Numbers 11:21

Hebrew Bible

19 You will eat, not just one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, 20 but a whole month, until it comes out your nostrils and makes you sick, because you have despised the Lord who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why did we ever come out of Egypt?”’” 21 Moses said, “The people around me are 600,000 on foot; but you say, ‘I will give them meat, that they may eat for a whole month.’ 22 Would they have enough if the flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? If all the fish of the sea were caught for them, would they have enough?” 23 And the Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s hand shortened? Now you will see whether my word to you will come true or not!”

Sirach 16:10

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

8 He did not spare the neighbors of Lot, whom he loathed on account of their arrogance. 9 He showed no pity on the doomed nation, on those dispossessed because of their sins; 10 or on the six hundred thousand foot soldiers who assembled in their stubbornness. 11 Even if there were only one stiff-necked person, it would be a wonder if he remained unpunished. For mercy and wrath are with the Lord; he is mighty to forgive—but he also pours out wrath. 12 Great as is his mercy, so also is his chastisement; he judges a person according to his or her deeds.

 Notes and References

"... Ben Sira begins his treatment of human moral responsibility with an examination of the disposition of the foolish person, i.e., the one who rejects the way toward wisdom embodied above all in God’s commandments and seeks another goal (compare 15:11–20). Ben Sira asserts that such a person is still responsible because, like all persons, he has the power to follow God’s commandments, but instead chooses to follow a way of life marked by self-reliance and pride, and this so distorts the fool’s thinking that he actually attributes his sinful behavior to God. Ben Sira then turns his attention to God’s relationship with such fools and how God consistently deals with them by requiting their deeds as they deserve (compare 16:1–16). This description includes both concrete historical examples of God’s punishment of the wicked (verses 7–10 and 15–16) and clear dogmatic formulations of the principle that everyone is judged according to their deeds (verses 12–14). Thus, Ben Sira comes quite close to a theology of retribution that is found elsewhere in the OT, intertwining general formulations of retribution found in sapiential thought (compare Psalms 7:15; 9:15; 57:6; Proverbs 1–8) with historical examples of retribution found in the traditions of Israel in which God is described as directly punishing those who are stubborn and rebellious (Numbers 11:3 [compare Sirach 16:6]; 16:32 [compare Sirach 16:6a]; Genesis 19:24–25 [compare Sirach 16:8]; Deuteronomy 7:1–4 [compare Sirach 16:9]; Exodus 14:5–31 [compare Sirach 16:15]) ..."

Schmidt, Andrew Jordan Wisdom, Cosmos, and Cultus in the Book of Sirach (p. 48) De Gruyter, 2019

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