Financial independence (Sir 33:19-33:23)

“To son or wife,

To brother or friend,

Do not give power over yourself,

As long as you live.

Do not give your property

To another.

In case you change your mind,

You must ask for it.

While you are still alive,

While you have breath in you,

Do not let anyone take your place!

It is better

That your children

Should ask from you

Than that you should look

To the hand of your children.

Excel in all that you do!

Bring no stain upon your honor!

At the time when you end

The days of your life,

In the hour of your death,

Distribute your inheritance.”

Sirach points out the important of keeping your money until you die. He did not want people to give up their property to sons, wives, brothers, or friends as long as they were alive. He would be against the modern power of attorney concept. He seems to prefer the old fashioned last will and testament. His reasoning was that you might change your mind. Then you would have a hard time getting it back. No one should take your place as long as you were living. It is better that your children come to you, rather than you depend on your children. During your life, you should excel in all that you do. You should bring honor to your family. However, at the end, when you are near death, then you can distribute your goods via a will or anyway you please.

The fourth son is also tortured (2 Macc 7:13-7:14)

“After he too had died, they maltreated and tortured the fourth in the same way. When he was near death, he said.

‘One cannot but choose to die at the hands of mortals,

And to cherish the hope

That God gives of being raised again by him.

But for you there will be no resurrection to life!’”

The 4th son suffered the same treatment and torture as the other sons. When he was near death he said that it was good to die at the hands of mortals because he had the hope that God would raise him again. However, these torturers will have no resurrection. This is a very strong statement about the afterlife resurrection. It is interesting to note that these young men are so strongly committed to the law and the resurrection of life after death. This is the first indication of this connection between the law and afterlife. Normally, the benefits of the following the law were seen in the present life.