“But Jesus said.
‘Let her alone!
Why do you trouble her?
She has performed
A good service
ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἄφετε αὐτήν· τί αὐτῇ κόπους παρέχετε; καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:10, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:7. Mark said that Jesus told them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν) to leave her alone (Ἄφετε αὐτήν). Why were they bringing her problems or troubles (τί αὐτῇ κόπους παρέχετε)? She had performed a good, worthy, and honorable service or action for him (καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί). Thus, Jesus defended this woman, who may have been Mary, the sister of Lazarus, for anointing his head with precious oil.
Aware of this,
Said to them.
‘Why do you trouble
She has performed
A good service
γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Τί κόπους παρέχετε τῇ γυναικί; ἔργον γὰρ καλὸν ἠργάσατο εἰς ἐμέ·
This is almost word for word to Mark, chapter 14:6, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:7. Matthew said that Jesus was aware of their grumbling (γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς). He said to them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) why were they causing problems for this woman (Τί κόπους παρέχετε τῇ γυναικί). She had performed a good, worthy, and honorable service or action for him (ἔργον γὰρ καλὸν ἠργάσατο εἰς ἐμέ). Thus, Jesus defended this woman, who may have been Mary, the sister of Lazarus, for anointing his head with precious oil.
“A fool will no longer be called noble.
A villain will not be said to be honorable.
Fools speak folly.
Their mind plots iniquity.
They practice ungodliness.
They utter error concerning Yahweh.
They leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied.
They deprive the thirsty of drink.
The villainies of villains are evil.
They devise wicked devices.
They ruin the poor with lying words,
Even when the plea of the needy is right.
But those who are noble
Plan noble things.
They stand by noble things.”
This Isaiah poem about the fools and the villains is like later wisdom literature. A fool should not be called noble. Neither should a villain be called honorable. The fools naturally speak folly, as they plot iniquity and practice ungodliness. They speak erroneously about Yahweh as they leave the hungry unsatisfied and the thirsty without drink. The villains are the same. They are devising wicked things as they ruin the lives of the poor with lying words, even when the poor are right. On the other hand, the real noble people plan noble things and stand by them.
“If a person is wise
To his own advantage, T
he fruits of his good sense
Will be praiseworthy.
They will be trustworthy.
A wise person
Instructs his own people.
The fruits of his good sense
A wise person
Will have praise heaped upon him.
All those who see him
Will call him happy.
The days of a person’s life
But the days of Israel
Are without number.
Whoever is wise
Among his people
Will inherit honor.
His name will live forever.”
Sirach now points out who the truly wise person is. The wise ones work to their own advantage. They have good sense that is praiseworthy, trustworthy, and honored. The truly wise ones instruct their own people. The fruits of these happy wise people will endure with praise. Although the days of everyone are numbered and limited, that is not true about Israel since its days are not numbered. So too, the honorable wise person will have his name last forever. This hyperbolic use of forever indicates a long time, rather than eternity.
“If you have gathered nothing
In your youth,
How can you find anything
In your old age?
How attractive is sound judgment
In gray-haired people?
The aged possess good counsel.
How attractive is wisdom
In the aged?
There is understanding
In the venerable people.
There is counsel
In honorable persons.
Is the crown of the aged.
Is the fear of the Lord.”
If you have not gathered anything in your youth, you might have a hard time in your old age. However, sound judgment is attractive in gray-haired people. The aged have good counsel. Wisdom, understanding, and counsel make old people attractive and honorable. The crown of the aged old folks is the rich experience of their life. They can boast in their fear of the Lord.
“It is honorable to refrain from strife.
But every fool is quick to quarrel.
The lazy person does not plow in the autumn season.
There is nothing to be found.
The purposes in the human mind are like deep water.
But the intelligent will draw them out.
Many proclaim themselves loyal.
But who can find one worthy of trust?”
The honorable people stay away from arguments and strife, but the fools are quick to start an argument. The lazy person does not plow in the correct season so that when harvest comes, they have nothing to harvest. The human mind is deep, but the intelligent people can draw out the purposes of humans. Many people maintain that they are loyal, but it is hard to find a trustworthy person.