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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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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

31.12–32.13 : Temperance in eating and drinking.

12 :

Table of the great, cf. Prov 23.1–3 .

13–18 :

Ben Sira stresses politeness and kindness when eating with others.

20–21 :

The point is to avoid excess in the first place (cf. 37.29–31 ).

25–31 :

Excessive wine‐drinking is harmful (vv. 25–26,29–30; cf. Prov 20.1; 23.29–35; 31.4–5 ), yet in moderation wine is one of the good things of life (vv. 27–28; cf. Ps 104.15 ).

32.1–13 :

Banquet etiquette.

1–2 :

The master of the feast cared for the needs of those at the table (cf. Esth 1.8; 2 Macc 2.27 ).

3–10 :

Directions to the older people and the young.

11–13 :

These words are meant for all.

32.14–33.6 : The God‐fearing person contrasted with the sinner.

14 :

Discipline (Heb“musar”) is a frequent topic (see 1.27; 4.17; 6.18,22; 21.19,21; 22.6; 23.2,7; 26.14; 42.5,8; 50.27). Rise early, for prayer, cf. 39.5 .

17 :

A decision, i.e. an interpretation (of the law).

33.1 :

Cf. Wis 10.1–21 .

2 :

Hebrew,“He that hates the law is not wise, and is tossed about like a boat in a storm.”

3 :

Divine oracle, the Urim and Thummim, see 45.10; Ex 28.30; Num 27.21; 1 Sam 14.41–42 .

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