Sacred Writings

Ben Sira on Family, Gender, and Sexuality by Ibolya Balla

By Ibolya Balla

The e-book of Ben Sira, the longest Jewish knowledge ebook, is a mixture of knowledge poems a few personified girl knowledge determine, and of teachings on daily concerns together with marriage, relations lifestyles, strength of will, wishes, and sexual promiscuity. Its writer demonstrates an anxiousness concerning issues of sexuality within the discussions of social relatives, together with marriage, kin lifestyles, and in warnings opposed to sexual wrongdoing.This examine examines all teachings bearing on sexuality within the context of kin family members and gender concerns with a different regard to the variations among the Hebrew unique textual content of the e-book and its Greek translation.

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H i s father's g l o r y is a p e r s o n ' s g l o r y " ) . B e n Sira w r i t e s in 41:7-9 that a n i m p i o u s father is b l a m e d b y h i s c h i l d r e n b e c a u s e " o n h i s a c c o u n t t h e y w i l l b e r e p r o a c h e d " (41:7). A l s o , as d i s c u s s e d a b o v e i n this c h a p t e r , a p e r s o n ' s life is reflected i n the n a m e a n d t h e c h i l d r e n h e l e a v e s b e h i n d (Sir 30:4-5; 4 1 : 1 1 - 1 3 ) . A w i c k e d p e r s o n w i l l l e a v e a b a d n a m e i n w h i c h t h e c h i l d r e n w i l l s u r e l y n o t g l o r y (Sir 3:10).

K u g e l s u g g e s t s D**WD t n D b e transĀ­ lated as " w a n t o n as w a t e r " i n G e n 4 9 : 4 , a n d h e g i v e s the a c c o u n t o f R e u b e n ' s sin f r o m T. Reu. 1:6 w i t h the f o l l o w i n g translation: " I solĀ­ e m n l y a d m o n i s h y o u t o d a y b y t h e G o d o f h e a v e n , that y o u n o t w a l k i n the i g n o r a n c e o f y o u t h a n d i m p u r i t y to w h i c h I g a v e m y s e l f u p defiled the b e d o f m y father, J a c o b " . 9 0 K u g e l c o n t i n u e s the and argument that the t e r m " t o w h i c h I g a v e m y s e l f u p " literally m e a n s " i n w h i c h I w a s p o u r e d o u t " this w a y d e s c r i b i n g R e u b e n ' s a c t i o n s , a n d that P s 2 2 : 1 4 (= 2 1 : 1 5 i n L X X ) h a s a s i m i l a r i d e a a b o u t t u r b u l e n t e m o t i o n s , fear, d e s c r i b e d b y t h e P s a l m i s t as " I a m p o u r e d o u t like w a t e r " .

M 112 113 T h e v e r s e s s u r r o u n d i n g Sir 3 5 : 1 7 - 1 8 [ = 3 2 ( 3 5 ) : 1 7 - 1 9 ] attest that G o d is j u s t a n d r i g h t e o u s a n d will r e s p o n d to t h o s e w h o c r y o u t for h e l p (Sir 3 5 : 1 4 - 2 6 ) . In 35:14-22a, the i m m e d i a t e c o n t e x t o f t h e p a s s a g e u n d e r d i s c u s s i o n , it is the i n d i v i d u a l s w h o are o p p r e s s e d , w h i l e in 3 5 : 2 2 b - 2 6 it is rather the n a t i o n , G o d ' s c h o s e n p e o p l e , w h o m h e will save.

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