1 He that shows mercy will lend to his neighbour; And he that strengthens him with his hand keeps the commandments.
2 Lend to your neighbour in time of his need; And pay you your neighbour again in due season.
3 Confirm your word, and keep faith with him; And at all seasons you shall find what you need.
4 Many have reckoned a loan as a windfall, And have given trouble to those that helped them.
5 Till he has received, he will kiss a man’s hands; And for his neighbour’s money he will speak submissly: And when payment is due, he will prolong the time, And return words of heaviness, and complain of the times.
6 If he prevail, he shall hardly receive the half; And he will count it as a windfall: If not, he has deprived him of his money, And he has gotten him for an enemy without cause: He will pay him with cursing and railing; And for honour he will pay him disgrace.
7 Many on account of men’s ill-dealing have turned away; They have feared to be defrauded for nothing.
8 However with a man in poor estate be patient; And let him not wait for your alms.
9 Help a poor man for the commandment’s sake; And according to his need send him not empty away.
10 Lose your money for a brother and a friend; And let it not rust under the stone to be lost.
11 Bestow your treasure according to the commandments of the Most High; And it shall profit you more than gold.
12 Shut up alms in your store-chambers; And it shall deliver you out of all affliction:
13 It shall fight for you against your enemy Better than a mighty shield and a ponderous spear.
14 A good man will be surety for his neighbour; And he that has lost shame will fail him.
15 Forget not the good offices of your surety; For he has given his life for you.
16 A sinner will overthrow the good estate of his surety;
17 And he that is of an unthankful mind will fail him that delivered him.
18 Suretiship has undone many that were prospering, And shaken them as a wave of the sea: Mighty men has it driven from their homes; And they wandered amongst strange nations.
19 A sinner that falls into suretiship, And undertakes contracts for work, shall fall into lawsuits.
20 Help your neighbour according to your power, And take heed to yourself that you fall not the same way.
21 The chief thing for life is water, and bread, And a garment, and a house to cover shame.
22 Better is the life of a poor man under a shelter of logs, Than sumptuous fare in another man’s house.
23 With little or with much, be well satisfied.
24 It is a miserable life to go from house to house: And where you are a sojourner, you shall not dare to open your mouth.
25 You shall entertain, and give to drink, and have no thanks: And in addition to this you shall hear bitter words.
26 Come here, you sojourner, furnish a table, And if you have anything in your hand, feed me with it.
27 Go forth, you sojourner, from the face of honour; My brother is come to be my guest; I have need of my house.
28 These things are grievous to a man of understanding; The upbraiding of house-room, and the reproaching of the money-lender.
Wisdom Baruch First Maccabees
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