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688 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 



A NEW FRAGMENT OF BEN SIRA. 

The first find consisted merely of the fragment which 
forms now the lower portion of the page. It numbered 
all told three lines on each side. These lines correspond 
with chap. xx. 6, 7, 13 of the Greek. The rest was 
missing. The gap, numbering apparently six verses, opened 
up a vista of conjectures on the mode of writing, on the 
size of the leaf and other palaeographical topics. I indulged 
in them largely, giving free scope to fancy, until I dis- 
covered the missing portion, and much of my former work 
had to be recast. Meanwhile also, papers appearing in the 
last number of the J. Q. R. and of the Revue des Mudes 
Juives taught that other fragments belonging to the same 
book had been found elsewhere, viz. in Cambridge and 
Paris. In writing this I am not indulging in a descrip- 
tion of futile attempts of reconstruction, but place on 
record the fact that any new discovery might and often 
does entirely upset results based upon conjecture. It 
applies to the whole text of Ben Sira with equal force, 
and the final word can then only be spoken, when the 
remaining portions will have come to light. The variae 
lectiones in the two recensions or groups of MSS. have 
in a similar manner thrown a new light on the marginal 
glosses, have set at rest doubts and hypotheses, and have 
still more complicated the question of authenticity. The 
present fragment will also not diminish these difficulties. 

Before entering upon the minute study of the text 
itself, it is necessary to consider it from the purely 
palaeographical point of view, to describe the character- 
istic features, and to draw some conclusions as to the 



A NEW FEAGMENT OF BEN SIRA 689 

probable date of this MS. Hitherto no attempt has been 
made to describe the other fragments from the palaeo- 
graphical side, and Mr. Adler has attempted to determine 
the date of his MS. only from the paper on which it is 
written. Assuredly an insufficient guide for the fixing of 
the age of a MS. without any other corroborative evidence. 
The size of this MS. is smaller than that of any other. It 
is well known that the smaller the leaves are the older they 
are, and precede in point of time the larger paper leaves. 
The length of a leaf seems to grow with its more recent 
date, especially in the case of leaves used in the making up 
of a book, destined to be folded in layers of four or more 
leaves. Fragments of a very old Haggadah for Pesah, with 
rudimentary illuminations, are of a similar small size and 
written on almost the same kind of thick yellow paper. 
The writing is in accordance with this supposed old age. 
Large and not clearly determined form of letters is a 
characteristic of such early writings. Noteworthy among 
the archaic form of Hebrew letters is the short form of the 
final "Nun," the peculiar "Shin," the long "Vav" at the 
end of the word ; the long stroke at the left foot of the 
"Tau" and "'Ain" are similar proofs of early date. 
Another is afforded by the evident care with which the 
copyist has written the text exactly in twelve lines to 
the page and on an average four words to the line. They 
are uncials or square as in B and not cramped as in Codd. 
A and C (i. e. the fragment published by Mr. Israel L^vi in 
the Revue des liltudes Juives, vol. XL, 1900, p. 1 ff.), both 
written in a cursive hand. A is considered by Mr. Adler 
(J. Q. R., p. 467) not later than 832. The new MS. follows 
on the whole the text as represented by Cod. B inasmuch as 
an attempt is made as far as possible to write no more than 
a hemistich to the line ; so that two lines would correspond 
with one verse, written in Cod. B in one line across the 
whole page, with a blank space in the middle. The oldest 
Codices of the Bible are written in narrow columns, and 
later copies retain this division, especially in Psalms. 



69O THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

Proverbs, and Job, as long as possible. The running of 
one verse into the other is a sign of later age. 

