The Wisdom of Solomon - An English Translation by William Finck

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A completely new translation by William Finck of, based on the text of the Rahlfs-Hanhart Septuaginta, but not necessarily following the punctuation of that edition. Download the PDF here. There is also a navigable chapter-by-chapter Greek-English Interlinear Version.

The Wisdom of Solomon is a profound and inspired work of literature, which, with all certainty, should have been included in the canonical Scriptures alongside the other works of Solomon, regardless of the fact that there is no extant Hebrew manuscript. The work is found in early lists of church canon, such as the Muratorian Canon, and it was included alongside the other Biblical books of wisdom in the Old Testament in the 4th century Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B) and in the 5th century Codex Alexandrinus (A). While there have been contrary claims, for example at the Israeli website, no supporting evidence has been presented, and therefore the work has evidently not been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. However we must wonder if those examining the Scrolls would even recognize it, since there is no known Hebrew text against which to reference any possible fragments.

Passages from the Wisdom of Solomon were alluded to by Paul of Tarsus, and had obviously been an influence on him in his writings. For example, the “whole armor of God” analogy is very close to a description of the wrath of God found here in Wisdom chapter 5. In Romans chapter 8, Paul had used the term for creation in the same fashion as it was described in Wisdom chapter 19, in verse 6. Yet Wisdom also presages many of the illustrations which Yahshua Christ had employed in various of His parables in the Gospel, especially where Solomon spoke of races of men and their generations as trees and branches.

Of course, while we cannot imagine that Christ was inspired by Wisdom, His use of so many similar allegories in the same contexts certainly elucidates the fact that Solomon was inspired by Him. So in Wisdom we find rebukes of the lawless, the godless concept that “might is right”, the wandering of the impious into the corruption of their seed through miscegenation, and the fact that bad trees cannot produce good fruit, along with an exposition of some of the beginnings of idolatry. Finally, there is an analogy portraying the world of the wicked and of sin as Egypt and Sodom, much like the Revelation also attests, and the reordering of the creation of God in the organization of the children of Israel, which is how the history of the children of Israel had begun, and how Revelation also concludes. The Wisdom of Solomon is indeed a masterpiece of Christian theology, and a philosophical bridge between the Old and New Testaments which no true Christian should be without.

As it is in the Christogenea New Testament, κυρίος is translated here as Yahweh, assuming that a Hebrew original had used the Tetragrammaton instead of a title. But unlike the Christogenea New Testament, θεός is always translated as God here, or sometimes as god or gods in reference to idols. Furthermore, as I had endeavored in my New Testament translation in all other respects, here also I had sought to stay as close to the literal Greek as possible, even if readability may sometimes suffer to some degree. This project was conceived in July, 2121, begun in June 2022, a draft was finished in December, and the current and hopefully final version was completed, after a long hiatus, on November 1st, 2023. Of course we expect to find an occasional typographical or other small error. Read the interlinear edition here.

Chapter 1

1 Judges of the land, love righteousness; think about Yahweh and seek Him with goodness and simplicity of heart. 2 Because He is found by those who do not tempt Him and manifests Himself to those who are not disbelieving. 3 For crooked reasonings divide from God and the power being tested reproves the foolish, 4 because wisdom does not enter into a soul practicing evil nor does it dwell in a body indebted to sin. 5 For a holy spirit through discipline shall flee deceit and stand apart from reasonings void of understanding, and convict coming unrighteousness.

6 For wisdom is a benevolent spirit, and the blasphemous from his lips shall not go unpunished, since God is witness of his feelings and true supervisor of his heart and hearer of the tongue, 7 because the Spirit of Yahweh has filled the inhabited earth and that which encompasses all things has knowledge of a voice. 8 On this account no one uttering unrighteous things escapes notice, neither does convicting judgment bypass him. 9 For in the deliberations of an impious man there shall be scrutiny and a report of his words shall come to Yahweh for a conviction of his transgressions of the law, 10 because an ear of zealousness hears all things and a sound of murmuring is not concealed. 11 Therefore you must guard against unprofitable murmuring and refrain from a tongue of evil speech because vain covert speech shall not proceed and a mouth speaking falsely slays a soul.

12 Do not emulate death in the wandering of your life nor bring upon yourself destruction by the deeds of your hands, 13 because God did not make death nor has He delight in the destruction of the living. 14 (For He established all things which exist and the preserving origins of the Society and there is no elixir of destruction in them nor a place for Hades upon earth.) 15 For righteousness is immortal, 16 but they with impious hands and words summon it [death] to them are consumed considering it a friend they languish, and they establish a covenant with it because they are worthy to be of that portion.


Chapter 2

1 For reasoning among themselves they said, not uprightly, “Our life is short and painful, and there is no cure in the death of man, and the release from Hades he has not known, 2 because we are born offhandedly and after this we shall be as not existing, since the breath in our nostrils is smoke and the thought a spark in the beating of our hearts 3 which being extinguished the body shall turn to ashes and the spirit dissolved as empty air. 4 Then our name shall be forgotten with time and no one shall remember our works, and our life shall pass unnoticed as a trace of a cloud and shall evaporate as a mist being pursued by a ray of the sun and wearied by the heat of it. 5 For our time is a passing of a shadow and there is no step back from our death because it is assured and no one returns.

“6 Therefore come and enjoy the existing good things and eagerly use the creation like in youth. 7 We should be filled with costly wine and ointments, and the flower of spring must not pass us by. 8 We should crown ourselves with rosebuds before withering. 9 Not one of us must be without a share of our luxury. Everywhere we should leave behind tokens of our cheerfulness, because that is our portion and this our lot.

“10 We should oppress the poor righteous man. We should not spare a widow nor respect the long-enduring grayness of an elder. 11 Our strength must be the law of righteousness, for that which is weak is proved to be useless. 12 We should lie in wait for the righteous because he is intractable to us and opposes our works, and he reproaches us for our transgressions of the law, and imprecates upon us for the transgressions of our training. 13 He professes to have knowledge of God and calls himself a child of Yahweh. 14 He was made for us a reproof of our thoughts. He is burdensome for us even to see, 15 because his manner of living is unlike the others and his paths have taken another course.

