Sirach 19:22

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

17 Question your neighbor before you threaten him; and let the law of the Most High take its course. 20 The whole of wisdom is fear of the Lord, and in all wisdom there is the fulfillment of the law. 22 The knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom, nor is there prudence in the counsel of sinners. 23 There is a cleverness that is detestable, and there is a fool who merely lacks wisdom. 24 Better are the God-fearing who lack understanding than the highly intelligent who transgress the law.

Clement of Alexandria Stromata 1.10


But now we are benefited mutually and reciprocally by words and deeds; but we must repudiate entirely the art of wrangling and sophistry, since these sentences of the sophists not only bewitch and beguile the many, but sometimes by violence win a Cadmean victory. For true above all is that Psalm, "The just shall live to the end, for he shall not see corruption, when he beholds the wise dying." And whom does he call wise? Hear from the Wisdom of Jesus: "Wisdom is not the knowledge of evil." Such he calls what the arts of speaking and of discussing have invented. "Thou shalt therefore seek wisdom among the wicked, and shalt not find it." And if you inquire again of what sort this is, you are told, "The mouth of the righteous man will distil wisdom." And simi larly with truth, the art of sophistry is called wisdom.

 Notes and References

"... The Hebrew of Ben Sira was not included in the Jewish biblical canon. Testimony to its survival, however, is found in the numerous quotations of the book in rabbinic literature. Of course, the medieval manuscripts discovered in the Cairo Genizah constitute prima facie evidence for its continued existence in Hebrew. The Greek translation seems to have been in uential in early Christianity, and it eventually was included in the Christian Old Testament (only to be excised by Protestants in the sixteenth century). Sirach is not cited explicitly in the New Testament, and scholars differ as to how much in uence it had on the New Testament writings. Those who see broad influence have argued for it primarily in Matthew, Luke, some of Paul’s letters and the Epistle of James (compare Harrington, Invitation, p. 90; Schürer, History, vol. III.1, pp. 205–208). In other early Christian literature, Didache 4:5 and Barnabas 19:9 bear a very close resemblance to, and perhaps are taken from, Sirach 4:31. If these texts do depend on Sirach, they would be the earliest examples of direct Christian use of the book. A healthy number of Greek and Latin church fathers, including Clement of Alexandria, Origen, John Chrysostom, Tertullian, Jerome and Augustine, use Sirach in their writings, and as early as Clement of Alexandria Sirach is cited as scripture, demonstrating the high regard the book came to have in Christian tradition ..."

Ryan, Daniel "Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)" in Aitken, J. K. (ed.) T&T Clark Companion to the Septuagint (pp. 410-424) T&T Clark International, 2015

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