I love the NEB and since we are sharing I wanted to share Wisdom 4 along with NRSV so while the NRSV is readable I find the language and power of the NEB to be more appealing.
4 It is better to be childless, provided one is virtuous; for virtue held in remembrance is a kind of immortality, because it wins recognition from God, and from men too. 2 They follow the good man’s example while it is with them, and when it is gone they mourn its loss; and through all time virtue makes its triumphal progress, crowned with victory in the contest for prizes that nothing can tarnish. 3 But the swarming progeny of the wicked will come to no good; none of their bastard offshoots will strike deep root or take firm hold. 4 For a time their branches may flourish, but as they have no sure footing they will be shaken by the wind, and by the violence of the winds uprooted. 5 Their boughs will be snapped off half-grown, and their fruit will be worthless, unripe, uneatable, and good for nothing. 6 Children engendered in unlawful union are living evidence of their parents’ sin when God brings them to account.
7 But the good man, even if he dies an untimely death, will be at rest. 8 For it is not length of life and number of years which bring the honour due to age; 9 if men have understanding, they have grey hairs enough, and an unspotted life is the true ripeness of age. 10 There was once such a man who pleased God, and God accepted him and took him while still living from among sinful men. 11 He was snatched away before his mind could be perverted by wickedness or his soul deceived by falsehood (because evil is like witchcraft: 12 it dims the radiance of good, and the waywardness of desire unsettles an innocent mind); 13 in a short time he came to the perfection of a full span of years. 14 His soul was pleasing to the Lord, who removed him early from a wicked world. 15 The mass of men see this and give it no thought; they do not lay to heart this truth, that those whom God has chosen enjoy his grace and mercy, and that he comes to the help of his holy people. 16 Even after his death the just man will shame the godless who are still alive; youth come quickly to perfection will shame the man grown old in sin. 17 Men will see the wise man’s end, without understanding what the Lord had purposed for him and why he took him into safe keeping; 18 they will see it and make light of him, but it is they whom the Lord will laugh to scorn. In death their bodies will be dishonoured, and among the dead they will be an object of contempt for ever; 19 for he shall strike them speechless, fling them headlong, shake them from their foundations, and make an utter desert of them; they shall be full of anguish, and all memory of them shall perish. 20 So in the day of reckoning for their sins, they will come cringing, convicted to their face by their lawless doings.
W. D. McH, “Introduction,” in The New English Bible (New York: Oxford University Press; Cambridge University Press, 1970), Wis 4.
Better than this is childlessness with virtue,
for in the memory of virtuea is immortality,
because it is known both by God and by mortals.
2 When it is present, people imitateb it,
and they long for it when it has gone;
throughout all time it marches, crowned in triumph,
victor in the contest for prizes that are undefiled.
3 But the prolific brood of the ungodly will be of no use,
and none of their illegitimate seedlings will strike a deep root
or take a firm hold.
4 For even if they put forth boughs for a while,
standing insecurely they will be shaken by the wind,
and by the violence of the winds they will be uprooted.
5 The branches will be broken off before they come to maturity,
and their fruit will be useless,
not ripe enough to eat, and good for nothing.
6 For children born of unlawful unions
are witnesses of evil against their parents when God examines them.c
7 But the righteous, though they die early, will be at rest.
8 For old age is not honored for length of time,
or measured by number of years;
9 but understanding is gray hair for anyone,
and a blameless life is ripe old age.
10 There were some who pleased God and were loved by him,
and while living among sinners were taken up.
11 They were caught up so that evil might not change their understanding
or guile deceive their souls.
12 For the fascination of wickedness obscures what is good,
and roving desire perverts the innocent mind.
13 Being perfected in a short time, they fulfilled long years;
14 for their souls were pleasing to the Lord,
therefore he took them quickly from the midst of wickedness.
15 Yet the peoples saw and did not understand,
or take such a thing to heart,
that God’s grace and mercy are with his elect,
and that he watches over his holy ones.
The Triumph of the Righteous
16 The righteous who have died will condemn the ungodly who are living,
and youth that is quickly perfectedd will condemn the prolonged old age of the unrighteous.
17 For they will see the end of the wise,
and will not understand what the Lord purposed for them,
and for what he kept them safe.
18 The unrighteouse will see, and will have contempt for them,
but the Lord will laugh them to scorn.
After this they will become dishonored corpses,
and an outrage among the dead forever;
19 because he will dash them speechless to the ground,
and shake them from the foundations;
they will be left utterly dry and barren,
and they will suffer anguish,
and the memory of them will perish.
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Wis 4:1–19.