“16 By him we are reckoned as spurious, and he abstains from our ways as from uncleanness. He pronounces blessed the ends of the just, and boasts that God is father. 17 We should see if there is truth in his words, and make trial of the things in his issue. 18 For if the just man is a son of God, He shall help him and deliver him from the hand of those in opposition. 19 We shall test him with insult and injury, in order that we may know his kindness and prove his forbearance. 20 We should condemn him with a shameful death, for his examination shall be from his own words.”

21 These things they reckoned, and they were deceived; for their malice had blinded them, 22 and they did not know the mystery of God, nor did they hope for the reward of piety, nor did they discern a gift of honor for unblemished souls. 23 Because God created man for incorruption, and He made him an image of His Own eternity, 24 but through envy of the False Accuser death entered into the Society, and they tempting Him are of that portion.


Chapter 3

1 For the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God and no torment shall touch them. 2 In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to die, and their departure is reckoned a misery, 3 and the passing away from us a destruction, but they are in peace. 4 For if perhaps they are punished in the eyes of men, their hope is full of immortality, 5 and being disciplined a little they shall do very well, because God has tested them and found them to be worthy of Himself. 6 As gold in a furnace He proves them and as a whole burnt offering He receives them, 7 and in the time of their visitation they shall shine and they shall run about as sparks in the stubble. 8 They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and their Prince shall rule over them for the ages. 9 They having trusted in Him shall understand Truth and the faithful shall abide in His love, because favor and mercy are for His elect.

10 But the impious shall have punishment just as they imagined, they who have no care for the just and departing from Yahweh. 11 For he who is despising wisdom and discipline is miserable, and their hope is empty and labors unprofitable, and their works useless. 12 Their wives are senseless and their children wicked, cursed is their origin. 13 Because blessed is the barren woman who is undefiled: whoever has not known a marriage bed in transgression shall have fruit in the visitation of souls, 14 and the eunuch who with a hand has not practiced lawlessness nor even considered evil against Yahweh. For a select favor shall be given to him of the faith, and a delightful portion in the temple of Yahweh.

15 For glorious is the fruit of good labors, and infallible is the root of understanding. 16 But the children of adulterers shall be for no purpose, and the seed of an unlawful marriage bed shall be destroyed. 17 For even if they become long-lived they shall be accounted for nothing and without honor at the ends of their old age. 18 Then if they die quickly, they shall have no hope, nor consolation in the day of decision. 19 For grievous are the ends of an unrighteous race.


Chapter 4

1 Better is childlessness with virtue, for immortality is its remembrance, that is also known with God and with men. 2 Being present, they imitate it, and desire it when it is gone, and forever wearing a crown, prevailing it leads the contest of the undefiled in the struggle. 3 But the many-breeding multitude of the impious shall not be useful, and from bastard seedlings it shall not give a deep root, nor shall it establish a firm foundation. 4 For even if it sprouts up in branches for a time, standing unsafely it is shaken by the wind and by the force of the winds it is uprooted. 5 The imperfected branches shall be broken off and their fruit useless, unseasonable for food and suitable for nothing. 6 For children begotten from of lawless slumber are witnesses of wickedness against their parents at their examination.

7 But even if the righteous dies earlier, he shall be at rest. 8 For honorable old age is not the long-lasting nor in the number of years measured, 9 but understanding is grayness of hair for men, and an unspotted life is the maturity of old age. 10 Becoming well-pleasing to God he is loved, and living in the midst of sinners he is translated. 11 He is taken lest malice should alter his comprehension, or guile should deceive his soul. 12 For the malign influence of wickedness obscures good things and the wandering of concupiscence undermines the innocent mind. 13 He being perfected in a short time has fulfilled a long time. 14 For his soul was pleasing to Yahweh, for which reason he was hastened from the midst of iniquity. But the peoples seeing neither understood nor set in the mind so great a thing: 15 That grace and mercy are with His elect, and that He is Overseer among his saints.

16 Thus the righteous suffering shall condemn the impious who are living, and youth quickly fulfills many years of unrighteous old age. 17 For they shall see the end of the wise, and shall not understand what Yahweh has considered concerning him and for what He has safeguarded him. 18 They shall see and they shall despise, but at them Yahweh shall laugh aloud. 19 And they shall be after this for dishonored corpses, and for a reproach among the dead throughout the age, because He shall throw them down speechless prostrate, and He shall shake them from the foundations and unto the end they shall be barren, and they shall be in sorrow and their memory shall perish. 20 They shall appear in fear at the reckoning of their sins then He shall convict them in the face of their iniquities.


Chapter 5

1 Then shall the righteous man stand with great liberty against the face of those who oppressed him and those rejecting his labors. 2 Seeing it they shall be troubled with terrible fear and they shall be confounded by the paradox of salvation. 3 Repenting they shall speak among themselves and through difficulty of spirit they shall bemoan and shall say: 4 “This was he whom at one time we held in laughter and for an example of reproach! Fools accounted his life for madness and his death without honor. 5 How is he counted among the sons of God and his portion is among the saints! 6 Yet we have wandered from the path of truth, and the light of righteousness shined not upon us, and the sun rose not for us. 7 We were satisfied on paths of lawlessness and destruction: and we traveled through impassible deserts, but the way of Yahweh we have not known. 8 What has pride profitted us, and what has wealth with arrogance contributed to us? 9 All those things passed by as a shadow, and as a message neglected, 10 and as a ship passing through swelling water, which crossing there is no track to find nor a pathway of her keel in the waves. 11 Or as not one proof of a journey is found of a bird flying through the air, but the light breeze being beaten by the stroke of paddles and being divided by the force of whistling from moving wings passed through, even after this no sign of the approach is found in it. 12 Or as a shooting of an arrow at a target the air being sliced immediately returns to itself so that its passage is unknown. 13 Thusly also we having been born have failed, and indeed we had no sign of virtue to display since we were consumed in our wickedness.”

