On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 4: Portrait of the Wicked

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 4: Portrait of the Wicked

The Wisdom of Solomon is timeless. Its portrayal of the wicked is probably much more relevant today than when it was written.

In our last presentation of this commentary on the Wisdom of Solomon, we already began to introduce the second chapter of the work, and discussed aspects of its opening verses, as they provide a conclusion to ideas which were introduced in chapter 1, as well as an introduction to what is described throughout this chapter. I had also presented and briefly discussed this second chapter of the Wisdom of Solomon in Part 45 of my commentary on the Gospel of John, which was titled Gods and Emperors. That is because this chapter, as a whole, may be seen as a Messianic prophecy, and this first half draws a portrait of the wicked which also very well describes the attitudes and behavior of the men who had opposed Christ during the time of His ministry, and also mentions some of the same sentiments or practices of the wicked for which Christ had rebuked them. Then the later half of this chapter draws a portrait of a just man whom the wicked would persecute for his righteousness, and that also very well describes Christ Himself. Being wrapped in passages which discuss death and resurrection at the beginning of the chapter, and professing that God created man to be immortal at the end of the chapter, it is manifest that the whole of this chapter is indeed a Messianic prophecy.

So that being said, because they are an important introduction to the overall content of this second chapter, we will repeat and offer further commentary on those first two verses:

Wisdom 2:1 For the ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright, Our life is short and tedious, and in the death of a man there is no remedy: neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave.

Like the irony and sarcasm which is found in Ecclesiastes, where everything is declared to be vanity, here the ungodly are depicted as believing that same thing. But here their thoughts are declared to be wrong before they are described, where in Ecclesiastes it is not declared until the very end of the last chapter of the work that there is indeed a God who shall judge and reward the works of men, both the good and the evil. Without God there is no remedy for death, but then again, God Himself offers no remedy to the godless. In the latter portion of this chapter, the just man, who knows that he is of God and acts accordingly, has life even in his condemnation at the hands of the wicked, as the man which God has created is indeed immortal.

So the impious men had said, but “not aright”, or rather, incorrectly, that “in the death of a man there is no remedy: neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave.” That word for grave is actually ᾅδης, which in both Old Testament and New was seen as an underworld abode of the dead. Ancient pagan literature portrays men visiting that abode and speaking with the dead, such as Odysseus in the Odyssey. Likewise, in Scripture a necromancer was able to consult with the deceased prophet Samuel on behalf of Saul, in 1 Samuel chapter 28. Other ancient myths have men returning from Hades, such as the Mesopotamian legends of Tammuz and Ishtar or the title character of Euripides’ Alcestis. But where the author of Wisdom wrote “neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave”, he is rejecting those myths. The ancient writers of Scripture certainly knew of them, as the pagan idol Tammuz, who was a consort of Ishtar, is mentioned in Ezekiel chapter 8. In 1 Peter chapters 3 and 4, Christ Himself is described as having preached the gospel to the dead in Hades, as they were at that time reconciled with God, so Hades is no more.

Therefore we shall see that for the just man who is described at the end of this chapter there certainly is a remedy for death, and a return from Hades, where we learn that he is rewarded for his good works, because God created man to be immortal and therefore when man passes from this world, he only appears to die when actually, as we see in the first verse of chapter 3 of this book, “the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them.” The righteous are those whom Yahweh God considers to be righteous, as we read, for example, in Isaiah chapter 45: “19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”

Paul of Tarsus, speaking of the Adamic creation which was made subject to vanity, invoked a theme from Ecclesiastes, where he had spoken of that same hope of immortality and wrote in Romans chapter 8: “20 For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” This is evident in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 where Solomon had said “10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.” While the sin of Adam brought death into the world, that too was known beforehand by God, and was part of His plan from the beginning, as Christ was the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Now to discuss one other aspect of the words put into the mouths of the impious here, that “in the death of a man there is no remedy: neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave”: Admittedly, there is no indefinite article in Greek and therefore it may have been read “in the death of man there is no remedy”. But nevertheless, the author introduces the belief that there very well is a remedy in the death of men, and a return from the grave, or Hades. It is significant that he used this concept to introduce this contrast between the wicked and the righteous, and the resulting declaration that the righteous do have a promise of immortality.

