The Bible – Old Testament
A wise magistrate lends stability to his people, and the government of a prudent man is well ordered.
As the people’s judge, so are his ministers; as the head of a city, its inhabitants.
A wanton king destroys his people, but a city grows through the wisdom of its princes.
Sovereignty over the earth is in the hand of God, who raises up on it the man of the hour;
Sovereignty over every man is in the hand of God, who imparts his majesty to the ruler.
1 No matter the wrong, do no violence to your neighbor, and do not walk the path of arrogance.
Odious to the LORD and to men is arrogance, and the sin of oppression they both hate.
Dominion is transferred from one people to another because of the violence of the arrogant.
2 Why are dust and ashes proud? even during life man’s body decays;
A slight illness – the doctor jests, a king today – tomorrow he is dead.
When a man dies, he inherits corruption; worms and gnats and maggots.
The beginning of pride is man’s stubbornness in withdrawing his heart from his Maker;
For pride is the reservoir of sin, a source which runs over with vice; Because of it God sends unheard-of afflictions and brings men to utter ruin.
The thrones of the arrogant God overturns and establishes the lowly in their stead.
The roots of the proud God plucks up, to plant the humble in their place:
He breaks down their stem to the level of the ground, then digs their roots from the earth.
The traces of the proud God sweeps away and effaces the memory of them from the earth.
Insolence is not allotted to a man, nor stubborn anger to one born of woman.
3 Whose offspring can be in honor? Those of men. Which offspring are in honor? Those who fear God. Whose offspring can be in disgrace? Those of men. Which offspring are in disgrace? Those who transgress the commandments.
Among brethren their leader is in honor; he who fears God is in honor among his people.
Be it tenant or wayfarer, alien or pauper, his glory is the fear of the LORD.
It is not just to despise a man who is wise but poor, nor proper to honor any sinner.
The prince, the ruler, the judge are in honor; but none is greater than he who fears God.
When free men serve a prudent slave, the wise man does not complain.
Flaunt not your wisdom in managing your affairs, and boast not in your time of need.
Better the worker who has plenty of everything than the boaster who is without bread.
My son, with humility have self-esteem; prize yourself as you deserve.
Who will acquit him who condemns himself? who will honor him who discredits himself?
The poor man is honored for his wisdom as the rich man is honored for his wealth;
Honored in poverty, how much more so in wealth! Dishonored in wealth, in poverty how much the more!
1 [6-18] Glory displayed through arrogance and pride is false and displeasing to God and men, because founded on dust and ashes (⇒ Sirach 10:6-11). It is the denial of the glory due to God, and therefore the source of all sin (⇒ Sirach 10:12-13). Even the memory of the proud is destroyed and God transfers their power to the lowly (⇒ Sirach 10:14-18).
2 [9-10] The text is uncertain. Its general implication is that man deteriorates physically even while alive: a slight illness today may be followed by death tomorrow. The uncertainty of life leaves no room for pride.
3 [19-⇒ 11:6] Regardless of social barriers, genuine honor among men comes from fear of the Lord and a true estimate of self. The Lord exalts the lowly and oppressed; transgressors of the commandments merit dishonor and disgrace.