In all the known Codices of Ben Sira the end of the 
verses are marked by two dots ( : ). This new text differs ; 
the end of the verse is marked by a single dot ( • ) and 
a blank space of two or three letters. The time when 
double dots were introduced has not yet been exactly 
determined. In my study of the Samaritan Biblical Scroll 
I have pointed out, that the oldest of these Scrolls contains 
already the double dot. But that would not make it earlier 
than the twelfth or the eleventh century. In the eighth 
century, however, it was declared illegal to introduce them 
into the Sacred Scroll of the Pentateuch. In order to be 
forbidden the practice must have existed and crept in. It 
may have been used first in profane literature. This would 
place the MS. with the verse-mark of one single dot not later 
than the eighth century. Old is also the practice of placing 
the dot high up, on a line with the upper portion of the 
letter, and not in the middle or at the bottom, as is done in 
modern times. In spite of it, however, this text cannot by 
any means be so old as the eighth century. The only 
guide in Hebrew palaeography, still in its infancy, is the 
comparison with dated MSS. of the Bible. The oldest, 
assigned to the middle of the ninth century, has no marks 
at the end of the verse. It appears in the Codex 
Petropolitanus of 916 ; but the small free space which 
separates in our MS. one verse from the other has entirely 
disappeared. On the other hand we miss there one very 
important characteristic, viz. the lengthened letters. It is 
well known that Hebrew words are not divided when they 
happen to be at the end of a line. In old Codices the 
device resorted to by the scribe was to fill the blank space 
with parts of letters or with the first two letters of the 
word fully written in the following line. Not before the 
eleventh century can any trace of the system be found, 
according to which some of the letters were lengthened, so 
as to fill up the line. Both MSS. A and C have a good 



A NEW FRAGMENT OF BEN SIRA 691 

number of such lengthened letters, as the writing goes to 
the very edge of the line. The copyist of B, with ample 
space at his disposal, had no need to resort to the use of 
these letters. The new text has also lengthened letters, 
introduced by the copyist for the same reason, i. e. to fill 
up his line, although he was not sparing in blank space at 
the end of the verse. Finding in one instance that he had 
not sufficient room left for another word on the same line 
(fol. a, third line from the bottom) he lengthened the final 
"Mem" in the word DDn. We do not meet with such 
letters in any Biblical MS. earlier than the eleventh century, 
and even if we should admit that such letters were first 
used in profane literature, before they were introduced into 
sacred texts (not the Scroll !) none of these MSS. of Ben Sira 
could be earlier than the end of the tenth century or the 
beginning of the eleventh ; the oldest of them being this 
one, as it is more archaic than the others, and is the only 
one, except B, written in uncials or square type. 

Turning now to the contents, it is at once apparent that 
we have in this leaf a further portion of the book of which 
two leaves have been found in Cambridge, and one in 
Paris, belonging to what I would call the " Abstract " 
or " Compendium of Ben Sira," apparently an epitome of 
the larger work. The place of this fragment has evidently 
been after the first leaf published by Mr. Schechter, as the 
author of this compilation follows generally the order of 
the chapters in Ben Sira, though this very fragment seems 
to offer an exception, indicating that he did not scruple to 
go farther afield to borrow some verses from a different 
chapter. As far as can be guessed he attempts to group 
together sentences and maxims on one and the same 
subject, avoiding repetition and reiteration, and he arranges 
them in the sequence in which they are found in the fuller 
text. Our text contains, according to the misleading 
numeration of the Greek version, the following verses : 
ch. xvii. 31-33; xix. 1-2; xx. 5-7 ; xxxvii. 19, 32, 24, 26; 
xx. 13, altogether thirteen verses, of which four are known 

VOL. XII. z z 



692 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

already, and in two recensions, whilst the rest appears for 
the first time, belonging to the chapters still missing. 

It is a fortunate coincidence that the verses of chap, 
xxx vii are found here also. This is the third copy of 
one and the same passage found in the fragment of the 
British Museum and in that of Mr. L^vi. In these, however, 
the text is fuller, for the verses counted in the Greek as 20, 
23, and 25 are found in C (Codex L^vi), and verses 20 and 
25 BM (British Museum), 23 being added as a marginal 
gloss. Verse 21 is missing in all the three copies. They 
are, however, not found in the Hebrew in the same order 
as in the Greek. The order in the former is: C 19, 20, 
22, 23, 25, 24, 26, 27 ; and BM 19, 20, 22, 25, 24, 26. 
This confusion in the order of the verses is the more 
interesting, as the parallel passage in the Syriac shows 
a similar want of order. Verse 21 is missing in the 
Syriac and so is 25. The corruption of this passage in 
the Syriac is, however, more apparent than real. The 
counting of the Syriac verses is not to be relied upon. 
(Mr. L^vi took them to be identical with the Greek text, 
and he has therefore compared verses which have nothing 
whatsoever to do one with the other.) In the London 
Polyglott the numbering does not agree with Lagarde's. 
For our purpose we must needs ignore this artificial 
counting and divide the text as it stands before us in 
the best way possible. We must then no longer compare 
19 or 22 with what is counted as such in Lagarde; but 
j 9 with 22 (corrected as will be shown later on), G 22 
with Syr. 23; G 24 with Syr. 24 and G 26 with Syr. 
26. It must not be forgotten that ver. 25 does not exist 
in Syriac, as well as in this Hebrew fragment. The 
parallelism between the " Abstract " and the Syriac is now 
as perfect as can be wished. The confusion noticed in B 
and C is due to the same causes which have disarranged 
the order of the Syriac, viz. to the desire of completing the 
text by the assistance of other versions or MSS. from 
which other verses have been interpolated. 



