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In all you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin.

The memory of the fact that "we all must die" prohibits exultation "over any one's death" (8:7).176 Surely this

must refer to enemies, for who would rejoice over the death of a friend? The knowledge of death also serves as a motive to "cease from enmity" in Sirach 28:6 where memory of death functions in tandem with abiding in the commandments.

Earlier discussion of this passage (27:30-28:7)177 has

already revealed that the commandment in question is Leviticus 19:18.

Shame. The psychological experience of shame is a "highly ambivalent phenomenon."178 Although it is often to be avoided, it may also be accepted with good graces.

Observe the right time, and beware of evil; and do not bring shame on yourself. For there is a shame which brings sin, and there is a shame which is glory and favor. Do not be ashamed to confess your sins, and do not try to stop the current of a river. Sirach 4:20-21, 26

176 The preceding verse (8:6) provides a glimpse of Sirach's own awareness of encroaching age which inevitably ends in death. He commands, "Do not disdain a man when he is old, for some of us are growing old."

177 178

See above under "Reconciliation." von Rad, Wisdom in Israel, p. 117,

281

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