25 In three things it is pleased to my spirit, which be approved before God and men; (the) according [or the accord] of brethren, and (the) love of neighbours, [and] a man and woman well consenting to themselves.
2 My soul hated three species, (or kinds), and I am grieved greatly to (or by) the soul of them; a poor man proud, and a rich man (that is a) liar, and an eld man (that is) a fool and unwitty (or unwise). [Three species hated my soul, and I am grieved greatly to (or by) the soul of them; a poor man proud, and a rich man a liar, and an old man a fool and doted.]
3 How shalt thou find in thine eld (age) those things, which thou gathered not in thy youth? [What things in thy youth thou hast not gathered, how shalt thou find (them) in thine eld (age).]
4 Doom of discretion is full fair in hoariness, either (an) eld man, and to priests to know counsel. [How fair the doom in hoariness, and to priests to know counsel.]
5 Wisdom is full fair to eld men, and glorious understanding, and counsel. [How fair to old men wisdom, and glorious understanding, and counsel.]
6 The crown of eld men is in much cunning (or knowing); and the glory of them is the dread of God. [The crown of old men much wisdom; and the glory of them dread of God.]
7 I magnified nine things unsuspect(ed) of the heart; and I shall say the tenth thing by tongue to men. A man which living is merry in sons, and seeing the destroying of his enemies. [Nine unover-trowable things of the heart I magnified; and the tenth I shall tell in tongue to men. A man that is joyed in sons living, and seeing the turning upside-down of his enemies.]
8 He is blessed that dwelleth with a witty (or with a wise) woman, and he that fell not by his tongue, and he that served not to men unworthy to himself. [Blessful or Blissful that dwelleth with a woman well feeling, or well perceiving, and that in his tongue is not slidden, and that served not to the unworthy (to) himself.]
9 He is blessed that findeth a very (or a true) friend, and he that telleth out rightfulness to an ear hearing. [Blessful or Blissful that findeth a very friend, and that telleth out rightwiseness to the hearing ear.]
10 He is full great that findeth wisdom and cunning (or knowing); but he is not above him that dreadeth God[a]. [How great that findeth wisdom and cunning; but not over the (one) dreading God.]
11 The dread of God hath set itself above all things. Blessed is the man to whom it is given to have the dread of God; to whom shall he be likened, that holdeth that dread? [The dread of God over all things himself set above. Blessful the man to whom it is given to have the dread of God; who holdeth it, to whom shall he be likened?]
12 The dread of God is the beginning of his love; forsooth the beginning of faith is to be fast-joined thereto. [The dread of God the beginning of his love; the beginning forsooth of faith is to be joined to him.]
13 The sorrow of (the) heart is each wound; and the wickedness of a woman is all malice[b]. A leech (or A physician) shall see each wound, and (or but) not the wound of (the) heart; and all wickedness, and (or but) not the wickedness of a woman; [All vengeance is the dreary sloth of heart; and each malice the wickedness of a woman. And each wound, and not wound she shall see of heart; and all shrewdness (or depravity), and not shrewdness of a woman;]
14 and each covering, that is, (the) colouring of malice, and not the covering of haters; and each vengeance, and not the vengeance of enemies. [and all hid thing, and not (the) hid thing of hating men; and all vengeance, and not (the) vengeance of enemies.]
15 None head is worse than the head of an adder dwelling in (a) shadow; and none ire is above the ire of a woman. [There is not an head wickeder over the head of a shadow adder; and there is not wrath over the wrath of a woman.]
16 It shall please more to dwell with a lion and a dragon, than to dwell with a wicked woman.
17 The wickedness of a woman changeth her face; and she blinded her cheer (or her face) as a bear doeth, and she shall show as a sack(cloth) in the midst of (her) neighbours.
18 Her husband wailed; and his wicked wife heard, and sighed a little. [The husband of her greatly wailed; and hearing (her), sighed a little.]
19 All malice is short on (or is little compared to) the malice of a woman; the part of sinners, that is, the pain of hell, fall on her. [Short all malice over the malice of a woman; the lot of sins fall upon her.]
20 As a going-up (or an ascent) full of gravel in (or to) the feet of an eld man, so is a woman (that is) a great jangler to a peaceable man. [As a gravelly going up in (or to) the feet of an old man, so a tonguey woman to a quiet man.]
21 Behold thou not the fairness of a woman, and covet thou not a woman for (her) fairness.
22 The ire and unreverence of a woman to her husband is a great shame (or reproof). If a woman hath the first dignity, either chief governail, she is contrary to her husband. [The wrath of a woman and the mis-reverence, great shame. A woman if she have mastery, she is contrary to her husband.]
23 A low heart, and (a) sorrowful face, and (a) wound of death, is (from) a wicked woman. Feeble hands and knees unbound, (resulteth from) a woman that blesseth not her husband. [A low heart, and a dreary face, and a wound of death, a shrewd (or depraved) woman. Feeble hands and unloos(en)ed knees, a woman that maketh not blissful or blessful her husband.]
24 The beginning of sin was made of (or by) a woman; and all we die by her. [Of a woman is made the beginning of sin; and by her all we die.]
25 Give thou not issue to thy water, yea, not a little issue; neither to a wicked woman freedom of going forth. [Give thou not to thy water issue, not a little; nor to a shrewd (or a depraved) woman forgiveness, or leave, or freedom, of going out.]
26 If she goeth not at thine hand, she shall shame thee in the sight of (thine) enemies. Cut her away from thy fleshes, lest (for)ever(more) she mis-use thee. [If she go not to thine hand, she shall confound thee in the sight of enemies. From thy flesh cut her away, lest evermore she mis-use thee.]
- Sirach 25:10 The dread of God is the more (or the most) good, and passeth all (other) goods beforesaid.
- Sirach 25:13 That is, as the sorrow of heart passeth each wound of (the) body, so the malice of a woman passeth all the malice of a man. (This verse, and those which follow to the end of this chapter, are only found in some early copies of this book, and are more reflective of that author’s bitter personal experience, than of divine inspiration. T.P.N.)