Sirac (NAB) 14
14 1 Happy the man whose mouth brings him no grief, who is not stung by remorse for sin.
2 Happy the man whose conscience does not reproach him, who has not lost hope.
3 Wealth ill becomes the mean man; and to the miser, of what use is gold?
4 What he denies himself he collects for others, and in his possessions a stranger will revel.
5 To whom will he be generous who is stingy with himself and does not enjoy what is his own?
6 None is more stingy than he who is stingy with himself; he punishes his own miserliness.
7 If ever he is generous, it is by mistake; and in the end he displays his greed.
8 In the miser's opinion his share is too small;
9 he refuses his neighbor and brings ruin on himself.
10 The miser's eye is rapacious for bread, but on his own table he sets it stale.
11 My son, use freely whatever you have and enjoy it as best you can;
12 Remember that death does not tarry, nor have you been told the grave's appointed time.
13 Before you die, be good to your friend, and give him a share in what you possess.
14 Deprive not yourself of present good things, let no choice portion escape you.
15 Will you not leave your riches to others, and your earnings to be divided by lot?
16 Give, take, and treat yourself well, for in the nether world there are no joys to seek.
17 All flesh grows old, like a garment; the age-old law is: All must die.
18 As with the leaves that grow on a vigorous tree: one falls off and another sprouts-- So with the generations of flesh and blood: one dies and another is born.
19 All man's works will perish in decay, and his handiwork will follow after him.
20 Happy the man who meditates on wisdom, and reflects on knowledge;
21 Who ponders her ways in his heart, and understands her paths;
22 Who pursues her like a scout, and lies in wait at her entry way;
23 Who peeps through her windows, and listens at her doors;
24 Who encamps near her house, and fastens his tent pegs next to her walls;
25 Who pitches his tent beside her, and lives as her welcome neighbor;
26 Who builds his nest in her leafage, and lodges in her branches;
27 Who takes shelter with her from the heat, and dwells in her home.
15 1 He who fears the LORD will do this; he who is practiced in the law will come to wisdom.
2 Motherlike she will meet him, like a young bride she will embrace him,
3 Nourish him with the bread of understanding, and give him the water of learning to drink.
4 He will lean upon her and not fall, he will trust in her and not be put to shame.
5 She will exalt him above his fellows; in the assembly she will make him eloquent.
6 Joy and gladness he will find, an everlasting name inherit.
7 Worthless men will not attain to her, haughty men will not behold her.
8 Far from the impious is she, not to be spoken of by liars.
9 Unseemly is praise on a sinner's lips, for it is not accorded to him by God.
10 But praise is offered by the wise man's tongue; its rightful steward will proclaim it.
11 Say not: "It was God's doing that I fell away"; for what he hates he does not do.
12 Say not: "It was he who set me astray"; for he has no need of wicked man.
13 Abominable wickedness the LORD hates, he does not let it befall those who fear him.
14 When God, in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice.
15 If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will.
16 There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.
17 Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him.
18 Immense is the wisdom of the LORD; he is mighty in power, and all-seeing.
19 The eyes of God see all he has made; he understands man's every deed.
20 No man does he command to sin, to none does he give strength for lies.
16 1 Desire not a brood of worthless children, nor rejoice in wicked offspring.
2 Many though they be, exult not in them if they have not the fear of the LORD.
3 Count not on their length of life, have no hope in their future. For one can be better than a thousand; rather die childless than have godless children!
4 Through one wise man can a city be peopled; through a clan of rebels it becomes desolate.
5 Many such things has my eye seen, even more than these has my ear heard.
6 Against a sinful band fire is enkindled, upon a godless people wrath flames out.
7 He forgave not the leaders of old who rebelled long ago in their might;
8 He spared not the neighbors of Lot whom he detested for their pride;
9 Nor did he spare the doomed people who were uprooted because of their sin;
10 Nor the six hundred thousand foot soldiers who perished for the impiety of their hearts.
11 And had there been but one stiffnecked man, it were a wonder had he gone unpunished. For mercy and anger alike are with him who remits and forgives, though on the wicked alights his wrath.
