Wisdom of Solomon 4

4Better than this is childlessness with virtue;

For in the memory of virtue is immortality:

Because it is recognized both by God and man.

When it is present, men imitate it;

And they long after it when it is departed:

And throughout all time it marcheth crowned in triumph,

Victorious in the strife for prizes undefiled.

But the multiplying brood of the ungodly shall be of no profit,

And with bastard slips they shall not strike deep root,

Nor shall they establish a sure hold.

For even if these put forth boughs and flourish for a season,

Yet, standing unsure, they shall be shaken by the wind,

And by the violence of winds they shall be rooted out.

Their branches shall be broken off ere they come to maturity,

And their fruit shall be useless,

Not ripe to eat, and meet for nothing.

For children unlawfully begotten are witnesses of wickedness

Against parents when God searcheth them out.

The premature death of the righteous is followed by immortality, but the very memory of the ungodly shall perish.

But the righteous, though he die before his time, shall be at rest.

(For honourable old age is not that which standeth in length of time,

Nor is its measure given by number of years:

But understanding is grey hairs unto men,

And an unspotted life is ripe old age.)

10 Being found well-pleasing unto God he was beloved of him,

And while living among sinners he was translated:

11 He was caught away, lest wickedness should change his understanding,

Or guile deceive his soul.

12 (For the fascination of wickedness bedimmeth the things which are good,

And the frenzy of desire perverteth an innocent mind.)

13 Being made perfect in a little while, he fulfilled long years;

14 For his soul was pleasing unto the Lord:

Therefore He hastened him out of the midst of wickedness.

16 But a righteous man that is dead shall condemn the ungodly that are living,

And youth that is quickly perfected the many years of an unrighteous man’s age.

15 But as for the peoples, seeing and understanding not,

Neither laying this to heart:—

17 For they will see the wise man’s end,

And not understand what the Lord purposed concerning him,

And for what he safely kept him:—

18 They will see, and despise;

But them the Lord shall laugh to scorn.

And after this they shall become a dishonoured carcase,

And a reproach among the dead for ever:

19 Because he shall dash them speechless to the ground,

And shall shake them from the foundations,

And they shall lie utterly waste, and be in anguish,

And their memory shall perish.

The remorse of the ungodly at the judgement. Their retrospect.

20 They shall come, when their sins are reckoned up, with coward fear;

And their lawless deeds shall convict them to their face.

Read more