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Response to Wisdom

Chapter 3 of this study noted that Sirach speaks of attacks from the side of Wisdom herself against her novice devotees. How does he counsel students to respond to her? Sirach 4:12-16 speaks of "loving" (agapwn), "holding

fast" (kratwn), "serving" (latreuontej), "obeying" (upakouwn), and "having faith in" (empisteus^) her. Sirach 51:19 speaks of having "grappled" (diamemaxistai)

with her. The richest expression of the proper response to her, however, is that in Sirach 14:20-27.

Blessed is the man who meditates on wisdom and who reasons intelligently. He who reflects in his mind on her ways will also ponder her secrets. Pursue wisdom like a hunter, and lie in wait on her paths. He who peers through her windows will also listen at her doors; he who encamps near her house will also fasten his tent peg to her walls; he will pitch his tent near her, and will lodge in an excellent lodging place; he will place his children under her shelter, and will camp under her boughs; he will be sheltered by her from the heat, and will dwell in the midst of her glory. Sirach 14:20-27

This desire to be near Wisdom is palpably erotic. The desire is not to be frustrated; it is fulfilled. To the one who responds with this kind of longing for Wisdom,

She will come to meet him like a mother, and like the wife of his youth she will welcome him. Sirach 15:2


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