Sirach 31:31

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

29 Wine drunk to excess leads to bitterness of spirit, to quarrels and stumbling. 30 Drunkenness increases the anger of a fool to his own hurt, reducing his strength and adding wounds. 31 Do not reprove your neighbor at a banquet of wine, and do not despise him in his merrymaking; speak no word of reproach to him, and do not distress him by making demands of him.

Clement of Alexandria The Instructor 2.7


Let us keep away from us jibing, the originator of insult, from which strifes and contentions and enmities burst forth. Insult, we have said, is the servant of drunkenness. A man is judged, not from his deeds alone, but from his words. In a banquet, it is said, reprove not your neighbour, nor say to him a word of reproach. For if we are enjoined especially to associate with saints, it is a sin to jibe at a saint: For from the mouth of the foolish, says the Scripture, is a staff of insult, — meaning by staff the prop of insult, on which insult leans and rests. Whence I admire the apostle, who, in reference to this, exhorts us not to utter scurrilous nor unsuitable words.

 Notes and References

"... The eighty-fifth of the Apostolical Canons gives a list of the books of the Hebrew Canon, and adds the first three books of the Maccabees and the Wisdom of Sirach; these last four are not, however, included in the Canon, though the Wisdom of Sirach is specially recommended for the instruction of the young. Again, in the Apostolical Constitutions, 6:14, 15, quotations from Sirach are given with the same formula as those from the books of the Hebrew Canon, but in the list given in 2:57 of the same work, there is no mention of any of the books of the Apocrypha ... The evidence of Clement of Alexandria is conflicting; in his Paedagogus he quotes very often from Sirach, and speaks of it as 'scripture', from which it would evidently appear that he regarded it as canonical Scripture; but, according to Eusebius, Clement reckoned Sirach among the 'Antilegomena', for in speaking of Clement's works he mentions the Stromateis, or 'Medleys', and says: 'He quotes in them passages from the disputed Scriptures, the so-called Wisdom of Solomon, for example, and of Jesus the son of Sirach, and the Epistle to the Hebrews, and those of Barnabas, Clement, and Jude ..."

Charles, R. H. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (p. 299) Oxford University Press, 1913

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