The Wisdom of Sirach
in Eerdmans Critical Commentary
A deuterocanonical collection of proverbs from the intertestamental period, the Book of Sirach has been treated by many Protestants as a bit of Catholic trivia. Yet careful study of Sirach reveals fascinating insights into Jewish thought two centuries before Jesus. Walter T. Wilson invites scholars and nonspecialists alike to discover the wisdom of this important yet under-studied text. A temple scribe writing in the second century BCE, Ben Sira aimed to instill fear of the Lord and discipline in his community. Interweaving practical advice and theoretical wisdom, his book instructs readers—then and now—in the principles of wisdom so that they may apply them to right action and lead the good life. Based on the New Revised Standard Version, Wilson’s commentary explicates the translated English text with careful attention to its historical and religious contexts, formal qualities, prevailing themes, and place in the canon (or lack thereof). The volume includes a helpful bibliography and notes.