IN praising wisdom, the author of the Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach (the full title of the book) is pointing us back to Torah and the Prophets, for the Jewish people believed that the Torah and other writings were the expression of Wisdom in written form. It is clear that authors in the Newer Testament, such as Jacob (James, the Brother of our Lord) were well acquainted with the Book of Sirach, for although he does not quote it verbatim he alludes to it in his reference to the anger of man, patient endurance, and finding joy amid persecution. The Book of Sirach clearly manifests the Wisdom of the Lord, and belongs to the canonical writings, as recognized by the Eastern and Western Churches for centuries.
Unrighteous anger cannot be justified,
for a man's anger tips the scale to his ruin.
A patient man will endure until the right moment,
and then joy will burst forth for him.
- Sirach 1.22,23 RSV
Be steadfast in your understanding,
and let your speech be consistent.
Be quick to hear,
and be deliberate in answering.
If you have understanding, answer your neighbor;
but if not, put your hand on your mouth.
Glory and dishonor come from speaking,
and a man's tongue is his downfall...
- Sirach 5.10-13 RSV
Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
- James 1.2-4 RSV
for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.
- James 1.20 RSV
Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger...
- James 1.19 RSV