Dead Sea Scrolls

11Q5 21

The Great Psalms Scroll

I was a young man; in the past, I had strayedbut then I found her. She came to me in shapely form, and I will seek her to the end. Even a withered blossom delights the heart when the grapes ripen.My foot walked straightforwardly — for I knew her from my youth. I inclined my ear, just a little, and I discovered an abundance of teaching. Then she became [my] nurse. (I give my honor to my instructor!) I thought, “let’s have fun!” I craved pleasure unrepentantly. My spirit burned for her; I couldn’t turn my face away. My spirit obsessed over her; I couldn’t ignore her stature. My hand opened [her gates] [and] I contemplated her nudity. I cleansed my hand […]

Date: 50 B.C.E. - 50 C.E.
* Dates are based on scholarly estimates

Sirach 51:13

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

13 While I was still young, before I went on my travels, I sought wisdom openly in my prayer. 14 Before the temple I asked for her, and I will search for her until the end. 15 From the first blossom to the ripening grape my heart delighted in her; my foot walked on the straight path; from my youth I followed her steps. 16 I inclined my ear a little and received her, and I found for myself much instruction. 17 I made progress in her; to him who gives wisdom I will give glory. 18 For I resolved to live according to wisdom, and I was zealous for the good, and I shall never be disappointed. 19 My soul grappled with wisdom, and in my conduct I was strict; I spread out my hands to the heavens, and lamented my ignorance of her. 20 I directed my soul to her, and in purity I found her. With her I gained understanding from the first; therefore I will never be forsaken. 21 My heart was stirred to seek her; therefore I have gained a prize possession.

Date: 195-175 B.C.E.
* Dates are based on scholarly estimates