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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 26

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1Happy the husband of a good wife,* twice-lengthened are his days; e Sir 25, 8; Prv 18, 22; 31, 10ff . 2A worthy* wife brings joy to her husband, peaceful and full is his life. 3A good wife is a generous gift bestowed upon him who fears the LORD; f Sir 36, 24 . 4Be he rich or poor, his heart is content, and a smile is ever on his face.

5There are three things at which my heart quakes, a fourth before which I quail: Though false charges in public, trial before all the people, and lying testimony are harder to bear than death, 6A jealous wife is heartache and mourning* and a scourging tongue like the other three. 7A bad wife is a chafing yoke; he who marries her seizes a scorpion. 8A drunken wife arouses great anger, for she does not hide her shame. 9By her eyelids and her haughty stare an unchaste wife can be recognized. 10Keep a strict watch over an unruly wife, lest, finding an opportunity, she make use of it; g Sir 42, 11 . 11Follow close if her eyes are bold, and be not surprised if she betrays you: 12As a thirsty traveler with eager mouth drinks from any water that he finds, So she settles down before every tent peg and opens her quiver for every arrow. 13A gracious wife delights her husband, her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones; 14A gift from the LORD is her governed speech, and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth. 15Choicest of blessings is a modest wife, priceless her chaste person. 16Like the sun rising in the LORD’s heavens, the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home. 17Like the light which shines above the holy lampstand,* are her beauty of face and graceful figure. 18Golden columns on silver bases are her shapely limbs and steady feet.*

Dangers to Integrity and Friendship*

19These two bring grief to my heart, and the third arouses my horror: A wealthy man reduced to want; illustrious men held in contempt; And the man who passes from justice to sin, for whom the LORD makes ready the sword. h Ez 18, 24ff .

20A merchant can hardly remain upright,* nor a shopkeeper free from sin;

Notes:

e: Sir 25, 8; Prv 18, 22; 31, 10ff .

f: Sir 36, 24 .

g: Sir 42, 11 .

h: Ez 18, 24ff .

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