Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ecclesiasticus, Chapters 31 & 32: Biblical table manners

Chapter 31

Trying to get rich will wear you out and staying rich will keep you awake at night, mostly because you're full of rich food. Poors, on the other hand, go to bed hungry. Nonetheless, loving gold is unjustifiable and will ruin your life. Rich people who don't chase gold are blessed. Oh, I see. They're talking metaphorical riches. The kind that doesn't pay its rent.

If you happen to be rich, don't forget to host dinner parties, but also don't brag about how you can afford fancy meat. People will love you if you have them over for dinner, but resent you if you don't invite them. Also, eyes are the most wicked body part and you shouldn't reach for everything you can see.

Eat what is put in front of you, but don't be greedy about it. Be the first to finish, it's just good manners. If there are lots of people at the table, don't reach for the food first. You only actually need a little bit of food if you're well-fed. Furthermore, you'll sleep better and wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed if you eat in moderation, but gluttons will have all kinds of health problems.

If you've somehow been forced to eat, go out and vomit before you sleep and you'll rest better. Wine makes people stupid brave, though it is fine in moderation. Still, don't criticise your neighbour if he indulges a little too much.

Chapter 32

When you host, be a good host: don't sit at a head table and make sure your guests are having fun. Speeches have their place, but so does music. Always include music at your dinner parties. Don't try to be the equal of great men. Never be the last to go home from a party.

Always seek advice, and never repent your mistakes. Don't take risks. Be confident. Be wary of your own kids.

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