A NEW FRAGMENT OF BEN S1RA 693 

I have dealt with this point at some length, as it is an 
important one, and may help to determine the relation in 
which the " Abstract" stands to the fuller recension. The 
close agreement in the order and also in the form with the 
Syriac, such as we have it, precludes the possibility that the 
"Abstract" has been made from the fuller Hebrew recension, 
as represented by MSS. A, B, and C. It would be a miracle 
to find the author of the " Abstract" to have omitted exactly 
those verses that are missing in S, and miracles are ex- 
cluded from purely literary work. It may be further 
asked whether these verses are in their proper place in 
the Greek and Syr. (xxxvii. 19 ff.). It is known to 
every one who has followed up the internal history of 
the text that transpositions have taken place. These 
verses are felt to be incongruous in ch. xxxvii. They 
stand in no connexion either with what precedes or with 
what follows ; whilst in the Hebrew the connexion seems 
perfect. We must bear in mind that the compiler follows 
the original in a strictly chronological order, except in 
this one case. In the Paris MS. we have abstracts from 
ch. vi. 18— vii. 25, in the first leaf of Cambridge iv. 23— 
v. 13. In this fragment xvii. 31 — xx. 13, and in the second 
leaf in Cambridge xxv. 8 — xxvi. 19. (I do not mention 
the verses omitted, but only the starting and the last verse.) 
In the original from which the "Abstract" has been made 
these verses may and have assuredly formed part of ch. xx, 
filling up the gap here between verses 7 and 13. Ryssel 
also points out that in ch. xx, ver. 13 joins practically 
ver. 8. 

The old Hebrew original, as far as the wording itself 
is concerned, cannot have been different from the full 
recension as recovered. The agreement is so close that 
no other text could have served as basis for the compiler. 
The portions found in this MS. which are identical with 
corresponding portions of the full recension have established 
this fact beyond doubt. The relation in which this text 
stands to the other versions will be discussed in the Notes. 

ZZ2 



694 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

It will be found that in some instances the text agrees with 
the Syriac, in other more rare occasions it agrees with the 
Greek. In this small fragment, in fact, verses 6 and 13 of 
ch. xx are missing in the Syriac. But with the actual state 
of these versions before us, it is more than rash to draw final 
conclusions either from the presence or from the absence of 
words and verses in one version or in the other; more 
decisive is the coincidence in the forms in which words and 
sentences have been preserved. Not one of these versions 
has come down to us in its primitive form, nor even in 
any reliable form. The changes and manipulations to 
which each one of them has been subjected have been 
manifold and varied ; each has been corrected and interpo- 
lated from the other ; Greek has been changed over and over 
again in the course of time ; the hand of an Alexandrian 
author, well acquainted with the LXX, a Christian, and 
later editors, have modified the translation of Ben Sira ; 
and the activity of the "Hexapla" revisers of the Greek 
text of the Bible did not stay their hands at Ecclesiasticus. 
The original from which the Syriac translation has been 
made was either corrupt or imperfect, and the Syriac text 
itself has not fared much better. It has seen many changes ; 
alterations by Jewish and Christian hands, noticeable in 
the Greek, have not left the latter uninfluenced. 

I do not wish to enter now into the discussion as to 
the authenticity of the Hebrew text. I must reserve that 
for a special study, begun with the first publication of 
Messrs. Neubauer and Cowley's text, and which is being 
amplified and completed in consequence of subsequent 
discoveries. I have no doubt that the Hebrew text now 
recovered is not the original Hebrew of Ecclesiasticus. 

