The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Ecclesiasticus
Three sights warm my heart; God and man wish them well:
peace in the clan, good will among neighbours, man and wife well matched.
Three sorts of men move my spleen, so that I am fain to grudge them life itself:
poor man that is proud, rich man that is a liar, old man that is fond and foolish.
The store youth never puts by, shall old age enjoy?
Good judgement well matches grey hairs, for still the elders must be men of prudence;
wisdom for the old, discernment for senators, and the gift of counsel!
No crown have old men like their long experience, no ornament like the fear of God.
Nine envious thoughts came suddenly into my mind, and a tenth I will add for good measure.
Happy is he that has joy of his children; that lives to see his enemies’ downfall.
Happiness it is to share thy home with a faithful wife; to have a tongue that never betrays thee; to serve only thy betters.
Happiness it is to have a true friend …✻ and to speak the right word to an ear that listens.
Happy is he that wisdom gains and skill; yet is he no match for one who fears the Lord.
The fear of God, that is a gift beyond all gifts;
blessed the man that receives it, he has no equal.
Fear the Lord, and thou shalt learn to love him; cling close, and thou shalt learn to trust him.
There is no sadness but what touches the heart, no mischief but what comes from woman.
A man will endure any wound but the heart’s wound,
and any malice but a woman’s;
just so he will endure any annoyance but from his ill-wishers,
any sentence imposed on him but by his enemies.✻
No head so venomous as the viper’s,
nor any anger like a woman’s. Better share thy home with lion and serpent both, than with an ill woman’s company.
A woman’s ill will changes the very look of her; grim as a bear’s her visage, and she goes like one mourning. See where he sits among his neighbours,
that husband of hers, groaning deep and sighing as he listens to them!
All other mischief is a slight thing beside the mischief an ill woman does; may she fall to a sinner’s lot!
Better climb sandy cliff with the feet of old age, than be a peace-loving man mated with a scold.
Let not thy eye be caught by a woman’s beauty; not for her beauty desire her;
think of woman’s rage, her shamelessness, the dishonour she can do thee,
how hard it goes with a man if his wife will have the uppermost.
Crushed spirits, a clouded brow, a heavy heart, all this is an ill woman’s work;
faint hand and flagging knee betoken one unblessed in his marriage.
Through a woman sin first began; such fault was hers, we all must die for it.
Thy cistern thou wouldst not let leak, ever so little; and wouldst thou let a wanton wife roam at large?
Leave she once thy side, thou shalt be the laughing-stock of thy enemies;
best cut away the ill growth from thy flesh; she will ever be taking advantage of thee.
The Holy Bible