The Bible – Old Testament
1 He who loves his son chastises him often, that he may be his joy when he grows up.
He who disciplines his son will benefit from him, and boast of him among his intimates.
He who educates his son makes his enemy jealous, and shows his delight in him among his friends.
At the father’s death, he will seem not dead, since he leaves after him one like himself,
Whom he looks upon through life with joy, and even in death, without regret:
The avenger he leaves against his foes, and the one to repay his friends with kindness.
He who spoils his son will have wounds to bandage, and will quake inwardly at every outcry.
A colt untamed turns out stubborn; a son left to himself grows up unruly.
Pamper your child and he will be a terror for you, indulge him and he will bring you grief.
Share not in his frivolity lest you share in his sorrow, when finally your teeth are clenched in remorse.
Give him not his own way in his youth, and close not your eyes to his follies.
Bend him to the yoke when he is young, thrash his sides while he is still small, Lest he become stubborn, disobey you, and leave you disconsolate.
Discipline your son, make heavy his yoke, lest his folly humiliate you.
2 Better a poor man strong and robust, than a rich man with wasted frame.
More precious than gold is health and well-being, contentment of spirit than coral.
No treasure greater than a healthy body; no happiness, than a joyful heart!
3 Preferable is death to a bitter life, unending sleep to constant illness.
Dainties set before one who cannot eat are like the offerings placed before a tomb.
What good is an offering to an idol that can neither taste nor smell?
So it is with the afflicted man who groans at the good things his eyes behold!
Do not give in to sadness, torment not yourself with brooding;
Gladness of heart is the very life of man, cheerfulness prolongs his days.
Distract yourself, renew your courage, drive resentment far away from you; For worry has brought death to many, nor is there aught to be gained from resentment.
Envy and anger shorten one’s life, worry brings on premature old age.
One who is cheerful and gay while at table benefits from his food.
1 [1-13] Sound discipline and careful education of children correct frivolity and stubbornness, prevent remorse and humiliation, and bring to parents lasting joy and delight, prestige among friends, jealousy of enemies, perpetuation and vindication of themselves through their offspring (⇒ Sirach 30:1-6). Lack of discipline and overindulgence of children bring sorrow and disappointment, terror and grief (⇒ Sirach 30:7-13).
2 [14-25] Health of mind and body and joy of heart are judged more precious than wealth (⇒ Sirach 30:14-16); bitterness, constant illness and affliction more difficult to bear than death (⇒ Sirach 30:17-20). Sadness, resentment, anxiety, envy and anger shorten . . . life; they should be dispelled by cheerfulness and gladness of heart, which help to prolong one’s days (⇒ Sirach 30:21-25).
3  Preferable is death . . . constant illness: the true value of human suffering was revealed through the passion and death of Christ. It serves as reparation for sin, and when united with Christ’s suffering, as merit for eternal life.