Sirach 44:1Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus
1 Let us now sing the praises of famous men, our ancestors in their generations. 2 The Lord apportioned to them great glory, his majesty from the beginning. 3 There were those who ruled in their kingdoms, and made a name for themselves by their valor; those who gave counsel because they were intelligent; those who spoke in prophetic oracles; 4 those who led the people by their counsels and by their knowledge of the people's lore; they were wise in their words of instruction; 5 those who composed musical tunes, or put verses in writing;
1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. 2 For by it the people of old received God’s commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were set in order at God’s command, so that the visible has its origin in the invisible. 4 By faith Abel offered God a greater sacrifice than Cain, and through his faith he was commended as righteous because God commended him for his offerings. And through his faith he still speaks, though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he did not see death, and he was not to be found because God took him up. For before his removal he had been commended as having pleased God.
Notes and References
"... Using 'abstract quality' as the basis of his argument, Ryken contends that faith is the subject of the encomium in Heb 11:1—12:2. It is likely, however, that the subject of the encomium is a person here, as it often is in extra-Biblical literature. The basis for this claim is a comparison of Heb 11:1—12:2 with Sirach 44—50, the "praise of the fathers" passage ... T. R. Lee argues that Sirach 44-50 is an encomium on the high priest Simon II. His definition of encomium is essentially the same as that of Ryken. His understanding is the result of an historical survey of the form in Greek literature ranging from the fifth century B.C. to the third century A.D ... If both Hebrews 11 and Sirach 44—50 are encomia, then in fact they are not 'distinct' formally but share a literary form common to the Greco-Roman world that was rare in Jewish literature. It is this uniqueness that Lee stresses in distinguishing the Sirach passage from other passages ..."
Miller, Merland R. What is the Literary Form of Hebrews 11? (pp. 411-417) JETS 29/4, 1986
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