Ben Sira’s Advice on Friendship

Some smart stuff from ben Sira-

6:7-10 If thou wouldst get a friend, try him before thou takest him, and do not credit him easily. For there is a friend for his own occasion, and he will not abide in the day of thy trouble. And there is a friend that turneth to enmity; and there is a friend that will disclose hatred and strife and reproaches. And there is a friend a companion at the table, and he will not abide in the day of distress.

Yup. All true.

6:14-16 A faithful friend is a strong defence: and he that hath found him, hath found a treasure. Nothing can be compared to a faithful friend, and no weight of gold and silver is able to countervail the goodness of his fidelity. A faithful friend is the medicine of life and immortality: and they that fear the Lord, shall find him.

Yup, again, all true.

12:8-9 A friend shall not be known in prosperity, and an enemy shall not be hidden in adversity. In the prosperity of a man, his enemies are grieved: and a friend is known in his adversity.

Word, Sirach, word.

37:1-2, 4-6 Every friend will say: I also am his friend: but there is a friend, that is only a friend in name. Is not this a grief even to death? But a companion and a friend shall be turned to an enemy. … There is a companion who rejoiceth with his friend in his joys, but in the time of trouble, he will be against him. There is a companion who condoleth with his friend for his belly’s sake, and he will take up a shield against enemy. Forget not thy friend in thy mind, and be not unmindful of him in thy riches.

It sure happens sure enough.

True friends are hard to find. Friends for the moment are Legion.

About Jim

I am a Pastor, and Lecturer in Church History and Biblical Studies at Ming Hua Theological College.
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