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Ben Sira 22:19-26 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

The Preservation of Friendship[a]

19 Whoever jabs the eye brings tears;
    whoever pierces the heart bares its feelings.
20 Whoever throws a stone at birds drives them away;
    whoever insults a friend breaks up the friendship.
21 Should you draw a sword against a friend,
    do not despair, for it can be undone.
22 Should you open your mouth against a friend,
    do not worry, for you can be reconciled.
But a contemptuous insult, a confidence broken,
    or a treacherous attack will drive any friend away.

23 Win your neighbor’s trust while he is poor,
    so that you may rejoice with him in his prosperity.
In time of trouble remain true to him,
    so that you may share in his inheritance when it comes.
24 The billowing smoke of a furnace precedes the fire,
    so insults precede bloodshed.
25 I am not ashamed to shelter a friend,
    and I will not hide from him.
26 But if harm should come to me because of him,
    all who hear of it will beware of him.


  1. 22:19–26 Disputes and violence weaken friendship, and disloyalty and abuse of confidence destroy it utterly (vv. 19–22, 24, 26); but kindness to a poor person in time of poverty and adversity builds up friendship and merits a share in his prosperity and inheritance (vv. 23, 25).
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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