Instructions on shame (Sir 41:14-41:16)

“My children!

Be true to your training!

Be at peace!

What is the value of hidden wisdom?

What is the value of unseen treasure?

Better are those

Who hide their folly,

Than those

Who hide their wisdom.

Therefore show respect for my words!

It is not good

To feel shame

In every circumstance.

Not every kind of abasement

Is to be approved.”

Sirach wants you to respect his words. He wants everyone to be true to their training and at peace. He thought that hidden wisdom and hidden treasures were useless. If there was anything to hide, it should be your folly. Thus it was better to hide folly than wisdom. The same with shame. You should not be ashamed in any circumstances. Not every kind of shaming is approved.

Job curses life itself (Job 3:20-3:23)

“Why is light given to one in misery?

Why is life given to the bitter in soul?

They long for death, but it does not come.

They dig for it more than for hidden treasures.

They rejoice exceedingly.

They are glad

As they find the grave.

Why is light given to one who cannot see the way?

Why is light given to those whom God has fenced in?”

The major question of this biblical book is why.  Why do the bitter in soul have life? Why is there light for the miserable? Why doesn’t death come to those who long for it? Some people seek death as if they were seeking hidden treasures. They are glad and rejoicing when they find their grave. Why give light to one who cannot see. Why has God fenced in certain people? This seems to favor those who are suffering and want an end to it with euthanasia. However, death here seems to be passive rather than active.