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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 18: Lessons from History
In our commentary on Wisdom chapter 11, titled The Wisdom in History, we hope to have illustrated not only how Solomon had deduced lessons from history which are not always obvious to the casual reader or observer, but also how his conclusions agreed with both the words of the prophets and those of the apostles of Christ. For example, in the last three verses of Wisdom chapter 11, we read: “24 For thou lovest all the things that are, and abhorrest nothing which thou hast made: for never wouldest thou have made any thing, if thou hadst hated it. 25 And how could any thing have endured, if it had not been thy will? or been preserved, if not called by thee? 26 But thou sparest all: for they are thine, O Lord, thou lover of souls.” In Genesis chapter 1, everything Yahweh God made was good.
To that we had compared the words of Isaiah chapter 43: “1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” We also compared the words of Paul of Tarsus from 1 Corinthians chapter 6: “20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Now we must ask, who was bought with a price? We find the answer to that question in Isaiah chapter 52 where it speaks of the children of Israel in captivity and we read: “3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.” The children of Israel were bought with a price, which is the blood of Christ by which they alone were redeemed.
As Solomon wrote, Yahweh God loves everything which He had created, and they are His. But He created nothing corrupt, and nothing good can come from corruption, which is a lesson that we must learn from history, and Solomon explains it here as we proceed with chapter 12 of Wisdom. The Wisdom of Solomon, along with the Old and New Testament Scriptures, all present a clear and consistent view of Yahweh God’s interaction in the world both with and on behalf of the children of Israel. When we near the end of Wisdom, we shall see that the children of Israel are the world, at least so far as the faith in Yahweh and the promises which He made to the ancients which reveal His future plans for His creation, and that is also revealed in the closing chapters of His Revelation.
Now we shall commence with our commentary on Wisdom chapter 12:
Wisdom 12:1 For thine incorruptible Spirit is in all
The form of the word for all here, πᾶσιν, is either neuter or masculine, but the verse which follows supplies the context and shows that here it should not be interpreted as a neuter noun, since Solomon is referring to people, or men. Therefore the word things, which was inferred by the translators of the King James Version, should be stricken from the text.
2 Therefore chastenest thou them [the all of verse 1] by little and little that offend, and warnest [or admonish] them by putting them in remembrance wherein they have offended, that leaving their wickedness they may believe on thee, O Lord.
While in the first clause the sense and context of the verb refers to chastisement, it is actually ἐλέγξω, which is to disgrace, censure or reprove and also to convict or prove, among other possible interpretations. But to be censured or reproved for sin one is chastised by the resulting punishment. The act of chastisement is not merely for punishment, but for the correction or reproval of those being chastised. So we read in Proverbs chapter 13, which are evidently the words of David to a young Solomon: “24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Sparing the rod one hates his son because spoiling him, the son does not learn discipline, and the fact that there are consequences for wrongdoing. When the son matures and goes out into the world, he may bring with him the attitude that there are no consequences for wrongdoing, and the result for him is trouble since he was not properly instructed. Observing children, it becomes apparent that they learn not by what parents say, but by what they do. So it is also even with men, as it was with the ancient children of Israel, that if they had learned merely by hearing the law then perhaps they would not have sinned and been sent into captivity.
Therefore Paul of Tarsus wrote in Hebrews chapter 12, speaking of the relationship between Yahweh and Israel: “6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
Yahweh chastens his sons, for the purpose of correcting them. The children of Israel, upon entering the land of Canaan, began to commit the sins in which the Canaanites had long been engaged, so they were often chastised. But bastards are not chastened in the same manner, or for the same purpose, as Solomon now goes on to describe:
3 For it was thy will to destroy by the hands of our fathers both those old inhabitants of thy holy land, 4 Whom thou hatedst for doing most odious works of witchcrafts, and wicked sacrifices;
Where it says at the start of this verse “For it was thy will to destroy by the hands of our fathers”, the Greek text for the clause does not appear until the end of verse 6. At that point we shall offer our own translation of all four verses.
