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Encyclopedia > Ben Sira
Books of the Old Testament
(For details see Biblical canon)
Hebrew Bible or Tanakh
Common to Judaism
and Christianity
Included by Orthodox and Roman Catholics, but excluded by Jews, Protestants, and other Christian denominations:
Included by Orthodox (Synod of Jerusalem):
Included by Russian and Ethiopian Orthodox:
Included by Ethiopian Orthodox:
Included by Syriac Peshitta Bible:
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The Wisdom of Ben Sira (or The Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach or merely Sirach), also called Ecclesiasticus (not to be confused with Ecclesiastes) by some Christians, is a book written circa 180175 BC. The author, Yeshua ben Sira, was a Jew who had been living in Jerusalem, who may in fact have established his school and written his work in Alexandria (Guillaume). His work was written in Hebrew, and translated into Greek by his grandson in Egypt, who added a preface. Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh to refer to its canon, which corresponds to the Protestant Old Testament. ... A biblical canon is a list of Biblical books which establishes the set of books which are considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular Jewish or Christian community. ... 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum Hebrew Bible is a term that refers to the common portions of the Jewish canon and the Christian canons. ... For the musical collective, see Tanakh (band). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... For other uses, see Genesis (disambiguation). ... This article is about the second book in the Torah. ... Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, also the third book in the Torah (five books of Moses). ... The Book of Numbers is the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew ba-midbar במדבר, i. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in both the Hebrew Tanakh and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ... Book of Judges (Hebrew: Sefer Shoftim ספר שופטים) is a book of the Bible originally written in Hebrew. ... Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of Moab by William Blake, 1795 Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Ruth in Boazs Field, 1828 The Book of Ruth (Hebrew: מגילת רות, Megilat Rut, the Scroll of Ruth) is one of the books of the Ketuvim (Writings) of the Tanakh (the... The Books of Samuel (Hebrew: Sefer Shmuel ספר שמואל), are part of the Tanakh (part of Judaisms Hebrew Bible) and also of the Old Testament (of Christianity). ... The Books of Kings (Hebrew: Sefer Melachim ספר מלכים) is a part of Judaisms Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. ... The Book of Chronicles is a book in the Hebrew Bible (also see Old Testament). ... The Book of Ezra is a book of the Bible in the Old Testament and Hebrew Tanakh. ... 1. ... The Book of Nehemiah is a book of the Hebrew Bible, known to Jews as the Tanach and to Christians as the Old Testament. ... Megillah redirects here. ... The Book of Job (איוב) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. ... Psalms (from the Greek: Psalmoi) (originally meaning songs sung to a harp, from psallein play on a stringed instrument, Ψαλμοί; Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים) is a book of the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh or Old Testament. ... The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... Ecclesiastes, Qohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. ... Song of Solomon is also the title of a novel by Toni Morrison. ... This article is about the Book of Isaiah. ... The Book of Jeremiah, or Jeremiah (יִרְמְיָהוּ YirmÉ™yāhÅ« in Hebrew), is part of the Hebrew Bible, Judaisms Tanakh, and later became a part of Christianitys Old Testament. ... The Book of Lamentations (Hebrew מגילת איכה) is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... Book Of Ezekiel is rapper Freekey Zekeys debut album and debut on Diplomat Records/Asylum. ... For other uses, see Book of Daniel (disambiguation). ... A minor prophet is a book in Minor Prophets section of the Hebrew Bible also known to Christians as the Old Testament. ... Tobias and the Angel, by Filippino Lippi The Book of Tobit (or Book of Tobias in older Catholic Bibles) is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox and Anglican biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics... Judith with the Head of Holophernes, by Christophano Allori, 1613 (Pitti Palace, Florence) The Book of Judith is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian Old Testament of the Bible, but excluded by Jews and Protestants. ... 