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Wisdom of Solomon 5

5Then shall the righteous man stand in great boldness

Before the face of them that afflicted him,

And them that make his labours of no account.

When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear,

And shall be amazed at the marvel of his salvation.

They shall say within themselves repenting,

And for distress of spirit shall they groan,

This was he whom aforetime we had in derision,

And made a byword of reproach:

We fools accounted his life madness,

And his end without honour:

How was he numbered among sons of God!

And how is his lot among saints!

Verily we went astray from the way of truth,

And the light of righteousness shined not for us,

And the sun rose not for us.

We took our fill of the paths of lawlessness and destruction,

And we journeyed through trackless deserts,

But the way of the Lord we knew not.

What did our arrogancy profit us?

And what good have riches and vaunting brought us?

Those things all passed away as a shadow,

And as a message that runneth by:

10 As a ship passing through the billowy water,

Whereof, when it is gone by, there is no trace to be found,

Neither pathway of its keel in the billows:

11 Or as when a bird flieth through the air,

No token of her passage is found,

But the light wind, lashed with the stroke of her pinions,

And rent asunder with the violent rush of the moving wings, is passed through,

And afterwards no sign of her coming is found therein:

12 Or as when an arrow is shot at a mark,

The air disparted closeth up again immediately,

So that men know not where it passed through:

13 So we also, as soon as we were born, ceased to be;

And of virtue we had no sign to show,

But were utterly consumed in our wickedness.

14 Because the hope of the ungodly is like chaff carried off by the wind,

And like a thin spider’s web driven away by a tempest;

And like smoke which is scattered by the wind,

And passeth away as the remembrance of a guest that tarrieth but a day.

The bliss of the righteous and the miserable fate of the ungodly.

15 But the righteous live for ever,

And in the Lord is their reward,

And the care for them with the Most High.

16 Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom,

And a diadem of beauty from the Lord’s hand;

Because with his right hand shall he cover them,

And with his arm shall he shield them.

17 He shall take his jealousy as complete armour,

And shall make the whole creation his weapons for vengeance on his enemies:

18 He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate,

And shall take judgement unfeigned as a helmet;

19 He shall take holiness as an invincible shield,

20 And shall sharpen stern wrath for a sword:

And the world shall go forth with him to fight against his insensate foes.

21 Shafts of lightning shall fly with true aim,

And from the clouds, as from a well drawn bow, shall they leap to the mark.

22 And as from an engine of war shall be hurled hailstones full of wrath;

The water of the sea shall rage against them,

And rivers shall sternly overwhelm them;

23 A mighty blast shall encounter them,

And as a tempest shall it winnow them away:

So shall lawlessness make all the land desolate,

And their evil-doing shall overturn the thrones of princes.

Admonition to the rulers.

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