Here Solomon is referencing the destruction of the ancient Canaanites by the hands of the Israelites from the time of Moses and Joshua. So it should be apparent that by saying all in the phrase “thou sparest all” at the end of chapter 11, that Solomon only intended to refer to all of Israel, since he certainly could not have intended to include the Canaanites. Yet even though it may be perceived in history that the Canaanites were bastards, or at least, throughout centuries of mingling with Kenites, Rephaim and other races of dubious origins they had become bastards, here they are nevertheless condemned for their behavior. From the time of Cain and down to the interactions of Christ with His Edomite adversaries, bastards were challenged in Scripture to do good, yet they never did good, which serves as another example of the lessons which we should deduce from history.
There are only a few mentions of sorcery or witchcraft relating to the Canaanites in the Old Testament, and few precise details of what practices these things had included. However there certainly were reasons for the laws which prohibited such practices, to ensure that they did not spread among the children of Israel. So we read in Exodus chapter 22: “18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” And then, in the very next verse, “19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.” Again, in Deuteronomy chapter 18, we read: “9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.” While the nature of some of these practices may be found in ancient literature, others describe things which are far more obscure. The Jews and their Kabbalah never could turn lead into gold, or formulate the elixir of life, things which they continue to seek after even today.
Solomon continues a description of the sins of Canaan:
5 And also those merciless murderers of children, and devourers of man's flesh, and the feasts of blood, 6 With their priests out of the midst of their idolatrous crew, and the parents, that killed with their own hands souls destitute of help:
As we have already explained, the clause in the English version at the beginning of verse 3 actually belongs here at the end of verse 6, so following the Greek text, we would translate these last four verses to read:
3 For even those ancient inhabitants of Your holy land [καὶ γὰρ τοὺς πάλαι οἰκήτορας τῆς ἁγίας σου γῆς] 4 being hated for practicing odious deeds of sorcery and unholy rites [μισήσας ἐπὶ τῷ ἔχθιστα πράσσειν ἔργα φαρμακειῶν καὶ τελετὰς ἀνοσίους], 5 being both unmerciful murderers of children and eating a meal of the organs of the flesh of men and blood [τέκνων τε φονὰς ἀνελεήμονας καὶ σπλαγχνοφάγον ἀνθρωπίνων σαρκῶν θοῖναν καὶ αἵματος] in the midst of a company of initiates [ἐκ μέσου μύστας θιάσου] 6 and parents themselves killing the souls of the helpless [καὶ αὐθέντας γονεῖς ψυχῶν ἀβοηθήτων], You determined to destroy by the hands of our fathers [ἐβουλήθης ἀπολέσαι διὰ χειρῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν].
While the Bible does not go into any of the gruesome details whereby the Canaanites, and the Israelites who followed them, had sacrificed their children to Moloch, here Solomon informs us that the ancient Canaanites not only killed their own children in this manner, but also ate their organs and drank their blood in group rituals of initiates, or perhaps, mystics, as the word μύστης may have also been translated, in reference to someone who participates in mystic rituals.
Today, the descendants of the ancient Canaanites, among which the most notable are the Jews, once again partake of and support these evil practices. They have also imposed some of them on the greater society, and will force all of us to partake in them, if they can. But aside from all of the evidence of the blood libel ritual murders where innocent children are killed and their blood and flesh are consumed, rituals which have been conducted in Europe by Jews and elsewhere throughout history, the more discreet method in which this is performed today is found in all of the by-products of the abortion industry, where fetal blood, tissue, cells, organs, and even body parts are sold on commerical markets and used in products ranging from vaccines to cosmetics. Many other medical and supposedly therapeutic procedures or treatments are being developed from aborted fetal tissue. Before it all ends, it seems that the whole world will be eating their own children in previously unimaginable ways. [See Commercial Markets Created by Abortion: Profiting from the Fetal Distribution Chain, by Victoria Evans of the College of Nursing at the University of Florida]
Now returning to Solomon, he summarizes why the Canaanites had been destroyed:
7 That the land, which thou esteemedst above all other, might receive a worthy colony of God's children.
Although it is later revealed in the Gospel of Luke that Adam was a son of God, in the Old Testament, of all people, only the children of Israel were ever considered the children of Yahweh God, as we read in Deuteronomy chapter 14: “1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God… 2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.” Throughout the prophets and in diverse other Scriptures, on many other occasions the same children of Israel are considered the children or the sons and daughters of Yahweh, exclusive of all other people.