The word for ungodly is not found in the text here. Rather, the pronoun refers back to the ungodly men who were described in the last verse of chapter 1, along with the forms of the verbs. As we have also explained previously, the word for ungodly, which is ἀσεβής, does not necessarily describe those who are without God, but merely those who are impious, or literally, without reverence, whether they are actually of God or not.

Now the Wisdom of Solomon rightly attributes to these impious men a belief commonly found among modern humanists, that men are born by chance and for no particular purpose, and then the seeming transientness, or vanity of man is also described:

2 For we are born at all adventure: and we shall be hereafter as though we had never been: for the breath in our nostrils is as smoke, and a little spark in the moving of our heart:

Interestingly, the word for born here is γίνομαι, to be or to become, and refers to the act of being born when used of people in this and similar contexts. But the King James Version did not translate the word in that same manner in 1 John 2:18, where the Christogenea New Testament has “even now many Antichrists have been born”, or perhaps modern Christians would better understand the nature of the Jews.

Where the King James Version has “and a little spark in the moving of our heart”, the translation ignores the phrase ὁ λόγος, which is a word or thought, and often a matter in the Psalms and Proverbs, but it may also be translated as reason or reckoning. Here we would translate the clause to say “and the matter [is] a little spark in the moving of our heart.” The word was used in a similar context in Ecclesiastes 5:2 [5:1 in the LXX] to refer to a thought or matter in the heart, although it is thing in the King James Version. Here we should note again, that Brenton did not actually translate Wisdom from the Greek, but only copied the King James Apocrypha, so that is the version we are following for this commentary. The translation of the Septuagint by Charles Thomson does not include the books of the Apocrypha.

In Ecclesiastes chapter 3, where Solomon was employing sarcasm, there is the same cynical attitude towards life after death, where he had also written “21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” The same attitude is summarized in Isaiah chapter 22, a passage which Paul had cited in his first epistle to the Corinthians, where sinful men are depicted as saying “let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.” But the vanity of man is also declared in Isaiah chapter 40, in a passage which Peter had cited in his first epistle, where Isaiah also alludes to the hope of life which is in God through a prophecy of the gospel: “5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. 6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: 7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. 8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. 9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” In that passage of Isaiah, the gospel of Christ prophesied is presented as the remedy for the vanity of man.

The attitude of the impious is that men are born by chance, as the Greek word αὐτοσχέδιος is interpreted here, but that is not true. As David professed, once again citing the 71st Psalm which he had written for Solomon, “ 5 For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth. 6 By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.” In John chapter 9, the man who was born blind from birth was born so for the glory of God, so that he could be healed by Christ after spending a good portion of his life in blindness.

Paul of Tarsus understood that the course of his own life as well as that of others was set even before he was born, as he said in the opening chapter of his epistle to the Galatians that “… it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me…” In his epistle to the Romans, Paul wrote in chapter 9, where he was speaking of Jacob and Esau, “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth… As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”

Likewise we read in Jeremiah chapter 1 where the Word of Yahweh said to the prophet: “5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” In the words of the prophet Isaiah, in chapter 49, we read where it is speaking of Jacob and says “The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name…. 5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.” The first person pronouns which we see in this passage of Isaiah refer to Jacob, but they also refer to the children of Israel collectively, and therefore all of the children of Israel share in that same hope which is expressed in those words. So once they fulfill their destiny and choose to be obedient to their God, serving Him through their obedience, then He shall be their strength, something we shall also discuss further on in this chapter of Wisdom.

