Sirach 5:8

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

6 Do not say, "His mercy is great, he will forgive the multitude of my sins," for both mercy and wrath are with him, and his anger will rest on sinners. 7 Do not delay to turn back to the Lord, and do not postpone it from day to day; for suddenly the wrath of the Lord will come upon you, and at the time of punishment you will perish. 8 Do not depend on dishonest wealth, for it will not benefit you on the day of calamity. 9 Do not winnow in every wind, or follow every path. 10 Stand firm for what you know, and let your speech be consistent.

1 Enoch 63:10


8 And in the day of our suffering and tribulation He saves us not, And we find no respite for confession That our Lord is true in all His works, and in His judgements and His justice, And His judgements have no respect of persons. 9 And we pass away from before His face on account of our works, And all our sins are reckoned up in righteousness.' 10 Now they shall say unto themselves: 'Our souls are full of unrighteous gain, but it does not prevent us from descending from the midst thereof into the †burden† of Sheol.' 11 And after that their faces shall be filled with darkness And shame before that Son of Man, And they shall be driven from his presence, And the sword shall abide before his face in their midst.

 Notes and References

"... it is improbable that Luke would have addressed a word with such narrow application to disciples. Moreover, his reference to the failure of mammon indicates that all wealth is regarded as 'mammon of unrighteousness' (compare Sirach 5:8; 1 Enoch 63:10). A second view regards 'mammon of unrighteousness' as expressing the essential evilness of possessions. Thus Herbert Braun infers: 'The third gospel understands possessions as something fundamentally evil which must be given up in view of the approaching judgment.' This interpretation falls foul of the fact that of all the evangelists Luke is the only one who indicates a positive appreciation of the constructive role which possessions can play, The point of the parable of the unjust steward does not lie in urging disciples to flee possessions, but in persuading them to use them wisely and constructively in the light of their eventual 'failure.' They are called upon to be 'faithful with unrighteous mammon,' an odd turn of phrase if what Luke means is that possessions are to be shunned as inherently evil. He obviously intends that the poor are to be advantaged by the reception of alms, and is proud of the early church's achievement in abolishing want. The leaders of the early church are not pictured abandoning wealth, but carefully administering it for the good of the community. Others have suggested that possessions are characterized as 'unrighteous' because of their tendency to corrupt, or because they are so often tainted with unrighteousness through their acquisition and use or because of their idol-like potential ..."

Seccombe, David Peter The Poor and Their Possessions: Possessions and the Poor in Luke-Acts (p. 169) Wipf & Stock, 2022

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.