Sirach 15:9

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

7 The foolish will not obtain her, and sinners will not see her. 8 She is far from arrogance, and liars will never think of her. 9 Praise is unseemly on the lips of a sinner, for it has not been sent from the Lord. 10 For in wisdom must praise be uttered, and the Lord will make it prosper. 11 Do not say, "It was the Lord's doing that I fell away"; for he does not do what he hates.

John Chrysostom Homily 35 on Acts


And (the demon) wished to bring them into temptation: (therefore) to provoke them, the same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation. O thou accursed, thou execrable one! If then you know that it is His way of salvation that they show, why do you not come out freely? But just what Simon wished, when he said, Give me, that on whomsoever I lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost, the same did this demon: since he saw them becoming famous, here also he plays the hypocrite: by this means he thought to be allowed to remain in the body, if he should preach the same things. But if Christ receive not testimony from man, meaning John, much less from a demon. Praise is not comely in the mouth of a sinner, much less from a demon. For that they preach is not of men, but of the Holy Ghost.

 Notes and References

"... The golden age of Greek patristic literature, that is, the fourth and fifth centuries, are no exception as far as the popularity of Sirach. Besides John Chrysostom, nearly all of the most prominent authors of this period cite from Sirach, including, inter alia, Clement of Alexandria, Ambrose, and Augustine. Clement of Alexandria even believed that Sirach had influenced the Greek philosopher Heraclitus (Stromata 2:5). Sirach was also popular with authors such as Tertullian, Origen and Cyprian. Jerome, however, rejected the canonical status of Sirach. The first full commentary on Sirach was only completed in the ninth century by Rabanus Maurus. The citations in John’s homilies are often sporadic proof-texts. But what is interesting is the constant repetition of certain citations, citations that seem to have remained in John’s memory. The homilies on the books of the New Testament come in the guise of a sermonic commentary, with verse-by-verse expositions. But inside these expositions one finds many other citations which were probably quoted from memory and not necessarily from a text. It is therefore problematic to speculate from which text or version a citation originates, since John probably memorized many Sirachic proverbs during his monastic retreat or ministerial period. This obviously does not rule out the possibility that John probably had a written text at his disposal (which he may have read for study and devotion). Some proverbs are cited or alluded to more often than others. The more popular citations, which occur frequently in the homilies, are Sirach 1:22; 5:6; and 18:16-17. Other citations occurring more than once include Sirach 2:4; 3:30; 4:8; 9:9, 13, 15; 10:9, 12-13; 11:3; 13:15; 15:9; 16:3, 12; 18:30; 19:10-11; 21:2; 23:10, 17; 28:3; and 34:23. There are a total of 65 individual verses cited from Sirach in John’s New Testament homilies, only slightly fewer than the 77 verses cited from Proverbs ..."

de Wet, Chris John Chrysostom's Use of the Book of Sirach in his Homilies on the New Testament (pp. 1-6) University of Pretoria, 2010

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