1 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which was written by a Jewish (pre-Christian) author, probably about 100 BC, after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom. ... 2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which focuses on the Jews revolt against Antiochus and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work. ... Wisdom or the Wisdom of Solomon is one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible. ... It has been suggested that Epistle of Jeremy be merged into this article or section. ... Letter of Jeremiah is an Apocryphal book consisting of a letter ascribed to Jeremiah to the Jews in exile in Babylon warning them against idolatry by demonstrating its unreasonableness. ... The Book of Jeremiah, or Jeremiah (יִרְמְיָהוּ YirmÉ™yāhÅ« in Hebrew), is part of the Hebrew Bible, Judaisms Tanakh, and later became a part of Christianitys Old Testament. ... The additions to Daniel comprise of three additional chapters appended to the Hebrew/Aramaic text of Daniel from the Greek Septuagint. ... Megillah redirects here. ... By far the most important of the many synods held at Jerusalem (see Wetzer and Welte, Kirchenlexikon, 2nd ed. ... 1 Esdras is a book from the Septuagint (LXX) translation of the Old Testament regarded as a deuterocanonical book in Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, but rejected as apocryphal by Jews, Catholics, and most Protestants. ... 1. ... The Biblical book 3 Maccabees is found in most Orthodox Bibles as a part of the deuterocanonical books. ... The book of 4 Maccabees is a homily or philosophic discourse praising the supremacy of pious reason over passion. ... This short work of only 15 verses purports to be the penitential prayer of the Judean king Manasseh, who is recorded in the Bible as one of the most idolatrous (2 Kings 21:1-18). ... This article or section is missing references or citation of sources. ... The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church is an Oriental Orthodox church in Ethiopia that was part of the Coptic Church until it was granted its own Patriarch by Cyril VI, the Coptic Pope, in 1959. ... In the Septuagint and for Eastern Orthodox Christians, 2 Esdras refers to the combination of Ezra and Nehemiah. ... The Book of Jubilees (ספר היובלים), sometimes called the Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient Jewish religious work. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A series of three books in the Ethiopian Biblical canon. ... 4 Baruch, also known as the Paraleipomena of Jeremiah when combined with the Epistle of Jeremy, is a text regarded as apocryphal by all Christian denominations except for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. ... Syriac is an Eastern Aramaic language that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. ... The Peshitta is the standard version of the Bible in the Syriac language. ... Psalms 152 to 155 are additional Psalms found in the Syriac Peshitta, in Greek Septuagint manuscripts, and in the Qumran scrolls: 11QPs(a)154,155. ... 2 Baruch or the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch is a Jewish pseudepigraphical text written in the late 1st century CE or early 2nd century CE, after the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in 70 CE. It is not part of the canon of either the Jewish or most Christian... Ecclesiastes, Qohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC - 180s BC - 150s BC 140s BC 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC Years: 185 BC 184 BC 183 BC 182 BC 181 BC - 180 BC - 179 BC 178 BC... Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC - 170s BC - 150s BC140s BC 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC Years: 180 BC 179 BC 178 BC 177 BC 176 BC - 175 BC - 174 BC 173 BC 172... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... This article is about the city in Egypt. ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ...


