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51

Other lessons of wisdom and virtue.

[1] Strive not with a powerful man, lest thou fall into his hands. [2] Contend not with a rich man, lest he bring an action against thee. [3] For gold and silver hath destroyed many, and hath reached even to the heart of kings, and perverted them. [4] Strive not with a man that is full of tongue, and heap not wood upon his fire. [5] Communicate not with an ignorant man, lest he speak ill of thy family.

[6] Despise not a man that turneth away from sin, nor reproach him therewith: remember that we are all worthy of reproof. [7] Despise not a man in his old age; for we also shall become old. [8] Rejoice not at the death of thy enemy; knowing that we all die, and are not willing that others should rejoice at our death. [9] Despise not the discourse of them that are ancient and wise, but acquaint thyself with their proverbs. [10] For of them thou shalt learn wisdom, and instruction of understanding, and to serve great men without blame.

[11] Let not the discourse of the ancients escape thee, for they have learned of their fathers: [12] For of them thou shalt learn understanding, and to give an answer in time of need. [13] Kindle not the coals of sinners by rebuking them, lest thou be burnt with the flame of the fire of their sins. [14] Stand not against the face of an injurious person, lest he sit as a spy to entrap thee in thy words. [15] Lend not to a man that is mightier than thyself: and if thou lendest, count it as lost.

[16] Be not surety above thy power: and if thou be surety, think as if thou wert to pay it. [17] Judge not against a judge: for he judgeth according to that which is just. [18] Go not on the way with a bold man, lest he burden thee with his evils: for he goeth according to his own will, and thou shalt perish together with his folly. [19] Quarrel not with a passionate man, and go not into the desert with a bold man: for blood is as nothing in his sight, and where there is no help he will overthrow thee. [20] Advise not with fools, for they cannot love but such things as please them.

[21] Before a stranger do no matter of counsel: for thou knowest not what he will bring forth. [22] Open not thy heart to every man: lest he repay thee with an evil turn, and speak reproachfully to thee.

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