Sirach 48:10

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

3 By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, and also three times brought down fire. 4 How glorious you were, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! Whose glory is equal to yours? 5 You raised a corpse from death and from Hades, by the word of the Most High. 6 You sent kings down to destruction, and famous men, from their sickbeds. 7 You heard rebuke at Sinai and judgments of vengeance at Horeb. 8 You anointed kings to inflict retribution, and prophets to succeed you. 9 You were taken up by a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with horses of fire. 10 At the appointed time, it is written, you are destined to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and to restore the tribes of Jacob. 11 Happy are those who saw you and were adorned with your love! For we also shall surely live.

Luke 1:17

New Testament

14 Joy and gladness will come to you, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 16 He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go as forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”

 Notes and References

"... The reference to this task of Elijah in Luke 1:17 seems to be a cocktail of elements from Malachi 3:24 and Sirach 48:10. As already noted by Raymond Brown, the Hebrew of these passages has a singular noun for heart and a plural noun for sons/children, while the Greek translation has two singular nouns. Luke has the same verb as the Greek version of Sirach 48:10 but has two plural nouns (fathers and children). Although clearly not a formal quotation, the explicit mention of Elijah and his spirit gives it the allure of a quite specific allusion. The next phrase recalls the mediating function of Elijah as mentioned in the other references to Elijah’s eschatological task. Instead of turning the heart of a man to his neighbor (as in LXX Malachi), John the Baptist will inspire the disobedient to follow the thoughts of the just. And while in Sirach 48:10 Elijah’s second task was to restore the twelve tribes of Israel, John the Baptist as an eschatological Elijah will work for the unity of the people: he will make ready a people prepared for the Lord (Luke 1:17). Whereas in Malachi 3:23 (LXX) and in Sirach 48:10 (LXX) the admonition is about the father-son relation, Luke 1:17 declares that John the Baptist will turn the hearts of the fathers to the (“children” = “boys and girls”). Like Malachi 3:23 (LXX) and Sirach 48:10, Luke 1:17 has no appeal addressed to the sons/children ..."

Koet, Bart J. "Elijah as Reconciler of Father and Son" in Beentjes, Pancratius Cornelis, et al., editors. Rewriting Biblical History: Essays on Chronicles and Ben Sira in Honor of Pancratius C. Beentjes (pp. 173-190) De Gruyter, 2011

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