The Greek Church Fathers called it also "The All-Virtuous Wisdom". The Latin Church Fathers, beginning with Cyprian (Testimonia, ii. 1; iii. 1, 35, 51, 95, et passim), termed it Ecclesiasticus because it was frequently read in churches, and was thus called liber ecclesiasticus (Latin and Latinised Greek for "church book"). Today it is more frequently known as Ben Sira or simply Sirach. ("Ben Sirach" should be avoided because it is a mix of the Hebrew and Greek titles.) Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers... For the 1986 American crime film, see Wisdom (film). ... This page is about Cyprian, bishop of Carthage. ... For the architectural structure, see Church (building). ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ...


Although it was not accepted into the Tanakh, the Jewish biblical canon, The Wisdom of Ben Sira is occasionally quoted in the Talmud and works of rabbinic literature. It is included in the Septuagint and is accepted as part of the biblical canon by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, but not by most Protestants. It is listed in Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England[1]. For the musical collective, see Tanakh (band). ... For other uses, see Jew (disambiguation). ... The Talmud (Hebrew: תַּלְמוּד) is a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs and history. ... Rabbinic literature, in the broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of Judaisms rabbinic writing/s throughout history. ... The Septuagint: A column of uncial text from 1 Esdras in the Codex Vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brentons Greek edition and English translation. ... A biblical canon is a list of Biblical books which establishes the set of books which are considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular Jewish or Christian community. ... ... Protestantism encompasses the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated with the doctrines of the Reformation. ... The Thirty-Nine Articles are the defining statements of Anglican doctrine. ... The Church of England logo since 1998 The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[1] in England, and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ...


There is another, different medieval work called The Alphabet of Ben-Sira. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ... The Alphabet of Ben-Sira (Alphabetum Siracidis, Othijoth ben Sira) is an anonymous medieval text, attributed to Ben Sira (Sirach), the author of Ecclesiasticus. ...

Contents

Author

The author is called in the Greek text (l. 27) "Jesus the son of Sirach of Jerusalem." The copy owned by Saadia Gaon had the reading "Shim`on, son of Yeshua`, son of El`azar ben Sira"; and a similar reading occurs in the Hebrew manuscript B. By interchanging the positions of the names "Shim`on" and "Yeshua`," the same reading is obtained as in the other manuscripts. The correctness of the name "Shim`on" is confirmed by the Syriac version, which has "Yeshua`, son of Shim`on, surnamed Bar Asira." The discrepancy between the two readings "Bar Asira" and "Bar Sira" is a noteworthy one, "Asira" ("prisoner") being a popular etymology of "Sira." The evidence seems to show that the author's name was Yeshua, son of Shimon, son of Eleazar ben Sira. ("Jesus" is the Anglicized form of the Greek name Ιησους the equivalent of Syriac Yeshua` and Masoretic Hebrew Yehoshua`.) Saadia Ben Joseph Gaon (892-942), the Hebrew name of Said al-Fayyumi, was a rabbi who was also a prominent Jewish exilarch, philosopher, and exegete. ...


The surname Sira means "the thorn" in Aramaic. The Greek form, Sirach, adds the letter chi similar to Hakeldamach in Acts 1:19.


According to the Greek version, though not according to the Syriac, the author traveled extensively (xxxiv. 11) and was frequently in danger of death (ib. verse 12). In the hymn of chapter li. he speaks of the perils of all sorts from which God had delivered him, although this is probably only a poetic theme in imitation of the Psalms. The calumnies to which he was exposed in the presence of a certain king, supposed to be one of the Ptolemaic dynasty, are mentioned only in the Greek version, being ignored both in the Syriac and in the Hebrew text. The only fact known with certainty, drawn from the text itself, is that Ben Sira was a scholar, and a scribe thoroughly versed in the Law, and especially in the "Books of Wisdom." cleopatra ruled seneca for 10 years before she ruled Egypt. ...


Date

The Prologue to Ben Sira is generally considered the earliest witness to a canon of the books of the prophets. Thus the date of the text as we have it is the subject of intense scrutiny (Guillaume)


The Greek translator states in his preface that he was the grandson of the author, and that he came to Egypt in the thirty-eighth year of the reign of "Euergetes". The epithet was borne by only two of the Ptolemies, of whom Ptolemy III Euergetes reigned only twenty-five years (247-222 B.C.) thus Ptolemy VIII Euergetes must be intended; he ascended the throne in the year 170 BC, together with his brother Philometor; but he soon became sole ruler of Cyrene, and from 146 to 117 held sway over all Egypt, although he dated his reign from the year in which he received the crown (i.e., from 170). The translator must, therefore, have gone to Egypt in 132. Ptolemy III Euergetes I, (Ptolemaeus III) (Evergetes, Euergetes) (reigned 246 BC-222 BC). ... Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Ptolemaios VIII Euergetes II) (c. ...