12 Great as his mercy is his punishment; he judges men, each according to his deeds.
13 A criminal does not escape with his plunder; a just man's hope God does not leave unfulfilled.
14 Whoever does good has his reward, which each receives according to his deeds.15 Say not: "I am hidden from God; in heaven who remembers me? Among so many people I cannot be known; what am I in the world of spirits?16 Behold, the heavens, the heaven of heavens, the earth and the abyss tremble at his visitation;
17 The roots of the mountains, the earth's foundations, at his mere glance, quiver and quake.
18 Of me, therefore, he will take no thought; with my ways who will concern himself?
19 If I sin, no eye will see me; if all in secret I am disloyal, who is to know?
20 Who tells him of just deeds and what could I expect for doing my duty?"
21 Such are the thoughts of senseless men, which only the foolish knave will think.
22 Hearken to me, my son, take my advice, apply your mind to my words,
23 While I propose measured wisdom, and impart accurate knowledge.
24 When at the first God created his works and, as he made them, assigned their tasks,
25 He ordered for all time what they were to do and their domains from generation to generation. They were not to hunger, nor grow weary, nor ever cease from their tasks.
26 Not one should ever crowd its neighbor, nor should they ever disobey his word.
27 Then the LORD looked upon the earth, and filled it with his blessings.
28 Its surface he covered with all manner of life which must return into it again.
17 1 The LORD from the earth created man, and in his own image he made him.
2 Limited days of life he gives him and makes him return to earth again.
3 He endows man with a strength of his own, and with power over all things else on earth.
4 He puts the fear of him in all flesh, and gives him rule over beasts and birds.5 He forms men's tongues and eyes and ears, and imparts to them an understanding heart.
6 With wisdom and knowledge he fills them; good and evil he shows them.
7 He looks with favor upon their hearts, and shows them his glorious works,
8 That they may describe the wonders of his deeds and praise his holy name.9 He has set before them knowledge, a law of life as their inheritance;
10 An everlasting covenant he has made with them, his commandments he has revealed to them.
11 His majestic glory their eyes beheld, his glorious voice their ears heard.
12 He says to them, "Avoid all evil"; each of them he gives precepts about his fellow men.
13 Their ways are ever known to him, they cannot be hidden from his eyes.
14 Over every nation he places a ruler, but the LORD'S own portion is Israel.
15 All their actions are clear as the sun to him, his eyes are ever upon their ways.16 Their wickedness cannot be hidden from him; all of their sins are before the LORD.
17 A man's goodness God cherishes like a signet ring, a man's virtue, like the apple of his eye.18 Later he will rise up and repay them, and requite each one of them as they deserve.
19 But to the penitent he provides a way back, he encourages those who are losing hope!
20 Return to the LORD and give up sin, pray to him and make your offenses few.21 Turn again to the Most High and away from sin, hate intensely what he loathes;
22 Who in the nether world can glorify the Most High in place of the living who offer their praise?
23 No more can the dead give praise than those who have never lived; they glorify the LORD who are alive and well.
24 How great the mercy of the LORD, his forgiveness of those who return to him!
25 The like cannot be found in men, for not immortal is any son of man.
26 Is anything brighter than the sun? Yet it can be eclipsed. How obscure then the thoughts of flesh and blood!
27 God watches over the hosts of highest heaven, while all men are dust and ashes.
18 1 The Eternal is the judge of all things without exception; the LORD alone is just.
2 Whom has he made equal to describing his works, and who can probe his mighty deeds?3 Who can measure his majestic power, or exhaust the tale of his mercies?
