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Election And Eschatology: Israel Among The Nations

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the question: what are the obligations of the nations based on their receipt of general wisdom. In the Sirach 36, Ben Sira urges YHWH to act as Divine Warrior to rescue his elect people from foreign oppressors. The eschatological vision embodied in the prayer both grows naturally out of the sage's theology of creation and expresses Ben Sira's views on the ultimate destinies and obligations of Israel and the nations. The chapter examines two passages in particular: in addition to the prayer for deliverance in Sirach 36, it also examines Ben Sira's discourse on the creation of human beings in Sirach 17 for what it can divulge about the sage's views on the obligations of the nations. The chapter also discusses the sage's consciousness of ethnic distinctions and his attitude toward non-Jews in general.

Keywords: Ben Sira; Divine Warrior; eschatological vision; Israelite wisdom authors; non-Jews; Sirach 17; Sirach 36; YHWH



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