1 Samuel 25:29

Hebrew Bible

27 Now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the servants who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the sin of your servant, for the Lord will certainly establish a lasting dynasty for my lord, because my lord fights the battles of the Lord. May no evil be found in you all your days! 29 When someone sets out to chase you and to take your life, the life of my lord will be wrapped securely in the bag of the living by the Lord your God. But he will sling away the lives of your enemies from the sling’s pocket! 30 The Lord will do for my lord everything that he promised you, and he will make you a leader over Israel. 31 Your conscience will not be overwhelmed with guilt for having poured out innocent blood and for having taken matters into your own hands. When the Lord has granted my lord success, please remember your servant.”

Sirach 6:16

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

14 Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter: whoever finds one has found a treasure. 15 Faithful friends are beyond price; no amount can balance their worth. 16 Faithful friends are a bag of life*; and those who fear the Lord will find them. 17 Those who fear the Lord direct their friendship aright, for as they are, so are their neighbors also. 18 My child, from your youth choose discipline, and when you have gray hair you will still find wisdom.

 Notes and References

"... In general, 1 Samuel 25 contrasts the boorish Nabal, whose name means “fool” (1 Samuel 25:25), with his prudent wife Abigail, who is described as being “of good insight” and whom David praises, saying: “Blessed be your discretion”. The use of wisdom vocabulary in 1 Samuel 25 (“fool”; “insight, prudence”; “discretion”) suggests that the story might easily have attracted the attention of a wisdom teacher such as Ben Sira. The fact that here and in 6:16–17 Ben Sira clearly alludes to 1 Samuel 25 suggests that he understands the story of Nabal and Abigail as exemplifying his teaching on friendship. As a negative example, the foolish Nabal refuses to respond peacefully to David’s greeting (1 Samuel 25:6–11; compare Sirach 6:5) but rather engages in a dispute to disgrace David (1 Samuel 25:39; compare Sirach 6:9). As a positive example, the prudent Abigail responds to David in a friendly manner, offering gifts of food to David’s troops (1 Samuel 25:18–19) and gracious words to David himself (1 Samuel 25:24–31; compare Sirach 6:5), with the result that her friendliness eventually leads to marriage with David (1 Samuel 25:42) ..."

Corley, Jeremy Ben Sira's Teaching on Friendship (p. 52) Brown University, 2020

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