1 Every friend will say, I also am his friend: But there is a friend, which is only a friend in name.
2 Is there not a grief in it even to death, When a companion and friend is turned to enmity?
3 O wicked imagination, whence came you rolling in To cover the dry land with deceitfulness?
4 There is a companion, which rejoices in the gladness of a friend, But in time of affliction will be against him.
5 There is a companion, which for the belly’s sake labors with his friend, In the face of battle will take up the buckler.
6 Forget not a friend in your soul; And be not unmindful of him in your riches.
7 Every counselor extols counsel; But there is that counsels for himself.
8 Let your soul beware of a counselor, And know you before what is his interest (For he will take counsel for himself); Lest he cast the lot upon you,
9 And say to you, Your way is good: And he will stand near you, to see what will happen to you.
10 Take not counsel with one that looks askance at you; And hide your counsel from such as are jealous of you.
11 Take not counsel with a woman about her rival; Neither with a coward about war; Nor with a merchant about exchange; Nor with a buyer about selling; Nor with an envious man about thankfulness; Nor with an unmerciful man about kindliness; Nor with a sluggard about any kind of work; Nor with a hireling in your house about finishing his work; Nor with an idle servant about much business: Give not heed to these in any matter of counsel.
12 But rather be continually with a godly man, Whom you shall have known to be a keeper of the commandments, Who in his soul is as your own soul, And who will grieve with you, if you shall miscarry.
13 And make the counsel of your heart to stand; For there is none more faithful to you than it.
14 For a man’s soul is sometimes wont to bring him tidings, More than seven watchmen that sit on high on a watch-tower.
15 And above all this entreat the Most High, That he may direct your way in truth.
16 Let reason be the beginning of every work, And let counsel go before every action.
17 As a token of the changing of the heart,
18 four manner of things do rise up, Good and evil, life and death; And that which rules over them continually is the tongue.
19 There is one that is shrewd and the instructor of many, And yet is unprofitable to his own soul.
20 There is one that is subtle in words, and is hated; He shall be destitute of all food:
21 For grace was not given him from the Lord; Because he is deprived of all wisdom.
22 There is one that is wise to his own soul; And the fruits of his understanding are trustworthy in the mouth.
23 A wise man will instruct his own people; And the fruits of his understanding are trustworthy.
24 A wise man shall be filled with blessing; And all those who see him shall call him happy.
25 The life of man is counted by days; And the days of Israel are innumerable.
26 The wise man shall inherit confidence among his people, And his name shall live forever.
27 My son, prove your soul in your life, And see what is evil for it, and give not that to it.
28 For all things are not profitable for all men, Neither has every soul pleasure in every thing.
29 Be not insatiable in any luxury, And be not greedy on the things that you eatest.
30 For in multitude of meats there shall be disease, And surfeiting shall come near to colic.
31 Because of surfeiting have many perished; But he that takes heed shall prolong his life.
Wisdom Baruch First Maccabees
Visit Catholic Gallery Main Site