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.

Date: 195-175 B.C.E.
* Dates are based on scholarly estimates

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.

Date: 198 C.E.
* Dates are based on scholarly estimates