The Bible in Its Traditions

Sirach 26:1–27

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Blessed is the husband of a good wife. For the number of his years is doubled.

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A good wife delights her husband, and she will fill up the years of his life with peace.

A virtuous woman rejoiceth her husband, and he shall fulfil the years of his life in peace.

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A good wife is a good portion. She will be given the portion of those who fear God, like a man who has done good deeds.

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But, rich or poor, with a good heart, his countenance will be cheerful at all times.

Whether a man be rich or poor, if he have a good heart toward the Lord, he shall at all times rejoice with a cheerful countenance.

Of three things, my heart has been afraid, and at a fourth, my face has shown dread

There be three things that mine heart feareth; and for the fourth I was sore afraid: the slander of a city, the gathering together of an unruly multitude, and a false accusation: all these are worse than death.

an accusation made by a city, and the gathering of a mob,

But a grief of heart and sorrow is a woman that is jealous over another woman, and a scourge of the tongue which communicateth with all.

and a deceitful false accusation. All these are more grievous than death.

An evil wife is a yoke shaken to and fro: he that hath hold of her is as though he held a scorpion.

A jealous wife is a grief and a mourning to the heart.

A drunken woman and a gadder abroad causeth great anger, and she will not cover her own shame.

In a jealous wife, there is a scourge of the tongue, which communicates with everyone.

The whoredom of a woman may be known in her haughty looks and eyelids.

10  Like a yoke of oxen being provoked, so also is a wicked wife. He who has hold of her is like one who has taken hold of a scorpion.

10  If thy daughter be shameless, keep her in straitly, lest she abuse herself through overmuch liberty.

11  An inebriated wife is a great wrath. And her disgrace and indecency will not be covered.

11  Watch over an impudent eye: and marvel not if she trespass against thee.

12  The fornication of a wife will become known by the haughtiness of her eyes and by her eyelids.

12  She will open her mouth, as a thirsty traveller when he hath found a fountain, and drink of every water near her: by every hedge will she sit down, and open her quiver against every arrow.

13  So that her daughter will not also turn away, keep a strict watch; otherwise, having found an opportunity, she may enjoy herself.

13  The grace of a wife delighteth her husband, and her discretion will fatten his bones.

14  Be wary of the irreverence of her eyes, and you should not wonder if she might disregard you.

14  A silent and loving woman is a gift of the Lord; and there is nothing so much worth as a mind well instructed.

15  Like a thirsty traveler, she will open her mouth to the fountain, and she will drink from every water nearby, and she will sit down beside every fencepost, and she will open her quiver to every arrow, until she becomes weary.

15  A shamefaced and faithful woman is a double grace, and her continent mind cannot be valued.

16  The grace of an attentive wife will delight her husband, and will fatten his bones.

16  As the sun when it ariseth in the high heaven; so is the beauty of a good wife in the ordering of her house.

17  Her discipline is a gift from God.

17  As the clear light is upon the holy candlestick; so is the beauty of the face in ripe age.

18  Such is an understanding and quiet wife. For there is no substitution for a well-instructed soul.

18  As the golden pillars are upon the sockets of silver; so are the fair feet with a constant heart.

19  A holy and contrite wife is grace upon grace.

19  My son, keep the flower of thine age sound; and give not thy strength to strangers.

20  And no amount of money is equal to the value of a soul with self-restraint.

20  When thou hast gotten a fruitful possession through all the field, sow it with thine own seed, trusting in the goodness of thy stock.

21  Like the sun rising over the world in the high places of God, so the beauty of a good wife is the adornment of her house.

21  So thy race which thou leavest shall be magnified, having the confidence of their good descent.

22  Like a lamp shining atop a holy lampstand, so is the beauty of a face in the mature stage of life.

22  An harlot shall be accounted as spittle; but a married woman is a tower against death to her husband.

23  Like golden pillars upon bases of silver, so are the firm feet of a mature wife upon the soles of her feet.

23  A wicked woman is given as a portion to a wicked man: but a godly woman is given to him that feareth the Lord.

24  Like everlasting foundations upon a solid rock, so are the commandments of God in the heart of a holy wife.

24  A dishonest woman contemneth shame: but an honest woman will reverence her husband.

25  By two things, my heart is greatly saddened, and at a third, anger overwhelms me

25  A shameless woman shall be counted as a dog; but she that is shamefaced will fear the Lord.

26  a man of war failing because of dire need, and an understanding man treated with contempt,

26  A woman that honoureth her husband shall be judged wise of all; but she that dishonoureth him in her pride shall be counted ungodly of all.

27  and anyone who crosses over from justice to sin. God has prepared such a one for the spear.

27  A loud crying woman and a scold shall be sought out to drive away the enemies.