Sirach 27:6Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus
1 Many have committed sin for gain, and those who seek to get rich will avert their eyes. 2 As a stake is driven firmly into a fissure between stones, so sin is wedged in between selling and buying. 3 If a person is not steadfast in the fear of the Lord, his house will be quickly overthrown. 4 When a sieve is shaken, the refuse appears; so do a person's faults when he speaks. 5 The kiln tests the potter's vessels; so the test of a person is in his conversation. 6 Its fruit discloses the cultivation of a tree; so a person's speech discloses the cultivation of his mind. 7 Do not praise anyone before he speaks, for this is the way people are tested.
13 “Enter through the narrow gate because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it! 15 “Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.
Notes and References
"... There are some intriguing features about Matthew’s use of Sirach: Most of these parallels are unique to Matthew among the gospels. Included here are the structuring of the beatitudes (5:3–12), the makarism concerning those who mourn (5:4), the antithesis against adultery (5:27–28), the warning against prayers that use empty phrases (6:7), warnings against laying up treasure on earth (6:19–24), advice about judging good from bad fruit (7:16), the allusions to Elijah (11:14) and (17:11), Jesus’ teaching concerning the heavy yoke (11:28–30), the parable of the treasure hidden in the field (13:44), the warning that the son of man will repay grievances (16:27), and the separation of the sheep and goats (25:34–40). In other words, these texts and themes are singular to the Matthean mindset and thus are not typical of the remaining evangelists. (2) The vast majority of these usages are related to the topic of wisdom and instruction, a theme naturally derived from Sirach that clearly adds to Matthew’s standing as a gospel focused on teachings and contemplative sayings. But these lessons are not simply sapiential in orientation. In many cases they are associated with eschatological concerns, as with those parallels that appear (6:14), (6:20), (11:14), (16:27), #18 (17:11), and (25:34–40). Thus, regardless of whether Jesus of Nazareth was actually concerned for a futuristic eschatology, Matthew finds within the materials of Sirach a working source by which to portray his teachings as such ..."
Jefford, Clayton N. "The Wisdom of Sirach and the Glue of the Matthew–Didache Tradition" in Bingham, D. Jeffrey, editor. Intertextuality in the Second Century (pp. 8-23) Brill, 2016
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