provokes praise from Sirach. Qoheleth was unable to discern the times, and that inability reduced him to fear.
Two motives for Sirach's responses to enmity are new: death and shame. Death was also a factor in Qoheleth's thinking, and here again some impact from him upon Sirach
must be recognized.174 Yet, the implications which Sirach
draws from the fact of death are different from its conse- quences in Qoheleth's thought. Theme implications require some discussion. Shame is likewise an important considera- tion for Sirach, and its role in his counsel must be examined.
Death. The reality of death is a motivating factor in Sirach's counsel to be a compassionate person. He enjoins care for the poor (7:32-33a) and proper consideration for
the dead (7:33b).175 One should "mourn with those who
mourn" (7:34) and "not shrink from visiting a sick man" (7:35a). Deeds like these make a person beloved in the community (7:35b). Sirach 7:36 opens the imagination to all areas of a person's life when it admonishes,
174 175 Crenshaw, "The Eternal Gospel," p. 47. See Sir. 38:16-23 for extended treatment of "mourning etiquette." Sirach advises appropriate, not exces- sive, mourning for the dead. V. 17bc counsels to mourn "according to his merit, for one day or two, to avoid criti- cism." Finally, however, one must banish sorrow, "remembering the end of life" (v. 20). Excessive sorrow does no good for the dead, but it can be self destructive (v. 21).