“Wakefulness over wealth
Wastes away one’s flesh.
Anxiety about wealth
Drives away sleep.
Wakeful anxiety prevents slumber.
A severe illness carries off sleep.
The rich person toils
To amass a fortune.
When he rests,
He fills himself with his dainties.
The poor person toils
To make a meager living.
If ever he rests,
He becomes needy.”
Sirach believes that the wealthy worry too much about their wealth. They are awake all the time, because their anxiety forces them to not get enough sleep. Their worries waste away their bodies, so that they probably will get a severe illness. Then Sirach has a contrast between the rich person who stops working, only to enjoy his delicacies, and the poor person who can hardly stop working because he would fall into poverty. The rich work to amass a fortune, while the poor work to earn a meager living.
“Then General Holofernes commanded them to bring Judith in where his silverware was kept. He ordered them to set a table for her with some of his own delicacies, and some of his own wine to drink. But Judith said.
‘I cannot partake of them.
It will be an offense.
But I will have enough with the things I brought with me.’
General Holofernes said to her.
‘If your supply runs out,
Where can we get more of the same?
None of your people are here with us.’
‘As surely as you live, my lord,
Your servant will not use up the supplies
That I have with me
Before the Lord carries out by my hand
What he has determined to do.’”
General Holofernes was setting out his silverware with all his delicacies and wine for Judith. Judith reminded him that she could not eat his food because that would offend her God since she had brought enough food for herself. She never mentioned her maid. However, the general insisted, what happens if your food runs out? Where can we get more food like that since none of her people were with her? She replied that she was not going to use up all her supplies because God was going to help her carry out her plan very soon.