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Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus, Son of Sirach: Chapter 49

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1

The name d Heb: Gk The month is named after the moon of Josiah is like blended incense prepared by the skill of the perfumer; his memory e Heb: Gk we is as sweet as honey to every mouth, and like music at a banquet of wine. 2 He did what was right by reforming the people, and removing the wicked abominations. 3 He kept his heart fixed on the Lord; in lawless times he made godliness prevail.

4

Except for David and Hezekiah and Josiah, all of them were great sinners, for they abandoned the law of the Most High; the kings of Judah came to an end. 5 They a This title is included in the Gk text. gave their power to others, and their glory to a foreign nation, 6 who set fire to the chosen city of the sanctuary, and made its streets desolate, as Jeremiah had foretold. b Heb: Gk created 7 For they had mistreated him, who even in the womb had been consecrated a prophet, to pluck up and ruin and destroy, and likewise to build and to plant.

8

It was Ezekiel who saw the vision of glory, which God c Heb Compare Lat Syr: Meaning of Gk uncertain showed him above the chariot of the cherubim. 9 For God d Heb: Gk Peoples declare also mentioned Job who held fast to all the ways of justice. e Heb: Gk was taken in exchange 10 May the bones of the Twelve Prophets send forth new life from where they lie, for they comforted the people of Jacob and delivered them with confident hope.

11

How shall we magnify Zerubbabel? He was like a signet ring on the right hand, 12 and so was Jeshua son of Jozadak; in their days they built the house and raised a temple f Gk he holy to the Lord, destined for everlasting glory. 13 The memory of Nehemiah also is lasting; he raised our fallen walls, and set up gates and bars, and rebuilt our ruined houses.

14

Few have g Syr: Heb Gk River ever been created on earth like Enoch, for he was taken up from the earth. 15 Nor was anyone ever born like Joseph; h Heb: Gk caused signs to cease even his bones were cared for. 16 Shem and Seth and Enosh were honored, i Gk him but above every other created living being was Adam.

Notes:

f Heb: Gk The month is named after the moon

a Heb: Gk we

a This title is included in the Gk text.

b Heb: Gk created

c Heb Compare Lat Syr: Meaning of Gk uncertain

d Heb: Gk Peoples declare

e Heb: Gk was taken in exchange

a Gk he

b Syr: Heb Gk River

c Heb: Gk caused signs to cease

d Gk him

Text Commentary view alone
Commentary spanning earlier chapters

48.17–49.13 : Rulers and prophets in the kingdom of Judah.

49.1–10 : Josiah

(vv. 1–3 ), Jeremiah (vv. 4–7 ), Ezekiel (v. 8 ), Job (v. 9 ), and the Twelve Prophets (v. 10 ).

2–3 :

2 Kings 23.3, 25 .

4 :

All of them were great sinners, the narratives of the kings in 1–2 Kings customarily included an evaluation (e.g., 2 Kings 12.2–3; 13.6 ). Only David, Hezekiah, and Josiah receive complete approbation.

5–7 :

2 Chr 36.17–19; Jer 1.5–10; 39.8 .

8 :

Ezek 1.3–15; 13.11; 38.9,16,22 .

9 :

Ezek 14.14–20 .

10 :

The Twelve Prophets probably constituted a corpus of writings by the time of Ben Sira; bones, see 46.12n.

49.11–13 : Leaders of the restoration:

Zerubbabel (v. 11 ), Jeshua (v. 12 ), and Nehemiah (v. 13 ). Ezra is notably absent.

11 :

Zerubbabel, Ezra 3.2; like a signet ring, Hag 2.23 .

12 :

Jeshua, Ezra 3.2; Hag 1.12; 2.2; Zech 3.1 .

13 :

Nehemiah … raised our fallen walls, Neh 7.1 .

49.14–16 : Conclusion of the historical review.

The mention of Enoch (see 44.16 ) and Joseph along with Shem, Seth, and Enosh leads back to Adam.

14 :

Taken up, Gen 5.24; Wis 4.10–14; Heb 11.5 .

15 :

Even his bones, Gen 50.25–26 .

16 :

Gen 5.3,32 .

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