However now, and for an unexpected reason, as we shall see in verse 10, Solomon explains how and why not all of the Canaanites were immediately destroyed before the children of Israel:
8 Nevertheless even those thou sparedst as men, and didst send wasps, forerunners of thine host, to destroy them by little and little.
In Exodus chapter 23, in reference to the tribes of Canaan, we read a promise of their gradual destruction: “27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. 28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. 29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. 30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.” In the Septuagint, the word for hornet, σφηκία, is similar to the word σφήξ which was translated as wasp here in Wisdom.
9 Not that thou wast unable to bring the ungodly under the hand of the righteous in battle, or to destroy them [or wear them out] at once with cruel beasts, or with one rough [or severe] word:
Here Solomon attests that Yahweh had the power to subject or destroy the Canaanites immediately, but purposely chose not to do so. He continues the explanation as the chapter progresses:
10 But executing thy judgments upon them by little and little, thou gavest them place of repentance, not being ignorant that they were a naughty generation, and that their malice was bred in them, and that their cogitation would never be changed.
The phrase “naughty generation”, πονηρὰ ἡ γένεσις, is more accurately translated as a wicked race. Likewise, the clause “their malice was bred in them” ἔμφυτος ἡ κακία αὐτῶν may have also been rendered “their malice is natural to them”. Where it says “their cogitation would never be changed” we would write more literally that “their reasoning would not change forever.” In other words, their reasoning cannot possibly ever change because they were a corrupted, or wicked race, and for that reason their wicked behavior was an inherent part of their character.
That Greek word γένεσις describes a source or origin, or, speaking of people, a manner of birth, race, descent, according to Liddell & Scott. The Canaanites had a wicked origin, in spite of the fact that everything which Yahweh God created is good. But a study of Old Testament history and the practices of the people of Canaan reveals that they were indeed mixed with Kenites, Rephaim and other tribes of obscure origin, which did not come from Adam. So being bastards, although Canaan himself was originally a son of Ham, they certainly did have a wicked origin, as they did not come from God.
Now here Solomon imagines that the Canaanites were given room for repentance, when in fact the Scripture states that Yahweh preserved them after the children of Israel failed to obey Him and destroy them all, and that their preservation would be a scourge, pricks and thorns to the children of Israel. So they were preserved not for their own benefit, but so that Yahweh would use them to chastise Israel.
The children of Israel were warned many times not to worship or respect the gods of Canaan. We read in Deuteronomy chapter 8: “19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.” But even Solomon himself was warned of this, as we read in 1 Kings chapter 9: “6 But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: 7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people.”
So rather than turning the Canaanites away from their evil ways, the Israelites did indeed forsake Yahweh and turn to worship the gods and partake in the evils of Canaan. Then later, even Solomon himself committed that same sin, and we read 1 Kings chapter 11: “2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.” So even with all of his wisdom, Solomon himself was corrupted by his power. He later made a defense of himself in Ecclesiastes, where he seems to have repented, but of course the final judgment of that is in the hands of God.
Today, as Christendom is overrun with aliens, once again we see that a great number of the children of Israel have taken to worshipping the gods of the aliens, and that is also a lesson we must learn from history, because while we cannot stop it, we may certainly be aware of what is happening and hope that we ourselves may be spared the coming judgment. White Christians had sought to turn the heathen races among them to Christianity for five hundred years, and they have failed. Now instead, many White Christians, or former Christians, have learned and follow the ways of the heathen, just as their ancestors had done in ancient Canaan. So once again, all flesh is becoming corrupted as it was in the days of Noah, as Christ had warned that so it would be at the time of His coming.
Likewise, in spite of his motives for presenting this history in this manner, the lesson from history which Solomon is illustrating here is the fact that even living in proximity of the children of Israel for many centuries, the Canaanites failed to depart from their wicked ways and seek to do good. The delay in their destruction evidently afforded them the opportunity to consider the judgment which came upon many of the other tribes of Canaan, and perhaps even a chance to change. But Solomon also attests here that they were a wicked race, and that it is for that reason that they could not change. So even if Solomon omitted aspects of the relationship in the history between the Canaanites and the Israelites in his illustration here, he apparently did that purposefully so that he could better illustrate this important lesson from history: that behavior good or evil must be attributed to nature as well as to nurture. Solomon continues that affirmation in verse 11 which follows.
