*A Good Wife*
1. Happy is the husband of a good wife;
The number of his days will be doubled.+
2. A courageous wife makes her husband glad,
And his years will be full of peace.
3. A good wife is a good portion,
And she will be given in the portion
Of those who fear the Lord.
4. The good heart of a rich or poor man
Is a cheerful face at all times.
5. My heart fears because of three things,
And I pray to God concerning a fourth;
The slander of a city, the gathering of a mob,
And a false accusation - all of these are worse than death.+
6. There is also a pain of heart and sorrow
When a wife is jealous over another woman,
And a tongue-lashing makes it known to all.
7. An evil wife is like an ox-yoke that shakes to and fro,
And to take hold of her is like grabbing a scorpion.
8. A drunken wife is very wrathful,
And she will not conceal her shame.
9. The fornication of a wife will be known
By her haughty looks and her eyelids.+
10. Keep strong watch over a headstrong daughter
Lest she find some liberty and make the most of it.
11. Be on guard against her shameless eye
And do not be amazed if she trespasses against you.
12. Her mouth will open like a thirsty traveler's
And drink from any water nearby.
She will sit down before every tent peg
And open her quiver to any arrow.
*A Blessed Wife*
13. A wife's grace will delight her husband,
And her skill will put fat on his bones.+
14. A silent wife is a gift from the Lord,
And there is nothing worth as much as a disciplined soul.
15. A modest wife is a blessing upon blessing,
And there is no scale adequate to weigh a self-controlled soul.
16. Like the sun rising in the Lord's heaven
Is the beauty of a good wife in the ordering of her house.
17. Like a lamp shining on the holy lampstand
Is the beauty of a countenance in the prime of life.
18. Beautiful feet with a steady heart are like golden pillars on a silver base.
19. My heart is grieved by two things,
And because of a third, anger arises within me:
A man of war in want because of poverty;
Men of intelligence who suffer contempt;
And a man who turns back from righteousness to sin.
The Lord will prepare this one for the sword.
20. With difficulty a merchant will deliver himself from wrongdoing,
And a peddler will not be acquitted from sin.+
+26:1-4 - A good wife brings her husband happiness (vv. 1, 2, 4), long life (v. 1), and peace (v. 2)
+26:5, 6 - After listing three fears, Ben Sirach declares the fourth to be the wife who is jealous over another woman. The implication is that her jealousy is unfounded.
+26:9-12 - This passage warns of the sin of sexual promiscuity. Clement of Alexandria says of v. 9, "But languishing looks, and ogling, which is to wink with the eyes, is nothing else than to commit adultery with the eyes" (ClemA).
+26:13-18 - This passage makes many of the same observations as 1Pt 3:1-6.
+26:20-27:3 - Business related scandals are not new. Unless a merchant holds steadfastly to the fear of the Lord, the work of his hands will be overturned.