Sirach 1:27

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

27 (The fear of the Lord drives out sin) For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and discipline, fidelity and humility are his delight. 28 (For he that is without fear, cannot be justified) Do not disobey the fear of the Lord; do not approach him with a divided mind. 29 Do not be a hypocrite before others, and keep watch over your lips. 30 Do not exalt yourself, or you may fall and bring dishonor upon yourself. The Lord will reveal your secrets and overthrow you before the whole congregation, because you did not come in the fear of the Lord, and your heart was full of deceit.

Clement of Alexandria The Instructor 1.8


God, then, is good. And the Lord speaks many a time and oft before He proceeds to act. For my arrows, He says, will make an end of them; they shall be consumed with hunger, and be eaten by birds; and there shall be incurable tetanic incurvature. I will send the teeth of wild beasts upon them, with the rage of serpents creeping on the earth. Without, the sword shall make them childless; and out of their chambers shall be fear. For the Divine Being is not angry in the way that some think; but often restrains, and always exhorts humanity, and shows what ought to be done. And this is a good device, to terrify lest we sin. For the fear of the Lord drives away sins, and he that is without fear cannot be justified, says the Scripture. And God does not inflict punishment from wrath, but for the ends of justice; since it is not expedient that justice should be neglected on our account. Each one of us, who sins, with his own free-will chooses punishment, and the blame lies with him who chooses. God is without blame.

 Notes and References

"... Within early Christianity, the Letter of Barnabas echoes Sirach 5:12–14 about the danger of a double tongue, as well as the warning in Sirach 4:31 against an ungenerous attitude (Barnabas 19:7–9). Origen (d. 254 ce) quotes Ben Sira as scriptural when commenting on several Old Testament passages (Genesis 12:5; Joshua 15:6; Jeremiah 16:6). Clement of Alexandria (d. 215 CE) quotes about eighty Sirach verses, while John Chrysostom (d. 407 CE) includes about three hundred citations from the book. Augustine (d. 430 CE) not only cites Sirach about 300x, but also preached sermons on Sirach passages. Rabanus Maurus (d. 856 CE), abbot of Fulda in Germany, composed the earliest surviving Latin commentary on Sirach ..."

Corley, Jeremy "Sirach" in Oegema, Gerbern S. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the Apocrypha (pp. 284-305) Oxford University Press, 2021

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