Sirach 3:30

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

27 A stubborn mind will be burdened by troubles, and the sinner adds sin to sins. 28 When calamity befalls the proud, there is no healing, for an evil plant has taken root in him. 29 The mind of the intelligent appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the desire of the wise. 30 As water extinguishes a blazing fire, so almsgiving atones for sin. 31 Those who repay favors give thought to the future; when they fall they will find support.

Tobit 12:9


7 It is good to conceal the secret of a king, but to acknowledge and reveal the works of God, and with fitting honor to acknowledge him. Do good and evil will not overtake you. 8 Prayer with fasting is good, but better than both is almsgiving with righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than wealth with wrongdoing. It is better to give alms than to lay up gold. 9 For almsgiving saves from death and purges away every sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life, 10 but those who commit sin and do wrong are their own worst enemies. 11 "I will now declare the whole truth to you and will conceal nothing from you. Already I have declared it to you when I said, "It is good to conceal the secret of a king, but to reveal with due honor the works of God.'

 Notes and References

"... Christians were also presented with a larger set of biblical passages, in which almsgiving featured as a virtuous activity rewarded in various ways by God’s blessing, such as in the portrayal of the just man, Job, as a ‘father of the poor’ or the promise that ‘sins are washed away through faith and almsgiving’. They were to be further impressed by a third set of biblical texts which the promoters of almsgiving in the fourth and fifth centuries interpreted as bearing on almsgiving, including, for example, the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. In all, promoters appealed to over one hundred different passages in the Old and New Testaments. The biblical texts gave a number of reasons why Christians should give alms: to ensure prosperity in this life (Proverbs 28:27), as a matter of justice (Psalms 36:21, 111:9), as a means to win God’s favour in general by securing the prayers of the poor (Sirach 35:21), as a way to escape in particular the ever-present threat of death in a violent world (Tobit 4:10), as expiation for sin (Daniel 4:24, Sirach 3:30, Tobit 12:9), as a way to secure treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19–20, Luke 18:22), as wealth lent to God to be repaid with interest of a spiritual kind (Proverbs 19:17), as an act of kindness towards Christ in the person of the poor (Matthew 25:31–46). These texts influenced almsgivers directly when read aloud in the Church’s liturgy for all to hear or when read and consigned to memory by individuals ..."

Finn, R. D. Almsgiving in the Later Roman Empire: Christian Promotion and Practice (313-450) (p. 178) Oxford University Press, 2006

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