If the average length of two generations be reckoned, Ben Sira's date must fall in the first third of the second century. Ben Sira contains a eulogy of "Simon the High Priest, the son of Onias, who in his life repaired the House" (50:1). Most scholars agree that it seems to have formed the original ending of the text, and that the second High Priest Simon (died 196 BC) was intended. Struggles between Simon's successors occupied the years 175–172 BC and are not alluded to. Nor is the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 168. Coin of Antiochus IV. Reverse shows Apollo seated on an omphalos. ...


Ben Sira's grandson was in Egypt, translating and editing after the usurping Hasmonean line had definitively ousted Simon's heirs in long struggles and was finally in control of the High Priesthood in Jerusalem. Comparing the Hebrew and Greek versions shows that he altered the prayer for Simon and broadened its application ("may He entrust to us his mercy"), in order to avoid having a work centred praising God’s covenanted faithfulness close on an unanswered prayer (Guillaume).


Texts and manuscripts

The Greek translation of Ben Sira is found in many codices of the Septuagint.


In the early 20th century several substantial Hebrew texts of Ben Sira, copied in the eleventh and twelfth centuries AD, were found in the Cairo genizah (a synagogue storage room for damaged manuscripts). Although none of these manuscripts is complete, together they provide the text for about two-thirds of the book of Ben Sira. The Cairo Geniza is an accumulation of Jewish manuscripts written from about 870 to as late as 1880 CE, that were found in the geniza of the synagogue of Fustat (Old Cairo), Egypt (built 882), the Busatin cemetery east of Old Cairo, and a number of old documents that were...


In the 1940s and 1950s three copies of portions of Ben Sira were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The largest scroll was discovered at Masada, the famous Jewish fortress destroyed in 73 AD. The earliest of these scrolls has been dated to shortly after 100 BC, approximately 100 years after Ben Sira was first composed. These early Hebrew texts are in substantial agreement with the Hebrew texts discovered in Cairo, although there are numerous minor discrepancies. With these findings, scholars are now more confident that the Cairo texts are reliable witnesses to the Hebrew original. The Dead Sea Scrolls comprise roughly 900 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves in and around the Wadi Qumran (near the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea) in the West Bank. ... Combatants Jewish Sicarii Roman Empire Commanders Elazar ben Yair Lucius Flavius Silva Strength 960 15,000 Casualties 953 Unknown Masada (a romanisation of the Hebrew מצדה, Metzada, from מצודה, metzuda, fortress) is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications in the South District of Israel on top of...


Contents

Illustration from Ben Sira, c. 1751.
Illustration from Ben Sira, c. 1751.

The Book of Ben Sira is a collection of ethical teachings. Thus Ecclesiasticus closely resembles Proverbs, except that, unlike the latter, it is the work of a single author, not an anthology of maxims drawn from various sources. Some have denied Ben Sira the authorship of the apothegms, and have regarded him as a compiler. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 355 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (385 × 650 pixel, file size: 70 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Illustration des Bibelspruchs aus Jesus Sirach 25, 17. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 355 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (385 × 650 pixel, file size: 70 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Illustration des Bibelspruchs aus Jesus Sirach 25, 17. ... The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ...


The teachings are applicable to all conditions of life: to parents and children, to husbands and wives, to the young, to masters, to friends, to the rich, and to the poor. Many of them are rules of courtesy and politeness; and a still greater number contain advice and instruction as to the duties of man toward himself and others, especially the poor, as well as toward society and the state, and most of all toward God. These precepts are arranged in verses, which are grouped according to their outward form. The sections are preceded by eulogies of wisdom which serve as introductions and mark the divisions into which the collection falls.


