Sirach 7:14

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

12 Do not devise a lie against your brother, or do the same to a friend. 13 Refuse to utter any lie, for it is a habit that results in no good. 14 Do not babble in the assembly of the elders, and do not repeat yourself when you pray. 15 Do not hate hard labor or farm work, which was created by the Most High. 16 Do not enroll in the ranks of sinners; remember that retribution does not delay.

Date: 195-175 B.C.E.
* Dates are based on scholarly estimates

Clement of Alexandria The Instructor 2.7


For dreadful in his destruction is a loquacious man. And it is with triflers as with old shoes: all the rest is worn away by evil; the tongue only is left for destruction. Wherefore Wisdom gives these most useful exhortations: Do not talk trifles in the multitude of the elders. Further, eradicating frivolousness, beginning with God, it lays down the law for our regulation somewhat thus: Do not repeat your words in your prayer. Chirruping and whistling, and sounds made through the fingers, by which domestics are called, being irrational signs, are to be given up by rational men. Frequent spitting, too, and violent clearing of the throat, and wiping one's nose at an entertainment, are to be shunned. For respect is assuredly to be had to the guests, lest they turn in disgust from such filthiness, which argues want of restraint. For we are not to copy oxen and asses, whose manger and dunghill are together. For many wipe their noses and spit even while supping.

Date: 198 C.E.
* Dates are based on scholarly estimates