Things to be praised

My whole being takes pleasure
in three things,
and these are beautiful to the Lord
and to human beings:
harmony among brothers and sisters,
friendship among neighbors,
and a wife and husband
who adapt to each other.
My whole being despises
three types of persons,
and I am angered by the way they live:
an arrogant poor person,
a rich liar,
an old adulterer who never learns.
If you have gathered nothing
in your youth,
how then will you find anything
in your old age?
How beautiful is sound judgment
in gray-haired women
and finding good advice in elderly men!
How beautiful is wisdom in the aged
and thought and counsel
in those who are respectable!
Experience is the crown of the aged
and respecting the Lord
is their claim to fame.
In my heart, I would consider
nine conditions to be happy,
and I’ll name a tenth with my tongue—
people who are made glad
by their children,
and who live to see the downfall
of their enemies.
Happy are those
who live with sensible wives,[a]
who don’t slip with their tongue,
and who haven’t been a servant to one inferior to themselves.
Happy is the one
who has gained good sense
and who is passing this along
to listening ears.
10 How great is one who finds Wisdom,
but no one does better
than the one who fears the Lord.
11 Fear of the Lord surpasses everything;
those who possess it are incomparable.[b]

Evil and good women

13 Any wound, but not a wound to the heart;
and any wickedness,
but not a woman’s wickedness!
14 Any attack,
but not an attack by those who hate;
and any vengeance,
but not the vengeance of enemies.
15 No poison is worse than a snake’s poison,[c]
and no anger is worse
than an enemy’s anger.
16 I would rather live with a lion or a serpent
than live with a wicked woman.
17 A woman’s wickedness
changes her appearance,
and it darkens her face like that of a bear.
18 Her husband sits down among
his neighbors
and unintentionally groans bitterly.
19 Any evil is small
when compared to a woman’s evil;
may she experience a sinner’s fate.
20 A talkative wife for a quiet husband
is like a sand dune
beneath the feet of an elderly person.
21 Don’t fall for a woman’s beauty,
and don’t long for a woman.
22 There will be anger, shamelessness,
and utter disgrace
when a wife provides for her husband.
23 A wicked wife causes a humiliated heart,
a gloomy face,
and a wounded heart.
Drooping hands and weakened knees
come from a woman
who doesn’t make her husband happy.
24 Sin began with a woman,
and because of her all of us die.
25 Don’t allow an outlet for water,
and don’t give a wicked wife
freedom to speak.
26 If she doesn’t do as you say,
divorce her.[d]


  1. Sirach 25:8 Heb adds and who does not plow with an ox and an ass together. Happy are those who; LXX lacks this phrase and the prior line.
  2. Sirach 25:11 LXXb adds 25:12 Fear of the Lord is the start of loving him, and faith is the start of clinging to him.
  3. Sirach 25:15 In both cases, LXX has head.
  4. Sirach 25:26 LXX separate her from your flesh