Do Not be Ashamed of Rendering Judgment to Acquit the Wicked? On Sirach 42:2

Guy Darshan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The literary unit Sir 42:1-8 opens with the instruction not to be ashamed of keeping the Torah and commandments (42:2), and proceeds to list a series of actions that one should perform without embarrassment. Oddly enough, the second half of 42:2 instructs not to be ashamed "of rendering judgment to acquit the wicked,"'Greek Passage'. While this verse cannot be explained by the hermeneutic maneuver of changing the simple meaning of the Hebrew term 'Greek Passage' or the syntactic function of the lamed in 'Greek Passage', I propose employing a text-critical approach in order to resolve the difficulty it presents. The emendation suggested in this paper subsequently helps us identify the biblical verses that served as the source of inspiration for the verse in Sirach (Ps 82:2-3), and the midrashic interpretation this verse was given in a later text (Rom 4:5).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173–182
Number of pages10
JournalVetus Testamentum
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022


  • Ben Sira
  • Prov 28:3, 15
  • Ps 82
  • Rom 4
  • Sir 41:14-42:8
  • shame


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