Instructions for men concerning women (Sir 9:1-9:9)

“Do not be jealous of the wife of your bosom!

You will teach her an evil lesson

To your own hurt.

Do not give yourself to a woman!

Do not let her trample down your strength!

Do not go near a loose woman!

You will fall into her snares.

Do not associate with a singing girl!

You will be caught by her tricks.

Do not look intently at a virgin!

You may stumble.

You may incur penalties for her.

Do not give yourself to prostitutes!

You may lose your inheritance.

Do not look around in the streets of a city!

Do not wander about in its deserted sections!

Turn away your eyes from a shapely woman!

Do not gaze at beauty belonging to another!

Many have been seduced by a woman’s beauty.

By beauty

Passion is kindled

Like a fire.

Never dine with another man’s wife!

Never revel with her at wine!

Your heart may turn aside to her.

In blood,

You may be plunged into destruction.”

In a series of reprimands for men concerning women, Sirach says that men should not be jealous of their wife. Your jealousy might teach her an evil lesson that you might regret since she might be jealous of you. Do not let women take away your strength. Stay away from loose women and singing women because they might trick you. Don’t stare at virgins. Obviously, don’t go to prostitutes because you could lose all your money. Do not go wandering around deserted parts of the city. Don’t let your eyes be caught looking at a beautiful shapely women. Beauty quickly seduces into passion. Don’t eat or drink with another man’s wife. Your heart could turn towards her. You might be plunged into destruction. Thus we see the proper and improper conduct of men towards women in the 2nd century BCE.

The importance of paternal advice (Prov 7:1-7:5)

“My child!

Keep my words!

Store up commandments with you!

Keep my commandments!

Live!

Keep my teachings

As the apple of your eye!

Bind them on your fingers!

Write them on the tablet of your heart!

Say to wisdom.

‘You are my sister.’

Call insight your intimate friend.

Thus they may keep you

From the loose woman.

They may keep you

From the adulterous woman.

They may keep you

From her smooth words.”

Once again there is an emphasis on the paternal words and commandments that will help the children to live, much like in chapters 2, 3, and 4. These teachings should be like the apple of your eye. They should be bound to your fingers, written on your heart. Wisdom should be a like a sister or an intimate friend. Then this wisdom will keep you from the loose women, the adulterous women, and their smooth words. Somehow, these loose women were very good talkers.