I am now publishing the text, with an interlinear Syriac 
version in square brackets, so as to facilitate the comparison 
between the two texts. Missing words and parts have been 
completed mostly with the assistance of B and C. 










w 



■'£ v 



\ i 




A NEW FRAGMENT OP BEN SIRA 695 



JW ht* nDtrn ^32 •KflP xviii. 31 

[atoiDa Ninn ^32 :nK3on] 

♦ wn aw *b ->b>k auyn 

[. paoo ainn pn nn 1&1 , Npoam] 

(pi)dwdi Kaioi &r vin fo 33 

(ppBl) (IT 3DD) 

[did id W>n *n wnn *6] 

ntxt i>yia xix. 1 • o*aa pa 

Don t6ya :rr6 iron] 

£*dwd nrai ^ *6) 

[ nny:> *6] 

dw p 2 :nm»(JV) 

[«nn»n toon :ntw3dd m*o] 

nry pwi ai> wi(b*) 

D*swn mpeu ♦ aai> prnso] 

t^ xx. 5 • n^ya n w(n) 

[nw ♦ m& nam] 

♦ ♦ ♦ a&wi p(nno) 

[RD*an apnn» pnv im] 

♦ ♦ ♦ ana ottos c* 

[rovjMn maioa tomon nw] 

roy» pao pnno b» 6 

[ ] 

ny n«n *a pnno v»\ Vm 

c ] 



696 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 



ny ny tynro Dan xx. 7 
[any n&j «o*an n-qji] 

B* xxxvii. 19 *ny "WDB* n!> ^D31 

. *6un 
[me : Nrry -km n? otd trvti] 

itrwh mm Mii> Dan 
[a*an py ban KD*an] 

Dan b* 22 *bwa Kin 

[wo^an nw :ne>M K^>a np*K $>a pi] 

(in)yi na Dan 11 ^ 

[wnjn rtobi D^an ntra^n] 

(i)pa^ Dan 24 ♦inij $>y 

[nwM^ D^ann :vna*n Kirn jo] 

(iiTNi)n !>ai awn ya^ 

[ ap^an yaw] 

(?Dy) Dan 26 ♦inn&w 

[mm «D*an :wrn jm^a naraBOi] 

(iDiy) iwi maa (iw) 

[d^p nDcn aopK m*o] 

Dan xx. 13 *ohy ("na) 

[ttbybi wrh] 

Dp naioi i^Q3 -an Dy&n 

[ ] 

naa noan iisjb* D^oa 

[ • •] 



£ 



m 














■nnnvwv 



vim ap 






i W^ : 



f 



A NEW FRAGMENT OF BEN SIRA 697 



TENTATIVE TRANSLATION. 

xviii. 31. The enemy. 32. Take not pleasure in much 
cheer, the poverty (caused) thereby is double. 33. Be not 
a glutton and a drunkard, (when) there is nothing in the 
purse, xix. 1. One who acts thus shall not be rich, and 
he that contemneth small things will become destitute. 
2. Wine and women defile the heart (mind), and a bold 
(impudent) soul destroys its master, xx. 5. There is one 
that keepeth silence, and is considered wise ; there is one 
who is contemned by much (babbling). 6. There is one 
that keepeth silence, because there is no (or, he hath not 
an) answer ; and some keepeth silence for he seeth the time. 
7. A wise man keepeth silence until the time, and the fool 
will not regard (watch) time, xxxvii. 19. There is one 
that is wise to many but to himself he is defiled (useless). 
22. There is one that is wise to himself, the fruit of his 
understanding is upon his body (countenance). 24. A wise 
man to himself shall be satisfied with pleasure (delight), and 
all that see him shall count him happy. 26. A wise man of 
the people shall inherit honour and his name standeth for 
ever. xx. 13. A wise man with a little uttereth his desire, 
and the goodness of the fool poureth away wisdom. 

NOTES. 

