Sirach 2:5Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus
1 My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for testing. 2 Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be impetuous in time of calamity. 3 Cling to him and do not depart, so that your last days may be prosperous. 4 Accept whatever befalls you, and in times of humiliation be patient. 5 For gold is tested in the fire, and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation. 6 Trust in him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him.
1 Peter 1:7
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 that is, into an inheritance imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. It is reserved in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 This brings you great joy, although you may have to suffer for a short time in various trials. 7 Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold—gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing away—and will bring praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 You have not seen him, but you love him. You do not see him now but you believe in him, and so you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 because you are attaining the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
Notes and References
"... The notion is plainly that of testing. See the same phrase in 1 Peter 1:7. Thus James, as Paul, regards faith as “the very foundation of religion” (Mayor). The verb from which the adjective is derived is common enough for testing a yoke of oxen (Luke 14:19), the spirits (1 John 4:1), work by fire (1 Cor. 3:13), genuineness of love (2 Cor. 8:8), all things (1 Thess. 5:21). Peter (1 Peter 1:7) explains the adjective by the verb (tested by fire). Compare Sirach 2:5: “For gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity.” One is reminded of the Sermon on the Mount. “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16). ..."
Robertson, A. T. Studies in the Epistle of James (p. 37) Broadman Press, 1959
Witherington, Ben The Indelible Image: The Theological and Ethical Thought World of the New Testament (p. 89) Open WorldCat, 2009
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