Sirach 25

S 25 aThree things hath my soul desireda,

And bthey areb lovely in the sight of God and men:

G The concord of brethren, and the friendship of neighbours,

And a bbhusband and wifebb suited to each other.

Three types (of men) doth my soul hate,

And I am greatly offended at their life:

HA The poor man that is haughty, and the rich man that is deceitfulc,

And an old man that is an adulterer cclacking understandingcc.

(c) 25:3–6. A beautiful thing is wisdom and counsel among the aged

(= 1 + 2 + 1 distichs).

(If) in thy youth thou hast not gatheredd,

How wilt thou find in thine old age?

G ddHow beautiful eto grey hairse is judgement,

And for elders to know counsel!

How beautiful is the wisdom of princesf,

And thought and counsel in those (who are) honoured!

The crowng of the aged is their much experience,

And their glorying is the fear of the Lord.

(d) 25:7–11. Ten types of men who are blessed

(= 1 + 5 + 1 distichs).

hNine (types of men) have I conceived ofh; (these) I accounted blessed;

And a tenth will I speak of with my tongue:

A man that hath joy of his childrenhh,

Who liveth to see his enemy’s fall.

HC iBlessed is the husband of an understanding wife,

iiThat doth not plough with ox and assii.

jBlessed is he that hath not slipped with his tonguej,

And he that hath not served one jjinferior (to himself)jj i.

G *kBlessed is the mank that hath found a true friendkk,

And that discourseth unto lears that hearl.

10 How great is he that findeth wisdom,

But he is not above him that feareth the Lord.

11 The fear of the Lord surpasseth all things:

llHe that holdeth it, to whom shall he be likenedll?

(e) 25:13–15. Some of the worst forms of evil

(= 2 + 1 distichs).

HC 13 Any wound, only not a heart-wound!

Any wickedness, only not the wickedness of a woman!

G 14 Any calamity, only not the calamity (brought about) by those who hate!

Any vengeance, only not the vengeance of enemies!

15 There is no poison mabove the poisonm of a serpent,

And there is no wrath above the wrath of a womanmm.

(f) 25:16–26. The evil of a wicked woman

(= 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 distichs).

16 I would rather dwell with a lion and a dragon,

Than nkeep house withn a wicked woman.

HC 17 The wickedness of a woman nnmaketh blacknn her looko,

And darkeneth her countenance like that of a bearoo.

18 In the midst of his friends her husband sitteth,

And involuntarilyp he sigheth bitterlyq.

HC 19 (There is but) little malice like the malice of a woman,

May the lot of the wicked fall upon her!

20 rAsrr a sandy ascent to the feet of the aged,

So is a woman of tongue to a quiet manr.

21 Fall nots because of the beauty of woman,

ssAnd tbe not ensnaredt for the sake of what she possessethss;

22 For tthard slaverytt and a disgrace it is,

(If) a wife support her husband.

G 23 uA humbled heart and a sad countenance,

uuAnd a heart-wound, is an evil wifeu.

HC Hands that hang down, and palsied knees,

(Thus shall it be with) a wife that maketh not happy her husband.

24 From a woman did sin originate,

And because of her vwe all must diev.

G 25 vvGive not water an outlet,

Nor to a wicked woman powerx.

26 If she go not xxas thou wouldst have herxx,

Cut her off from thy fleshvv y.

(g) 26:1–4. The happiness of the man who has a good wife

(= 2 + 2 distichs).

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