at least the occasion, of sin and death (25:24). Her good- ness is worse than a man's wickedness (42:14). Nevertheless, he makes some quite positive observations about women; at times, it might be enough to "turn a girl's head."247 Most likely, for Sirach, it is not a matter of a program of either misogyny or feminism, but rather of recording those potential threats which the wise would certainly try to avoid or, at least, mitigate.
The Animals Group The "lion" (lewn) is mentioned several times by
Sirach. Three times it simply intends the animal itself. In the "Hymn to the Fathers" the lion is named as one of David's playmates (47:3). Twice it is used literally, but proverbially, to make some point about how the rich treat the poor248 or the horrors of living with an evil wife.249
As a simile or metaphor the lion is sin which lies in wait for the workers of iniquity (27:10). "Its teeth are lion's teeth, and destroy the souls of men" (21:2). Like: wise, vengeance lies in wait as a lion for the proud man from
247 7:19; 25:1, 8; 26:1-4, 13-18; 26:26-30(22-26); 40:19, 23.
248 They are treated "just as" (outwj) lions prey on wild asses; 13:19.
249 Sirach prefers cohabitation "with a lion and a dragon" to living with an evil wife; 25:16.