Wisdom of Solomon 11

11She prospered their works by the hind of a holy prophet.

Contrast between the fortunes of Israel and Egypt; the instrument of punishment to the Egyptians became the instrument of benefit to Israel.

They journeyed through a desert without inhabitant,

And in trackless regions they pitched their tents.

They withstood enemies, and repelled foes.

They thirsted, and they called upon thee,

And there was given them water out of the flinty rock,

And healing of their thirst out of the hard stone.

For by what things their foes were punished,

By these they in their need were benefited.

When the enemy were troubled with clotted blood instead of a river’s ever-flowing fountain,

To punish the decree for the slaying of babes,

Thou gavest them abundant water beyond all hope,

Having shown them by the thirst which they had suffered how thou didst punish the adversaries.

For when they were tried, albeit but in mercy chastened,

They learned how the ungodly were tormented, being judged with wrath:

10 For these, as a father, admonishing them, thou didst prove;

But those, as a stern king, condemning them, thou didst search out.

11 Yea and whether they were far off from the righteous or near them, they were alike distressed;

12 For a double grief took hold on them,

And a groaning at the remembrance of things past.

13 For when they heard that by the very means wherewith they had been punished the others had been benefited,

They felt the presence of the Lord;

14 For him who long before was driven forth in hatred they left off mocking:

And marvelled at the events that had come to pass,

Having thirsted in another manner than the righteous.

Appropriateness of retribution shown to be the purpose of God.

15 But in requital of the senseless imaginings of their unrighteousness,

Wherein they were led astray to worship irrational reptiles and wretched vermin,

Thou didst send upon them a multitude of irrational creatures for vengeance;

16 That they might learn, that by what things a man sinneth, by these he is punished.

17 For thine all-powerful hand,

That created the world out of formless matter,

Lacked not means to send upon them a multitude of bears, or fierce lions,

18 Or new-created wild beasts, full of rage, of unknown kind,

Either breathing out a blast of fiery breath,

Or blowing forth from their nostrils noisome smoke,

Or flashing dreadful sparkles from their eyes;

19 Which had power not only to consume them by their violence,

But to destroy them even by the terror of their sight.

20 Yea and without these might they have fallen by a single breath,

Being pursued by Justice, and scattered abroad by the breath of thy power.

But by measure and number and weight thou didst order all things.

God, though almighty, is full of mercy and compassion.

21 For to be greatly strong is thine at all times;

And the might of thine arm who shall withstand?

22 Because the whole world before thee is as a grain in a balance,

And as a drop of dew that at morning cometh down upon the earth.

23 But thou hast mercy on all men, because thou hast power to do all things,

And thou overlookest the sins of men to the end they may repent.

24 For thou lovest all things that are,

And abhorrest none of the things which thou didst make;

For never wouldst thou have formed anything if thou didst hate it.

25 And how would anything have endured, except thou hadst willed it?

Or that which was not called by thee, how would it have been preserved?

26 But thou sparest all things, because they are thine,

O Sovereign Lord, thou lover of souls;


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