Returning to the concept of bastards being given the opportunity to repent, in Genesis chapter 4 even Cain is given such an opportunity, and after his sacrifice was rejected we read: “6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” Cain immediately went and killed his brother, demonstrating that he could not do well because “sin lieth at the door.” An understanding of the parable of Genesis chapter 3, and the realization that there is a corruption in the text of Genesis 4:1, lead to the conclusion that Cain could not escape the evil of his behavior because evil was inherent in him, as he was also a bastard.
In this same manner, John the baptist addressed the leaders of the Judaeans as a race of vipers, or serpents, in Matthew chapter 3: “7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation [or race] of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” At least many of the Pharisees, Sadducees and high priests of the Judaeans being Edomites, they were also descended from Cain and the races of Canaan. Being Edomites made them descendants of Abraham, in part, but where John said “God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham”, that would not make the children of stones children of the promises. Only the children of Israel were assured the promises of Abraham, as we read in Genesis chapter 28 and in Romans chapter 9. But nevertheless, John challenged them to do good, and they could not do good because of their nature, as Christ told them on frequent occasions later in His Gospel. Another example of a bastard being challenged to do good is where Herod Agrippa II admitted that Paul of Tarsus nearly persuaded him to convert to Christ. When Paul challenged him, Agrippa eluded the challenge, as it is recorded in Acts chapter 26. Paul certainly must have known that Agrippa was an Edomite, but challenged him to do good in spite of that.
Later, in the words of Christ in the Revelation, even Jezebel is described as having been given place to repent, and evidently she failed to do so. She was guilty of the same crimes of the ancient Canaanites, as we read in 2 Kings chapter 9, where Jehu confronted Joram king of Israel, who was the son of Ahab and Jezebel : “22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” So Jehu slew Joram, or Jehoram, and became king in his place, as Jezebel was eaten by dogs.
It is arguable whether Jezebel was a Canaanite, or whether she was a pagan Israelite. Her father, Ethbaal or Ithobalus, was a pagan priest of Tyre who had usurped the throne of Hiram held by his descendants, and killing them he made himself king. The portions of the account which are not evident in Scripture are found in Josephus’ Against Apion. Later, Ethbaal married his daughter Jezebel to Ahab, king of Israel. However in any event, the lesson from history is the same, that a bastard cannot do good, so Christ promises in that chapter of the Revelation to kill the children of fornicators with death. Now Solomon speaks again in reference to the Canaanites and says:
11 For it was a cursed seed from the beginning; neither didst thou for fear of any man give them pardon for those things wherein they sinned.
The verb translated as fear here, εὐλαβέομαι, would have been better rendered as care or respect, and is a present participle rather than a verb of the second person. The words “any man” come from a form of an indefinite pronoun, τίς, which means anyone. Therefore the second clause should be read: “neither caring for anyone did You give pardon for those things in which they sinned.” The phrase translated as “from the beginning” here is ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς, and it does not necessarily refer to origin or race, as the word γένεσις does in verse 10.
While Canaan was cursed by Noah, that alone cannot be what Solomon refers to here, as he had already professed in verse 10 that the Canaanites were a wicked race, and that their evil was inherent. The curse of Canaan had nothing to do with any of this, as we read in Genesis chapter 9: “24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. 25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. 26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. 27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”
Being fated to servitude, that in itself does not make Canaan and his descendants a wicked race with an evil nature. Even the children of Israel were consigned by Yahweh God to slavery in Egypt, as Yahweh told Abraham in Genesis chapter 15, but that did not make them inherently evil. However the Canaanites later having mingled with the Kenites, Rephaim and other races, being bastards then by nature they would be wicked, as Solomon had already explained here. The children of Israel may also be wicked, but they were not bastards, and they were given the law, under which they could be chastised to repentance. So we see that neither nature or nurture are sufficient by themselves to please God, but having both nature and nurture, which is discipline under the law, the children of Israel can be acceptable to God. This is the lesson which Solomon wanted his readers to learn from this history.
