The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Ecclesiasticus
Happy the man that has a faithful wife; his span of days is doubled.
A wife industrious is the joy of her husband, and crowns all his years with peace.
He best thrives that best wives; where men fear God, this is the reward of their service,
good cheer given to rich and poor alike; day in, day out, never a mournful look.
Three things daunt me somewhat, a fourth I dare not face.
Gossip of the streets, the judgement of the rabble,
and the false charge preferred, all these make death itself seem a light thing.
But there is no affliction wrings the heart like a woman’s jealousy;
once a woman grows jealous, her tongue is a scourge to all alike.
Easier to guide an unsteady team of oxen than an ill woman; easier to hold a snake than to manage her.
Woman that is a sot, vexation shall bring thee, and great dishonour; there is no hiding her shame.
Haughty gaze and lowered eye-lid, there goes a wanton.
Headstrong daughter must be held with a tight rein, or she will find opportunity to bestow her favours;
beware of that shameless eye, nor think it strange if she defies thee.
Reckless thou wilt find her as thirsty traveller that puts his mouth to the spring and drinks what water he can get; no stake but she will make fast by it, no arrow comes amiss to her archery, till of dalliance she has had enough.
Great content an industrious wife brings to her husband; health to every bone of his body
is that good sense of hers. No better gift of God to man
than a prudent woman that can hold her tongue; a soul well disciplined is beyond all price.
Grace so gracious is none as woman’s faithfulness and woman’s modesty;
woman’s continence there is no valuing.
Sun dawning in heaven cannot match the lustre a good wife sheds on her home,
and that beauty lasts into ripe age, like the glow of lights on the holy lamp-stand.
Firm as golden pillar in silver socket rest the feet of steadfast woman on the ground she treads;
and firm as foundations built for all time on solid rock is holy woman’s loyalty to God’s commandments.✻
Two sad sights my heart knows, and one more that fills it with indignation;
warrior left to starve, and wise counsellor unregarded,
and a man that leaves right living for ill-doing, ripe for God’s vengeance.
Two dangers I see that are hard to overcome. How shall a merchant be cured of careless dealing, or a huckster for his lying talk find pardon?
The Holy Bible