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Catholic Dictionary




A book of the Old Testament, also known as "The Wisdom of Jesus, Son of Sirach." Originally written in Hebrew, it was highly prized by the Jews, particularly of the dispersion, and by the early Christians, next to the Psalms and the Gospels. It is the longest didactic book of the Old Testament. After an exhortation to seek wisdom, it offers a series of practical precepts. The transition 42:15 to 43:28 is a sublime hymn extolling God's work in nature. In the second part (44 to 50:23) God is praised in the lives of the heroes of Israel. Noteworthy is chapter 24, introducing uncreated wisdom, speaking as a divine person, although the idea of a distinct substance is not expressed. New Testament references to Ecclesiasticus are numerous.