Numerical saying (Sir 26:5-26:6)

“Of three things,

My heart is frightened.

I am in great fear of a fourth.

The three are

Slander in the city,

The gathering of a mob,

And false accusations.

All these are worse

Than death.

But it is heartache.

It is a sorrow

When a wife

Is jealous of a rival.

A tongue-lashing

Makes it known to all.”

Sirach once again imitates the numerical sayings of Proverbs. Sirach was frightened of three things, (1) slander in the city, (2) a gathering mob, and (3) false accusations. All of these 3 were worse than death itself. However, the greatest fear was the heartache and sorrow of a wife who was jealous of a rival. This may be a reference to polygamy where one wife was jealous of another wife. Apparently, this became known to everybody when the wife issued a tongue-lashing.

The haters (Ps 69:4-69:5)

“More in number

Than the hairs of my head

Are those who hate me without cause.

Mighty are those who would destroy me.

My enemies accuse me falsely.

What did I not steal?

Must I now restore them?

O God!

You know my folly!

The wrongs I have done

Are not hidden from you.”

The numerous haters of David did so without cause. Apparently David believed that it was okay to hate with a good cause. These haters were more than the hairs on David’s head. His enemies wanted to destroy him. They made false accusations against him. There is something about stealing stuff that he needed to restore. He must have done something because he confesses his folly. God knows the various wrongs that he has done since they are not hidden from him.