Sirach 27:12

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

10 A lion lies in wait for prey; so does sin for evildoers. 11 The conversation of the godly is always wise, but the fool changes like the moon. 12 Among stupid people limit your time, but among thoughtful people linger on. 13 The talk of fools is offensive, and their laughter is wantonly sinful. 14 Their cursing and swearing make one's hair stand on end, and their quarrels make others stop their ears.

Clement of Alexandria Stromata 5.3


"And pray that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith." And the Poetics of Cleanthes, the Stoic, writes to the following effect: "Look not to glory, wishing to be suddenly wise, And fear not the undiscerning and rash opinon of the many; For the multitude has not an intelligent, or wise, or right judgment, And it is in few men that you will find this." And more sententiously the comic poet briefly says: "It is a shame to judge of what is right by much noise." For they heard, I think, that excellent wisdom, which says to us, "Watch your opportunity in the midst of the foolish, and in the midst of the intelligent continue." And again, "The wise will conceal sense." For the many demand demonstration as a pledge of truth, not satisfied with the bare salvation by faith.

 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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