Sirach 26Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Joy of a Good Wife
26 Happy is the husband of a good wife;
the number of his days will be doubled.
2 A loyal wife rejoices her husband,
and he will complete his years in peace.
3 A good wife is a great blessing;
she will be granted among the blessings of the man who fears the Lord.
4 Whether rich or poor, his heart is glad,
and at all times his face is cheerful.
The Worst of Evils: A Wicked Wife
5 Of three things my heart is afraid,
and of a fourth I am frightened:
The slander of a city, the gathering of a mob,
and false accusation—all these are worse than death.
6 There is grief of heart and sorrow when a wife is envious of a rival,
and a tongue-lashing makes it known to all.
7 An evil wife is an ox yoke which chafes;
taking hold of her is like grasping a scorpion.
8 There is great anger when a wife is drunken;
she will not hide her shame.
9 A wife’s harlotry shows in her lustful eyes,
and she is known by her eyelids.
10 Keep strict watch over a headstrong daughter,
lest, when she finds liberty, she use it to her hurt.
11 Be on guard against her impudent eye,
and do not wonder if she sins against you.
12 As a thirsty wayfarer opens his mouth
and drinks from any water near him,
so will she sit in front of every post
and open her quiver to the arrow.
The Blessing of a Good Wife
13 A wife’s charm delights her husband,
and her skill puts fat on his bones.
14 A silent wife is a gift of the Lord,
and there is nothing so precious as a disciplined soul.
15 A modest wife adds charm to charm,
and no balance can weigh the value of a chaste soul.
16 Like the sun rising in the heights of the Lord,
so is the beauty of a good wife in her well-ordered home.
17 Like the shining lamp on the holy lampstand,
so is a beautiful face on a stately figure.
18 Like pillars of gold on a base of silver,
so are beautiful feet with a steadfast heart.
Three Depressing Things
28 At two things my heart is grieved,
and because of a third anger comes over me:
a warrior in want through poverty,
and intelligent men who are treated contemptuously;
a man who turns back from righteousness to sin—
the Lord will prepare him for the sword!
The Temptations of Commerce
29 A merchant can hardly keep from wrongdoing,
and a tradesman will not be declared innocent of sin.
Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 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.