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Sirach 25 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Those Who Are Worthy of Praise

25 I take pleasure in three things,
    and they are beautiful in the sight of God and of mortals:[a]
agreement among brothers and sisters, friendship among neighbors,
    and a wife and a husband who live in harmony.
I hate three kinds of people,
    and I loathe their manner of life:
a pauper who boasts, a rich person who lies,
    and an old fool who commits adultery.

If you gathered nothing in your youth,
    how can you find anything in your old age?
How attractive is sound judgment in the gray-haired,
    and for the aged to possess good counsel!
How attractive is wisdom in the aged,
    and understanding and counsel in the venerable!
Rich experience is the crown of the aged,
    and their boast is the fear of the Lord.

I can think of nine whom I would call blessed,
    and a tenth my tongue proclaims:
a man who can rejoice in his children;
    a man who lives to see the downfall of his foes.
Happy the man who lives with a sensible wife,
    and the one who does not plow with ox and ass together.[b]
Happy is the one who does not sin with the tongue,
    and the one who has not served an inferior.
Happy is the one who finds a friend,[c]
    and the one who speaks to attentive listeners.
10 How great is the one who finds wisdom!
    But none is superior to the one who fears the Lord.
11 Fear of the Lord surpasses everything;
    to whom can we compare the one who has it?[d]

Some Extreme Forms of Evil

13 Any wound, but not a wound of the heart!
    Any wickedness, but not the wickedness of a woman!
14 Any suffering, but not suffering from those who hate!
    And any vengeance, but not the vengeance of enemies!
15 There is no venom[e] worse than a snake’s venom,[f]
    and no anger worse than a woman’s[g] wrath.

The Evil of a Wicked Woman

16 I would rather live with a lion and a dragon
    than live with an evil woman.
17 A woman’s wickedness changes her appearance,
    and darkens her face like that of a bear.
18 Her husband sits[h] among the neighbors,
    and he cannot help sighing[i] bitterly.
19 Any iniquity is small compared to a woman’s iniquity;
    may a sinner’s lot befall her!
20 A sandy ascent for the feet of the aged—
    such is a garrulous wife to a quiet husband.
21 Do not be ensnared by a woman’s beauty,
    and do not desire a woman for her possessions.[j]
22 There is wrath and impudence and great disgrace
    when a wife supports her husband.
23 Dejected mind, gloomy face,
    and wounded heart come from an evil wife.
Drooping hands and weak knees
    come from the wife who does not make her husband happy.
24 From a woman sin had its beginning,
    and because of her we all die.
25 Allow no outlet to water,
    and no boldness of speech to an evil wife.
26 If she does not go as you direct,
    separate her from yourself.


  1. Sirach 25:1 Syr Lat: Gk In three things I was beautiful and I stood in beauty before the Lord and mortals.
  2. Sirach 25:8 Heb Syr: Gk lacks and the one who does not plow with ox and ass together
  3. Sirach 25:9 Lat Syr: Gk good sense
  4. Sirach 25:11 Other ancient authorities add as verse 12, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of love for him, and faith is the beginning of clinging to him.
  5. Sirach 25:15 Syr: Gk head
  6. Sirach 25:15 Syr: Gk head
  7. Sirach 25:15 Other ancient authorities read an enemy’s
  8. Sirach 25:18 Heb Syr: Gk loses heart
  9. Sirach 25:18 Other ancient authorities read and listening he sighs
  10. Sirach 25:21 Heb Syr: Other Gk authorities read for her beauty
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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