“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.
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.
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.