Do not depend on your wife (Sir 25:21-25:22)

“Do not be ensnared

By a woman’s beauty!

Do not desire a woman

For her possessions!

There is wrath

When a wife

Supports her husband.

There is impudence

When a wife

Supports her husband.

There is a great disgrace

When a wife

Supports her husband.”

You should not be trapped by a woman’s beauty. You should not desire any woman for her possessions or dowry. Now in something that might seem strange today with stay at home dads, Sirach condemns this behavior. A wife should not support her husband, because that is a rage, disrespectful, and a great disgrace, pure and simple. Of course, that was the common attitude in a male dominated society.

Solomon’s vineyard (Song 8:11-8:12)

Female lover

“Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon.

He entrusted the vineyard to keepers.

Each one was to bring for its fruit

A thousand pieces of silver.

My vineyard,

My very own,

Is for myself.

You!

O Solomon!

May have the thousand.

The keepers of the fruit

May have two hundred.”

Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon. This is the only mention of Baal-hamon, but it may have been an ancient worship place of Baal with that name. He obviously had vineyard workers. Each of the keepers of the vineyard had to bring 1,000 pieces of silver to get the fruit of the vine. This female lover said that she had a vineyard of her own also. She was going to let Solomon keep his 1,000 pieces of silver. However, she was going to give the keepers of the vineyard 200 pieces of silver. This vineyard might have been part of a dowry for the bride.