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.

Pirkei Avot 4:4


2 Ben Azzai said: Be quick in performing a minor commandment as in the case of a major one, and flee from transgression; For one commandment leads to another commandment, and transgression leads to another transgression; For the reward for performing a commandment is another commandment and the reward for committing a transgression is a transgression. 3 He used to say: do not despise any man, and do not discriminate against anything, for there is no man that has not his hour, and there is no thing that has not its place. 4 Rabbi Levitas a man of Yavneh said: be exceeding humble spirit, for the end of man is the worm. Rabbi Yohanan ben Berokah said: whoever profanes the name of heaven in secret, he shall be punished in the open. Unwittingly or wittingly, it is all one in profaning the name.

 Notes and References

"... When discussing rabbinic knowledge of Ben Sira, the earliest rabbinic source to which modern scholars point is a passage of the Mishnah that appears to cite Ben Sira, though without attribution. Mishnah Avot 4:44 reads ... This closely corresponds to Ben Sira 7:17, which is preserved in two Hebrew manuscripts (MS A and MS C) ... The minor differences between Ben Sira and R. Levitas of Yavneh derive from the latter’s use of more rabbinic Hebrew phrasing. He opens with the prescriptive verb ״,הוי״ which introduces prescriptive statements at least thirteen times in Tractate Avot alone ... All this, and the citation is still very close to Ben Sira. Later, in the amoraic period, there are two more examples of verses from Ben Sira cited in the name of a specific rabbi without attribution to Ben Sira, and there are also several examples of Ben Sira cited in amoraic literature as though it were a tannaitic source. Once in the Babylonian Talmud, it is even cited as though it were part of the hagiography ..."

Labendz, Jenny R. The Book of Ben Sira in Rabbinic Literature (pp. 347-392) AJS Review, 30, 2006

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