4 One cannot lessen, nor increase, nor penetrate the wonders of the LORD.
5 When a man ends he is only beginning, and when he stops he is still bewildered.
6 What is man, of what worth is he? the good, the evil in him, what are these?
7 The sum of a man's days is great if it reaches a hundred years:
8 Like a drop of sea water, like a grain of sand, so are these few years among the days of eternity.
9 That is why the LORD is patient with men and showers upon them his mercy.
10 He sees and understands that their death is grievous, and so he forgives them all the more.
11 Man may be merciful to his fellow man, but the LORD'S mercy reaches all flesh,
12 Reproving, admonishing, teaching, as a shepherd guides his flock;
13 Merciful to those who accept his guidance, who are diligent in his precepts.
14 My son, to your charity add no reproach, nor spoil any gift by harsh words.
15 Like dew that abates a burning wind, so does a word improve a gift.
16 Sometimes the word means more than the gift; both are offered by a kindly man.
17 Only a fool upbraids before giving; a grudging gift wears out the expectant eyes.
18 Be informed before speaking; before sickness prepare the cure.
19 Before you are judged, seek merit for yourself, and at the time of visitation you will have a ransom.
20 Before you have fallen, humble yourself; when you have sinned, show repentance.
21 Delay not to forsake sins, neglect it not till you are in distress.
22 Let nothing prevent the prompt payment of your vows; wait not to fulfill them when you are dying.
23 Before making a vow have the means to fulfill it; be not one who tries the LORD.
24 Think of wrath and the day of death, the time of vengeance when he will hide his face.
25 Remember the time of hunger in the time of plenty, poverty and want in the day of wealth.
26 Between morning and evening the weather changes; before the LORD all things are fleeting.
27 A wise man is circumspect in all things; when sin is rife he keeps himself from wrongdoing.
28 Any learned man should make wisdom known, and he who attains to her should declare her praise;
29 Those trained in her words must show their wisdom, dispensing sound proverbs like life-giving waters.
30 Go not after your lusts, but keep your desires in check.
31 If you satisfy your lustful appetites they will make you the sport of your enemies.
32 Have no joy in the pleasures of a moment which bring on poverty redoubled;
33 Become not a glutton and a winebibber with nothing in your purse.
19 1 He who does so grows no richer; he who wastes the little he has will be stripped bare.
2 Wine and women make the mind giddy, and the companion of harlots becomes reckless.
3 Rottenness and worms will possess him, for contumacious desire destroys its owner.
4 He who lightly trusts in them has no sense, and he who strays after them sins against his own life.
5 He who gloats over evil will meet with evil, and he who repeats an evil report has no sense.
6 Never repeat gossip, and you will not be reviled.
7 Tell nothing to friend or foe; if you have a fault, reveal it not,
8 For he who hears it will hold it against you, and in time become your enemy.
9 Let anything you hear die within you; be assured it will not make you burst.
10 When a fool hears something, he is in labor, like a woman giving birth to a child.
11 Like an arrow lodged in a man's thigh is gossip in the breast of a fool.
12 Admonish your friend-- he may not have done it; and if he did, that he may not do it again.
13 Admonish your neighbor-- he may not have said it; and if he did, that he may not say it again.
14 Admonish your friend-- often it may be slander; every story you must not believe.
15 Then, too, a man can slip and not mean it; who has not sinned with his tongue?
16 Admonish your neighbor before you break with him; thus will you fulfill the law of the Most High.
17 All wisdom is fear of the LORD; perfect wisdom is the fulfillment of the law. 18 The knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom, nor is there prudence in the counsel of sinners.19 There is a shrewdness that is detestable, while the simple man may be free from sin.
20 There are those with little understanding who fear God, and those of great intelligence who violate the law.21 There is a shrewdness keen but dishonest, which by duplicity wins a judgment.
22 There is the wicked man who is bowed in grief, but is full of guile within;
23 He bows his head and feigns not to hear, but when not observed, he will take advantage of you:
24 Even though his lack of strength keeps him from sinning, when he finds the opportunity, he will do harm.
25 One can tell a man by his appearance; a wise man is known as such when first met.
26 A man's attire, his hearty laughter and his gait, proclaim him for what he is.
20 1 An admonition can be inopportune, and a man may be wise to hold his peace.
