Sirach 1:2

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

1 All wisdom is from the Lord, and with him it remains forever. 2 The sand of the sea, the drops of rain, and the days of eternity—who can count them? 3 The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth, the abyss, and wisdom —who can search them out? 4 Wisdom was created before all other things, and prudent understanding from eternity. 6 The root of wisdom—to whom has it been revealed? Her subtleties—who knows them?

Methodius Fragments


For when a thousand years are reckoned as one day in the sight of God, and from the creation of the world to His rest is six days, so also to our time, six days are defined, as those say who are clever arithmeticians. Therefore, they say that an age of six thousand years extends from Adam to our time. For they say that the judgment will come on the seventh day, that is in the seventh thousand years. Therefore, all the days from our time to that which was in the beginning, in which God created the heaven and the earth, are computed to be thirteen days; before which God, because he had as yet created nothing according to their folly, is stripped of His name of Father and Almighty. But if there are thirteen days in the sight of God from the creation of the world, how can Wisdom say, in the Book of the Son of Sirach: Who can number the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of eternity? This is what Origen says seriously, and mark how he trifles.

 Notes and References

"... Turning to the Western Church, the earliest evidence comes from Irenaeus (died 202), who, although he never quotes from the Book of Sirach, includes quotations from Baruch and the Additions to Daniel in his Against Heresies. He cites these as the works of 'Jeremiah the prophet' and 'Daniel the prophet,' respectively, and also quotes from the Wisdom of Solomon. This suggests that he likely considered the books of the Apocrypha as canonical. Tertullian (died 220) also quotes from our book in works such as Against the Gnostics and On the Exhortation of Chastity, using the same formula, "as it is written," that he employs for the Hebrew Canon. Cyprian (died 258), in his Testimonies and letters, frequently quotes from the Book of Sirach and introduces them with phrases like "as it is written" or "Divine Scripture says." Methodius (circa 311), bishop of Lycia and later Tyre, freely quotes from the Book of Sirach, the Wisdom of Solomon, and Baruch, treating them as 'Scripture.' Hilary of Poitiers (died 368) lists the books of the Old Testament in his Prologue to the Book of Psalms, including only the Epistle of Jeremiah from the Apocrypha but adds that some also count the Book of Tobit and the Book of Judith, totaling 24 books to align with the number of Greek letters. Nonetheless, he cites Ecclesiasticus and the Wisdom of Solomon as 'prophets,' implying his belief in their canonicity ..."

Charles, R. H. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (p. 302) Oxford University Press, 1913

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