14 For the hope of the impious is as dust being carried off by the wind, and as thin frost driven away by a storm, and as smoke dissipated by a wind and as a passing remembrance of a one-day guest. 15 But the righteous live for the age and their reward is with Yahweh and their care with the Most High. 16 On this account they shall receive the kingdom of dignity and the crown of beauty from the hand of Yahweh, because with His right hand He shall shelter them, and with His arm He shall defend them. 17 He shall take for a full armor His zeal, and make the Creation a weapon for vengeance upon His enemies. 18 He shall put on righteousness for a breastplate and place as a helmet unhypocritical judgment. 19 He shall take sanctity for an invincible shield. 20 He shall sharpen severe wrath into a sword, and the Society shall fight with Him against the deranged. 21 The well aimed bolts of lightning shall go forth and as from a well-rounded shield of clouds they shall spring to the target, 22 and from a catapult full of wrath hailstones shall be thrown, the water of the sea shall be vexed against them, and the rivers shall relentlessly overflow them; 23 a powerful wind shall stand against them and as a hurricane it shall winnow them. Then lawlessness shall desolate all the land and evil deeds shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty.


Chapter 6

1 Therefore you must hear, O kings, and understand! Learn, O judges of the ends of the earth! 2 Listen, O rulers of a multitude, and those having pride in the throngs of the nations! 3 Because the dominion is given to you from Yahweh and the power from the Most High, Who shall scrutinize your works and examine your counsels. 4 Since being attendants of His Kingdom you have not judged correctly nor have you kept the law nor have you proceeded according to the counsel of God. 5 Horribly and quickly shall He come upon you, as severe judgement comes to the more powerful. 6 For the least, being pardonable, He is of mercy, but the powerful shall be strongly examined. 7 For He who is Lord of all shall not withdraw His presence nor respect greatness because He has made great and small alike and provides for them all. 8 But for the mighty a vigorous inquiry approaches.

9 Therefore for you, O rulers, are these my words, that you may learn wisdom and not fall away. 10 For those sacredly guarding the sacred things shall be sanctified, and those teaching these things shall find a defense. 11 Therefore you must set your hearts upon my words. Desire, and be instructed. 12 Wisdom is brilliant and unfading and she is pleasant to behold for those loving her and found by those seeking her. 13 She comes upon those desiring to know her beforehand. 14 He arising for her in the morning shall not be weary, for he shall find her sitting beside his gates. 15 Indeed to ponder concerning her is the perfection of understanding, and he being watchful by means of her shall quickly be free of concern. 16 Because she goes about seeking those who are worthy of her, and appears to them graciously in the paths, and meets them in every thought. 17 For the truest beginning of her is the desire of education, and the thought of education is love. 18 But love is the keeping of her laws, and observance of the laws is a confirmation of incorruption. 19 And incorruption makes one to be near to God. 20 Therefore the desire of Wisdom leads to a kingdom.

21 So if you take delight in thrones and scepters, O rulers of people, you must honor Wisdom that you may rule for the age. 22 Now what Wisdom is and how she came to be I shall explain, and I shall not conceal mysteries from you but I shall trace out her origin from the beginning and I shall set the knowledge of her into the light, and I shall not bypass the truth. 23 Indeed, neither shall I proceed with a consuming envy, because this has no share with Wisdom. 24 But a multitude of wise men is the preservation of the Society, and a prudent king the stability of the people. 25 For this reason, you must be instructed in my words and you shall profit.


Chapter 7

1 Indeed I also am a mortal man, like all, and descended from the first-formed earth-born, and flesh carved in the womb of a mother, 2 in ten months time being fashioned in blood from the seed of man and the pleasure of coming together in sleep. 3 And I then having been born drew a breath of the common air, and had fallen upon the like-natured earth, like all, the first utterance being the same crying, 4 I had been nursed in diapers and care. 5 For there is not one among kings who had another beginning of birth, 6 but all one entrance into life, and the same departure.

7 On which account I prayed, and understanding had been given to me. I summoned, and a spirit of wisdom came to me. 8 I preferred her before scepters and thrones, and regarded wealth as nothing in comparison to her. 9 Nor did I liken to her a priceless stone, because all gold in her presence is as a little sand, and silver is reckoned as clay in sight of her. 10 I have loved her above health and beauty, and chose first to have her instead of light. Because the splendor which is of her is sleepless. 11 All good things together came to me with her, and immeasurable wealth by her hands. 12 Then I was delighted with all things, because Wisdom leads them, but I did not know her to be the mother of these things.

13 Both honestly I have learned, and abundantly I have imparted; her wealth I do not conceal. 14 For she is an unfailing treasure to men, which those acquiring prepare themselves for friendship with God, being commended by the gifts which are from education. 15 And may God give to me to speak from intelligence and to consider worthily of the things which are given because He is also the Guide of Wisdom and Corrector of the wise. 16 For in His hand are both we and our words, also all understanding and skill in workmanship. 17 Indeed He has given to me a truthful knowledge of existing things, to know the composition of the order and the operation of the elements, 18 the beginning and end and mean of times, the alterations of revolutions and changes of seasons, 19 the circuits of years and settings of stars, 20 the natures of living creatures and the wrath of wild beasts, the strength of spirits and reasonings of men, the differences of plants and the powers of roots.

21 As many things as are both hidden and visible have I known, for Wisdom the artificer of all things has taught me. 22 For there is in her a spirit intellectual, holy, unique, manifold, refined, graceful, articulate, undefiled, plain, unharming, beneficent, sharp, 23 unhindering, serviceable, benevolent, steadfast, unfailing, free from worry, all-powerful, all-surveying, and throughout all things making way for the spotless, most refined, intellectual spirits. 24 For Wisdom is more suited for movement than any movement, she pervades and spreads through all things on account of her purity. 25 For she is the essence of the power of God and the pure emanation of the honor of the Almighty, for which reason nothing defiled infiltrates into her. 26 For she is the radiance of the Eternal Light and a spotless mirror of the operation of God and an image of His goodness. 27 But being one she is capable of all things, and abiding in her she makes new all things, even throughout the generations passing into sacred souls she prepares them as friends and prophets of God. 28 For God loves no one if not he dwelling with Wisdom. 29 For she is more comely than the sun and beyond the whole setting of the stars. Being compared, she is found before light. 30 Then indeed the night succeeds this, but evil does not overpower Wisdom.