2 It is much better to admonish than to lose one's temper, for one who admits his fault will be kept from disgrace.
3 Like a eunuch lusting for intimacy with a maiden is he who does right under compulsion.
4 One man is silent and is thought wise, another is talkative and is disliked.
5 One man is silent because he has nothing to say; another is silent, biding his time.
6 A wise man is silent till the right time comes, but a boasting fool ignores the proper time.
7 He who talks too much is detested; he who pretends to authority is hated.
8 Some misfortunes bring success; some things gained are a man's loss.
9 Some gifts do one no good, and some must be paid back double.
10 Humiliation can follow fame, while from obscurity a man can lift up his head.
11 A man may buy much for little, but pay for it seven times over.
12 A wise man makes himself popular by a few words, but fools pour forth their blandishments in vain.
13 A gift from a rogue will do you no good, for in his eyes his one gift is equal to seven.
14 He gives little and criticizes often, and like a crier he shouts aloud. He lends today, he asks it back tomorrow; hateful indeed is such a man.
15 A fool has no friends, nor thanks for his generosity;
16 Those who eat his bread have an evil tongue. How many times they laugh him to scorn!
17 A fall to the ground is less sudden than a slip of the tongue; that is why the downfall of the wicked comes so quickly.
18 Insipid food is the untimely tale; the unruly are always ready to offer it.
19 A proverb when spoken by a fool is unwelcome, for he does not utter it at the proper time.
20 A man through want may be unable to sin, yet in this tranquility he cannot rest.
21 One may lose his life through shame, and perish through a fool's intimidation.
22 A man makes a promise to a friend out of shame, and has him for his enemy needlessly.
23 A lie is a foul blot in a man, yet it is constantly on the lips of the unruly.
24 Better a thief than an inveterate liar, yet both will suffer disgrace;
25 A liar's way leads to dishonor, his shame remains ever with him.
26 A wise man advances himself by his words, a prudent man pleases the great.
27 He who works his land has abundant crops, he who pleases the great is pardoned his faults.
28 Favors and gifts blind the eyes; like a muzzle over the mouth they silence reproof.
29 Hidden wisdom and unseen treasure-- of what value is either?
30 Better the man who hides his folly than the one who hides his wisdom.
21 1 My son, if you have sinned, do so no more, and for your past sins pray to be forgiven.
2 Flee from sin as from a serpent. that will bite you if you go near it; Its teeth are lion's teeth, destroying the souls of men.
3 Every offense is a two-edged sword; when it cuts, there can be no healing.
4 Violence and arrogance wipe out wealth; so too a proud man's home is destroyed.
5 Prayer from a poor man's lips is heard at once, and justice is quickly granted him.
6 He who hates correction walks the sinner's path, but he who fears the LORD repents in his heart.
7 Widely known is the boastful speaker but the wise man knows his own faults.
8 He who builds his house with another's money is collecting stones for his funeral mound.
9 A band of criminals is like a bundle of tow; they will end in a flaming fire.
10 The path of sinners is smooth stones that end in the depths of the nether world.
11 He who keeps the law controls his impulses; he who is perfect in fear of the LORD has wisdom.
12 He can never be taught who is not shrewd, but one form of shrewdness is thoroughly bitter.
13 A wise man's knowledge wells up in a flood, and his counsel, like a living spring;
14 A fool's mind is like a broken jar-- no knowledge at all can it hold.
15 When an intelligent man hears words of wisdom, he approves them and adds to them; The wanton hears them with scorn and casts them behind his back.
16 A fool's chatter is like a load on a journey, but there is charm to be found upon the lips of the wise.
17 The views of a prudent man are sought in an assembly, and his words are considered with care.
18 Like a house in ruins is wisdom to a fool; the stupid man knows it only as inscrutable words.
19 Like fetters on the legs is learning to a fool, like a manacle on his right hand.
20 A fool raises his voice in laughter, but the prudent man at the most smiles gently.
21 Like a chain of gold is learning to a wise man, like a bracelet on his right arm.
22 The fool steps boldly into a house, while the well-bred man remains outside;
23 A boor peeps through the doorway of a house, but a cultured man keeps his glance cast down.
24 It is rude for one to listen at a door; a cultured man would be overwhelmed by the disgrace of it.
25 The lips of the impious talk of what is not their concern, but the words of the prudent are carefully weighed.
26 Fools' thoughts are in their mouths, wise men's words are in their hearts.
27 When a godless man curses his adversary he really curses himself.
28 A slanderer besmirches himself, and is hated by his neighbors.
22 1 The sluggard is like a stone in the mud; everyone hisses at his disgrace.
