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.

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The annoying righteous one (Wis 2:12-2:16)

“‘Let us lie in wait

For the righteous man.

Because he is inconvenient to us.

He opposes our actions.

He reproaches us

For sins against the law.

He accuses us of sins

Against our training.

He professes to have knowledge of God.

He calls himself a child of the Lord.

He became to us a reproof of our thoughts.

The very sight of him is a burden to us.

Because his manner of life is

Unlike that of others.

His ways are strange.

We are considered by him

As something base.

He avoids our ways as unclean.

He calls the last end of the righteous happy.

He boasts that God is his father.’”

They are going to attack the righteous one (δίκαιον), because he opposes their actions. He has been reproaching them for their sins against the law (ἁμαρτήματα νόμου) and their training (παιδείας). He claims to have knowledge about God (γνῶσιν ἔχειν Θεοῦ). He says that he is a child of the Lord (παῖδα Κυρίου). He has rebuked their thoughts. His very presence is a burden to them. He is not like the others since his ways are strange. He thinks that they are base and unclean. He claims that God is his father (πατέρα Θεόν).