Sirach 16:21

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

19 The very mountains and the foundations of the earth quiver and quake when he looks upon them. 20 But no human mind can grasp this, and who can comprehend his ways? 21 Like a tempest that no one can see, so most of his works are concealed. 22 Who is to announce his acts of justice? Or who can await them? For his decree is far off." 23 Such are the thoughts of one devoid of understanding; a senseless and misguided person thinks foolishly. 24 Listen to me, my child, and acquire knowledge, and pay close attention to my words. 25 I will impart discipline precisely and declare knowledge accurately.

John 3:8

New Testament

5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus replied, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony.

 Notes and References

"... Jesus explains this necessity in terms of wind and Spirit—the Greek word for both is pneuma. The Spirit, like the wind, is mysterious and cannot be controlled by human beings (Ecclesiastes 11:5; Sirach 16:21), since it does not originate from them. Nicodemus’s puzzled question is met with a rebuke from Jesus (verses 9-12). Nicodemus represents the best of a religious tradition, but he does not have a deep understanding of the “earthly things,” which were part of his own tradition, so Jesus questions whether he can comprehend the “heavenly things” that he will reveal ..."

Durken, Daniel The New Collegeville Bible Commentary: In One Volume (p. 2047) Liturgical Press, 2017

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.