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Wisdom of Solomon 14

14Again, one preparing to sail, and to journey through raging waves,

Calls on a piece of wood less sound than the vessel that bears him;

For that vessel the hunger for gain devised,

And an artificer by his wisdom built it;

And thy providence, O Father, guideth it along,

Because even in the sea thou gavest a way,

And in the waves a sure path,

Showing that thou canst save out of every danger,

That so even without art a man may put to sea;

And it is thy will that the works of thy wisdom should not be idle;

Therefore also do men intrust their lives to a little piece of wood,

And passing through the surge on a raft are brought safe to land.

For in the old time also, when proud giants were perishing,

The hope of the world, taking refuge on a raft,

Left to the race of men a seed of generations to come,

Thy hand guiding the helm,

For blessed was the wood through which cometh righteousness:

Idolaters shall be punished.

But the idol made with hands is accursed, itself and he that made it;

Because his was the working, and the corruptible thing was named a god:

For both the ungodly doer and his ungodliness are alike hateful to God;

10 For verily that which was made shall be punished together with him that made it.

11 Therefore among the idols of the nations shall there be a visitation,

Because, though formed of things which God created, they were made an abomination,

And stumblingblocks to the souls of men,

And a snare to the feet of the foolish.

The origin of idolatry.

12 For the devising of idols was the beginning of fornication,

And the invention of them the corruption of life:

13 For neither were they from the beginning, neither shall they be for ever;

14 For through the vain error of men they entered into the world,

And therefore has a speedy end been devised for them.

15 For a father worn with untimely grief,

Making an image of the child too quickly taken away,

Now honoured him as a god who then was a corpse,

And delivered to those that were under him mysteries and solemn rites.

16 Afterward the ungodly custom, in process of time grown strong, was kept as a law,

And by the commandments of princes graven images were worshipped.

17 And when men could not honour them in presence because they dwelt far off,

Imagining the likeness from afar,

They made a visible image of the king whom they honoured,

That by their zeal they might flatter the absent as if he were present.

18 But unto a yet higher pitch of worship

Did the ambition of the artificer urge forward even them that knew him not,

19 For he, wishing perchance to please the ruler,

Compelled his art to give the likeness greater beauty;

20 And so the multitude, allured by the grace of his work,

Now accounted as an object of worship him whom they had honoured before as a man.

21 And this became a hidden danger unto life,

Because men, under the power either of calamity or of tyranny,

Invested stones and stocks with the incommunicable Name.

Evil results of idolatry.

22 Afterward it was not enough for them to go astray in the knowledge of God;

But also, while they live in sore conflict through ignorance of him,

That multitude of evils they call peace.

23 For either slaughtering children in solemn rites, or celebrating secret mysteries,

Or holding frantic revels of strange ordinances,

24 No longer do they guard either life or purity of marriage,

But one slays another treacherously, or grieves him by adultery.

25 And all things confusedly are filled with blood and murder, theft and deceit,

26 Corruption, faithlessness, tumult, perjury,

Disquieting of the good,

Ingratitude for benefits received,

Defiling of souls, confusion of sex,

Disorder in marriage, adultery, and wantonness.

27 For the worship of those unnameable idols

Is the beginning and cause and end of every evil.

28 For their worshippers either make merry unto madness, or prophesy lies,

Or live unrighteously, or lightly forswear themselves.

29 For putting their trust in lifeless idols,

They wickedly swear false oaths and look not to be harmed.

30 But for both sins shall the just doom pursue them,

Because they had evil thoughts of God by giving heed to idols,

And swore unrighteously in deceit, despising holiness.

31 For not the power of them by whom men swear,

But Justice which hath regard to them that sin,

Punisheth always the transgression of the unrighteous.

Benefits of worshipping the true God.

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