1 Esdras 4:13-32

Superiority of women

13 Then the third young man, Zerubbabel, who had spoken of women and truth, began to speak:
14 “Gentlemen, isn't the king great, aren't men abundant, and isn't wine strong? Who is it, though, that masters them or rules over them? Isn't it women?
15 Women give birth to the king and to all the people who rule over the sea and land.
16 From women they all are born. It was women who brought up those men who plant the vineyards from which wine is produced.
17 “Women make men's clothes. They bring men honor. Without women, men aren't even able to exist.
18 If men gather gold and silver or any valuable thing, and then see a desirable and beautiful woman,
19 they forget everything to gaze at her. With mouths wide open, they stare at her. All choose her over gold, silver, or any other valuable thing.
20 A man leaves his own father, who raised him, and his own country, and clings to his own wife.
21 With his wife he departs this life, with no memory of his father or mother or country.
22 Therefore, surely you must recognize that women rule over you! “Don't you work and labor, yet you bring everything and give it to women?
23 A man takes his sword, goes out to travel abroad to raid, steal, and sail the sea and rivers.
24 He faces lions; he walks in darkness; when he steals and robs and plunders, he carries it back to the woman he loves.
25 A man loves his own wife much more than his father or mother.
26 Many men have lost their heads over women, and have become slaves on account of them.
27 Many have perished, stumbled, or sinned because of women.
28 "Now don't you believe me? Isn't the king great in his authority? Don't all countries fear to touch him?
29 I once saw the king and Apame his mistress, the daughter of the eminent Bartacus, sitting by his right side.
30 She took the crown from the king's head and put it on her own head, and slapped the king with her left hand.
31 At this the king would stare at her with his mouth wide open. If she smiles at him, he laughs; but if she should get angry with him, he humors her so that she may be reconciled to him.
32 Gentlemen, aren't women powerful, since they can do such things?"