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Election And Piety: The "Fear Of YHWH"

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explains that, according to Ben Sira, the elect were chosen for the purpose of practicing a particular kind of piety centered around the performance of the Torah commandments. It argues that Ben Sira most often associates fear of YHWH with special wisdom. The fear of YHWH relates to the special wisdom Israel possesses by means of its Torah. The chapter details the close connections Ben Sira makes between fear of YHWH and the cult. It suggests that an ethical piety expresses one dimension of Israel's devotion to YHWH. It also explores the cultic dimension of Israel's particular piety. Finally the chapter shows that Ben Sira associates wisdom with the fear of YHWH in another way, through a cultic piety in which the pious Jew actualizes wisdom through the Jerusalem temple.

Keywords: Ben Sira; cultic piety; ethical piety; fear of YHWH; Israel; special wisdom; Torah commandments



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