2 The sluggard is like a lump of dung; whoever touches him wipes his hands.
3 An unruly child is a disgrace to its father; if it be a daughter she brings him to poverty.
4 A thoughtful daughter becomes a treasure to her husband, a shameless one is her father's grief.
5 A hussy shames her father and her husband; by both she is despised.
6 Like a song in time of mourning is inopportune talk, but lashes and discipline are at all times wisdom. 7 Teaching a fool is like gluing a broken pot, or like disturbing a man in the depths of sleep;8 He talks with a slumberer who talks with a fool, for when it is over, he will say, "What was that?"
9 Weep over the dead man, for his light has gone out; weep over the fool, for sense has left him.
10 Weep but a little over the dead man, for he is at rest; but worse than death is the life of a fool.
11 Seven days of mourning for the dead, but for the wicked fool a whole lifetime.
12 Speak but seldom with the stupid man, be not the companion of a brute;
13 Beware of him lest you have trouble and be spattered when he shakes himself; Turn away from him and you will find rest and not be wearied by his lack of sense.
14 What is heavier than lead, and what is its name but "Fool"?
15 Sand and salt and an iron mass are easier to bear than a stupid man.
16 Masonry bonded with wooden beams is not loosened by an earthquake; Neither is a resolve constructed with careful deliberation shaken in a moment of fear.
17 A resolve that is backed by prudent understanding is like the polished surface of a smooth wall.
18 Small stones lying on an open height will not remain when the wind blows; Neither can a timid resolve based on foolish plans withstand fear of any kind.
19 One who jabs the eye brings tears: he who pierces the heart bares its feelings.
20 He who throws stones at birds drives them away, and he who insults a friend breaks up the friendship.
21 Should you draw a sword against a friend, despair not, it can be undone.
22 Should you speak sharply to a friend, fear not, you can be reconciled. But a contemptuous insult, a confidence broken, or a treacherous attack will drive away any friend.
23 Make fast friends with a man while he is poor; thus will you enjoy his prosperity with him. In time of trouble remain true to him, so as to share in his inheritance when it comes.
24 Before flames burst forth an oven smokes; so does abuse come before bloodshed.
25 From a friend in need of support no one need hide in shame;
26 But from him who brings harm to his friend all will stand aloof who hear of it.
27 Who will set a guard over my mouth, and upon my lips an effective seal, That I may not fail through them, that my tongue may not destroy me?
23 1 LORD, Father and Master of my life, permit me not to fall by them!
2 Who will apply the lash to my thoughts, to my mind the rod of discipline, That my failings may not be spared, nor the sins of my heart overlooked;
3 Lest my failings increase, and my sins be multiplied; Lest I succumb to my foes, and my enemy rejoice over me?
4 LORD, Father and God of my life, abandon me not into their control!
5 A brazen look allow me not; ward off passion from my heart,
6 Let not the lustful cravings of the flesh master me, surrender me not to shameless desires.
7 Give heed, my children, to the instruction that I pronounce, for he who keeps it will not be enslaved.
8 Through his lips is the sinner ensnared; the railer and the arrogant man fall thereby.
9 Let not your mouth form the habit of swearing, or becoming too familiar with the Holy Name.
10 Just as a slave that is constantly under scrutiny will not be without welts, So one who swears continually by the Holy Name will not remain free from sin.
11 A man who often swears heaps up obligations; the scourge will never be far from his house. If he swears in error, he incurs guilt; if he neglects his obligation, his sin is doubly great. If he swears without reason he cannot be found just, and all his house will suffer affliction.
12 There are words which merit death; may they never be heard among Jacob's heirs. For all such words are foreign to the devout, who do not wallow in sin.
