Sirach 32:17

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

15 The one who seeks the law will be filled with it, but the hypocrite will stumble at it. 16 Those who fear the Lord will form true judgments, and they will kindle righteous deeds like a light. 17 The sinner will shun reproof, and will find a decision according to his liking. 18 A sensible person will not overlook a thoughtful suggestion; an insolent and proud person will not be deterred by fear. 19 Do nothing without deliberation, but when you have acted, do not regret it.

Clement of Alexandria The Instructor 1.9


Reproof is the bringing forward of sin, laying it before one. This form of instruction He employs as in the highest degree necessary, by reason of the feebleness of the faith of many. For He says by Esaias, You have forsaken the Lord, and have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger. And He says also by Jeremiah: Heaven was astonished at this, and the earth shuddered exceedingly. For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and have hewn out to themselves broken cisterns, which will not be able to hold water. And again, by the same: Jerusalem has sinned a sin; therefore it became commotion. All that glorified her dishonoured her, when they saw her baseness. And He uses the bitter and biting language of reproof in His consolations by Solomon, tacitly alluding to the love for children that characterizes His instruction: My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; nor faint when you are rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives; For a man who is a sinner escapes reproof. Consequently, therefore, the Scripture says, Let the righteous reprove and correct me; but let not the oil of the sinner anoint my head.

 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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