Solomon continues to describe the vanity with which the impious consider their own lives:

3 Which being extinguished, our body shall be turned into ashes, and our spirit shall vanish as the soft air,

The word for spirit here is πνεῦμα, which is also often breath in some contexts, or wind in others. However the word for breath in verse 2 is πνοή, and that is also the word found in Genesis 2:7 where we read that “the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”, or in Acts 17:25 where Paul, speaking of God, had said “he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things”. So here πνοή refers to the transient breath of a man, but in contrast, πνεῦμα refers to the spirit, but the wordplay also reflects the nihilistic attitude of the impious, which Solomon continues to describe for two more verses:

4 And our name shall be forgotten in time, and no man shall have our works in remembrance, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist, that is driven away with the beams of the sun, and overcome with the heat thereof. 5 For our time is a very shadow that passeth away; and after our end there is no returning: for it is fast sealed, so that no man cometh again.

In ancient Israel, having one’s name cut off, or forgotten, was seen as a disgrace, as we read in Joshua chapter 7: “8 O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name?” But the impious take it for granted that after their death their name will be forgotten.

But Solomon, even while he sarcastically expresses the notion that death is better than birth, because of the trials which a man must undergo the time of during his life, nevertheless expresses the fact that “a good name is better than precious ointment”, in Ecclesiastes chapter 7. But the reason why that is true does not become manifest until the end of that book, where it is declared that God will judge the works of men.

Now another attitude that is projected in Ecclesiastes as a result of vanity is attributed to the impious here in Wisdom:

6 Come on therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present: and let us speedily use the creatures like as in youth.

The verb for use, χράομαι, has many stronger meanings in various contexts. The noun translated as creatures is actually singular and in the Dative Case. So the clause would have been better rendered as “let us eagerly indulge in the creation as in youth”, or, evidently, as children or adolescents are excited to experience new things.

This is an elaboration on what Solomon had expressed as the result of the apparent vanity of man in Ecclesiastes chapter 8 where he said: “15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.” This same sentiment was expressed in different ways several times in the earlier chapters of Ecclesiastes, and then later, in chapter 9, Solomon repeated it once more: “5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. 7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. 8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.”

Now, speaking of ointment, the wicked are portrayed as saying:

7 Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments: and let no flower of the spring pass by us:

Ironically, it is evident that Christ Himself was drinking wine, as that was the custom at dinner, while He was anointed with costly ointment just days before His death, and for that He was accused by the devil, Judas Iscariot. But He answered that it was being done for His burial, prophesying the fact that He would be unjustly executed by wicked men. As this chapter proceeds, the inevitable result of the impiety of these men is that they too would persecute the righteous. But rather than roses, He received a crown of thorns:

8 Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds [literally buds of roses], before they be withered: 9 Let none of us go without his part of our voluptuousness: let us leave tokens of our joyfulness in every place: for this is our portion, and our lot is this.

The Greek word ἀγερωχίας is voluptuousness here, but it is properly arrogance. In the Septuagint Apocrypha, it is bragging in 2 Maccabees 9:7 and insolence in 3 Maccabees 2:3. Translating it literally, we would render it as arrogance here, although Liddell & Scott have it here as revelry, following the traditional King James Apocrypha interpretation. It was common for Liddell & Scott to include in their definitions the traditional interpretations of the Church, however we are not always compelled to accept them.

But here it is apparent that such an interpretation as voluptuousness was influenced by the Latin Vulgate, which has luxuria, a word which means luxury, extravagance or excess. With this, it also becomes apparent that the translators of the Vulgate understood the word to be a Hebraism, that luxury was considered a form of arrogance, and with that we agree. So we would render the first clause of verse 9 to read “Let not one of us be without a share of our luxury”. Pride is a result of luxury in Ezekiel 16:49, where it is used to describe the sin of Sodom, and it precipitates the fall of Edom (Obadiah 1:3) as well as the judgment on the whore of Babylon (Revelation 18:7).

