Sirach 26

HC 26 A good wife,—blessed is her husband,

The number of his days is doubled.

A worthy wife cherisheth her husband,

G aAnd he fulfilleth the years of his lifeb in peacebb a.

Yeb. 63b A good wife c(is) a good giftc:

Sanh. 100b She shall be given to him that feareth God, ccfor his portioncc.

G dWhether rich or poor, his heart is cheerful,

And his face is merry at all times.

(h) 26:5–12. The fearfulness of having a wicked wife

(= 3 + 3 + 2 + 2 distichs).

Of three things is my heart afraid,

And concerning a fourth I am in great feare:

Slander in the city, and a concourse of the rabble,

fAnd a false accusation,—worse than death are they all.

Grief of heart and sorrow is a wife jealous of (another) wifef,

The scourge of the tongue gall togetherg [are they].

Likeh ia hard yokei isk a wicked woman:

He that taketh hold of her is as one that graspeth a scorpion.

Great wrath (doth) a drunken woman (cause)kk;

She doth not cover her own shame.

The whoredom of a woman is in the lifting up of her eyes,

And she will be known by her eyelids.

10 Upon a lheadstrong daughterl keep strict watch,

mLest, finding liberty, she use it for herselfm.

G 11 Look well after a shameless eye,

nAnd marvel not if it trespass against theen.

12 As a thirsty traveller that openeth his mouth,

And drinketh of any water that is near,

So she sitteth down at every post,

And openeth her quiver to every arrow.

(i) 26:13–18. The joy of the man who has a good wife

(= 3 + 3 distichs).

13 oThe grace of a wife delighteth her husband,

And her understanding fatteneth his boneso.

14 A silent woman (is) a gift from the Lord,

And pa well-instructed soulp qis above worthq.

15 Grace upon grace is a shamefastr woman,

And there is no price worthy of sa continent souls.

16 Ast the sun arising in the highest places of the Lord,

Sot is the beauty of a good wife in the ordering of histt [her husband’s] house.

17 As the lamp shining on the holy candlestick,

So is the beauty uof a faceu von a stately figurev.

18 As the golden pillars upon the silver base,

So are beautiful feet wupon firm heelsw.

(j) 26:19–27. A later appendix to the preceding

(= 3 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 1 distichs).

70 248 19 My son, xkeep thyself healthy in the flower of thine agex,

And give not thy strength unto strangers.

20 Having found a portion of good soil out of all the land,

Sow it with thine own seed, trusting in thine own good birth.

21 Thus will thine offspring flourish,

And, having confidence in their noble descent, will become great.

22 A hired woman is as spittlexx,

But a married woman is reckoned as a tower of death yto them that use hery.

23 A godless woman shall be given to the man who regardeth not the Law as his portion;

But a devout (woman) is given to him that fearethyy the Lord.

24 A shameless woman despiseth shamefastness;

But a shamefast daughter will show modesty even before her husband.

70 248 25 zA headstrong womanz will be regarded as a dog;

But she that hath shame feareth the Lord.

26 The woman that honoureth her own husband appearetha wise unto all,

But she that dishonoureth (her husband) aais known toaa all as one that is godless in (her) pride.

Happy is the husband of a good wife,

For the number of his years is doubledb.

27 A loud-voiced and tongueful woman is reckoned as bba trumpetbb that putteth enemies to flight;

cAnd the soul of every suchlike man will pass his life in the turmoils of warc.

(k) 26:28. Three things that cause sorrow

(= 3 distichs).

G 28 For two things my heart is grieved,

And for a third cometh wrath upon me:

A ccman of warcc suffering on account of poverty,

Men of understanding who suffer contempt,

(And) one that turneth from righteousness to sin;—

May the Lord prepare dhim for the swordd.

(l) 26:29–27:3. The temptations of trade

(= 3 + 1 distichs).

29 eHardlyf shall the merchant keep himself from wrongdoingg,

And a huckster will not be acquitted of sin.

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