Wisdom, in Ben Sira's view, is synonymous with the fear of God, and sometimes is identified in his mind with adherence to the Mosaic law. The maxims are expressed in exact formulas, and are illustrated by striking images. They show a profound knowledge of the human heart, the disillusionment of experience, a fraternal sympathy with the poor and the oppressed, and an unconquerable distrust of women. Torah, (תורה) is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or especially law. It primarily refers to the first section of the Tanakh–the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, or the Five Books of Moses, but can also be used in the general sense to also include both the Written...


As in Ecclesiastes, two opposing tendencies war in the author: the faith and the morality of olden times, which are stronger than all argument, and an Epicureanism of modern date. Occasionally Ben Sira digresses to attack theories which he considers dangerous; for example, that man has no freedom of will, and that God is indifferent to the actions of mankind and does not reward virtue. Some of the refutations of these views are developed at considerable length. Ecclesiastes, Qohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. ... Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus (c. ...


Through these moralistic chapters runs the prayer of Israel imploring God to gather together his scattered children, to bring to fulfilment the predictions of the Prophets, and to have mercy upon his Temple and his people. The book concludes with a justification of God, whose wisdom and greatness are said to be revealed in all God's works as well as in the history of Israel. These chapters are completed by the author's signature, and are followed by two hymns, the latter apparently a sort of alphabetical acrostic.


Influence in the Jewish liturgy

Ben Sira was used as the basis for two important parts of the Jewish liturgy. In the Mahzor (High Holy day prayer book), a medieval Jewish poet used Ben Sira as the basis for a poem, KeOhel HaNimtah, in the Yom Kippur musaf ("additional") service. Recent scholarship indicates that it formed the basis of the most important of all Jewish prayers, the Amidah. Ben Sira apparently provides the vocabulary and framework for many of the Amidah's blessings. Many rabbis quoted Ben Sira as an authoritative work during the three centuries before the advent of Yavneh. The mahzor (machzor in Hebrew, pl. ... Yom Kippur (Hebrew:יוֹם כִּפּוּר ) is a Jewish holiday, known in English as the Day of Atonement. ... The Amidah (Standing), also called the Shemoneh Esrei (The Eighteen), is the central prayer in the Jewish liturgy that observant Jews recite each morning, afternoon, and evening. ... Yavne (Hebrew יבנה, Arabic يبنة Yibnah) is a city in the Center District of Israel in Israel. ...


In the New Testament

Some people claim that there are several allusions to the book of Sirach in the New testament. These include The magnificat in Luke 1:52 following Sirach 10:14, the description of the seed in Mark 4:5,16-17 following Sirach 40:15, and Christ's statement in 7:16,20 following Sirach 27:6.[2]


The distinguished patristic scholar Henry Chadwick has claimed that in Matthew 11:28 Jesus was directly quoting Sirach 51:27.[3] The Revd Henry Chadwick, b. ...


External links

References

  1. ^ Article VI at episcopalian.org
  2. ^ http://www.scripturecatholic.com/deuterocanon.html
  3. ^ Henry Chadwick, "The Church in Ancient Society", p.28
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
  • Beentjes, Pancratius C. The Book of Ben Sira in Hebrew : A Text Edition of All Extant Hebrew Manuscripts and a Synopsis of All Parallel Hebrew Ben Sira Texts, Leiden : E.J. Brill, 1997 ISBN 9004107673
  • Amidah, entry in the Encyclopedia Judaica, Keter Publishing

  Results from FactBites:
 
Orion Center: Current Bibliography (12856 words)
Duggan, Michael W. ra, Scribe and Priest, and the Concerns of Ben Sira." In Intertextual Studies in Ben Sira and Tobit: Essays in Honor of Alexander A. Di Lella, eds.
""Multum in parvo": Ben Sira's Portrayal of the Patriarch Joseph." In Intertextual Studies in Ben Sira and Tobit: Essays in Honor of Alexander A. Di Lella, eds.
Perdue, Leo G. "Ben Sira and the Prophets." In Intertextual Studies in Ben Sira and Tobit: Essays in Honor of Alexander A. Di Lella, eds.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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