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ecclesiasticus Summary and Overview

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ecclesiasticus in Smith's Bible Dictionary

one of the books of the Apocrypha. This title is given in the Latin version to the book which is called in the Septuagint THE WISDOM OF JESUS THE SON OF SIRACH. The word designates the character of the writing, as publicly used in the services of the Church.

ecclesiasticus in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

ECCLESIAS'TICUS , the title, in the Latin Vulgate, of the Apocryphal book called in the Septuagint "The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach." Both titles are given in the English translation. The Latin title, "The Ecclesiastical Book," designates it as a book that was read for edification in the churches. The original Hebrew is not now extant, although Jerome asserts he saw a copy of it. The Hebrew text was composed by Jesus, the son of Sirach, between b.c. 190-170. His grandson translated it into Greek about the beginning of the second century. In general, its contents resemble the Proverbs of Solomon, only with much greater particularity of detail, extending to all spheres of religious, civil, and domestic life, and giving rules for the conduct of the same. Along with the maxims are discussions and prayers. The book closes with two discourses, one, chs. 42:15-43, etc., "the praise of God for his works" the other, chs. 44-50, "the praise of famous holy men," from Enoch to Simon the high priest, the son of Onias. The final chapter is a thanksgiving and a prayer. The book is of great value as an indication of the current Jewish theology and ethics at the time of its composition.