Saturday, August 21, 2010

Faithful Friends: Sirach 6:14-16

"Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter:
whoever finds one has found a treasure.
Faithful friends are beyond price;
no amount can balance their worth.
Faithful friends are life-saving medicine;
and those who fear the Lord will find them.”

-Sirach 6:14-16 NRSV

As Sirach points out, it is very important to have good friends. There are many obvious reasons for this, but today this was made very clear to me when a good friend of mine presented me with three boxes of Bible commentaries that he had picked off the 25 cent rack at the local seminary. (The fact that these were only 25 cents is nuts, but I am not complaining one bit.)

I had been hoping for the last few months to fill in my Old Testament library of commentaries, which wasn't very comprehensive. Of course, commentaries are not cheap, so I have been slowly building over the past few months, mostly with used editions that I had come across. However, I never thought I would be so blessed to get this lot of commentaries all at once.

The three boxes of commentaries, many of which are lightly used, include amongst others:

JPS Torah Commentary (5 volumes)
Old Testament Library Series from Westminster (7 volumes)
Interpretation Commentary Series by John Knox Press (18 volumes)
Berit Olam (12 volumes)

Many thanks to my friend Matthew, whom I will be indebted to for a very long time.....but happily so!


Esteban Vázquez said...

This is just amazing! What seminary was this?

Timothy said...

Hmmmm...... I know you are in the area! ;)

Sacred Heart Major Seminary actually in Detroit.

Anonymous said...

What a blessing to have such a friend watching out for you!!!

Sharon in Texas

Kevin Sam said...

Timothy, at 25 cents, this is awesome. I had never seen any deals like this before. My sem library sells old hardcovers for $1.

Timothy said...


Yeah, it is a crazy price for so many books. I noticed on the inside cover of the books that they had been donated a couple years back by a priest who was one of the Scripture professors. Perhaps they had multiple copies already and just wanted to get rid of them.

Anonymous said...

But where on earth are you going to put them?

Timothy said...


I'll find space, trust me! ;)

Anonymous said...

Is envy still a capital sin? Cause I am so envious!

Timothy Shaw said...

Hello! I also blogged about Sirach chapter 6 during July 2010; you have a blessing with the friend who shared the commentaries. The passage I posted on my blog

was the entire chapter of Ben Sira (also called Sirach or Ecclesiasticus) as translated by Edgar Goodspeed for his 1938 translation of the Deuterocanonical OT books.

Grace and peace, Tim Shaw

Niles, Michigan -- I am just a novice as far as blogging goes and I enjoyed reading your posts about Catholics and the Bible -- this week at St. Mary's College they had a dedication and Mass honoring the just gifted volumes of the illuminated Saint John's Bible.

Timothy Shaw said...

Here's the translated part of Sirach chapter 6

A faithful friend is a strong protection; a man who has found one has found a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, and his value cannot be weighed. A faithful friend is a life-giving medicine, and those who fear the Lord will find it. The man who fears the Lord will make genuine friendships, for to him his neighbor is like himself.


forgot to cut and paste it just a minute ago

From Tim Shaw, Niles, Michigan

Timothy said...


Thanks for stopping by the blog. It is always nice to have a fellow Michigander in the Catholic blogosphere. I will certainly stop by yours in the coming days.

Mulberrycobbler said...

About 30 years ago a dear friend of my mom gave her the gift of an original, unique and custom piece of framed art consisting of caligraphied verses from Sirach with floral embelishment. The quote goes:
"A faithful friend is beyond price;
No sum can balance his worth;
He who finds one finds a treasure."
Though apparently heavily edited, I find it a lovely and consoling sentiment and am happily reminded of the warmth of my cherished friendships.