoing majority.  Already you are told not to be part of group think.  There is a lot of talk about laws and law suits.

“When you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray, you shall bring it back.  When you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would hold back from setting it free, you must help to set it free.”

Bring back your enemies ox or donkey if they are lost.  The same goes if you see them stuck, set them free.

“You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits.  Keep far away from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and those in the right.   I will not acquit the guilty.  You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. You shall not oppress a resident alien.  You know the heart of an alien for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”

You shall not pervert justice for the poor.  Keep far away from a false charge. Do not take bribes.  Finally, do not oppress the resident alien because you know the heart of an alien because of your time in Egypt.