Chapter 8

1 She extends from end to end robustly, and manages all things beneficially. 2 I loved her and I have sought her out from my youth, even having sought her for a bride to bring to myself, and I have become a lover of her beauty. 3 She honors her nobility of birth, having her dwelling together with God, and the Master of all things has loved her. 4 For she is a teacher of the mysteries of the knowledge of God and a chooser of His works. 5 But if wealth is a coveted possession in life, what is wealthier than Wisdom, which works all things? 6 And if understanding works, who is a better craftsman of existing things than she? 7 And if anyone loves righteousness her labors are virtues. For temperance and understanding she teaches, righteousness and manliness, of which things nothing is more useful in the life of men. 8 Then if any man desires great experience, she knows the things of old, and portrays a likeness of the coming things. She is acquainted with the nuances of words and solutions of riddles. She knows beforehand signs and wonders and the outcomes of seasons and times.

9 Accordingly I decided to bring her to dwell together, knowing that she shall be for me a counsellor of good things and an exhortation of cares and sorrow. 10 On account of her I shall have a reputation and honor among the multitudes, a youth alongside the elders. 11 I shall be found sharp in judgment, and in the sight of rulers I shall be a marvel. 12 I being silent, they shall wait; then proclaiming, they shall give heed; and speaking even further, they shall place a hand upon their mouths. 13 On account of her I shall have immortality and for those after me shall I leave behind an eternal memorial. 14 I shall govern the people and to me shall nations be subject. 15 Hearing me, horrible tyrants shall be stricken with fear. Among the multitude I shall appear to be good, and manly in war.

16 Entering into my house I shall sleep beside her, for her intercourse has no bitterness, nor cohabiting with her any sorrow, but gladness and joy. 17 Having considered these things within myself and having thought in my heart that immortality is congenital with wisdom, 18 and there is good pleasure in her friendship, and in the work of her hands is unfailing wealth, and in exercising together in her company is understanding, and in fellowship of her words is good repute, I went about seeking in what manner I may take her to myself. 19 For I was a child of good natural disposition of spirit and I obtained good. 20 But rather, being good I came into a body undefiled. 21 But having known that not in any other manner shall I be self-controlled, if not that God may give it. This also was but a thought by which to know what is the favor I would attain with Yahweh and I begged Him and I said from my whole heart:


Chapter 9

1 O God of the fathers and Lord of mercy, who has created all things with Your Word, 2 And with Your wisdom having prepared man that he may be master of the creatures having been produced by You, 3 and should manage the Society in sanctity and in righteousness, and should judge judgement with uprightness of soul, 4 give to me that wisdom which is sitting beside Your throne, and do not reject me from among Your sons, 5 because I am Your servant and a son of your maidservant, a weak man and short-lived, and lesser in the understanding of judgement and of laws. 6 For even if anyone could be perfect among the sons of men, the wisdom from You being absent he shall be accounted for nothing. 7 You have preferred me as king of Your people and judge of Your sons and daughters. 8 You had said to build a temple upon Your holy mountain, and in the city of Your dwelling-place an altar, a copy of a holy tabernacle which You have prepared from the beginning.

9 And Wisdom is with You, knowing Your works and being present when You had made the Society, and understanding what is pleasing in Your eyes and what is upright in Your commandments. 10 O dispatch her from of Your holy heavens and from out of the throne of Your honor and send her, that being present with me I may labor and may know what is well-pleasing before You. 11 For she knows all things and understands and shall guide me sensibly in my deeds and keep me in her honor, 12 and my works shall be acceptable, and I shall judge Your people righteously and I shall be worthy of the throne of my father. 13 For what man shall know the counsel of God, or who shall consider what Yahweh desires? 14 For the reasonings of mortals are miserable and our thoughts precarious. 15 For the corruptible body burdens a soul, and the earthy tabernacle weighs down a mind full of thoughts, 16 and with difficulty we portray the things upon the earth, and the things at hand we find with labor, so who has traced out the things in the heavens? 17 And Your counsel, who has known, if You do not give wisdom and send Your Holy Spirit from the heights? 18 And in this manner are made straight the ways of those upon the earth, and men are taught Your acceptable things and with wisdom they are preserved.


Chapter 10

1 She guarded the only-created first-formed father of society and delivered him from his own transgression, 2 and gave him strength to rule all things. 3 But the unrighteous having withdrew from her in his wrath destroyed himself in the passions of brother-murderers, 4 on account of whom the earth having been flooded, Wisdom again saved, piloting the righteous by means of worthless wood. 5 And the nations having been commingled in agreement with wickedness, she perceived the righteous and preserved him blameless before God, and kept him strong in the affections for his son. 6 She delivered the just man having fled the impious being destroyed by the descending fire of the five cities, 7 of which the smoking desert is still established for a testimony of wickedness and plants bearing fruit are never perfected in season, a pillar of salt standing as a monument of a faithless soul. 8 For bypassing wisdom not only were they hurt for that they knew not the goodly things, but also they left the foolishness in life for a memorial that the things in which they had fallen they were not even able to escape. 9 But Wisdom delivered from travails those consulting her.

10 A fugitive from the wrath of his brother, she guided the just man on straight paths, exhibited to him the Kingdom of God and gave to him holy knowledge to prosper him in hardships and multiply the fruits of his labors. 11 In the covetousness of those overpowering him she stood by and enriched him. 12 She protected him from enemies and made him secure from those setting ambush, and in a mighty struggle she decided for him, in order that he would know that piety is most powerful of all things. 13 She did not forsake the righteous man having been sold, but she delivered him from sin. 14 She went down with him into the pit, and did not leave him in bonds until she brought to him the sceptre of a kingdom and the authority of those who tyrannized him. Then she exhibited to be lying those finding fault with him and gave to him eternal honor. 15 She delivered the sacred people and blameless seed from the oppressing nation. 16 She entered into the soul of the servant of Yahweh and resisted terrible kings with wonders and signs. 17 She rendered a sacred reward for their labors and guided them in a wonderful way and became to them for a shelter of day and for a flame of stars by night. 18 She carried them through the Red Sea and led them through much water, 19 but flooded their enemies and from the depth of the abyss she threw them up. 20 By this means the righteous despoiled the impious and celebrated Your Holy Name, O Yahweh, and with one accord praised Your Hand, the Defender. 21 Because Wisdom opens the mouth of mutes and makes clear the tongues of babes.


