13 Consider the work of God: For who can make straight what he has bent? 14 In times of prosperity be joyful, but in times of adversity consider this: God has made one as well as the other, so that no one can discover what the future holds. 15 During the days of my fleeting life I have seen both of these things: Sometimes a righteous person dies prematurely in spite of his righteousness, and sometimes a wicked person lives long in spite of his evil deeds.
Sirach 33:12Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus
10 All human beings come from the ground, and humankind was created out of the dust. 11 In the fullness of his knowledge the Lord distinguished them and appointed their different ways. 12 Some he blessed and exalted, and some he made holy and brought near to himself; but some he cursed and brought low, and turned them out of their place. 13 Like clay in the hand of the potter, to be molded as he pleases, so all are in the hand of their Maker, to be given whatever he decides. 14 Good is the opposite of evil, and life the opposite of death; so the sinner is the opposite of the godly. 15 Look at all the works of the Most High; they come in pairs, one the opposite of the other.
Notes and References
"... Ben Sira appears to give conflicting accounts of evil. In Sirach 15:11–20, for example, Ben Sira explicitly denies identifying God as the source of sin while affirming human agency. Later, in Sirach 33:7–15, creation is described as a harmony of opposites in which God creates both good and evil (see also Eccl 7:13–14). The “harmony of opposites” doctrine was an important part of ancient Greek philosophy, especially among the Stoics.15 The tension between Sirach 15:11–20 and 33:7–15 has led numerous scholars to suggest a strong similarity between Ben Sira and Stoic providence.16 However, Sharon Mattila argues that Ben Sira has no logical reconciliation for the apparently contrasting notions of human agency (Sirach 15:11–20; see also 32:14–18; 37:17–18) and divine providence (Sirach 33:7–15; see also 39:25), whereas Stoicism does ..."
Stewart, Tyler Allen "The Present Evil Age": The Origin and Persistence of Evil in Galatians (p. 308) Marquette University, 2019
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