17 My child, perform your tasks with humility; then you will be loved by those whom God accepts. 18 The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself; so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord. 20 For great is the might of the Lord; but by the humble he is glorified. 21 Neither seek what is too difficult for you, nor investigate what is beyond your power. 22 Reflect upon what you have been commanded, for what is hidden is not your concern. 23 Do not meddle in matters that are beyond you, for more than you can understand has been shown you. 24 For their conceit has led many astray, and wrong opinion has impaired their judgment. 25 Without eyes there is no light; without knowledge there is no wisdom. 26 A stubborn mind will fare badly at the end, and whoever loves danger will perish in it. 27 A stubborn mind will be burdened by troubles, and the sinner adds sin to sins. 28 When calamity befalls the proud, there is no healing, for an evil plant has taken root in him. 29 The mind of the intelligent appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the desire of the wise. 30 As water extinguishes a blazing fire, so almsgiving atones for sin. 31 Those who repay favors give thought to the future; when they fall they will find support.
It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda says: Great is charity in that it advances the redemption, as it is stated: “So said the Lord, uphold justice and do charity, for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed” (Isaiah 56:1). He would say: Ten strong entities were created in the world, one stronger than the other. A mountain is strong, but iron, which is stronger, cleaves it. Iron is strong, but fire melts it. Fire is strong, but water extinguishes it. Water is strong, but clouds bear it. Clouds are strong, but wind disperses them. Wind is strong, but the human body withstands it. The human body is strong, but fear breaks it. Fear is strong, but wine dispels it. Wine is strong, but sleep drives it off. And death is stronger than them all, but charity saves a person from death, as it is written: “And charity delivers from death” (Proverbs 10:2, 11:4).