FRAGMENT OF EARLY CODEX IN HEBREW: BOOK OF BEN SIRA (ECCLESIASTICUS)

10th century, found in the Cairo Genizah, 7 9/16 x 13 1/4 in. (19.2 x 33.7 cm), MS. Heb. e. 62, fols. 3[a], 6b

The Book of Ben Sira (also known as Ecclesiasticus) is a second-century BCE Hebrew text. It was excluded from the canonical Hebrew Bible and known only through Greek translation until these fragments were discovered in the late nineteenth century. The book guides the reader to ethical conduct and a love of wisdom, identified with the Torah. In the text at right the author cites biblical episodes whose outcome is due to divine intervention. On the left he urges the father of an unmarried daughter to safeguard her chastity.




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