Wisdom of Solomon 2:1–24
2 For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves,
“Short and sorrowful is our life,
and there is no remedy when a life comes to its end,
and no one has been known to return from Hades.
and hereafter we shall be as though we had never been,
for the breath in our nostrils is smoke,
and reason is a spark kindled by the beating of our hearts;
and the spirit will dissolve like empty air.
and no one will remember our works;
our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud,
and be scattered like mist
that is chased by the rays of the sun
and overcome by its heat.
and there is no return from our death,
because it is sealed up and no one turns back.
and make use of the creation to the full as in youth.
and let no flower of spring pass us by.
everywhere let us leave signs of enjoyment,
because this is our portion, and this our lot.
let us not spare the widow
or regard the gray hairs of the aged.
for what is weak proves itself to be useless.
because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions;
he reproaches us for sins against the law,
and accuses us of sins against our training.
and calls himself a childa of the Lord.
because his manner of life is unlike that of others,
and his ways are strange.
and he avoids our ways as unclean;
he calls the last end of the righteous happy,
and boasts that God is his father.
and let us test what will happen at the end of his life;
and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries.
so that we may find out how gentle he is,
and make trial of his forbearance.
for, according to what he says, he will be protected.”
(Cp Gen 1:26–27)
21 Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray,
for their wickedness blinded them,
nor hoped for the wages of holiness,
nor discerned the prize for blameless souls;
and made us in the image of his own eternity,b
and those who belong to his company experience it.
Other ancient authorities read nature