Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing - Marriage, with all its troubles and embarrassments, is a blessing from God; and there are few cases where a wife of any sort is not better than none, because celibacy is an evil; for God himself hath said, "It is not good for man to be alone." None of the versions, except the Chaldee, are pleased with the naked simplicity of the Hebrew text, hence they all add good: "He that findeth a Good wife findeth a good thing;" and most people, who have not deeply considered the subject, think the assertion, without this qualification, is absurd. Some copies of the Targum, and apparently one of Kennicott's MSS., have the addition טובה tobah , good; but this would be an authority too slender to justify changing the Hebrew text; yet Houbigant, Kennicott, and other able critics argue for it. The Septuagint is not satisfied without an addition: "But he who puts away a good wife, puts away a good thing: and he that retains an adulteress, is a fool and wicked." In this addition the Vulgate, Syriac, and Arabic, agree with the Septuagint. The Hebrew text as it stands, teaches a general doctrine by a simple but general proposition: "He that findeth a wife findeth a good thing." So St. Paul: "Marriage is honorable in all." Had the world been left, in this respect, to the unbridled propensities of man, in what a horrible state would society have been - if indeed society could have existed, or civilization have taken place - if marriage had not obtained among men! As to good wives and bad wives, they are relatively so, in general; and most of them that have been bad afterwards, have been good at first; and we well know the best things may deteriorate, and the world generally allows that where there are matrimonial contentions, there are faults on both sides.
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