purple motes : Sirach, emphasizing God’s primacy, ambivalently praised physicians

by Douglas Galbi, the author of purple motes

While many persons served many gods within the ancient Mediterranean world, Jews served a jealous god.  From a Jewish perspective, and subsequently Christian and Islamic perspectives, no other god was higher, greater, or stronger than the god of Abraham, the Lord.  No other god was truly the creator of heaven and earth.  No other god cared as well for those who served him.  To a sick person, a human physician providing healing and deliverance from suffering might seem like a god.  Ancient Jewish literature shows concern about physicians usurping the position of the Lord.  That concern did not prevent Jews from acquiring medical knowledge and seeking the help of professional physicians…

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