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Ben Sira 42:9-12 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

A Father’s Care for His Daughter[a]

A daughter is a treasure that keeps her father wakeful,
    and worry over her drives away sleep:
Lest in her youth she remain unmarried,
    or when she is married, lest she be childless;
10 While unmarried, lest she be defiled,
    or in her husband’s house, lest she prove unfaithful;
Lest she become pregnant in her father’s house,
    or be sterile in that of her husband.
11 My son, keep a close watch on your daughter,
    lest she make you a laughingstock for your enemies,
A byword in the city and the assembly of the people,
    an object of derision in public gatherings.
See that there is no lattice in her room,
    or spot that overlooks the approaches to the house.
12 Do not let her reveal her beauty to any male,
    or spend her time with married women;


  1. 42:9–14 Ben Sira considers a daughter to be a source of anxiety to her father, lest she fail to marry, or be defiled, or lest, marrying, she be childless, prove unfaithful, or find herself sterile (vv. 9–10). He is advised to keep a close watch on her and on her companions, lest he suffer on her account among the people (vv. 11–12). The exhortations, which take into account only a father’s concern, are quite unflattering to young women. The concluding statements (vv. 13–14) show the limitations of Ben Sira’s perspective in the male-oriented society of his day.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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