25 There are three things in which I take special delight—things that are beautiful to the Lord and people alike:[a] brothers who get along with each other, neighbors who are friends, and a married couple who are happy together.
2 There are three kinds of people I cannot stand, whose behavior I find highly offensive: poor people who are arrogant, rich people who lie, and foolish old men who commit adultery.
3 Unless you learn what you can while you are young, you will never be wise when you reach old age.4 Sound judgment, good advice, and gray hair go together beautifully.5 Wisdom, understanding, and sound counsel are appropriate to the aged and the respected.6 Elderly people wear the crown of long experience, and they can boast of nothing finer than their fear of the Lord.
7 I will tell you about ten kinds of people that I feel fortunate to know, especially fortunate in the case of the tenth: someone who takes pride in his children, someone who lives to see his enemies fall, 8 a man fortunate enough to have an understanding wife, a married couple who are well-matched,[b] a person who never speaks sinfully, a person who doesn't have to work for someone less competent than himself, 9 someone fortunate enough to have a real friend,[c] a person that people are happy to listen to, 10 and the really great one: someone who is wise. But the greatest one of all is the person who fears the Lord.
11 Such a person has no equal, because the fear of the Lord is the most important thing in the world.[d]
Advice about Women
13 No wound is as serious as wounded love. No troubles are as serious as the troubles that women cause.14 No sufferings are worse than the sufferings caused by people who hate you. No revenge is worse than revenge taken by an enemy.15 No poison is deadlier than the poison of a snake, and no anger is deadlier than the anger of a woman.[e]
16 I would rather live in the same house with a lion or a dragon than with a bad wife.17 When a wife is in a bad mood, her expression changes until she looks like an angry bear.18 Her husband has to go and eat with the neighbors, where he can't hold back his bitter sighs.
19 Compared with the troubles caused by a woman, any other trouble looks small. May such women suffer the fate of sinners!
20 A quiet man living with a nagging wife is like an old man climbing up a sandy hill.
21 Never lose your head over a woman's beauty, and don't try to win a woman because she is wealthy.[f]22 When a man is supported by his wife, there is sure to be anger, arrogance, and humiliation.23 A bad wife will make her husband gloomy and depressed, and break his heart. Show me a timid man who can never make up his mind, and I will show you a wife who doesn't make her husband happy.24 Sin began with a woman, and we must all die because of her.25 Don't let a bad wife have her way, any more than you would allow water to leak from your cistern.26 If she won't do as you tell her, divorce her.
Sirach 25:1Some ancient translations There are...alike; Greek I was made beautiful in three ways and I stood before the Lord and people in beauty.
Sirach 25:8Hebrew and one ancient translation a married couple...well-matched; Greek does not have these words.
Sirach 25:9Some ancient translations real friend; Greek good sense.
Sirach 25:11Some manuscripts add verse 12: Fearing the Lord is the first step toward loving him, and faith is the first step toward loyalty to him.
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