Chapter 11

1 She prospered their works by the hand of a holy prophet. 2 They passed through uninhabited desert and pitched tents in places untrodden. 3 They resisted hostile adversaries and defended themselves from enemies. 4 They thirsted and they called upon You, and You gave to them water from the broken rock, and a remedy for thirst from rough stone. 5 For by what things their enemies were punished, by those things they being in need had benefitted. 6 Indeed, instead of a perpetual fountain of a troubled river defiled with blood 7 for the disgrace of infanticide, a command had been given for them for abundant unexpected water, 8 declaring through the thirst at that time how You had punished the adversaries. 9 For when they had been tried, although being disciplined in mercy, they knew how with wrath being judged the impious were tormented.

10 For indeed, admonishing these as a Father you tested them, but as a severe King those others being condemned were examined, 11 and both they being absent and they being present had been likewise afflicted. 12 For a two-fold grief came upon them, and a groaning for the memory of things past. 13 For when they heard through their own punishments of them who had benefitted, they perceived of Yahweh. 14 For mocking they renounced he whom had been cast out in exposure long ago, upon the completion of the exodus they marvelled, not having thirsted in the same manner as the righteous. 15 And in return for the incomprehensible reasonings of their unrighteousness, in which wandering they were worshipping brute animals and worthless beasts, You sent upon them a multitude of brute creatures in vindication, 16 in order that they may know that by the things of which one sins, by those things he is punished.

17 For Your all-powerful hand is not in need, and has created the Society from unshapen wood, to send upon them a multitude of bears and bold lions, 18 or newly-created unknown beasts full of rage, breathing out either a fiery vapor, or roaring of scattering smoke, or flashing horrible sparks from their eyes: 19 of which not only the damage was able to together destroy them but even to perish by the frightening sight. 20 Then even apart from these things were they able to fall with one breath, under punishment being pursued and scattered by the power of Your Spirit. But You arrange all things in measure and number and balance. 21 Indeed for You to be magnificently strong is possible at all times, and the power of Your arm who can resist? 22 Because the whole Society is as the turn of the scale in Your presence, and as a drop of morning dew fallen upon the ground.

23 But You have mercy for all, because You can do all things, and disregard the sins of men for repentance. 24 For You love all existing things and detest nothing which You have made: for neither hating it have You constructed anything. 25 And how does anything remain, if it is not Your will? Or is preserved, if it is not called by You? 26 But You spare all things because it is Yours, O Master, Lover of Life.


Chapter 12

1 For Your incorruptible Spirit is in all things, 2 on which account You reprove those falling away incrementally and admonish reminding them of the things in which they have sinned, in order that having departed from evil they would have trust in You, O Yahweh. 3 For even those ancient inhabitants of Your holy land 4 being hated for practicing odious deeds of sorcery and unholy rites, 5 being both unmerciful murderers of children and eating a feast of the organs of the flesh of men and of blood in the midst of a company of initiates, 6 and parents themselves killing the souls of the helpless, You determined to destroy by the hands of our fathers, 7 in order that the land which to You is most honorable of all would receive a worthy settlement of the children of God. 8 But even of those of the men You had thus spared, You then sent wasps in advance of Your army in order that little by little they would utterly destroy them, 9 not being unable to give the impious over into the hands of the righteous in battle, or to horrible beasts, or with a severe word to be destroyed at once.

10 But judging them little by little You gave place for repentance not being unaware of their wicked race and their natural wickedness and that their reasoning would not change forever. 11 For it was a cursed seed from the beginning. Neither caring for anyone did You give pardon for those things in which they sinned. 12 For who shall say “What have You done?” Or who shall oppose Your judgement? And who shall accuse You concerning the nations having been destroyed, for the things which You have done ? Or who shall come to stand against Thee, an avenger for unrighteous men? 13 For neither is there a God except You in Whom is care for all in order that You would show that You have not judged unrighteously. 14 Neither king nor tyrant shall be able to confront You concerning whom You have punished. 15 But being righteous, You arrange all things righteously. One is not obliged to condemn punishing another, ruling over Your power. 16 Indeed, Your strength is the beginning of righteousness, and You being master of all things, makes You sparing of all. 17 For You show the unbelieving strength in the perfection of power, and among those who know, You reprove impudence. 18 But you being Master of strength judge with equity and govern us with much consideration. For it is present within You to prevail whenever You may desire. 19 But teaching Your people through such works, that it is necessary for the just man to be benevolent, You have also made your sons hopeful that You would give repentance for sins.

20 For if the enemies of Your children and those who are liable to death You have punished with so much attention and deliberation, having given time and place by which they may depart from their wickedness, 21 with how much strictness do you judge Your sons, to whose fathers You have given oaths and covenants of good promises? 22 Therefore disciplining us, You scourge our enemies times ten thousand, in order that judging we should have care for your goodness, and being judged we should expect mercy. 23 From which also those living unjustly in the foolishness of life are tormented by their own abominations. 24 For they also had wandered far in the ways of their wandering taking as gods things without honor, even the disgraceful things among living creatures, having been deceived by the penalty of speechless follies. 25 For this, as to unreasonable children, a judgment for mocking has been sent. 26 But not being admonished by those dalliances of rebuke, they tempt the worthy judgment of God. 27 For they suffering by those things were indignant, for those whom they had esteemed to be gods, upon seeing themselves being punished, who long ago refused to know God, had recognized truth, on which account also came the end of the judgment upon them.


Chapter 13

1 For indeed, all men are vain by nature, by which came ignorance of God, and from of the good things being seen they were not able to know He who is. Neither in the works did they take care to recognize the Craftsman, 2 but they supposed either fire or wind or the swift air or the circuit of the stars or violent water or the luminaries of heaven to be the gods which are rulers of Society. 3 Of which if indeed being satisfied with the beauty they accept these things as gods, they must learn by how much the Master of these things is better. For the Progenitor of beauty has created these things. 4 Then if they are astonished at the power and operation, they must understand from these things how much more powerful is He who constructed them, 5 since from of the greatness and beauty of the creatures proportionally the First Author of these things is observed. 6 But nevertheless, for them there is little blame, for they are also quickly deceived, seeking and desiring to find God. 7 For by digging into His works they search and are persuaded by the appearance, on account of the beauty of the things being seen.

