Sirach 7:17

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

15 Do not hate hard labor or farm work, which was created by the Most High. 16 Do not enroll in the ranks of sinners; remember that retribution does not delay. 17 Humble yourself to the utmost, for the punishment of the ungodly is fire and worms. 18 Do not exchange a friend for money, or a real brother for the gold of Ophir. 19 Do not dismiss a wise and good wife, for her charm is worth more than gold.

Judith 16:17


16 For every sacrifice as a fragrant offering is a small thing, and the fat of all whole burnt offerings to you is a very little thing; but whoever fears the Lord is great forever. 17 Woe to the nations that rise up against my people! The Lord Almighty will take vengeance on them in the day of judgment; he will send fire and worms into their flesh; they shall weep in pain forever. 18 When they arrived at Jerusalem, they worshiped God. As soon as the people were purified, they offered their burnt offerings, their freewill offerings, and their gifts.

 Notes and References

"... There is evidence that Isaiah 66:24 played a strong influence on Jewish views of the judgement around the turn of the era. In Judith 16:17 the writer warns that the Lord will take vengeance on the nations that rise up against Israel. He will give 'fire and worms' to their flesh. 198 In contrast to Isaiah 66:24 where the fire and the worms are agents of destruction, here they become agents of torment; the wicked shall 'weep in pain forever' (Judith 16:17). Likewise Sirach 7:17 warns that the punishment of the ungodly will be 'fire and worms'. In contrast to Judith, Sirach does not clarify whether the punishment will result in destruction or prolonged torment. The Isaiah Targum oscillates between the two views. First the translator states that the breath of the wicked "will not die and their fire shall not be quenched" suggesting perhaps ongoing suffering. However, he adds that they will suffer only until the righteous say, 'we have seen enough' (Targum Isaiah 66:24) ..."

Papaioannou, Kim Gary Places of Punishment in the Synoptic Gospels (pp. 56-57) Durham University, 2004

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