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51

Documents of wisdom on several subjects.

[1] With three things my spirit is pleased, which are approved before God and men: [2] The concord of brethren, and the love of neighbours, and man and wife that agree well together. [3] Three sorts my soul hateth, and I am greatly grieved at their life: [4] A poor man that is proud: a rich man that is a liar: an old man that is a fool, and doting. [5] The things that thou hast not gathered in thy youth, how shalt thou find them in thy old age?

[6] O how comely is judgment for a grey head, and for ancients to know counsel! [7] O how comely is wisdom for the aged, and understanding and counsel to men of honour! [8] Much experience is the crown of old men, and the fear of God is their glory. [9] Nine things that are not to be imagined by the heart have I magnified, and the tenth I will utter to men with my tongue. [10] A man that hath joy of his children: and he that liveth and seeth the fall of his enemies.

[11] Blessed is he. that dwelleth with a wise woman, and that hath not slipped with his tongue, and that hath not served such as are unworthy of him. [12] Blessed is he that findeth a true friend, and that declareth justice to an ear that heareth. [13] How great is he that findeth wisdom and knowledge! but there is none above him that feareth the Lord. [14] The fear of God hath set itself above all things: [15] Blessed is the man, to whom it is given to have the fear of God: he that holdeth it, to whom shall he be likened?

[16] The fear of God is the beginning of his love: and the beginning of faith is to be fast joined unto it. [17] The sadness of the heart is every plague: and the wickedness of a woman is all evil. [18] And a man will choose any plague, but the plague of the heart: [19] And any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman: [20] And any affliction, but the affliction from them that hate him:

[21] And any revenge, but the revenge of enemies. [22] There is no head worse than the head of a serpent: [23] And there is no anger above the anger of a woman. It will be more agreeable to abide with a lion and a dragon, than to dwell with a wicked woman. [24] The wickedness of a woman changeth her face: and she darkeneth her countenance as a bear: and sheweth it like sackcloth. In the midst of her neighbours, [25] Her husband groaned, and hearing he sighed a little.

[26] All malice is short to the malice of a woman, let the lot of sinners fall upon her. [27] As the climbing of a sandy way is to the feet of the aged, so is a wife full of tongue to a quiet man. [28] Look not upon a woman' s beauty, and desire not a woman for beauty. [29] A woman' s anger, and impudence, and confusion is great. [30] A woman, if she have superiority, is contrary to her husband.

[31] A wicked woman abateth the courage, and maketh a heavy countenance, and a wounded heart. [32] Feeble hands, and disjointed knees, a woman that doth not make her husband happy. [33] From the woman came the beginning of sin, and by her we all die. [34] Give no issue to thy water, no, not a little: nor to a wicked woman liberty to gad abroad. [35] If she walk not at thy hand, she will confound thee in the sight of thy enemies.

[36] Cut her off from thy flesh, lest she always abuse thee.

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