Now he continues with another, which is in reference to the judgment of God:
12 For who shall say, What hast thou done? or who shall withstand thy judgment? or who shall accuse thee for the nations that perish, whom thou made? or who shall come to stand against thee, to be revenged for the unrighteous men?
The words “to be revenged” are actually an adjective, ἔκδικος, and being used as a Substantive means an avenger. So the final clause we prefer to read: “Or who shall come to stand against Thee, an avenger for unrighteous men?” In other words, no man can stand as an avenger on behalf of those whom God chooses to destroy.
But here we have another, more significant issue with the translation that we would prefer to correct before commenting further. First, the Greek verb ποιέω can mean to do or to make. In the clause which reads “or who shall accuse thee for the nations that perish, whom thou made” the phrase ἐθνῶν ἀπολωλότων, or the destroyed nations is in the genitive case, and they are not described with the words ἃ σὺ ἐποίησας [a form of ποιέω], translated here as “which you have made”. Rather, we would more properly read the accusative case pronoun, ἅ, a neuter form of the relative pronoun ὅς, as the object of the verb ποιέω. If the relative pronoun did refer to the destroyed nations, it also should have been in the genitive case. So the clause should read:
12… And who [τίς δὲ] shall accuse You [ἐγκαλέσει σοι] concerning the nations having been destroyed [κατὰ ἐθνῶν ἀπολωλότων, or destroyed nations], for the things which You have done [ἃ σὺ ἐποίησας]?…
Even if Yahweh God could be credited with having created Canaan, Midian, Moab, Ammon and other Adamic patriarchs of those tribes which were conquered or destroyed by the ancient Israelites, Yahweh did not create any bastards, or Solomon could not have righteously referred to the Canaanites of later times as an inherently evil and wicked race earlier in this chapter. Nothing created in the Genesis creation of God is evil, yet Solomon refers to the genesis of these wicked Canaanite nations distinctly.
Now if they were beyond chastisement, and instead had to be completely destroyed for their wickedness, as Solomon attested here, neither could they be among the “all” for which God cares:
13 For neither is there any God but thou that careth for all, to whom thou mightest shew that thy judgment is not unright.
We would translate this verse to read:
13 For neither is there a God except You [οὔτε γὰρ θεός ἐστιν πλὴν σοῦ] in Whom is care for all [ᾧ μέλει περὶ πάντων] in order that You would show [ἵνα δείξῃς] that You have not judged unrighteously [ὅτι οὐκ ἀδίκως ἔκρινας].
Once again, the care is for all of Israel, who should have learned and who should still learn this lesson from history, that Yahweh had destroyed the Canaanites for their wicked deeds, and that doing so, His judgment is just. Instead, Christians today believe that the God of the Old Testament was a cruel and evil God, but that He has now passed on judgment to his Son, Jesus, whom they think loves everyone regardless of their behavior. Yet that same Jesus promised to kill their children for their fornication and to destroy entire nations of people described as goats by sending into a lake of fire. Solomon continues his analogy:
14 Neither shall king or tyrant be able to set his face against thee for any whom thou hast punished.
In essence, Solomon is merely declaring that no man can withstand the judgment of God. Judgment being in the hands of Christ, we read in a Messianic prophecy in Isaiah chapter 52: “13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.” So ultimately even Kings shall learn from history and shall not be able to contradict God.
15 Forsomuch then as thou art righteous thyself, thou orderest all things righteously: thinking it not agreeable with thy power to condemn him that hath not deserved to be punished.
In other words, the nations of Canaan being destroyed certainly did deserve to be punished in the manner in which they suffered. But this leads to another question, which is sometimes a cause of contention even among those who share our understanding of Christian Israel Identity. In 1 John chapter 3 we read “4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” Of course, this statement is true, but it often leads to the oversimplified notion that only the children of Israel can sin, because only the children of Israel had the law. We have probably all made that argument at one time or another, for the sake of showing that Christ had come only for the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” and that their sins are the only sins which He came to forgive, and that is true.
