Sirach 30:17Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus
15 Health and fitness are better than any gold, and a robust body than countless riches. 16 There is no wealth better than health of body, and no gladness above joy of heart. 17 Death is better than a life of misery, and eternal sleep than chronic sickness. 18 Good things poured out upon a mouth that is closed are like offerings of food placed upon a grave. 19 Of what use to an idol is a sacrifice? For it can neither eat nor smell. So is the one punished by the Lord;
5 And now your many judgments are true in exacting penalty from me for my sins. For we have not kept your commandments and have not walked in accordance with truth before you. 6 So now deal with me as you will; command my spirit to be taken from me, so that I may be released from the face of the earth and become dust. For it is better for me to die than to live, because I have had to listen to undeserved insults, and great is the sorrow within me. Command, O Lord, that I be released from this distress; release me to go to the eternal home, and do not, O Lord, turn your face away from me. For it is better for me to die than to see so much distress in my life and to listen to insults." 7 On the same day, at Ecbatana in Media, it also happened that Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, was reproached by one of her father's maids.
Notes and References
"... Cf. the sentiment of Ben Sirach 30:17 “Death is better than a life of misery, and eternal sleep than chronic sickness.” Today this verse of Ben Sirach’s is often read at Jewish funerals of those who have died after a long illness ..."
Littman, Robert J. Tobit: The Book of Tobit in Codex Sinaiticus (p. 74) Brill, 2008
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