We hope to make it evident that the Wisdom of Solomon is indeed a logical sequel to the wisdom which is revealed by Solomon in Ecclesiastes. In that work, the vanity of man is lamented throughout, along with Solomon’s experiences with mirth and decadence, with which he had experimented on account of vanity, but which he also found to be vanity. In the end, however, he acknowledged that even vanity is vanity, and declared that there is indeed a God who would judge the works of men, so for that reason he wrote “13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Now here in Wisdom, Solomon attributes to the impious the belief that the life of men is vanity, and where he begins to describe the righteous, and the fate of the righteous, the work actually resumes with the theme which is found in the conclusion of Ecclesiastes. The Wisdom of Solomon is the result of the realization that there is indeed a greater purpose to the life of man than the vanity to which he is subjected in this world, which is the conclusion to Ecclesiastes. So here it is also explaining that for that very reason, man should not partake in the vanity of the wicked, indulging themselves with their sins. That understanding that there is a greater purpose, when it is presented, is interwoven with the meaning and purpose which is later revealed in the gospel of Christ, as well as being a prophecy of Christ. This is one significant reason why I believe that Wisdom was written by Solomon, and why it is despised by the rabbis of Judaism, who have gone to great lengths to discredit this work.

Now Solomon discusses another aspect of impious men, that because of their arrogance, or pride, they would persecute the righteous for no other reason than their righteousness:

10 Let us oppress the poor righteous man, let us not spare the widow, nor reverence the ancient gray hairs of the aged [or literally “of an elder”].

David laments this same trait of the wicked, where read in the 10th Psalm: “1 Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? 2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. 3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. 4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.”

These passages of Wisdom are echoed in many of the things which Christ had said to those who opposed Him, when He chastised them for their own self-righteousness. Christ was speaking of the wicked priests who engrossed themselves in luxury where He said in Matthew chapter 23: “ 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.” One way in which the wicked priests had gained wealth was to oppress the elderly and the widows. So did Christ tell them again, in that same chapter: “14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.”

Now there is nothing wrong with being rich, or with wealth itself, if the wealth is acquired lawfully. We read in Proverbs chapter 13: “ 11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.” In 1 Timothy chapter 6 Paul of Tarsus describes the obligation of the rich: “17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

But James warned how the rich oppress the poor, first in chapter 2 of his epistle, where he is warning against favoring the wealthy in judgment: “5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?” There James used the same word for oppress that we see here, καταδυναστεύω, a compound form of the verb δυναστεύω, which is to hold power or lordship, from the noun δυναστεία which is the root of our English word dynasty. The verb is not common, it appears less than three dozen times in the Greek Scriptures, and perhaps James had this chapter of Wisdom in mind when he used it.

Later, in chapter 5 of his epistle, James warns again what would become of the godless wealthy who would oppress the poor in order to maintain themselves in luxury: “1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. 5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. 6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.”

It is a clear historical pattern, that the godless who are wealthy use their riches to make laws for their own benefit, by which they enrich themselves even further. So by their own strength they are able to define justice to their own advantage. As it says in Proverbs chapter 22: “7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” So here Solomon attributes that sentiment to the godless:

11 Let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth.

Once again the Greek word ἐλέγχω appears here, where the text has “is found to be”. In addition to proved or convicted, in this context it can be rendered as exposed, and we would render the final clause, τὸ γὰρ ἀσθενὲς ἄχρηστον ἐλέγχεται, to read “that which is weak is exposed as worthless” although an alternative is “… proved to be useless.” Of course, the impious are still speaking in error.

Yahshua Christ refuted this sentiment in His Sermon on the Mount, and Paul of Tarsus in chapter 12 of his first epistle to the Corinthians where he said “14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”

In contrast to those sympathies, here on the part of the wicked we see a full expression of the pagan concept that ‘might makes right’, which in the early Greek philosophers and Epic poets was often used to justify the rule of tyrants, or the subjection of one nation by another. It was sometimes expressed in exclamations such as “woe to the vanquished”, which are found in the Epic poets and in classical Roman histories [Latin: vae victis], and it was also a subject of Plato, Socrates and other Greek philosophers.

