A Priestly Perspective on the Representation of History in the "Praise of the Ancestors" (Sir 44–49)

Jolanta Judyta Pudełko

The Catholic Academy in Warsaw , Poland


The article aims to synthetically present the idea of priesthood in the Praise of the Ancestors (Sir 44–49), a text that contains a theological reflection and description of selected characters in the biblical story from the point of view of a sage living at the turn of the 3rd-2nd centuries BC. First, the successive stages of history depicted by Ben Sira and their possible connections to priesthood are outlined. Then, priesthood as viewed by Ben Sira was presented using specific examples of individuals known from the history of biblical Israel (Aaron, Phinehas, David, Samuel, Joshua son of Jehozadak). However, kings from the Davidic dynasty no longer reigned after the Babylonian exile, even though the sage compares the governor Zerubbabel, who came from the House of David, with the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak. The sign of the covenant, however, remained the high priest. Anonymous references to women in the Praise of the Ancestors also feature references to the reality of the cult. Closing the Praise of the Ancestors, Adam is a type of priest that foreshadows the story’s culmination in the description of the high priest Simon II (Sir 50:1–21). The priesthood in Ben Sira’s view is the keystone that connects the past to the present.


Old Testament, Book of Sirach, Praise of the Ancestors, priesthood

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Pudełko, J. J. (2023). A Priestly Perspective on the Representation of History in the "Praise of the Ancestors" (Sir 44–49). Verbum Vitae, 41(2), 219–235. https://doi.org/10.31743/vv.14554

Jolanta Judyta Pudełko  judyta.pd@gmail.com
The Catholic Academy in Warsaw

S. Jolanta Judyta Pudełko należy do Zgromadzenia Sióstr Uczennic Boskiego Mistrza (PDDM) i jest wykładowcą Papieskiego Wydziału Teologicznego w Warszawie. W 2006 roku uzyskała doktorat nauk teologicznych w zakresie biblistyki na Uniwersytecie Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego w Warszawie, a w latach 2007-2010 studiowała w Studium Biblicum Franciscanum w Jerozolimie, gdzie uzyskała licencjat z nauk biblijnych i archeologii. Autorka książki Wierny przyjaciel lekarstwem życia (Syr 6,16). Koncepcja przyjaźni w Księdze Syracydesa (RSB 28; Warszawa: Vocatio 2007) oraz kilkudziesięciu artykułów o charakterze naukowym i popularnonaukowym. Zaangażowana w duszpasterstwo biblijne, także jako przewodnik grup pielgrzymkowych w Ziemi Świętej, i popularyzowanie lectio divina.



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