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Ecclesiasticus: 25

Praiseworthy people.

My soul takes pleasure in three things,
and they are beautiful in the sight of the Lord and of men;
agreement between brothers, friendship between neighbors,
and a wife and a husband who live in harmony.
My soul hates three kinds of men,
and I am greatly offended at their life:
a beggar who is proud, a rich man who is a liar,
and an adulterous old man who lacks good sense.

You have gathered nothing in your youth;
how then can you find anything in your old age?
What an attractive thing is judgment in gray-haired men,
and for the aged to possess good counsel!
How attractive is wisdom in the aged,
and understanding and counsel in honorable men!
Rich experience is the crown of the aged,
and their boast is the fear of the Lord.

With nine thoughts I have gladdened my heart,
and a tenth I shall tell with my tongue:
a man rejoicing in his children;
a man who lives to see the downfall of his foes;
happy is he who lives with an intelligent wife,
and he who has not made a slip with his tongue,
and he who has not served a man inferior to himself;
happy is he who has gained good sense,
and he who speaks to attentive listeners.
How great is he who has gained wisdom!
But there is no one superior to him who fears the Lord.
The fear of the Lord surpasses everything;
to whom shall be likened the one who holds it fast?

Women.

Any wound, but not a wound of the heart!
Any wickedness, but not the wickedness of a wife!
Any attack, but not an attack from those who hate!
And any vengeance, but not the vengeance of enemies!
There is no venom worse than a snake's venom,
and no wrath worse than an enemy's wrath.

I would rather dwell with a lion
and a dragon than dwell with an evil wife.
The wickedness of a wife changes her appearance,
and darkens her face like that of a bear.
Her husband takes his meals among the neighbors,
and he cannot help sighing bitterly.
Any iniquity is insignificant compared to a wife's iniquity;
may a sinner's lot befall her!
A sandy ascent for the feet of the aged -
such is a garrulous wife for a quiet husband.
Do not be ensnared by a woman's beauty,
and do not desire a woman for her possessions.
There is wrath and impudence and great disgrace
when a wife supports her husband.
A dejected mind, a gloomy face,
and a wounded heart are caused by an evil wife.
Drooping hands and weak knees are caused by the wife
who does not make her husband happy.
From a woman sin had its beginning,
and because of her we all die.
Allow no outlet to water,
and no boldness of speech in an evil wife.
If she does not go as you direct,
separate her from yourself.


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