The fears of a father for his daughter (Sir 42:9-42:10)

“A daughter is a secret anxiety

To her father.

Worry over her robs him of sleep.

When she is young,

He fears that she may not marry.

If married,

He fears that she may be disliked.

While a virgin,

He fears that she may be seduced.

He fears that she may become pregnant

In her father’s house.

Or having a husband,

He fears that she may go astray.

Though married,

He fears that she may be barren.”

Sirach lists all the fears that a father has for his daughter. He has a secret anxiety about her that robs him of sleep. When she is young, he is afraid that she will never marry. He is also afraid that she may be seduced and have a child in his house. If she gets married, he is afraid that her new husband will dislike her. He also is afraid that she may go astray from her new husband. Finally, he worries whether she might be sterile and have no children. He seems like an over protective concerned father who does not have the same concern about his sons.

Beautiful daughter (Ps 45:10-45:13)

“Hear!

O daughter!

Consider!

Incline your ear!

Forget your people!

Forget your father’s house!

The king will desire your beauty.

Since he is your lord,

Bow to him.

The people of Tyre will sue your favor with gifts.

The richest of the people,

With all kinds of wealth,

Will come to you.”

This psalmist scribe asks that the daughter listen carefully and consider her words. She was to forget her people and her father’s house. She was to go forward to the king, her new lord. She was to bow to him. She would become powerful and rich with this marriage. These are like the words of encouragement to a reluctant bride before a marriage. Clearly she is to be subject to her new husband, the king. The consequences of this marriage will be enormous power and wealth. There is an interesting note about the new queen coming from Tyre. She may have been a Phoenician or a Philistine, the mortal enemy of David.