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Ben Sira 9:10-16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Choice of Friends[a]

10 Do not abandon old friends;
    new ones cannot equal them.
A new friend is like new wine—
    when it has aged, you drink it with pleasure.
11 Do not envy the wicked
    for you do not know when their day will come.
12 Do not delight in the pleasures of the ungodly;
    remember, they will not die unpunished.

13 Keep away from those who have power to kill,
    and you will not be filled with the dread of death.
But if you come near them, do not offend them,
    lest they take away your life.
Know that you are stepping among snares
    and walking over a net.

14 As best you can, answer your neighbor,
    and associate with the wise.
15 With the learned exchange ideas;
    and let all your conversation be about the law of the Most High.
16 Take the righteous for your table companions;
    and let your glory be in the fear of God.


  1. 9:10–16 The second of Ben Sira’s poems on friendship; cf. note on 6:5–17. In choosing friends, adherence to the law of the Lord should serve as a guide (v. 15). Associate with true friends (v. 10), with the righteous and the learned (vv. 14–16); avoid the company of the mighty and of sinners (vv. 11–13). Cf. 8:1–19.
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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