Sirach 20:5

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

3 And the one who admits his fault will be kept from failure. 4 Like a eunuch lusting to violate a girl is the person who does right under compulsion. 5 Some people keep silent and are thought to be wise, while others are detested for being talkative. 6 Some people keep silent because they have nothing to say, while others keep silent because they know when to speak. 7 The wise remain silent until the right moment, but a boasting fool misses the right moment.

Clement of Alexandria The Instructor 2.6


For neither are knee and leg, and such other members, nor are the names applied to them, and the activity put forth by them, obscene. And even the pudenda are to be regarded as objects suggestive of modesty, not shame. It is their unlawful activity that is shameful, and deserving ignominy, and reproach, and punishment. For the only thing that is in reality shameful is wickedness, and what is done through it. In accordance with these remarks, conversation about deeds of wickedness is appropriately termed filthy [shameful] speaking, as talk about adultery and pederasty and the like. Frivolous prating, too, is to be put to silence. For, it is said, in much speaking you shall not escape sin. Sins of the tongue, therefore, shall be punished. There is he who is silent, and is found wise; and there is he that is hated for much speech. But still more, the prater makes himself the object of disgust. For he that multiplies speech abominates his own soul.

 Notes and References

"... The eighty-fifth of the Apostolical Canons gives a list of the books of the Hebrew Canon, and adds the first three books of the Maccabees and the Wisdom of Sirach; these last four are not, however, included in the Canon, though the Wisdom of Sirach is specially recommended for the instruction of the young. Again, in the Apostolical Constitutions, 6:14, 15, quotations from Sirach are given with the same formula as those from the books of the Hebrew Canon, but in the list given in 2:57 of the same work, there is no mention of any of the books of the Apocrypha ... The evidence of Clement of Alexandria is conflicting; in his Paedagogus he quotes very often from Sirach, and speaks of it as 'scripture', from which it would evidently appear that he regarded it as canonical Scripture; but, according to Eusebius, Clement reckoned Sirach among the 'Antilegomena', for in speaking of Clement's works he mentions the Stromateis, or 'Medleys', and says: 'He quotes in them passages from the disputed Scriptures, the so-called Wisdom of Solomon, for example, and of Jesus the son of Sirach, and the Epistle to the Hebrews, and those of Barnabas, Clement, and Jude ..."

Charles, R. H. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (p. 299) Oxford University Press, 1913

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