The author shares his perspectives on different people. He goes off on an unbiblical rant against women.
The Book of Sirach is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
VERSE 1. In three things I was beautified, And stood up beautiful before the Lord and men: The concord of kindred, and friendship of neighbors, And a woman and her husband that walk together in agreement.
The concord of kindred. That is, harmony among brethren.
VERSE 2. But three sorts of men my soul hates, And I am greatly offended at their life: A poor man that is arrogant, and a rich man that is a liar, And an old man that is an adulterer lacking understanding.
VERSE 3. In your youth you have not gathered, And how should you find in your old age?
gray hairs. Do you have gray hair? The author would consider you wise for rendering judgment.
for elders to know counsel. Are you an elder? Then people will seek you out for your wise counsel.
VERSE 5. How beautiful is the wisdom of old men, And thought and counsel to men that are in honor!
VERSE 6. Much experience is the crown of old men; And their glorying is the fear of the Lord.
VERSE 7. There be nine things that I have thought of, and in my heart counted happy; And the tenth I will utter with my tongue: A man that has joy of his children; A man that lives and looks upon the fall of his enemies:
a wife of understanding. To dwell with a sensible wife is a great blessing.
VERSE 9. Happy is he that has found prudence; And he that speaks in the ears of those who listen.
he that has found wisdom. To have found wisdom is truly great.
there none above him that fears the Lord. Yet to have a reverential fear of the LORD is even greater.
VERSE 11. The fear of the Lord passes all things: He that holds it, to whom shall he be likened?
SUMMARY: This rant against women is not compatible with a biblical worldview. It is troubling that it is included in the Book of Wisdom.
What does the Christian faith have to say about women? Surely the biblical revelation has lots of rich insights about women. And just as surely, we Christian believers have completely missed the mark for pretty much all of Christian history.
This verse is omitted in the best manuscripts.
any wickedness. The author sees any wickedness as preferable to that of a woman.
VERSE 14. Any calamity, but a calamity from those who hate me; And any vengeance, but the vengeance of enemies.
VERSE 15. There is no head above the head of a serpent; And there is no wrath above the wrath of an enemy.
VERSE 16. I will rather dwell with a lion and a dragon, Than keep house with a wicked woman.
VERSE 17. The wickedness of a woman changes her look, And darkens her countenance as a bear does.
VERSE 18. Her husband will sit at meat among his neighbors, And when he hears it he sighs bitterly.
VERSE 19. All malice is but little to the malice of a woman: Let the portion of a sinner fall on her.
VERSE 20. As the going up a sandy way is to the feet of the aged, So is a wife full of words to a quiet man.
VERSE 21. Throw not yourself upon the beauty of a woman; And desire not a woman for her beauty.
VERSE 22. There is anger, and impudence, and great reproach, If a woman maintain her husband.
VERSE 23. A wicked woman is abasement of heart, And sadness of countenance, and a wounded heart: A woman that will not make her husband happy Is as hands that hang down, and palsied knees.
the beginning of sin. The author blames all human sin on Eve.
because of her we all die. The author blames Eve for the death of all people.
VERSE 25. Give not water an outlet; Neither to a wicked woman freedom of speech.
The remainder of this verse is omitted in the best manuscripts.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.