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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on Sirach

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25.1–2 : Numerical sayings

(see 23.16–17n. ) about social harmony (v.1 ) and ill‐fitting conduct (v. 2 ). In v. 1 the Greek text reads“brothers” (“adelphon”).

25.3–6 : Wisdom and maturity.

25.7–11 : A numerical saying of ten blessings.

8 :

To plow with ox and ass is prohibited (Deut 22.10 ). Here the phrase seems to refer to polygamous relations with incompatible wives (cf. 26.6; 37.11; Judg 14.18 ).

25.13–26.27 : Sayings, from a distinctly male point of view, about desirable and undesirable women.

Ben Sira uses strong language in his denunciations of various types of people (e.g., 22.1–2; 25.2; 27.24 ). His pronouncements against women, however, are among the worst; they would appear to compromise his teaching against the use of abusive language ( 23.15; cf. 26.12,22 ).

25.13–26 : Woeful women and bad wives.

Ben Sira means to caution his young male students about their choices in marriage (cf. 36.26–31; Prov 21.19; 25.24; 27.15; Eccl 7.26 ).

13–19 :

Wickedness of a womana woman's iniquity, cf. 42.14n.

16 :

Prov 21.19; 25.24; 27.15 .

22 :

Supports her husband, economically. Ben Sira views a man's financial dependence on his wife as disgraceful (cf. v. 21b ).

24 :

From a woman sin, an interpretation of the Adam and Eve story that exceeds Gen 3 in placing blame upon the woman (cf. 2 Cor 11.3; 1 Tim 2.14 ).

26 :

Separate her, refers to divorce (Deut 24.1 ).

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