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Ben Sira 12:8-18 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

In prosperity we cannot know our friends;[a]
    in adversity an enemy will not remain concealed.
When one is successful even an enemy is friendly;
    but in adversity even a friend disappears.
10 Never trust your enemies,
    for their wickedness is like corrosion in bronze.
11 Even though they act deferentially and peaceably toward you,
    take care to be on your guard against them.
Treat them as those who reveal secrets,[b]
    and be certain that in the end there will still be envy.
12 Do not let them stand near you,
    lest they push you aside and take your place.
Do not let them sit at your right hand,
    or they will demand your seat,
And in the end you will appreciate my advice,
    when you groan with regret, as I warned.

13 Who pities a snake charmer when he is bitten,[c]
    or anyone who goes near a wild beast?
14 So it is with the companion of the proud,
    who is involved in their sins:
15 While you stand firm, they make no move;
    but if you slip, they cannot hold back.
16 With their lips enemies speak sweetly,
    but in their heart they scheme to plunge you into the abyss.
Though enemies have tears in their eyes,
    given the chance, they will never have enough of your blood.
17 If evil comes upon you, you will find them at hand;
    pretending to help, they will trip you up,
18 Then they will shake their heads and clap their hands
    and hiss repeatedly, and show their true faces.

Footnotes:

  1. 12:8–18 Adversity distinguishes friends from enemies; to trust the latter or permit them intimacy is to invite disaster. Cf. note on 6:5–17.
  2. 12:11 Ben Sira has harsh words for those who reveal secrets; see also 8:18; 27:16–21; 42:1; Prv 11:13; 20:19.
  3. 12:13 For v. 13a, see especially Eccl 10:11.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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