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Ben Sira 27:16-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

16 Whoever betrays a secret destroys confidence,[a]
    and will never find a congenial friend.
17 Cherish your friend, keep faith with him;
    but if you betray his secrets, do not go after him;
18 For as one might kill another,
    you have killed your neighbor’s friendship.
19 Like a bird released from your hand,
    you have let your friend go and cannot recapture him.
20 Do not go after him, for he is far away,
    and has escaped like a gazelle from a snare.
21 For a wound can be bandaged, and an insult forgiven,
    but whoever betrays secrets does hopeless damage.


  1. 27:16–28:11 Betrayal of confidence through indiscretion destroys friendship and does irreparable harm (27:16–21); cf. 22:22. False friendship based on hypocrisy and deceit is hateful to Ben Sira and, he adds, to God as well (27:22–24); it soon becomes a victim of its own treachery (27:25–27). The same fate awaits the malicious and vengeful (27:28–28:1). They can obtain mercy and forgiveness only by first forgiving their neighbor, being mindful of death and of the commandments of the Most High (28:2–7). And they must avoid quarrels and strife (28:8–11).
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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