Sirach 23:25

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

23 For first of all, she has disobeyed the law of the Most High; second, she has committed an offense against her husband; and third, through her fornication she has committed adultery and brought forth children by another man. 24 She herself will be brought before the assembly, and her punishment will extend to her children. 25 Her children will not take root, and her branches will not bear fruit. 26 She will leave behind an accursed memory and her disgrace will never be blotted out. 27 Those who survive her will recognize that nothing is better than the fear of the Lord, and nothing sweeter than to heed the commandments of the Lord.

Wisdom of Solomon 4:3


1 Better than this is childlessness with virtue, for in the memory of virtue is immortality, because it is known both by God and by mortals. 2 When it is present, people imitate it, and they long for it when it has gone; throughout all time it marches, crowned in triumph, victor in the contest for prizes that are undefiled. 3 But the prolific brood of the ungodly will be of no use, and none of their illegitimate seedlings will strike a deep root or take a firm hold. 4 For even if they put forth boughs for a while, standing insecurely they will be shaken by the wind, and by the violence of the winds they will be uprooted. 5 The branches will be broken off before they come to maturity, and their fruit will be useless, not ripe enough to eat, and good for nothing.

 Notes and References

"... According to Sirach 23:24-25 the acts of the woman have an effect on her children, who 'will not take root' (23:25). A similar image is used in Isaiah 37:31; Hosea 2:4; Malachi 4:1 and Wisdom of Solomon 4:3-6. Wisdom claims in her self-praise in Sirach 24:12 that she 'took root among a glorified people': she is part of the community of Israel. As Deuteronomy 23:3 attests, a child born from a prohibited union, termed a ('bastard'), cannot enter the assembly of the Lord. Lipka points out that in the context of the Deca­logue (Exodus 20:2-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-21) it may be argued that God will visit the sin of those who violate his commandments, including the com­mandment that prohibits adultery, upon several generations of their descendants (Exodus 20:5; Deuteronomy 5:9). Similarly, in Sirach 23:24-25 the pun­ishment of the adulteress will go beyond her to affect future genera­tions. In the case of the sage in whose eyes one's name is continued in one's good reputation and family, this hope may be destroyed through adultery ..."

Balla, Ibolya Ben Sira on Family, Gender, and Sexuality (p. 136) De Gruyter, 2011

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