Wisdom of Solomon 16:24–19:22
exerts itself to punish the unrighteous,
and in kindness relaxes on behalf of those who trust in you.
it served your all-nourishing bounty,
according to the desire of those who had need,h
that it is not the production of crops that feeds humankind
but that your word sustains those who trust in you.
was melted when simply warmed by a fleeting ray of the sun,
and must pray to you at the dawning of the light;
and flow away like waste water.
17 Great are your judgments and hard to describe;
therefore uninstructed souls have gone astray.
they themselves lay as captives of darkness and prisoners of long night,
shut in under their roofs, exiles from eternal providence.
behind a dark curtain of forgetfulness,
they were scattered, terriblya alarmed,
and appalled by specters.
but terrifying sounds rang out around them,
and dismal phantoms with gloomy faces appeared.
nor did the brilliant flames of the stars
avail to illumine that hateful night.
except a dreadful, self-kindled fire,
and in terror they deemed the things that they saw
to be worse than that unseen appearance.
and their boasted wisdom was scornfully rebuked.
were sick themselves with ridiculous fear.
yet, scared by the passing of wild animals and the hissing of snakes
refusing to look even at the air, though it nowhere could be avoided.
11 For wickedness is a cowardly thing, condemned by its own testimony;b
distressed by conscience, it has always exaggeratedc the difficulties.
prefers ignorance of what causes the torment.
and which came upon them from the recesses of powerless Hades,
they all slept the same sleep,
and now were paralyzed by their souls’ surrender;
for sudden and unexpected fear overwhelmed them.
and thus was kept shut up in a prison not made of iron;
or workers who toiled in the wilderness,
they were seized, and endured the inescapable fate;
for with one chain of darkness they all were bound.
or a melodious sound of birds in wide-spreading branches,
or the rhythm of violently rushing water,
or the unseen running of leaping animals,
or the sound of the most savage roaring beasts,
or an echo thrown back from a hollow of the mountains,
it paralyzed them with terror.
and went about its work unhindered,
an image of the darkness that was destined to receive them;
but still heavier than darkness were they to themselves.
18 But for your holy ones there was very great light.
Their enemiesa heard their voices but did not see their forms,
and counted them happy for not having suffered,
2 and were thankful that your holy ones,b though previously wronged, were doing them no injury;
and they begged their pardon for having been at variance with them.c
as a guide for your people’sd unknown journey,
and a harmless sun for their glorious wandering.
4 For their enemiese deserved to be deprived of light and imprisoned in darkness,
those who had kept your children imprisoned,
through whom the imperishable light of the law was to be given to the world.
5 When they had resolved to kill the infants of your holy ones,
and one child had been abandoned and rescued,
you in punishment took away a multitude of their children;
and you destroyed them all together by a mighty flood.
so that they might rejoice in sure knowledge of the oaths in which they trusted.
were expected by your people.
you called us to yourself and glorified us.
and with one accord agreed to the divine law,
so that the saints would share alike the same things,
both blessings and dangers;
and already they were singing the praises of the ancestors.f
and their piteous lament for their children was spread abroad.
and the commoner suffered the same loss as the king;
12 and they all together, by the one formg of death,
had corpses too many to count.
For the living were not sufficient even to bury them,
since in one instant their most valued children had been destroyed.
yet, when their firstborn were destroyed, they acknowledged your people to be God’s child.
and night in its swift course was now half gone,
into the midst of the land that was doomed,
a stern warrior
and stood and filled all things with death,
and touched heaven while standing on the earth.
and unexpected fears assailed them;
made known why they were dying;
so that they might not perish without knowing why they suffered.
20 The experience of death touched also the righteous,
and a plague came upon the multitude in the desert,
but the wrath did not long continue.
he brought forward the shield of his ministry,
prayer and propitiation by incense;
he withstood the anger and put an end to the disaster,
showing that he was your servant.
22 He conquered the wrathh not by strength of body,
not by force of arms,
but by his word he subdued the avenger,
appealing to the oaths and covenants given to our ancestors.
he intervened and held back the wrath,
and cut off its way to the living.
and the glories of the ancestors were engraved on the four rows of stones,
and your majesty was on the diadem upon his head.
25 To these the destroyer yielded, these hei feared;
for merely to test the wrath was enough.
19 But the ungodly were assailed to the end by pitiless anger,
for Goda knew in advance even their future actions:
2 how, though they themselves had permittedb your people to depart
and hastily sent them out,
they would change their minds and pursue them.
and were lamenting at the graves of their dead,
they reached another foolish decision,
and pursued as fugitives those whom they had begged and compelled to leave.
and made them forget what had happened,
in order that they might fill up the punishment that their torments still lacked,
5 and that your people might experiencec an incredible journey,
but they themselves might meet a strange death.
6 For the whole creation in its nature was fashioned anew,
complying with your commands,
so that your childrend might be kept unharmed.
and dry land emerging where water had stood before,
an unhindered way out of the Red Sea,
and a grassy plain out of the raging waves,
after gazing on marvelous wonders.
and leaped like lambs,
praising you, O Lord, who delivered them.
how instead of producing animals the earth brought forth gnats,
and instead of fish the river spewed out vast numbers of frogs.
11 Afterward they saw also a new kinde of birds,
when desire led them to ask for luxurious food;
13 The punishments did not come upon the sinners
without prior signs in the violence of thunder,
for they justly suffered because of their wicked acts;
for they practiced a more bitter hatred of strangers.
but these made slaves of guests who were their benefactors.
for having received strangers with hostility,
afterward afflicted with terrible sufferings
those who had already shared the same rights.
just as were those at the door of the righteous man
Or who made supplication
Other ancient authorities read unobserved, they were darkened behind a dark curtain of forgetfulness, terribly
Meaning of Gk uncertain
Other ancient authorities read anticipated
Meaning of Gk uncertain
Meaning of Gk uncertain
Gk those persons
Other ancient authorities read dangers, the ancestors already leading the songs of praise
Cn: Gk multitude
Other ancient authorities read they
Other ancient authorities read had changed their minds to permit
Other ancient authorities read accomplish