8 But again, neither are they pardonable, 9 for if they had been able to know so much that they would be capable enough to aim at the age, how did they not quickly find the Master of these things? 10 But miserable and in dead things is their hope, who name as gods the works of the hands of men, the gold and silver instruments of art and models of living creatures or a worthless stone, a work of an ancient hand. 11 And also if any woodcutter of the craftsman sawing an easily moved tree, skillfully having shaven all of its bark and fashioning it fittingly prepares a useful vessel for the service of living, 12 then the refuse of the business having been consumed for the preparation of food he is satisfied.

13 But taking from among them the refuse, a crooked tree which is useful for nothing and grown up in knots, he carves with care in his leisure and shapes it with the experience of knowledge. This he models in the image of a man, 14 or likens it to some worthless living creature, smearing it with red chalk and rouge, dyeing red its surface and coating over every spot which is upon it. 15 Then upon his making for it a worthy room, he sets it in a niche securing it with iron 16 that it surely would not fall. He provides for it knowing that it is unable to help itself, for even it is an image and has need of help. 17 Then offering prayers concerning his property and his marriage and children he is not ashamed, speaking to the lifeless, and concerning health he calls upon that which is weak. 18 For life he considers worthy that which is dead, and he supplicates for assistance that which is more inexperienced, then concerning a good journey that which is not even able to use a foot, 19 then for industry and production and success of the hands he asks that which is without vigor for vigor of the hands.


Chapter 14

1 Again, one preparing himself to sail, and being about to pass through the savage waves, calls upon wood more rotten than the boat carrying him. 2 For indeed, a desire for profit contrived, and a skilled craftswoman prepared that, 3 but piloted by Your foreknowledge, O Father, because You have given even a way in the sea, and a sure path in the waves, 4 showing that You are able to save from all things even when a man may tread without skill. 5 But You desire not that the works of Your wisdom be idle. Therefore even in the smallest piece of wood men entrust their lives and passing through the waves they are brought safely in a boat. 6 For also of old, upon the perishing of proud giants, the hope of the Society taking refuge upon a boat had left for the age a seed of the race, piloted by Your Hand. 7 For blessed is the wood whereby righteousness comes!

8 But that which is made by hand is accursed, it and he who made it, indeed he because he fashioned it, and it, being corruptible, is called a god. 9 For equally hateful to God are both the impious and his impiety. 10 For that which is brought about shall be punished with he who accomplished it. 11 Therefore even upon the idols of the nations shall there be a visitation, because within the creation of God they have resulted in an abomination and in scandals in the lives of men and for a trap for the feet of fools. 12 For the beginning of fornication is the invention of idols, and the discovery of them is the corruption of life. 13 For it was neither from the beginning, nor shall it be forever. 14 Indeed, by the conceit of men it entered into the Society and for this reason the abrupt end of them is planned.

15 For a father distressed with untimely mourning, having made an image of a son suddenly taken away, now honors the dead man as a god and delivers to his subjects mysteries and rites. 16 Then being strengthened over time an impious custom is kept as a law, 17 and carvings were worshipped by the commandments of tyrants. He whom within sight men were not able to honor on account of dwelling at a far distance, modeling an apparition from a distance they made a visible likeness of the king whom they honored, in order that as being present they may flatter he who is absent through the attention. 18 Then in the diligence of religion even those ignorant of the craftsman were urged to devotion. 19 For indeed, he perhaps being willing to please the ruler expressed in his craft a likeness more beautiful, 20 and the multitude, attracted on account of the grace of the work, the man who was little honored before is now accounted an object of worship. 21 And this became as a trap in life, that in the circumstances in which tyranny enslaves men that the Incommunicable Name is bestowed upon stones and wood.

22 Then this is not sufficient, to be deceived concerning the knowledge of God, but even living in the great war of ignorance they designate such great evils as peace. 23 For leading either children-killing sacrifices or secret mysteries or frenzied festivals of strange ordinances, 24 they keep neither lives nor marriages clean any longer, but one slays another in ambush or causes pain committing adultery. 25 For all hold promiscuously blood and murder, theft and guile, corruption, disbelief, disorder, false oath, 26 confusion of good things, forgetfulness of favor, defilement of lives, corruption of race, disorderliness of marriages, adultery and licentiousness. 27 For the worship of idols not to be named is the beginning, and the cause, and the end of all evil. 28 For either rejoicing they are mad, or they prophesy lies, or live unjustly, or quickly swear false oaths. 29 For trusting in lifeless idols, swearing maliciously they do not expect to be done wrong. 30 But for both causes punishments shall pursue them, because they have thought wickedly concerning God giving attention to idols, and unjustly swear with guile, despising sanctity. 31 For it is not the power of those who are swearing, but the penalty of sinners always prosecutes the transgression of the unrighteous.


Chapter 15

1 But You, our God, are kind and true, longsuffering and merciful, managing all things. 2 For even if we would sin, we are in You, knowing Your power. But we shall not sin knowing that we are accounted by You. 3 For to understand You is perfect righteousness, and to know Your power is the root of immortality. 4 For neither did the deceitfully crafted invention of men lead us astray, nor the fruitless labor of painting, an image stained with a variegated surface, 5 the sight of which desire comes to fools, and it longs for the lifeless form of a dead image. 6 Worthy lovers of evil and of such objects of hope, are both those making and those desiring and also those worshipping them.

7 For even the potter, squeezing soft earth laboriously molds each one for our service, but from the same clay he models both the vessels which are employed for clean works and likewise also all things contrary. But of these, what is the use of each of the other the clay-worker is judge, 8 and working perversely he molds a vain god from of the same clay, whom shortly before having come from the earth after a little while goes to that from out of which he was taken, the debt of life having been demanded. 9 But his care is not that he is going to be weary, nor that he has a short life, but indeed, he contends with goldsmiths and silversmiths and imitates coppersmiths and regards it an honor that he molds spurious things. 10 His heart is ashes, and his hope is both cheaper than earth and his life of less honor than clay, 11 because he was ignorant of He who molded him and inspired an active life in him, and breathed in the living spirit.