But Paul of Tarsus had said that “13 For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.” So if the Canaanites were punished, does that mean that sin was imputed? The truth is that there was one law given to man, for which reason Paul referred to the similitude of Adam’s transgression, and that is the law not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which if man did, he would die. The events described in Genesis chapters 3 and 6 both led to death, and therefore it is evident that both transgressions were violations of that same law. The Canaanites, having been mixed with Kenites, Rephaim and others, were themselves products of the violation of that same law. Being a race of wicked origin, as Solomon attests, they were bastards, and therefore they themselves were sin. In that manner, we can determine that the judgment of God is just. So Solomon continues to speak of His power:
16 For thy power is the beginning of righteousness, and because thou art the Lord of all, it maketh thee to be gracious unto all.
The Greek word φείδομαι, translated as gracious here, would have been better translated as sparing or merciful. But once again, Yahweh demanding the children of Israel to slay all of the Canaanites without exception, and informing then that He would ultimately slay them all if they failed, He was not sparing to them, and Solomon did not include them where he referred to “all”. Rather, Solomon was only referring to all of Israel.
In that same manner it speaks of the judgment of God in 1 Samuel chapter 2: “6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. 7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. 8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them. 9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. 10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
But now Solomon describes the fate of men who forget God:
17 For when men will not believe that thou art of a full power, thou shewest thy strength, and among them that know it thou makest their boldness manifest.
We would translate verse 17 to read:
For You show the unbelieving strength [ἰσχὺν γὰρ ἐνδείκνυσαι ἀπιστούμενος] in the perfection of power [ἐπὶ δυνάμεως τελειότητι] and among those who know [καὶ ἐν τοῖς εἰδόσι] You reprove boldness [τὸ θράσος ἐξελέγχεις].
Those who do not know remain oblivious to the reasons for their punishment, their boldness is reproved, while those who know should understand what happened and recognize the power of God. As we believe that Solomon is explaining, the Canaanites who were granted a respite in their destruction had an opportunity to reflect on what was happening, but nevertheless they did not depart from their wickedness, and being a corrupt race, they could not depart. So in their destruction, Yahweh God showed His power to those who know, to the children of Israel who believed Him and therefore knew what was happening as they learned a lesson from history as it was made.
18 But thou, mastering thy power, judgest with equity, and orderest us with great favour: for thou mayest use power when thou wilt.
The object of the verb is the genitive form of the noun ἰσχύς, which is strength or power. Solomon is not saying that God mastered His power, but that God is the master of power. With other minor differences, we would translate the same verse to read:
18 But you being Master [or Lord] of power [σὺ δὲ δεσπόζων ἰσχύος] judge with equity [ἐν ἐπιεικείᾳ κρίνεις] and govern us with much consideration [καὶ μετὰ πολλῆς φειδοῦς διοικεῖς ἡμᾶς]. For it is present within You to prevail whenever You would desire [πάρεστιν γάρ σοι ὅταν θέλῃς τὸ δύνασθαι].
Now Solomon goes on to repeat his assertion concerning the opportunity for repentance of those Canaanites who were not immediately destroyed:
19 But by such works hast thou taught thy people that the just man should be merciful, and hast made thy children to be of a good hope that thou givest repentance for sins.
We will translate this verse anew even if the reading in the King James Version is acceptable:
19 But teaching Your people through such works [ἐδίδαξας δέ σου τὸν λαὸν διὰ τῶν τοιούτων ἔργων] that it is necessary for the just man to be [ὅτι δεῖ τὸν δίκαιον εἶναι] benevolent [φιλάνθρωπον, literally loving mankind, as in loving one’s neighbor] You have also made your sons hopeful [καὶ εὐέλπιδας ἐποίησας τοὺς υἱούς σου] that You would give repentance for sins [ὅτι διδοῖς ἐπὶ ἁμαρτήμασιν μετάνοιαν].
This example also seems to be the case in the interaction between Christ and the Canaanite woman of Matthew chapter 15, however it is more certain that he was honoring the Greco-Roman custom of the suppliant, but that is quite similar to Solomon’s message here. Just because the punishment on the Canaanites is forestalled does not mean that ultimately it is not certain, as Solomon also teaches here, that in the end they shall never repent because they are a corrupt race from the beginning.
