Sir 251 My spirit is pleased with three things; these are approved in the sight of God and men: 2 the harmony of brothers, and the love of neighbors, and a husband and wife agreeing well together. 3 My soul hates three kinds of things; and I am greatly distressed over their souls: 4 an arrogant pauper, a wealthy liar, a foolish and senseless elder. 5 The things that you have not obtained in your youth, how will you find them in your old age? 6 How beautiful it is for a grey head to have judgment, and for elders to know counsel! 7 How beautiful it is for those who are aged to have wisdom, and for those who are honored to have understanding and counsel! 8 Great experience is the crown of the aged, and the fear of God is their glory. 9 I have magnified nine things, overlooked by the heart; and a tenth, I will declare to men with my tongue: 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. 12 Blessed is he who finds a true friend, and he who describes justice to an attentive ear. 13 How great is he who finds wisdom and knowledge! But there is no one above him who fears the Lord. 14 The fear of God has set itself above all things. 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. 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, 20 and any obstacle, but the obstacle of those who hate him, 21 and any vindication, but the vindication of his enemies. 22 There is no head worse than the head of a serpent, 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. 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, 25 her husband groans, and hearing of this, he sighs a little. 26 All malice is brief compared to the malice of a wife. Let the fate of sinners fall upon her! 27 As climbing over sand is to the feet of the aged, so is a talkative wife to a quiet man. 28 You should not favor a woman’s beauty, and you should not desire a wife for her beauty. 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. 31 A wicked wife debases the heart, and saddens the face, and wounds the heart. 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. 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. 35 If she will not walk at your hand, she will confound you in the sight of your enemies. 36 Tear her away from your body, lest she abuse you continually.
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