In these notes special attention is paid to the relation in which 
the Hebrew text stands to the Syriac, with which it is in close 
agreement, and by means of which the meaning of the Hebrew is 
made more clear than by the assistance of the Greek. The Syriac 
is published here in the form of an interlinear arrangement in order 
to bring out in many cases the absolute agreement. The Syriac 
text is disfigured by many glosses and interpolations ; a double 
translation has sometimes been introduced from the margin into 
the text, and in a few instances the order of the verses and of the 
hemistichs has been displaced. I have merely rearranged here and 



698 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

there a word or changed the order in which the verse is standing in 
the Syriac. It will then be seen how close the relation is, in which 
the two texts stand to one another. 

xviii. 31. W\& Hebrew and Syriac : singular. Greek : plural. 

ver. 32. I have translated pDB> in accordance with all the versions, 
"much." The Hebrew word occurs only twice in Job (iv. 12 and 
xxvi. 14), in both cases translated by the Targum : fi¥p " little." 
The talmudic use of the word agrees on the whole with the idea 
of " little." The author of the Hebrew text of Ben Sira following 
his usual custom, selecting scarce words of the Bible and hapax 
legomena, has hit upon this word, and has given it a different 
meaning. He surely could not inveigh against a "little" rejoicing 
and pleasure ; it is the surfeit of enjoyment which he reproves, 
which alone would bring poverty in its train. (32 b) The Syriac 
pHH nn means " tandem aliquando," inadequately represented by the 
Hebrew D"W '■S which can only mean "double," and occurs only 
twice in the Bible: 2 Kings ii. 9 and Zech. xiii. 8. G. is totally 
different from the Hebrew and Syriac ; it reads : " neither be tied 
to the expense thereof." Ryssel tries to correct the Greek text, and 
he translates : " so that thy requirements be not in the long run 
double as great." If we detach the first words of the following verse 
in the Greek and attach them to the preceding, we find there also 
the allusion to " not getting poor," which in the Greek as it stands 
is taken to be part of ver. 33. But it makes there no sense whatsoever. 
For what can mean: "Be not made a beggar by banqueting upon 
borrowing, when thou hast nothing in thy purse." If a man " has 
nothing in the purse " he evidently is already a " beggar," and cannot 
become after banqueting on borrowed money ! The fact is that we 
must* read the Greek (as the Syriac), " lest through double expenses 
thou necessarily wilt become a beggar." The Hebrew word IB*! 
occurs only twice in the Bible — Prov. xiii. 18 and xxviii. 19 ; translated 
in each case in the Targum by NHW3DD. 

ver. 33. In the Syriac I have eliminated the word f\3DD as it is either 
due to a dittography, a senseless repetition of the concluding word 
of the last verse, or a correction made from the Greek. The former 
seems to be the more correct view. The parallelism between the 
Syriac and the Hebrew is now perfect. The Hebrew expression 
$2)0) /?)! occurs twice in the Bible in this connexion— Deut. xxi. 20 
and Prov. xxiii. 21 ; cf. also ver. 20. The reference to the passage in 
Proverbs assists us in explaining the difference between the Syriac 
and the Hebrew of our Text in the following verse (xix. 1). Instead 
of HNT the pronoun, the Syriac has in the first hemistich the noun 
from the preceding verse fcOP and adds the second noun, represented 



A NEW FRAGMENT OP BEN SIRA 699 

by the synonymous expression, fcOBO Dm, following the example in 
Prov. xxiii. 20, where the Hebrew has "IBO vSt, and the Peshitto adds 
the word "IEO also in ver. 21. 

The Greek of xix. 1 a reads like a wrong translation from 
the Syriac: "A labouring man that is given to drunkenness." 
H. 1 b agrees better with G. "and he that contemneth small 
things/' I have completed the last word to read "ljnyn\ The 
noun occurs in Ps. cii. 18, where the Peshitto translates NDI/V 
K^DKH . The verb occurs Jer. li. 58 ^J?!*?™ T}?, but it is trans- 
lated by all : " uprooted, destroyed, utterly broken." In his usual 
way the author of this Hebrew Ben Sira selects the hapax legomena 
and scarce words. It can have here no other meaning than in 
Psalm cii: "utterly impoverished. ,, The Syriac has KTTOSDD mw 
" to inherit poverty: 9 G. has : " shall fall little by little." 