Yet the lesson which he wants us to learn from this history is that if Yahweh God gives those of His enemies who cannot possibly repent a chance to repent, then the children of Israel can be assured that they themselves certainly will be afforded ample space to repent. In that manner he continues:
20 For if thou didst punish the enemies of thy children, and the condemned to death, with such deliberation, giving them time and place, whereby they might be delivered from their malice:
While the King James rendering is once again acceptable, a word was either missed or ignored,
20 For if the enemies of Your children [εἰ γὰρ ἐχθροὺς παίδων σου] and those who are liable to death [καὶ ὀφειλομένους θανάτῳ] You have punished with so much attention and deliberation [μετὰ τοσαύτης ἐτιμωρήσω προσοχῆς καὶ διέσεως] having given time and place [δοὺς χρόνους καὶ τόπον] by which they may depart from their wickedness [δι᾽ ὧν ἀπαλλαγῶσι τῆς κακίας],
Once again, while it is not explained in this manner in the books of Moses or in the later historical books of our Bible, Solomon uses the circumstances of the history of the Canaanites to show that they had ample opportunity to turn to good, although it was inevitable that they would not. Yet their having had that opportunity should be a sign of encouragement for the children of Israel, and in that manner Solomon concludes his sentence:
21 With how great circumspection didst thou judge thine own sons, unto whose fathers thou hast sworn, and made covenants of good promises?
The word translated as circumspection here is ἀκρίβεια, which is actually exactness or precision.
Here we may also observe that the children of Israel were called “thine own sons”, Solomon continuing his prayer to Yahweh God for wisdom, where it is apparent that their enemies, namely the Canaanites, were not considered to be children of God. Adam being a son of God, it is apparent in Genesis that not all men came from Adam, and therefore men who are not from Adam cannot be sons of God. For that same reason, the insistence of the Canaanite woman had vexed the apostles, who were trying to chase her away. Yet her wish was granted after she made supplication to Christ, and admitted that she was herself was nothing but a dog. After she went her way, as He instructed her to do, she was still a dog inspite of the fact that her request was granted, and the apostles were never reproved for how they had treated her. They too must have known that she was not a daughter of Yahweh.
Now Solomon continues by comparing the judgments upon Israel with the judgments upon their enemies, and repeats the lesson which they should have understood from their own immediate history:
22 Therefore, whereas thou dost chasten us, thou scourgest our enemies a thousand times more, to the intent that, when we judge, we should carefully think of thy goodness, and when we ourselves are judged, we should look for mercy.
With their own promises of preservation, and a concurrent promise that all of their enemies would be destroyed, the Israelites should expect mercy first in the fact that Yahweh deliberated before destroying their enemies, and then in the fact that their enemies suffered even more than the children of Israel whenever the children of Israel were punished. But at the same time, the Israelites themselves should practice that same goodness and deliberation when it befalls them to have to judge others. All of these lessons Solomon takes from the history of the children of Israel in the presence of the Canaanites. But now he offers another lesson from that history:
23 Wherefore, whereas men have lived dissolutely and unrighteously, thou hast tormented them with their own abominations.
The word translated as dissolutely is ἀφροσύνη, which is basically foolishness or folly. Throughout Wisdom as well as Ecclesiastes, Solomon imagined folly to be disobedience to Yahweh God and His laws, while wisdom is what comes from God, including His law.
As for men being tormented with their own abominations, Paul of Tarsus taught much this same thing in Romans chapter 1, where he explained that the Sodomy being practiced by the Romans of his time was itself a punishment from God, and that they were actually being shamed by such practices, even though they do not realize their shame. So he wrote, in part, that “26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” We see this phenomenon once again today, where people are literally eating children, and all of the Sodomites living in disgrace are receiving a reward for their sin by so doing, where in the end they will also be tormented with their abominations.
May their judgment come swiftly.
We shall leave off at this point in Wisdom chapter 12, with just a few verses remaining as Solomon turns to discuss the idolatry of Canaan, and that remains the subject of his discussion in chapter 13.