13 Let not your mouth become used to coarse talk, for in it lies sinful matter.
14 Keep your father and mother in mind when you sit among the mighty, Lest in their presence you commit a blunder and disgrace your upbringing, By wishing you had never been born or cursing the day of your birth.
15 A man who has the habit of abusive language will never mature in character as long as he lives.
16 Two types of men multiply sins, a third draws down wrath; For burning passion is a blazing fire, not to be quenched till it burns itself out: A man given to sins of the flesh, who never stops until the fire breaks forth;
17 The rake to whom all bread is sweet and who is never through till he dies;
18 And the man who dishonors his marriage bed and says to himself "Who can see me? Darkness surrounds me, walls hide me; no one sees me; why should I fear to sin?" Of the Most High he is not mindful,
19 fearing only the eyes of men; He does not understand that the eyes of the LORD, ten thousand times brighter than the sun, Observe every step a man takes and peer into hidden corners.
20 He who knows all things before they exist still knows them all after they are made.
21 Such a man will be punished in the streets of the city; when he least expects it, he will be apprehended.
22 So also with the woman who is unfaithful to her husband and offers as heir her son by a stranger.
23 First, she has disobeyed the law of the Most High; secondly, she has wronged her husband; Thirdly, in her wanton adultery she has borne children by another man.
24 Such a woman will be dragged before the assembly, and her punishment will extend to her children;
25 Her children will not take root; her branches will not bring forth fruit.
26 She will leave an accursed memory; her disgrace will never be blotted out.
27 Thus all who dwell on the earth shall know, and all who inhabit the world shall understand, That nothing is better than the fear of the LORD, nothing more salutary than to obey his commandments.
24 1 Wisdom sings her own praises, before her own people she proclaims her glory;
2 In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, in the presence of his hosts she declares her worth:
3 "From the mouth of the Most High I came forth, and mistlike covered the earth.
4 In the highest heavens did I dwell, my throne on a pillar of cloud.
5 The vault of heaven I compassed alone, through the deep abyss I wandered.
6 Over waves of the sea, over all the land, over every people and nation I held sway.
7 Among all these I sought a resting place; in whose inheritance should I abide?
8 "Then the Creator of all gave me his command, and he who formed me chose the spot for my tent, Saying, 'In Jacob make your dwelling, in Israel your inheritance.'
9 Before all ages, in the beginning, he created me, and through all ages I shall not cease to be.
10 In the holy tent I ministered before him, and in Zion I fixed my abode.
11 Thus in the chosen city he has given me rest, in Jerusalem is my domain.
12 I have struck root among the glorious people, in the portion of the LORD, his heritage.
13 "Like a cedar on Lebanon I am raised aloft, like a cypress on Mount Hermon,
14 Like a palm tree in En-gedi, like a rosebush in Jericho, Like a fair olive tree in the field, like a plane tree growing beside the water.
15 Like cinnamon, or fragrant balm, or precious myrrh, I give forth perfume; Like galbanum and onycha and sweet spices, like the odor of incense in the holy place.
16 I spread out my branches like a terebinth, my branches so bright and so graceful.
17 I bud forth delights like the vine, my blossoms become fruit fair and rich.18 Come to me, all you that yearn for me, and be filled with my fruits;
19 You will remember me as sweeter than honey, better to have than the honeycomb.
20 He who eats of me will hunger still, he who drinks of me will thirst for more;
21 He who obeys me will not be put to shame, he who serves me will never fail."
22 All this is true of the book of the Most High's covenant, the law which Moses commanded us as an inheritance for the community of Jacob.
23 It overflows, like the Pishon, with wisdom-- like the Tigris in the days of the new fruits.24 It runs over, like the Euphrates, with understanding, like the Jordan at harvest time.
25 It sparkles like the Nile with knowledge, like the Gihon at vintage time.
26 The first man never finished comprehending wisdom, nor will the last succeed in fathoming her.
27 For deeper than the sea are her thoughts; her counsels, than the great abyss.
28 Now I, like a rivulet from her stream, channeling the waters into a garden,
29 Said to myself, "I will water my plants, my flower bed I will drench"; And suddenly this rivulet of mine became a river, then this stream of mine, a sea.