ver. 2 a. H. agrees absolutely with S., nay the very same words 
are used in both, as I felt justified in completing the verb 1fns\ 
corresponding in meaning and form to the Syriac pinSD. This verb 
is used more than once by the Hebrew B-S., v. the Glossary to 
Neubauer- Cowley's edition, s.v. tnS, where reference is made to this 
verse, with the hope that it may have been used. This expectation 
has now been fulfilled by the discovery of the Hebrew of this verse. 
G. totally different. X> is taken as " men of understanding/' and the 
verb rendered by me " defile " or " make wanton " is rendered by G. 
"to fall away"; Ryssel adds "from God." He has also misunderstood 
the Syriac of ver. 1 b, and still more the following part of this verse. 
I omit here the second half of Syriac, i. e. 2 b, as it is not found in the 
Hebrew, and what is numbered as Syriac 3 is taken by me to be the 
true 2 b. A glance at the Greek and at the Commentaries of Edersheim 
and Ryssel will convince every one that this passage is corrupted more 
than in the Syriac, though this has also suffered by the intercalation 
of 2 b, a mere repetition of 2 a. Ryssel considers ver. 3 S. as a late 
interpolation. In the light of the Hebrew text we must reverse this 
opinion and reject 2 b as a late interpolation. Ver. 3 S. corresponds 
exactly to H. 2 b, word for word. The Hebrew HTJJ has been rendered 
by me "bold, impudent" as in Prov. nW impudence, roughness, 
not " strong." In G. 3 b seems to offer an analogy to this part of the 
verse. If we omit in G. 2 b and 3 a, and join 3 b to 2 a we shall have 
corrected the text in a much more satisfactory manner than has been 
done by Ryssel and others. 

xx. 5. Agrees with both versions, S. and G. RyssePs suggestion 
that in the Hebrew stood NtfM, for which G. " found." The Hebrew 
here, however, is 3OTU "considered," exactly as the Syriac. 5 b 3na 
must evidently be read 31"U. I have translated accordingly. 



700 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

ver. 6. Missing in S., agrees in the main with G. W here and in 
the following verses is used in the same sense as in Eccles. iii. i ff., 
"propitious, proper time." In S. and G. 7 a the word is rendered 
" opportunity." 

ver. 7 a. H. agrees more with G. than with S. which has "^3 in both 
halves of the verse. Both versions have "fcTOJ" or "man" in 
connexion with " wise,' 1 but in all the following verses it is omitted 
regularly. So throughout in the Hebrew, which has only D3n. 
7 b. S. and G. have an addition (due to a marginal gloss) " wicked " 
S., and "babbler" G., beside the "fool" which alone is found in H. 
Ryssel observes that the true antithesis between ver. 8 (or 7) is ver. 13. 
The intermediary would thus appear to be in a wrong place altogether. 
Instead then of verses 9-12 found in G. and S. we have in our text 
the verses which are now in G. and S. in chapter xxxii. I have already 
pointed out above the relation in which the Hebrew stands to the 
other versions. I mention that these new verses have been edited 
twice, once by Mr. Margoliouth in the Jewish Quarterly Review, 
and a second time by Mr. J. Levi. Our present text agrees in the 
main more closely with B (the text of Mr. Margoliouth) than 
with C (Levi). But as the comparison has not been made with the 
exactly corresponding verses in S, I must, however briefly, go over 
the same ground once more. 

xxxvii. 19. H. has the peculiar Aramaic form DDnj, whilst in ver. 22 
it is the Hebrew form DDIT. The parallelism between H. and S. 
becomes evident the moment we recognize in S. a displacement of 
the second hemistichs in each of the two verses, now S. 20 and 22. 
Written in parallel columns one over the other, they have changed 
places ; 22 b ought now to be what it probably was at the beginning 
viz. 20 b, and the latter ought to take its proper place after 22 a. 
&T\? is represented in S. by " at all times," " at many times," and 
not " for many men." H. agrees with S. " D3n3 = D^n being " wise'* ; 
G. has instead " teacheth." 

