By Patrick W. Skehan, Alexander A. Di Lella

The knowledge of Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus) comprises the sayings of Ben Sira, arguably the final of Israel's clever males and its first specialist scribe, whose global was once outlined and ruled through Greek principles and beliefs. This Hellenistic worldview challenged the adequacy of the faith handed right down to the Palestinian Jews of the second one century B.C.E. through their ancestors. Ben Sira's education in either Judaic and Hellenistic literary traditions ready him to satisfy this problem. He vigorously antagonistic any compromise of Jewish values; and his teachings strengthened the religion and self assurance of his people.Through its dependent poetry and vehement exhortations, The knowledge of Ben Sira exposes the ailing results of sinful habit on one's future health, prestige, and non secular and fabric overall healthiness. Ben Sira's rigorous code of ethical habit used to be the degree of Jewish faithfulness in an period of moral and non secular financial disaster.

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C. This date is confirmed by the book itself. In 50:1-21, Ben Sira has a long panegyric on a certain priest by the name of Simeon, son of Jochanan (Onias in some G r MSS). C. From the vivid, colorful, and detailed descriptions of the high priestly vestments and liturgical actions, it seems certain that Ben Sira personally witnessed Simeon performing the elab­ orate rituals of the Daily Whole-Offering in the Jerusalem Temple. Ben Sira refers to Simeon in such a way as to imply that the high priest was already dead.

From the vivid, colorful, and detailed descriptions of the high priestly vestments and liturgical actions, it seems certain that Ben Sira personally witnessed Simeon performing the elab­ orate rituals of the Daily Whole-Offering in the Jerusalem Temple. Ben Sira refers to Simeon in such a way as to imply that the high priest was already dead. Moreover, Ben Sira does not mention or even allude to the troublous events that occurred in Palestine during the reign of the Seleucid Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164), who figures prominently as the archvillain in Daniel 7 12.

It took Alexander the Great little time in 332 to conquer Palestine, which had been under Persian domination from 539. He did not remain there long, however, but left the clean-up operations to his generals. After Alexander died in 323, the victim of a fever, the great empire he had acquired became a battleground once again. His successors, known as the Diadochoi, fought numerous battles to determine who would obtain which parts of the far-flung domain. With regard to our area of concern, only two of Alexander's generals are of importance, Ptolemy I Lagi and Seleucus I.

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