Degenerate children (Sir 22:3-22:8)

“It is a disgrace

To be the father

Of an undisciplined son.

The birth of a daughter

Is a loss.

A sensible daughter

Obtains a husband of her own.

But the daughter

Who acts shamefully

Is a grief to her father.

An impudent daughter

Disgraces her father.

She disgraces her husband.

She is despised by both.

Like music in time of mourning

Is an ill-timed conversation.

But thrashing is wisdom at all times.

Discipline is wisdom at all times.

Children who are brought up

In a good life,

Conceal the lowly birth of their parents.

Children who are disdainfully haughty

Stain the nobility of their kindred.

Children who are boorish

Stain the nobility of their kindred.”

What happens if you have bad kids, degenerate children? Sirach warns that an undisciplined son is a disgrace to his father. Notice that he says that the birth of a daughter is considered to be a loss. The obvious importance of the male son runs throughout all of these biblical writings. A sensible daughter is able to get her own husband. The shameful daughter, however, disgraces both her father and her husband. There is a proper time for everything, but thrashing and disciplining children is wise at all times. Once again, Sirach insists that children should be disciplined all the time. If your children are brought up well, this will conceal the lowly background of you, his or her parents. However, the opposite is also true. Children who are disrespectful, haughty, and boorish stain whatever noble birth the parents and their family may have.

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Wisdom as a lover (Wis 8:2-8:4)

“I loved her.

I sought her

From my youth.

I desired to take her

For my bride.

I became enamored

Of her beauty.

She glorifies her noble birth

By living with God.

The Lord of all loves her.

She is an initiate

In the knowledge of God.

She is

An associate in his works.”

Now we have a profession of love for wisdom. This author seems to think that wisdom is his lover. He has loved (ἐφίλησα) her since his youth. He wanted to marry (νύμφην) her because of her beauty. She had a noble birth. She lives with God (συμβίωσιν Θεοῦ), the Lord of all. She has knowledge about God (τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐπιστήμης). She associates with God in his works (τῶν ἔργων αὐτοῦ). This almost appears like a mystical union of the author (Solomon) and his lover, wisdom. This sounds more like the medieval mystical nuns who loved Jesus and wanted to be his bride, but only here it is from a male perspective.