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 Of whatsoever thou hast gained by thy hands thou shalt give a ransom for thy sins. 7 Thou shalt not hesitate to give, nor shalt thou grumble when thou givest, for thou shalt know who is the good Paymaster of the reward. 8 Thou shalt not turn away the needy, but shalt share everything with thy brother, and shalt not say it is thine own, for if you are sharers in the imperishable, how much more in the things which perish? 9 Thou shalt not withhold thine hand from thy son or from thy daughter, but thou shalt teach them the fear of God from their youth up. 10 Thou shalt not command in thy bitterness thy slave or thine handmaid, who hope in the same God, lest they cease to fear the God who is over you both; for he comes not to call men with respect of persons, but those whom the Spirit has prepared.

 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 1.3b–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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