12 But our life they reckoned to be a plaything and our time here a profitable festival. For it is necessary, they say, to make gain from anything, even if from of evil. 13 For this man knows that he sins beyond all, fabricating of earthy wood an easily broken and carved vessel. 14 But all the most foolish and wretched even beyond the life of an infant, are the enemies of Your people, having oppressed them, 15 because they accounted all the idols of the nations as gods, whom neither have use of the eyes for seeing, nor the nostrils for the inhaling of air, nor ears to hear, nor fingers of the hands for touching, and their feet are unemployed in walking. 16 For man made them, and he having been lent his own spirit molded them, yet not one man is able to mold a god like unto himself. 17 But being mortal, he works a dead thing with lawless hands, yet he himself is better than his objects of worship – whereas he himself lives, but those things, never. 18 And they worship the most loathsome animals. For being compared in folly it is the worst of all others. 19 Neither is it so much as to be desired, that the sight of a beast attains beauty, but escapes even the approval of God and His blessing.


Chapter 16

1 Therefore on account of these same things they are punished worthily and tormented by a multitude of beasts, 2 instead of which punishment, working kindly for Your people for their longing of appetite You prepared quail-mothers, meat of a strange taste, 3 in order that they, on the one hand desiring food, on account of the ugly sight of the things sent upon them, then they would turn away from the necessity of appetite while they having been a little needy also had been partakers of a strange taste. 4 For it was necessary for them that while unmerciful poverty came upon those ruling as tyrants, on the other hand to these alone it was shown how their enemies had been tormented. 5 For even when a terrible wrath of beasts came upon them and they were destroyed by the bites of crooked serpents, Your wrath did not abide to an end. 6 But for an admonishment they were troubled for awhile, having a token of salvation for a reminder of the commandment of Your law. 7 For he having turned was not saved by that thing having been seen but by You, the Savior of all. 8 Then even in this, You had persuaded our enemies that You are the Deliverer from every evil.

9 Indeed for them the bites of grasshoppers and flies have killed, and there has not been found a remedy for their life because they were worthy to be punished by such things. 10 But Your sons not even the teeth of poisonous dragons had overcome, for Your mercy had permeated and healed them. 11 Indeed for a reminder of Your words they were pricked and quickly preserved, in order that not falling into deep forgetfulness they would come to Your good works without anxiety. 12 For it was neither herb nor medicinal plaster which cured them, but Your word, O Yahweh, Healer of all. 13 For You have authority over life and death, and lead down to the gates of Hades and lead up. 14 And indeed, a man kills in his wickedness, but he is not able to return the departed spirit nor restore the life being taken, 15 whereas it is impossible to flee Your Hand.

16 For refusing to know You, the impious with the strength of Your arm had been scourged with unusual rains and hailstones and storms, being persecuted unavoidably and in fire being consumed, 17 since it is most incredible that the fire works more in the water which extinguishes all things; for the Order is a defender of the righteous. 18 For indeed at times the flame was softened in order that it would not consume the creatures sent against the impious, but those seeing, they know that they were attacked by the judgment of God. 19 And then another time the flame of fire is capable beyond water that it may destroy the produce of the unrighteous land, 20 instead of which having fed Your people the food of angels then You provided bread prepared from heaven for them without labor, prevailing for all pleasure and every agreeable taste. 21 For indeed Your substance manifested Your sweetness to the children, and transformed itself to the desire of he taking it to himself, ministering to any who were willing.

22 But snow and ice survived the fire and did not melt, in order that they would know that fire burning in the hail and flashing in the rain had destroyed the fruits of the enemies. 23 Yet again even this had forgotten its own strength, in order that the righteous may be nourished. 24 For the creation which is serving You the Maker augments itself for punishment against those of the unrighteous and relaxes in kindness for the sake of those who are complying before You, 25 on which account at that time also being transformed into all things within Your all-nourishing gift, it had served for the favor of those in want, 26 in order that Your sons, O Yahweh, whom You love, may learn that it is not the productions of fruits which nourish a man but Your word which maintains those who are believing in You. 27 For that which by fire is not destroyed, simply by a little ray of the sun, being warmed was melted 28 so that it may be known that it is necessary to rise before the sun for which to give You thanks and to entreat You at the dawning of light. 29 For the hope of the ungrateful shall melt as wintry frost and shall flow as useless water.


Chapter 17

1 For greater are Your judgments and hard to explain, for which reason uninstructed souls have wandered. 2 Then the lawless having undertaken to oppress the holy nation, captives of darkness and prisoners of a long night, were laid shut up under roofs, fugitives of Eternal Providence. 3 For supposing for their hidden sins to be unnoticed, with a dim covering of oblivion being terribly astonished they were scattered and troubled by hallucinations. 4 Then neither did the innermost room containing them protect them from fear but agitating noises sounded around them and obscure apparitions with gloomy countenances became visible. 5 And indeed, not any power of fire had prevailed to give light, neither did the quite bright flames of stars abide to shine upon that hateful night, 6 but there only appeared to them a spontaneous fire full of terror, and being terribly frightened they thought the things being observed worse than that which is not seen.

7 But delusions of magic craft were laid prostrate, and a contemptuous rebuke of the pretense for wisdom. 8 For they promising to drive away terrors and troubles from a sick soul, themselves were made sick from a ridiculous devotion. 9 For even if nothing terrible frightened them, in the passing of beasts and hissing of serpents having been terrified, trembling they had perished, even refusing to look at the air that from no place could be avoided. 10 For cowardly is wickedness condemned by her own witness and always takes hardships to herself, being afflicted in conscience.

11 For fear is nothing but a betrayal of the resources of reason, 12 and the expectation from within being weaker considers ignorance better than that which provides the cause of torment. 13 But they on a night that was actually powerless and coming upon them from the innermost recesses of powerless Hades, sleeping in the same sleep 14 while they were persecuted by wonders of phantoms, then they were released from life by betrayal. For a sudden and unexpected fear had poured over them. 15 Then in that manner indeed, whoever at that time was there falling was garrisoned, having been shut into a prison without iron bars.

