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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 28

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1Whoever acts vengefully will face the vengeance of the Lord, who keeps strict account of sins. 2Forgive your neighbour any wrong he has done you; then, when you pray, your sins will be forgiven. 3If anyone harbours anger against another, can he expect help from the Lord? 4If he refuses mercy to his fellow, can he ask forgiveness for his own sins? 5If a mere mortal cherishes rage, where is he to look for pardon? 6Think of the end that awaits you, and have done with hate; think of mortality and death, and be true to the commandments; 7think of the commandments, and do not be enraged at your neighbour; think of the covenant of the Most High, and overlook errors.

8To avoid a quarrel is a setback for sin, for quarrels are kindled by a hot temper. 9A sinner sets friends at odds and spreads enmity where before there was peace. 10The more fuel, the fiercer the blaze; the more stubborn the defence, the fiercer the fight. The greater a person, the greater his anger; the more his wealth, the higher his temper will flare. 11A hasty dispute kindles a fire; a hasty quarrel leads to bloodshed. 12Blow on a spark to make it glow, or spit on it to put it out; both results come from your mouth.

13Curses on tale-bearing and duplicity! For they have been the ruin of many who were living peaceably. 14A third party's talk has wrecked the lives of many and driven them from country to country; it has destroyed strong cities and overthrown the houses of the great. 15A third party's talk has brought divorce on staunch wives and deprived them of the fruits of their industry; 16whoever heeds it will never again find rest or live in peace of mind. 17The lash of a whip raises weals, but the lash of a tongue will break bones. 18Many have been killed by the edge of the sword, but not so many as by the tongue. 19Happy are they who are sheltered from its onslaught, who have not been exposed to its fury, who have not borne its yoke or been chained with its fetters; 20for its yoke is of iron, its fetters are of bronze! 21The death it inflicts is a horrible death; better the grave than the tongue! 22But it has no power over the godfearing; they cannot be burnt in its flames. 23Rather, those who desert the Lord fall victim to it; among them it will blaze up and never be quenched. It will launch itself against them like a lion and tear them like a leopard. 24As you enclose your garden with a thorn hedge, and as you tie up securely your silver and gold, 25so weigh your words and measure them, and make for your mouth a door that locks. 26Take care you are not tripped by your tongue to fall before a waiting enemy.

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