Sirach 23:7

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

7 Listen, my children, to instruction concerning the mouth; the one who observes it will never be caught. 8 Sinners are overtaken through their lips; by them the reviler and the arrogant are tripped up. 9 Do not accustom your mouth to oaths, nor habitually utter the name of the Holy One; 10 for as a servant who is constantly under scrutiny will not lack bruises, so also the person who always swears and utters the Name will never be cleansed from sin. 11 The one who swears many oaths is full of iniquity, and the scourge will not leave his house. If he swears in error, his sin remains on him, and if he disregards it, he sins doubly; if he swears a false oath, he will not be justified, for his house will be filled with calamities. 12 There is a manner of speaking comparable to death; may it never be found in the inheritance of Jacob! Such conduct will be far from the godly, and they will not wallow in sins. 13 Do not accustom your mouth to coarse, foul language, for it involves sinful speech. 14 Remember your father and mother when you sit among the great, or you may forget yourself in their presence, and behave like a fool through bad habit; then you will wish that you had never been born, and you will curse the day of your birth

James 3:9

New Testament

6 And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence—and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind. 8 But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters. 11 A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water.

 Notes and References

"... In 4:6, James explicitly cites Proverbs 3:34, 'God resists the haughty but gives a gift to the lowly.' And as in James' use of Leviticus 19, the influence of the original context of Proverbs 3:34 can be found throughout James 3:13-4:6 (compare Proverbs 3:19-35). James also echoes the language of Proverbs 10:12 in his statement of 5:20, that converting a sinner 'will cover a multitude of sins.' James has a number of themes whose language and content bear an unmistakable 'wisdom' coloration: the testing of the righteous person's virtue (James 1:2; see Proverbs 27:21; Sirach 2:1; Wisdom of Solomon 3:4), of which Job is the obvious paradigm (5:11; see Job 1:21-2:10); the importance of deliberation in speech (James 1:19; see Sirach 5:11; Ecclesiastes 5:1); the incompatibility of anger and true piety (James 1:20; Ecclesiastes 7:9; Proverbs 15:1); the instability of human life (James 4:14; see Proverbs 27:1; Ecclesiastes 1:1-6); the necessity and difficulty of controlling the tongue (James 1:26; 3:1-12; sec LXX Psalm 33:14; Sirach 5:13; 19:6-12; 23:7-8; 28:12); the importance of helping those in need (James 1:27; 2:14-16; see Proverbs 19:17; 21:3; 31:9, 20; Sirach 4:9; 29:8-9; 34:21-22; 35:2). Despite all these resemblances to the wisdom tradition, however, James is scarcely defined by it. James' appropriation of the legal and prophetic aspects of the biblical tradition are equally important ..."

Johnson, Luke Timothy The Letter of James: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (p. 33) Doubleday, 1995

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