against revealing one's thoughts to everyone (panti anqrwp&) and against banishing one's good fortune.145 Alternatively, do not allow everyone to return a favor.146 In any case,
Sirach advises caution in the presence of strangers, and everyone.
The relationship between friends, however, elicits the most attention from Sirach. Friendship requires great caution because
Every friend will say, "I too am a friend"; but some friends are friends only in name. Sirach 37:1
The discovery is often made too late that such "friends" become enemies (37:2).147 They may be "fair weather
friends" who oppose one in hard times (37:4).148 They may
pursue friendship for self-centered reasons, "for their stomach's sake" as Sirach 37:5 puts it. Therefore, it is
145 The Hebrew text of 19b (Levi) reads hydt lx) bvFh jylfm. RSV translates, "lest you drive away your good luck," but there is no N ep. N. Peters, Das Buch
Jesus Sirach oder Ecclesiasticus (Munster: Aschendorffsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1913), p. 76, translates, "aber stosse die Gute nicht von dir."
146 The Greek text of 19b reads: kai mh anaferetw soi xarin. NEB follows it translating, "or accept favor from them.”
Cf. 6:8, 10, 11; 12:9.