Sir 251 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. 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. 3 If thou hast gathered nothing in thy youth, how canst thou find any thing in thine age? 4 O how comely a thing is judgment for gray hairs, and for ancient men to know counsel! 5 O how comely is the wisdom of old men, and understanding and counsel to men of honour. 6 Much experience is the crown of old men, and the fear of God is their glory. 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: 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: 9 Well is him that hath found prudence, and he that speaketh in the ears of them that will hear: 10 O how great is he that findeth wisdom! yet is there none above him that feareth the Lord. 11 But the love of the Lord passeth all things for illumination: he that holdeth it, whereto shall he be likened? 12 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of his love: and faith is the beginning of cleaving unto him. 13 Give me any plague, but the plague of the heart: and any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman: 14 And any affliction, but the affliction from them that hate me: and any revenge, but the revenge of enemies. 15 There is no head above the head of a serpent; and there is no wrath above the wrath of an enemy. 16 I had rather dwell with a lion and a dragon, than to keep house with a wicked woman. 17 The wickedness of a woman changeth her face, and darkeneth her countenance like sackcloth. 18 Her husband shall sit among his neighbours; and when he heareth it shall sigh bitterly. 19 All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman: let the portion of a sinner fall upon her. 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. 21 Stumble not at the beauty of a woman, and desire her not for pleasure. 22 A woman, if she maintain her husband, is full of anger, impudence, and much reproach. 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. 24 Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die. 25 Give the water no passage; neither a wicked woman liberty to gad abroad. 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.
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