30 Thus do I send my teachings forth shining like the dawn, to become known afar off.
31 Thus do I pour out instruction like prophecy and bestow it on generations to come.
25 1 With three things I am delighted, for they are pleasing to the LORD and to men: Harmony among brethren, friendship among neighbors, and the mutual love of husband and wife.
2 Three kinds of men I hate; their manner of life I loathe indeed: A proud pauper, a rich dissembler, and an old man lecherous in his dotage.
3 What you have not saved in your youth, how will you acquire in your old age?
4 How becoming to the gray-haired is judgment, and a knowledge of counsel to those on in years!
5 How becoming to the aged is wisdom, understanding and prudence to the venerable!
6 The crown of old men is wide experience; their glory, the fear of the LORD.
7 There are nine who come to my mind as blessed, a tenth whom my tongue proclaims: The man who finds joy in his children, and he who lives to see his enemies' downfall.
8 Happy is he who dwells with a sensible wife, and he who plows not like a donkey yoked with an ox. Happy is he who sins not with his tongue, and he who serves not his inferior.
9 Happy is he who finds a friend and he who speaks to attentive ears.
10 He who finds wisdom is great indeed, but not greater than he who fears the LORD.
11 Fear of the LORD surpasses all else. its possessor is beyond compare.12 Worst of all wounds is that of the heart, worst of all evils is that of a woman.
13 Worst of all sufferings is that from one's foes, worst of all vengeance is that of one's enemies:
14 No poison worse than that of a serpent, no venom greater than that of a woman.
15 With a dragon or a lion I would rather dwell than live with an evil woman.
16 Wickedness changes a woman's looks, and makes her sullen as a female bear.
17 When her husband sits among his neighbors, a bitter sigh escapes him unawares.
18 There is scarce any evil like that in a woman; may she fall to the lot of the sinner!
19 Like a sandy hill to aged feet is a railing wife to a quiet man.
20 Stumble not through woman's beauty, nor be greedy for her wealth;
21 The man is a slave, in disgrace and shame, when a wife supports her husband.
22 Depressed mind, saddened face, broken heart-- this from an evil wife. Feeble hands and quaking knees-- from a wife who brings no happiness to her husband.
23 In woman was sin's beginning, and because of her we all die.
24 Allow water no outlet, and be not indulgent to an erring wife.
25 If she walks not by your side, cut her away from you.
26 1 Happy the husband of a good wife, twice-lengthened are his days;
2 A worthy wife brings joy to her husband, peaceful and full is his life.
3 A good wife is a generous gift bestowed upon him who fears the LORD;
4 Be he rich or poor, his heart is content, and a smile is ever on his face.
5 There are three things at which my heart quakes, a fourth before which I quail: Though false charges in public, trial before all the people, and lying testimony are harder to bear than death,
6 A jealous wife is heartache and mourning and a scourging tongue like the other three.
7 A bad wife is a chafing yoke; he who marries her seizes a scorpion.
8 A drunken wife arouses great anger, for she does not hide her shame.
9 By her eyelids and her haughty stare an unchaste wife can be recognized.
10 Keep a strict watch over an unruly wife, lest, finding an opportunity, she make use of it;
11 Follow close if her eyes are bold, and be not surprised if she betrays you:
12 As a thirsty traveler with eager mouth drinks from any water that he finds, So she settles down before every tent peg and opens her quiver for every arrow.
13 A gracious wife delights her husband, her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones;
14 A gift from the LORD is her governed speech, and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.
15 Choicest of blessings is a modest wife, priceless her chaste person.
16 Like the sun rising in the LORD'S heavens, the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.
17 Like the light which shines above the holy lampstand, are her beauty of face and graceful figure.
18 Golden columns on silver bases are her shapely limbs and steady feet. 19 These two bring grief to my heart, and the third arouses my horror: A wealthy man reduced to want; illustrious men held in contempt; And the man who passes from justice to sin, for whom the LORD makes ready the sword.20 A merchant can hardly remain upright, nor a shopkeeper free from sin;
Sirac (NAB) 14