The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 25:1–36


My spirit is pleased with three things; these are approved in the sight of God and men

In three things I was beautified, and stood up beautiful both before God and men: the unity of brethren, the love of neighbours, a man and a wife that agree together.


the harmony of brothers, and the love of neighbors, and a husband and wife agreeing well together.


My soul hates three kinds of things; and I am greatly distressed over their souls

Sir25:2  Three sorts of men my soul hateth, and I am greatly offended at their life: a poor man that is proud, a rich man that is a liar, and an old adulterer that doateth.


an arrogant pauper, a wealthy liar, a foolish and senseless elder.


The things that you have not obtained in your youth, how will you find them in your old age?

Sir25:3  If thou hast gathered nothing in thy youth, how canst thou find any thing in thine age?

How beautiful it is for a grey head to have judgment, and for elders to know counsel!

Sir25:4  O how comely a thing is judgement for gray hairs, and for ancient men to know counsel!

How beautiful it is for those who are aged to have wisdom, and for those who are honored to have understanding and counsel!

Sir25:5  O how comely is the wisdom of old men, and understanding and counsel to men of honour.

Great experience is the crown of the aged, and the fear of God is their glory.

Sir25:6  Much experience is the crown of old men, and the fear of God is their glory.

I have magnified nine things, overlooked by the heart; and a tenth, I will declare to men with my tongue

Sir25:7  There be nine things which I have judged in mine heart to be happy, and the tenth I will utter with my tongue: A man that hath joy of his children; and he that liveth to see the fall of his enemy


10  a man who finds joy in his children, and one who lives to see the undoing of his enemies.


11  Blessed is he who lives with a wise wife, and he who has not slipped with his tongue, and he who has not served those unworthy of himself.

Sir25:8  Well is him that dwelleth with a wife of understanding, and that hath not slipped with his tongue, and that hath not served a man more unworthy than himself

12  Blessed is he who finds a true friend, and he who describes justice to an attentive ear.

Sir25:9  Well is him that hath found prudence, and he that speaketh in the ears of them that will hear

13  How great is he who finds wisdom and knowledge! But there is no one above him who fears the Lord.

Sir25:10  O how great is he that findeth wisdom! yet is there none above him that feareth the Lord.

14  The fear of God has set itself above all things.

Sir25:11  But the love of the Lord passeth all things for illumination: he that holdeth it, whereto shall he be likened?


15  Blessed is the man to whom it has been given to have the fear of God. He who holds to it, to whom can he be compared?


16  The fear of God is the beginning of his love; and the beginning of faith has been joined closely to the same.

Sir25:12  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of his love: and faith is the beginning of cleaving unto him.


17  The sadness of the heart is every wound. And the wickedness of a wife is every malice.

18  And a man will choose any wound, but the wound of the heart,


19  and any wickedness, but the wickedness of a wife,

Sir25:13  Give me any plague, but the plague of the heart: and any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman


20  and any obstacle, but the obstacle of those who hate him,


21  and any vindication, but the vindication of his enemies.

Sir25:14  And any affliction, but the affliction from them that hate me: and any revenge, but the revenge of enemies.

22  There is no head worse than the head of a serpent,

Sir25:15  There is no head above the head of a serpent; and there is no wrath above the wrath of an enemy.

23  and there is no anger above the anger of a wife. It would be more agreeable to abide with a lion or a dragon, than to live with a wicked wife.

Sir25:16  I had rather dwell with a lion and a dragon, than to keep house with a wicked woman.

24  A wicked wife changes her face. And she darkens her countenance like a bear. And she displays it like sackcloth. In the midst of her neighbors,

Sir25:17  The wickedness of a woman changeth her face, and darkeneth her countenance like sackcloth.

25  her husband groans, and hearing of this, he sighs a little.

Sir25:18  Her husband shall sit among his neighbours; and when he heareth it shall sigh bitterly.

26  All malice is brief compared to the malice of a wife. Let the fate of sinners fall upon her!

Sir25:19  All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman: let the portion of a sinner fall upon her.

27  As climbing over sand is to the feet of the aged, so is a talkative wife to a quiet man.

Sir25:20  As the climbing up a sandy way is to the feet of the aged, so is a wife full of words to a quiet man.

28  You should not favor a woman’s beauty, and you should not desire a wife for her beauty.

Sir25:21  Stumble not at the beauty of a woman, and desire her not for pleasure.


29  The anger and disrespect and shame from a wife can be great.


30  The wife, if she has primacy, is set against her husband.

Sir25:22  A woman, if she maintain her husband, is full of anger, impudence, and much reproach.

31  A wicked wife debases the heart, and saddens the face, and wounds the heart.

Sir25:23  A wicked woman abateth the courage, maketh an heavy countenance and a wounded heart: a woman that will not comfort her husband in distress maketh weak hands and feeble knees.


32  A wife who does not make her husband happy enfeebles the hands and weakens the knees.


33  The beginning of sin came from a woman; and through her, we all die.

Sir25:24  Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die.

34  You should not provide an exit to your water, not even a little; nor should you give permission for a wicked wife to exceed the limit.

Sir25:25  Give the water no passage; neither a wicked woman liberty to gad abroad.

35  If she will not walk at your hand, she will confound you in the sight of your enemies.

Sir25:26  If she go not as thou wouldest have her, cut her off from thy flesh, and give her a bill of divorce, and let her go.


36  Tear her away from your body, lest she abuse you continually.