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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on Ecclesiasticus or the Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach

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2.1–6 : Testing and endurance.

Testing of one's wholehearted devotion to God is here the central meaning of suffering (as in 4.17; 33.1; Job chs. 1–2 ), in contrast to discipline for past transgressions (Prov. 3.11–12; Job 5.17–19 ).

1 :

My son: the usual address of teacher to student (Prov. 1.8 ).

3 :

Though reward may be delayed, the righteous will be vindicated before they end their days.

5 :

Human beings and gold alike show their wholeness through testing.

2.7–11 : God's promise confirmed by experience.

Three lines beginning You that fear the Lord are balanced by three with Those who fear the Lord (vv. 15–17 ); three Woe's set in between complete the pattern (vv. 12–14 ).

10 :

The history of the past generations is part of the evidence of experience; see Job 8.8–10 .

2.12–14 : Woe to the inconsistent.

12 :

The indecisiveness of a double life and of those who are faint and feeble-hearted (v. 13 ) contrasts with the wholehearted decision of those who trust the Lord.

2.15–18 : The character of the reverent.

15 :

From parallelism of the two poetic lines it is clear that fear and love of God are synonymous.

16 :

The law of Israel is associated with wisdom throughout Ecclus., in contrast to Prov.

18 :

See 2 Sam. 24.14 ; in contrast to Prov., Ecclus. refers frequently to God's mercy.

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