The ideal wife (Sir 26:13-26:18)

“A wife’s charm

Delights her husband.

Her skill puts flesh

On his bones.

A silent wife is a gift

From the Lord.

There is nothing so precious

As her self-discipline.

A modest wife

Adds charm to charm.

No scales can weigh

The value of her chastity.

Like the sun rising

In the heights of the Lord,

So is the beauty

Of a good wife,

In her well-ordered home.

Like the shining lamp

On the holy lamp stand,

So is a beautiful face

On a stately figure.

Like golden pillars

On sliver bases,

So are shapely legs

With steadfast feet.”

Sirach describes the ideal wife. Her charms delight her husband. Her skills keep him in good health. If she is silent, she is a gift from the Lord. Her self-discipline is precious. Her modesty adds further charms. There is no way to measure her chastity. Her beauty is like a sunrise on the mountains. She keeps a well ordered house. She has a beautiful face on a stately figure, like the holy lamp stand in the Temple. Her legs and feet are like golden pillars on silver bases. Thus we have the ideal wife, charming, disciplined, orderly, and beautiful. There is no indication where you might find such a women.

Money and wives (Sir 7:18-7:19)

“Do not exchange a friend for money.

Do not exchange a real brother for the gold of Ophir.

Do not dismiss a wise wife.

Do not dismiss a good wife.

Her charm is worth more than gold.”

Continuing with these sayings of Sirach, you should not exchange a friend for money. Neither should you get rid of your brother for the special gold from Ophir, the great gold mining place. You should not dismiss a wise, good, or charming wife because she is worth more than gold. This seems to indicate it might be all right to get rid of an unwise or bad wife.