Religion is almost as old as man itself, and it is a precious way of life that most men try to live by. It serves majorly as a moral compass in which humans use to differentiate the good from the bad and act accordingly to the will of whom we are believed to be created. Various religions exist today, varying greatly in practices and also beliefs. Most religions have a particular holy book where their doctrines and basis of their beliefs are recorded. Yet again, it usually contains words of wisdom and advice to its believers on how to live life in a way that will be beneficial to them and their maker. The book of Sirach is one of this religious book whose creation was believed to be before even the birth of Christ. This book is again known as Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom of Sirach, or just Sirach.
It is believed to have been a Jewish work since its earlier copies were written in Hebrew. The book contains several teachings on ethical and moral issues and its contents hold so much philosophical knowledge. It has a close resemblance to the Christian Bible book of Proverbs. However, the major difference is that the latter is said to have been written by one person; Solomon while the book of Sirach is a compilation of maxims sourced from different people. The book holds a bountiful bank of wisdom which is logically applicable to all life’s conditions. No matter who or how the reader is, they will always find a verse that they can relate to.
One of the major parts in this book is the series of classic thoughts present in the book’s chapter eleven from verses 7 to 9. These verses discuss about good conduct of self when relating to others. And it gave pinpoint instructions and direction on how to act when faced with some life scenarios. The seventh verse of chapter eleven states; “Do not find fault before you investigate; examine first, and then criticize”. This is a straightforward verse and the meaning is not shielded from even the eyes of a layman. It talks against the bad habit of criticizing others without knowing the full story. The verse also encouraged readers to engage in intellectual conversations and debunk the common fallacy of making light of the opponent’s point.
This point was further buttressed in the preceding verse which holds that; “Do not answer before you listen, and do not interrupt when another is speaking”. The statement further promotes positive interaction between man and the members of his environment. “Do not argue about a matter that does not concern you, and do not sit with sinners when they judge a case
“, this was what was in Sirach Chapter 11 verse 9. This part unlike the first two was more of a cautionary verse that instructs readers to be watchful of who they associate with.
Sirach Chapter 11, verses 7 to 9 is a nice passage that holds valuable ethical instructions to man. It was direct enough for anyone to understand what significance the verse has for human life.