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Chapter 25

Those Who Are Worthy of Praise*

1With three things I am delighted, for they are pleasing to the LORD and to men: Harmony among brethren, friendship among neighbors, and the mutual love of husband and wife. 2Three kinds of men I hate; their manner of life I loathe indeed: A proud pauper, a rich dissembler, and an old man lecherous in his dotage. 3What you have not saved in your youth, how will you acquire in your old age? 4How becoming to the gray-haired is judgment, and a knowledge of counsel to those on in years! 5How becoming to the aged is wisdom, understanding and prudence to the venerable! 6The crown of old men is wide experience; their glory, the fear of the LORD.

7There are nine who come to my mind as blessed, a tenth whom my tongue proclaims: The man who finds joy in his children, and he who lives to see his enemies’ downfall. 8Happy is he who dwells with a sensible wife, and he who plows not like a donkey yoked with an ox.* Happy is he who sins not with his tongue, and he who serves not his inferior. 9Happy is he who finds a friend and he who speaks to attentive ears. 10He who finds wisdom is great indeed, but not greater than he who fears the LORD. 11Fear of the LORD surpasses all else, its possessor is beyond compare.

Wicked and Virtuous Women*

12Worst of all wounds is that of the heart, worst of all evils is that of a woman. 13Worst of all sufferings is that from one’s foes, worst of all vengeance is that of one’s enemies: 14No poison worse than that of a serpent, no venom greater than that of a woman. 15With a dragon or a lion I would rather dwell than live with an evil woman. 16Wickedness changes a woman’s looks, and makes her sullen as a female bear. 17When her husband sits among his neighbors, a bitter sigh escapes him unawares.

18There is scarce any evil like that in a woman; may she fall to the lot of the sinner! 19Like a sandy hill to aged feet is a railing wife to a quiet man. 20Stumble not through woman’s beauty, nor be greedy for her wealth; 21The man is a slave, in disgrace and shame, when a wife supports her husband. 22Depressed mind, saddened face, broken heart—this from an evil wife. Feeble hands and quaking knees— from a wife who brings no happiness to her husband. 23In woman was sin’s beginning, and because of her we all die.* 24Allow water no outlet, and be not indulgent to an erring wife. 25If she walks not by your side, cut her away from you.

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