Moderation in food (Sir 37:27-37:31)

“My child!

Test yourself

While you live!

See what is bad for you!

Do not give in to it!

Not everything is good

For everyone.

No one enjoys everything.

Do not be greedy

For every delicacy!

Do not eat without restraint!

Overeating brings sickness.

Gluttony leads to nausea.

Many have died of gluttony.

But whoever guards against it,

Prolongs his life.”

Sirach assumes the parental tone again. He warns that we should test ourselves in this life. We should recognize what is bad for us and not give in to it. Not everything is good for everybody. Do not be greedy for delicacies! You have to use restraint. Overeating can lead to illness. Gluttony can lead to stomach aches or even to death. If you guard against over eating, you will prolong your life.

Advertisements

Restraint (Song 8:4-8:4)

Male lover

“I adjure you!

O daughters of Jerusalem!

Do not stir up love!

Do not awaken love

Until it is ready!”

The male lover responds as he did in chapters 2 and 3 by asking that the daughters of Jerusalem keep him from his lover until the right time, until her love is ready. Love should simmer and sleep. Then it awakens. However, here there is no mention of gazelles or wild does. He is swearing or adjuring to the daughters of Jerusalem to hold him back from his desires.

Restraint (Song 3:5-3:5)

Male lover

“I adjure you!

O daughters of Jerusalem!

By the gazelles,

By the wild does,

Do not stir up love!

Do not awaken love

Until it is ready!”

This male lover responds by repeating the same verses that were in the preceding chapter. He asks that the daughters of Jerusalem keep him from his lover until the right time, until her love is ready. Love should simmer and sleep before it awakens. He is swearing or adjuring by these wild swift young animals of gazelles and does to hold him back from his desires. Strangely, it is the female lover who seems more determined that he does for his love affair. Once again, this may be an allusion to Yahweh and Israel with their relationships.

Restraint (Song 2:7-2:7)

Male lover

“I adjure you!

O daughters of Jerusalem!

By the gazelles,

By the wild does,

Do not stir up love!

Do not awaken love

Until it is ready!”

The male lover responds by asking that the daughters of Jerusalem keep him from his lover until the right time, until her love is ready. Love should simmer and sleep before it awakens. The mention of the gazelles and the wild doe seem to be a way of talking about God. He is swearing or adjuring to these wild swift young animals to hold him back from his desires.

Watch how people say things (Prov 29:18-29:20)

“Where there is no prophecy

The people cast off restraint.

But happy are those who keep the law.

By mere words,

Servants are not disciplined.

Even though they understand,

They will not give heed.

Do you see someone who is hasty in speech?

There is more hope for a fool

Than for anyone like that.”

Without the words of a prophet to guide people, they do not have restraint. The happy people are those that follow the law. It is not good enough to discipline servants with words. Even though they understand, they still do not follow. Therefore you may need the rod. Those who speak too fast are worse than a fool.

The perverse simple fools (Prov 14:14-14:19)

“The perverse get what their ways deserve.

The good get what their deeds deserve.

The simple believes everything.

But the clever consider their steps.

The wise are cautious.

They turn away from evil.

But the fool throws off restraint.

The fool is careless.

One who is quick tempered

Acts foolishly.

The schemer is hated.

The simple are adorned with folly.

But the clever are crowned with knowledge.

The evil bow down before the good.

The wicked are at the gates of the righteous.”

Both the perverse and the good get what they deserve based on their ways and deeds. The simple believe everything, but the clever ones watch their steps. The wise clever ones are cautious. They turn away from evil. The foolish ones throw off restraint and are careless. As usual, it is better to be good and wise than a simple perverse fool. The quick tempered ones act foolishly. The schemers are hated. The simple ones are full of folly, but the clever ones are crowned with knowledge. The evil wicked ones bow down before the gates of the good and righteous ones.

The decree for the extermination of the Jews (Greek text only)

“Therefore we have decreed that those indicated to you in the letters written by Haman be destroyed. Haman is in charge of affairs and is our second father. He wishes that all these people, with their wives and children included, be utterly destroyed by the sword. We must be rid of our enemies, without pity or restraint, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, of this present year. Thus those who have long been hostile, and remain so, may go down to Hades violently in one single day. They will leave our government completely secure and untroubled hereafter.”

Interesting enough, Jews are not specifically mentioned in this decree at all, since this would be the obvious place to indicate who these people are. There is just this vague foreign “all these people,” who must be destroyed. Haman was the 2nd in command and in charge of this affair. He wanted all these people, including wives and children, destroyed by the sword without pity or restraint on the 14th day of the 12th month. Thus they will go violently down to Hades. They will leave the Persian government secure and untroubled. Notice that they are going to go down to Hades, who was the Greek god of the underworld, once again indicating a later Greek influence. Hades as a term is found in the Christian New Testament and not in the Hebrew Jewish Old Testament. This was the final section of this Greek text of the decree.