24 "If I have made gold my trust,
or called fine gold my confidence;
25 if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great,
or because my hand had gotten much;
26 if I have looked at the sun when it shone,
or the moon moving in splendor,
27 and my heart has been secretly enticed,
and my mouth has kissed my hand;
28 this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges,
for I should have been false to God above.
16 Do not be afraid when some become rich,
when the wealth of their houses increases.
17 For when they die they will carry nothing away;
their wealth will not go down after them.
18 Though in their lifetime they count themselves happy
--for you are praised when you do well for yourself--
19 they1 will go to the company of their ancestors,
who will never again see the light.
20 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
they are like the animals that perish.
1 My child, when you come to serve the Lord,
prepare yourself for testing.
2 Set your heart right and be steadfast,
and do not be impetuous in time of calamity.
3 Cling to him and do not depart,
so that your last days may be prosperous.
4 Accept whatever befalls you,
and in times of humiliation be patient.
5 For gold is tested in the fire,
and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation.
6 Trust in him, and he will help you;
make your ways straight, and hope in him.
7 You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy;
do not stray, or else you may fall.
8 You who fear the Lord, trust in him,
and your reward will not be lost.
9 You who fear the Lord, hope for good things,
for lasting joy and mercy.
10 Consider the generations of old and see:
has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed?
Or has anyone persevered in the fear of the Lord and been forsaken?
Or has anyone called upon him and been neglected?
11 For the Lord is compassionate and merciful;
he forgives sins and saves in time of distress.
Some stint and save and thus become rich
and think that they have achieved something
and say, "Now I will make myself a good life,
eat and drink of what I have"
—but they do not know that their hour is near
and that they must leave everything to others and die.
Lachs, [Rabbinic Commentary on the New Testament] (291f) cites the following:
Man's nature is such that he is never satisfied. [B. Sanh. 29b]
Tarif Khalidi [The Muslim Jesus] (2001) cites the following parallel:
294 Jesus said, "What does it profit a man if he sells his soul for all that is in the world, and then leaves all that he sold it for as an inheritance to someone else while he himself has ruined his soul? Blessed is he who saves his soul, preferring it to all that is in the world." [eighteenth century]