Wisdom of Sirach 26

Happy is the husband of a good wife.
The number of his days will be doubled.
A brave woman gives joy to her husband.
He will fulfill his years in peace.
A good wife is a great gift.
She will be given to those who fear the Lord.
Whether a man is rich or poor,
a good heart makes a cheerful face at all times.
Of three things my heart was afraid,
and concerning the fourth* kind I made supplication:
The slander of a city, the assembly of a multitude, and a false accusation.
All these are more grievous than death.
A grief of heart and sorrow is a woman who is jealous of another woman.
Her tongue-lashing makes it known to all.
A wicked woman is as a yoke of oxen shaken back and forth.
He who takes hold of her is as one who grasps a scorpion.
A drunken woman causes great wrath;
she will not cover her own shame.
The whoredom of a woman is in the lifting up of her eyes;
it will be known by her eyelids.
10 Keep strict watch on a headstrong daughter,
lest she find liberty for herself, and use it.
11 Look well after an impudent eye;
and don’t be surprised if it sins against you.
12 She will open her mouth like a thirsty traveller,
and drink from every water that is near.
She will sit down at every post,
and open her quiver to any arrow.
13 The grace of a wife will delight her husband;
And her knowledge will strengthen † his bones.
14 A silent woman is a gift of the Lord.
There is nothing worth so much as a well-instructed soul.
15 A modest woman is grace upon grace.
There are no scales that can weigh the value of a self-controlled soul.
16 As the sun when it arises in the highest places of the Lord,
so is the beauty of a good wife in her well-organized home.
17 As the lamp that shines upon the holy candlestick,
so is the beauty of the face on a well-proportioned body.
18 As the golden pillars are upon a base of silver,
so are beautiful feet with the breasts of one who is steadfast.
19-27  ‡
28 For two things my heart is grieved,
and for the third anger comes upon me:
A man of war who suffers for poverty,
men of understanding who are counted as garbage,
and one who turns back from righteousness to sin—
the Lord will prepare him for the sword!
29 It is difficult for a merchant to keep himself from wrong doing,
and for a retailer to be acquitted of sin.

 


*26:5 Gr. countenance.

26:13 or, fatten

26:19-27 Verses 19-27 are omitted by the best authorities.

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