Ben Sira's Teaching on Friendship (Brown Judaic Studies) by Jeremy Corley

By Jeremy Corley

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Introduction Sirach 6:5–17 is the first, and possibly the best-known, of Ben Sira’s pericopes on friendship; hence I will treat it first here. In 1979 G. 1 More recently, in 1996 P. C. 2 Because the pericope as preserved by HA mostly agrees with G and S, there are few textual problems. In this chapter I will also discuss Sir 37:1–6. This shorter pericope evidences a number of serious textual problems, since the Hebrew manuscripts (HB and HD) and the versions all diverge considerably. The chapter treats Sir 6:5–17 and 37:1–6 together because of their verbal and conceptual similarities.

For an extensive tabular listing of differences between the Hebrew and Greek texts of Ben Sira, see Minissale, La versione greca del Siracide, 174–258. 129 I do not wish to present my retroversions as the last word in reconstructing Ben Sira’s Hebrew text, but rather as an attempt to get closer to the sage’s original thought-world and to understand better the Semitic pattern of his poetry. 131 Hence, in this study I take the risk of producing retroversions for 19:13–17; 22:19–26; 27:16–21, in the hope that the benefits of this approach will outweigh the disadvantages.

25:1–11. ” This reading, out of context here, seems to be a Christian expansion referring to Jesus’ three days in the tomb and his rising again. 126 25:8b: Probably because of distaste for the Semitic animal imagery (“ox” and “ass”), G has omitted this colon, thereby losing one item from the decalogue of macarisms. By contrast, the colon appears in HC and S. ” iii. 25:13–26:27. 127 25:21b: G reads hV;ai (= gunai'ka, “woman”) instead of Hl; vyE l[' (“what is hers”) in HC (cf. S). 26:22: G renders tw

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