Sirach 4:5

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

3 Do not add to the troubles of the desperate, or delay giving to the needy. 4 Do not reject a suppliant in distress, or turn your face away from the poor. 5 Do not avert your eye from the needy, and give no one reason to curse you; 6 for if in bitterness of soul some should curse you, their Creator will hear their prayer. 7 Endear yourself to the congregation; bow your head low to the great.

Didache 4:8


6 Give a portion of what you've earned with your hands as a ransom for your sins. 7 Don't hesitate to give, nor complain when you do, for you'll know who rewards you well. 8 Don't turn away those in need, but share everything with your family, and don't claim it as your own. If you share in what is eternal, how much more should you share in what is perishable? 9 Don't withhold correction from your son or daughter, but teach them to respect God from a young age. 10 Don't treat your slaves harshly out of anger, especially if they believe in the same God, lest they lose fear of the God who oversees you both. God doesn't show favoritism, but calls those prepared by the Spirit.

 Notes and References

"... Most usages of Sirach by the Didachist relate to interpersonal relationships, especially in terms of respect given to spiritual leaders. Thus, #b (1:2), #f (4:1), #g (4:2), and #l (13:3) all relate to leaders and community governance. This is particularly intriguing in the case of #b, which otherwise is viewed as a reference to “neighbors” throughout Scripture generally or to believers within the immediate context. But if read here in the light of Sirach, this instruction may refer specifically to those who are the leaders of the community, not simply the population at large. So too, #c (1:6), #h (4:5), and #i (4:8) are likewise about relationships, though in these cases the circumstances are reversed. Here the listener becomes the person of authority and is counseled how to be gracious to others in need (this use is particularly intriguing in the instance of #c, since most scholars associate this verse with the special circumstances of 1:3–2:1, which is generally attributed to a secondary hand) ..."

Jefford, Clayton N. "The Wisdom of Sirach and the Glue of the Matthew–Didache Tradition" in Bingham, D. Jeffrey, editor. Intertextuality in the Second Century (pp. 8-23) Brill, 2016

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