Our text has 7fcOa like B, against C ?H)1. The first appears to be 
the more correct form. It is to be taken as identical with the same 
word meaning " pollution, defilement, unworthiness," just as Nehem. 
xiii. 29 and other passages in the Bible. It thus corresponds much 
better with the Greek "useless," "unprofitable," for 7&03 would 
have been rendered "foolishly." S. has "omnique honore privet 
seipsum." The Arabic translation, which rests upon the Syriac, 
"suumque deiiciat honorem" (Walton's Polyglott). Surely no more 
perfect equivalent could be found for the Hebrew or vice versa in H, 
for it means in all instances " he becomes unworthy." 

ver. 22. B and C have ^1 like S. 1t?D3? in all these verses must be 



A NEW FRAGMENT OF BEN SIRA 701 

taken as "himself," the personif. of the wise. IJVti in the same 
verse corresponds to S. "vultus aspectu," "the outward appearance/' 
the "countenance"; " ab eiusdem vultu " Arab. (Walton) in contra- 
distinction to " HHM." C has here also Mm, not so B. " The fruit 
of his understanding," H., agrees better with G. than with S. I have 
completed the word in accordance with the other MSS. into IHjn. 

ver. 24. This verse is a logical sequence to ver. 22. Those who 
are able to recognize the wise from his aspect, are praising him. 
H. agrees with S. and not with G., which is totally different from 
H. 24 a, whilst H. corresponds to S. word for word. The order of 
words of 24 b is reversed in C, agreeing even in that detail with S. 
In our text the order is somewhat different. In B this part is 
missing through imperfection of the MS. The verb inP^N' 1 is in 
plur. as conjectured by Mr. Levi. Ryssel misunderstands here also 
the passage, and Levi, not comparing the corresponding verses of S., 
comes to most curious conclusions. 

ver. 26. H. like S. combines "the wise man" with "the people," 
and agrees also in the remaining portion closely. G. different. 
"Honour" adopted by Ryssel is found here also, and in S. Cod. 248 
reads €<rr<u, exactly as our text has *7Diy, and so S. I have added the 
word "rQ in conformity with the other text (C), but the true reading 
ought to be "TV. S. has also a similar form WTV. 

xx. 13. No S. for this verse. This verse as it stands does not agree 
with any version. I have tried to translate "OT not as a noun, but as 
a verb : identical with the sentence in Micah vii. 3 : JTin lift THUm 
M?Q} "and the great man uttereth his mischievous desire," or "the 
desire of his soul." It would then mean here : " The wise man is 
able to utter his desire in a few words, whilst the goodness of the 
fool poureth away wisdom like water." 

Thus far this new fragment. 1 draw no conclusions. 
The close agreement between this text and S. needs no 
further pointing out. Nor is it necessary to urge again the 
fact that text and writing exhibit a very archaic character. 
The relation between this text and the fuller Ben Sira 
still requires careful study. The problem as it presents 
itself to me is to determine in the first instance the claim 
of priority of one over the other, that is, to ascertain 
whether the smaller depends upon the larger book, or 
whether the larger is a later amplification of an older, 
smaller text. After this question has been satisfactorily 



702 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

disposed of, it will then be time to open the question of 
the authenticity of this Hebrew text. It will be the duty 
of those who defend the authenticity to explain the sur- 
prisingly close and almost literal agreement with the Syriac, 
which goes so far as to obliterate the Hebrew character 
of this book, notably in its Syntax. 

Among the fragments from the Genizah I have found 
a small portion of a leaf, in a very bad state of preservation. 
The writing, which is almost faint, is of a mixed character, 
uncial letters alternating with cursive. Fol. a has six 
lines visible, of which five are tolerably legible, though 
torn in the middle, and much mutilated at the left side. 
The reverse is in a worse condition, and only stray words 
can still be seen. As the text seems to stand in some 
relation to Sira, one or two maxims finding parallels in 
the latter, I am publishing them also, to preserve them from 
utter destruction. They are rhymed maxims, and resemble 
somewhat the collection published by Prof. Schechter, 
J. Q. R, pp. 459"46o. 

♦ ♦ . [m] ♦ . . yop Ti[na] noim prnnm pianm *» y»&> 

.... now m "iron noiM ppn foi . i[w]:& *raa nw 

.... 3 novn am [n]p« [nK]n[*] cm rrnn jro 

. . . . vb ;x> b # # . [-nm] Mn npo n^n vb) 

noin t6 . . . n nby i? [no]K* iid *a *an 



nam p» «h 
onDn ny im& 

pp[n] «h [n>n «h 

M. Gaster.