16 For whether any man was a husbandman, or a shepherd or a laborer toiling in the desert, having been overtaken he awaited that inescapable necessity. For with one chain of darkness they all had been bound. 17 Whether a whistling wind or a musical sound of birds in surrounding widespread branches or a rythym of water being driven with force or a crash of hard stones being thrown down 18 or an unobserved course of leaping creatures or a voice of howling of the roughest beasts or a sound echoing from the hollow mountains, being terrified it undid them. 19 For the whole Society shined with bright light, and continued in works without disturbance. 20 Over them alone there was spread a heavy night, an image of the darkness about to receive them, but they themselves were more heavy than darkness.


Chapter 18

1 But upon Your saints there was a great light of things while hearing the voice of them but not seeing the shape of them, then because they had not suffered those things they were blessed. 2 And because they did not injure those having first done wrong, they gave thanks and for their differences they begged kindness, 3 in return for which You had provided a flaming pillar, both to be a guide for the unknown journey and a harmless sun for a generous hospice. 4 Indeed the others, worthy to be deprived of light and imprisoned in darkness, having imprisoned Your sons confined, by whom the uncorrupt light of the law was about to be given unto the age, 5 and them being determined to slay the infants of the holy ones, then for one child being exposed and saved for a reproach You have taken away and a multitude of their children then with like passion You destroyed in violent water, 6 that night being made known beforehand to our fathers in order that knowing with certainty, having faith in the oaths they would rejoice.

7 By Your people is anticipated both the salvation of the righteous and the destruction of the enemies. 8 For in that which You punish those opposed, You distinguish us having been called. 9 For secretly the righteous children of good men sacrificed, and in harmony dispensed the divine law for the saints to partake equally of the same things of both good and of danger while already singing the praises of the fathers. 10 But in response there sounded the discordant cry of the enemies and it carried a pitiable sound of the singing of dirges for children. 11 Then servant and master being punished together with like penalty also the commoner suffered the same things with the king. 12 So they all with one accord, in one expression of death, had innumerable corpses, then neither were those living enough for which to bury the dead – since in one moment the most honored of their race were destroyed.

13 For they all being disbelieving on account of sorceries, upon the destruction of the firstborn they conceded a people to be a son of God. 14 Indeed all things being embraced in quiet silence, and the night being amidst its own swift passing 15 Your almighty Word, out of the heavens, from the royal thrones, as a severe warrior sprung up destructively into the midst of the land, a sharp sword bearing Your ingenuous command, 16 and standing filled all things with death. And indeed it touched the heaven, but tread upon the earth. 17 Then indeed apparitions of terrible dreams immediately confounded and unexpected terrors loomed over them. 18 And one having been thrown here, another there half dead, revealed for what cause they had died. 19 For the dreams which had been troubling them had indicated this beforehand in order that not being ignorant of what reason they suffered terribly would they die.

20 Then the trial of death had also touched the righteous and destruction in the wilderness came upon a multitude, but not for long did the wrath abide. 21 Indeed hastening the blameless man fought in defense, prayer the weapon of his own ministry, and providing a propitiation of incense he resisted the wrath and put it to an end, by which circumstance exhibiting that he is Your servant. 22 So then he overcame the anger not with strength of body nor action of arms but with a word he subdued the punisher, recalling the oaths and covenants of the fathers. 23 For the dead already having fallen upon one another in heaps, standing in the midst he resisted the wrath and parted the way towards the living. 24 For upon the garment reaching to the feet was the whole Society, and the glory of the fathers carved upon the four rows of stones, and Your majesty upon the diadem of his head. 25 Unto these did the destroyer yield since for them it had feared, for the trial of wrath alone was sufficient.


Chapter 19

1 But for the impious, unmerciful wrath until the end, since He knew beforehand even the things coming of them: 2 That permitting them for which to depart, and having escorted them with haste, they being regretful shall pursue them. 3 For while still having sorrows at hand and lamenting at the graves of the dead they were persuaded by another foolish reasoning: even those whom being supplicated had departed, them they pursued as fugitives. 4 Indeed a fitting necessity had dragged them to this end and applied a forgetfulness of the things which happened, that the punishment lacking would be added to fill their torments, 5 and that Your people would be tried by an incredible journey: but they would find a strange death. 6 For the whole creation within its own race was again perfectly formed from above, serving Your commandments in order that Your sons may be kept unharmed.

7 The cloud overshadowing the camp then from of the water which had stood previously, an emergence of dry land had appeared, an unhindered way out of the Red Sea, and a field with grass out of a violent wave. 8 Through which all the nation had passed being sheltered by Your hand, having beheld marvellous wonders. 9 Indeed they had been pastured like horses and leapt about as lambs praising You, O Yahweh, He who delivers them! 10 For they reminded themselves still of the things in the sojourn, indeed how instead of a species of animals the land brought forth fleas, and instead of providing water the river discharged a multitude of frogs. 11 Then at a later time they saw also a new species of birds, when having been led by desire they asked for delicate meats. 12 Indeed for a consolation to them the quail-mother had ascended from the sea, 13 and the punishments had come upon the sinners not without the proofs which happened before with the force of thunderbolts. For righteously they suffered in their own iniquities since they also had contrived a more severe hatred of guests.

14 For indeed those others not knowing did not hospitably receive those present, but these had enslaved guests who were benefactors. 15 And not only, but there shall be a certain visitation of them, since hatefully they received the strangers. 16 and they having admitted with festivities those whom already having been partakers of their customs, had mistreated them terribly in labors. 17 So with blindness they were stricken (just as those at the doors of the righteous man) when having been enveloped in gaping darkness each had sought a passage through their own doors.

18 For the elements themselves being adapted just as tones on a harp changing the expression of the rhythm always abide in a sound, that very thing is to be inferred from the precise appearance of the things which transpired. 19 For the dry lands were changed into waterways and swimming things traversed upon the earth. 20 Fire had strength in water by its own power, and water had forgotten its quenching nature. 21 Conversely, the flames did not waste the flesh of perishable creatures walking about, nor melt the easily melted crystalline type of immortal food. 22 For by all things, O Yahweh, You magnified and honored Your people and did not despise them, standing by them in every time and place.

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