This volume deals with the book of Ben Sira, discussing his self-understanding and his relation to Wisdom and God. Point of departure is the hymnic instruction in Sir 39, 12-35.
The study opens with an examination of its text-critical situation, structure and literary format. In the first part the diptych on the trades, Sir 38-39, is examined as context for the hymn. The second part focuses on the frame of the hymn and investigates the role of sage and disciples; the third part considers the sapiential teaching (39, 16-31) in detail.
The section on the "work of God", the use of the first-person singular, and the nature of text-forms are of special interest for scholars of Old Testament wisdom literature, the intertestamental period and the history of Judaism.