Sirach 10:4Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus
2 As the people's judge is, so are his officials; as the ruler of the city is, so are all its inhabitants. 3 An undisciplined king ruins his people, but a city becomes fit to live in through the understanding of its rulers. 4 The government of the earth is in the hand of the Lord, and over it he will raise up the right leader for the time. 5 Human success is in the hand of the Lord, and it is he who confers honor upon the lawgiver. 6 Do not get angry with your neighbor for every injury, and do not resort to acts of insolence.
1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 2 So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment 3 (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation 4 because it is God’s servant for your well-being. But be afraid if you do wrong because government does not bear the sword for nothing. It is God’s servant to administer punishment on the person who does wrong.
Notes and References
"... Summary Description of the Ethic of Subordination: The government is understood to be a gift of God, divinely established for the common good. Its God-given purpose is to encourage and maintain what is beneficial for our life together and to discourage what is harmful and disruptive. Or, put another way, the state is God’s instrument in the human community to preserve law and order and to promote justice and peace. Its power consists in its responsibility to exercise its authority toward these beneficial ends. Christians, in turn, owe to the government their loyalty and respect. Because government is a divine gift they support its preservation of the good and opposition to evil, pray for those in authority, pay taxes, and try to live as model citizens of human communities. In so doing they act in accordance with God’s intent. Conversely, to resist the state is to risk both punishment and divine disapproval. Key Texts Expressive of the Ethic of Subordination: Sirach 10:4, Romans 13:1-6, Titus 3:1-2, 1 Peter 2:13-17...
Powell, Mark Allan Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey (p. Supplement 13.18) Baker Academic, 2018
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