Ben-sira Sentence Examples
The wisdom of Jesus ben Sira (Sirach) is contained in the book commonly called Ecclesiasticus.
By about the beginning of our era the Jews had given up Hebrew and wrote in Aramaic; the process of expulsion had been going on, doubtless, for some time; but comparison with the later extant literature (Chronicles, the Hebrew Ecclesiasticus or Ben-Sira, Esther) makes it improbable that such Hebrew as that of Koheleth would have been written earlier than the 2nd century B.C. (for details see Driver's Introduction).
In any case, since Ben-Sira belongs to about 180 B.C., the date of' Koheleth, so far as these coincidences indicate it, would not be far from 200 B.C. The contrast made in x.
Scholars were held in honour in those days by princes and people, and Ben-Sira frankly adduces this fact as one of the great advantages of the pursuit of wisdom.
The extant writings of the Jewish sages are contained in the books of Job, Proverbs, Psalms, Ben-Sira, Tobit, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom of Solomon, 4th Maccabees, to which may be added the first chapter of Pirke Aboth (a Talmudic tract giving, probably, pre-Christian material).Advertisement
What is certain is that the definite assumption of monogamy is found only in such late books as Ben-Sira (Ecclesiasticus), Tobit and Judith.
Of books of this period which are known to have existed in Hebrew or Aramaic up to the time of Jerome (and even later) we now possess most of the original Hebrew text of Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus) in a somewhat corrupt form, and fragments of an Aramaic text of a recension of theTestaments of theTwelve Patriarchs,both discovered within recent years.
In spite, however, of the words just quoted it cannot be said that Ben Sira preaches a hopeful religion.