Ecclesiastes 3:13

Hebrew Bible

11 God has made everything fit beautifully in its appropriate time, but he has also placed ignorance in the human heart so that people cannot discover what God has ordained, from the beginning to the end of their lives. 12 I have concluded that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to enjoy themselves as long as they live, 13 and also that everyone should eat and drink, and find enjoyment in all his toil, for these things are a gift from God. 14 I also know that whatever God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken away from it. God has made it this way, so that men will fear him. 15 Whatever exists now has already been, and whatever will be has already been; for God will seek to do again what has occurred in the past.

Sirach 14:11

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

9 The eye of the greedy person is not satisfied with his share; greedy injustice withers the soul. 10 A miser begrudges bread, and it is lacking at his table. 11 My child, treat yourself well, according to your means, and present worthy offerings to the Lord. 12 Remember that death does not tarry, and the decree of Hades has not been shown to you. 13 Do good to friends before you die, and reach out and give to them as much as you can.

 Notes and References

"... the formerly widespread assumption that the text of Sirach shows knowledge of the text of Qoheleth has been challenged in recent years. In 1993 Franz-Josef Backhaus systematically analyzed the 35 verses most commonly held to reflect this influence and the general theme of “carpe diem.” He concluded that in every case there was no evidence of direct literary contact between the two books, though he was careful to note Ben Sira’s knowledge of the content of Qoheleth cannot be ruled out. A few years later the question of an intertextual relationship between the two books was revisited by two leading scholars of Sirach, Maurice Gilbert and Johannes Marböck. Gilbert’s article focused principally on Ben Sira’s teaching regarding the enjoyment of life in 14:11–16, a passage frequently thought to show awareness of Qoheleth’s thinking. While Backhaus had already pointed to the absence of central lexical components of Qoheleth in Sirach 14:11–16, Gilbert supplemented his analysis by showing that death functions in fundamentally different ways in the two books. Thus, he concluded that lacking specific textual markers and differing in substantial, conceptual ways, the similarities of thought are best explained by their common immersion in a similar cultural setting ..."

Gregory, Bradley C. "A Reassessment of Sirach's Relationship to Qoheleth: A Case Study of Qoheleth 3:15 and Sirach 5:3" in Dell, Katharine Julia, and Will Kynes (eds.) Reading Ecclesiastes Intertextually (pp. 189-200) Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2014

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