Sirach 39:26

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

24 To the faithful his ways are straight, but full of pitfalls for the wicked. 25 From the beginning good things were created for the good, but for sinners good things and bad. 26 The basic necessities of human life are water and fire and iron and salt and wheat flour and milk and honey, the blood of the grape and oil and clothing. 27 All these are good for the godly, but for sinners they turn into evils. 28 "There are winds created for vengeance, and in their anger they can dislodge mountains; on the day of reckoning they will pour out their strength and calm the anger of their Maker.

Clement of Alexandria The Instructor 2.8


To resume, then: we have showed that in the department of medicine, for healing, and sometimes also for moderate recreation, the delight derived from flowers, and the benefit derived from ointments and perfumes, are not to be overlooked. And if some say, What pleasure, then, is there in flowers to those that do not use them? Let them know, then, that ointments are prepared from them, and are most useful. The Susinian ointment is made from various kinds of lilies; and it is warming, aperient, drawing, moistening, abstergent, subtle, antibilious, emollient. The Narcissinian is made from the narcissus, and is equally beneficial with the Susinian. The Myrsinian, made of myrtle and myrtle berries, is a styptic, stopping effusions from the body; and that from roses is refrigerating. For, in a word, these also were created for our use. Hear me, it is said, and grow as a rose planted by the streams of waters, and give forth a sweet fragrance like frankincense, and bless the Lord for His works. We should have much to say respecting them, were we to speak of flowers and odours as made for necessary purposes, and not for the excesses of luxury. And if a concession must be made, it is enough for people to enjoy the fragrance of flowers; but let them not crown themselves with them. For the Father takes great care of man, and gives to him alone His own art. The Scripture therefore says, Water, and fire, and iron, and milk, and fine flour of wheat, and honey, the blood of the grape, and oil, and clothing — all these things are for the good of the godly.

 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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