But the Bible very frequently, although indirectly, addresses the delusion that “might makes right”, a term which seems to have been coined in English in the 19th century but which actually describes this far older concept, and here in Wisdom we certainly do see that the concept is very old. In chapter 36 of the Book of Job, who had probably lived a couple of centuries before David and Solomon, we read “5 Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom. 6 He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.”

We also see a rebuke of this attitude of “might makes right” in Proverbs chapter 18: “11 The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit. 12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.” There is another warning in Isaiah chapter 5: “15 And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled: 16 But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.”

Likewise, David, throughout the Psalms had considered Yahweh God alone to be the strength of His people, which he declared quite frequently. Thus he wrote in the 71st Psalm, which was dedicated to Solomon, “16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.” Then in the 91st Psalm, where in the context it is clear that the strength and righteous of which he speaks are of God, “4 The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.” So Christ also refutes the concept of “might makes right” in the Sermon on the Mount, where He said in part that “ 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

Here, where Solomon puts these words into the mouth of the unrighteous, he wrote at the beginning that “the ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright”, so we see that might does not make right, but only the righteousness which is found in the wisdom of God is right. The concept that might makes right is an inevitable product of humanism, and humanism prevails wherever the godless rule, where by man without God imagines that he can live by his own laws and his own sense of justice. Thereby he must also concede that might makes right if perchance he is conquered and enslaved by stronger men, which is also inevitable.

The act of kneeling before a man, or even prostrating oneself, has signified throughout history that one is subject to the will of that man, a recognition that one is under the authority of the man before whom he kneels. Today White men are kneeling before beasts, and ultimately they will be forced to accept the changes in law which those same beasts shall demand. When that happens, the White men will inevitably become enslaved to the beasts. But we also know that in this case, the beasts are the tools of the wealthy who assert their rule over us all, whether it be visible or invisible, by political maneuvering behind the scenes.

The only remedy for their inevitable enslavement is found in Isaiah chapter 45: “22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” Recognizing that righteousness is in God, and not in men, or in beasts, then God will once again be our strength.

Solomon now describes the attitudes of the impious once they are able to establish their own law:

12 Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraideth us with our offending the law, and objecteth to our infamy the transgressings of our education.

The phrase “he is not for our turn”, δύσχρηστος ἡμῖν ἐστιν, is better rendered “he is hard to deal with for us” or “he is intractable…” or “unmanageable to us”. The truly righteous man cannot be readily controlled or manipulated by the wicked.

The phrase “he is clean contrary to our doings”, ἐναντιοῦται τοῖς ἔργοις ἡμῶν, may have been better rendered “he is opposed to our works”. We read in the words of David in the 141st Psalm “4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.” Later, Yahshua Christ had told His disciples, as it is recorded in John chapter 7, that “7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.”

The Greek word ἐπιφημίζω is to object to infamy here. It is basically to utter words ominous of the event or to promise according to an omen, which in Scripture is basically an imprecation, an announcement that punishment from God awaits the sinner, or a prayer that requests it. Later, according to Liddell & Scott, it was used to describe an allegation, to allege something, citing Plutarch, a writer of the 2nd century AD. But we would assert that the primary meaning fits the context of Old Testament Scripture. The only other time that the word appears in the Septuagint is also in a context appropriate for its primary meaning, which is in Deuteronomy 29:19 where it is used to describe the curses which were pronounced for disobedience. So the final clause is better rendered “and curses the sins of our education”.

The message of these first twelve verses of Wisdom chapter 2 is profound, it describes phenomena which have manifested themselves throughout history, it is timeless, and it is fully relevant to the situation of Christians in the world today. Ungodly and impious men tend to humanism, and humanists tend to the artificial concept that might makes right, rather than what is declared in the law of God. Rejecting God, they tend towards materialism, they accumulate wealth, and they use their wealth as a weapon, so that they can subject men to their own laws. Taking God out of education, even education has become another godless tool by which they attain their own purposes. This is the course of modern history. This is how banks and global corporations and a small number of billionaires today have come to steer the course of nations.

Now the righteous, which are pious Christians who keep the commandments of Christ, are persecuted for doing so. Rejecting racial diversity, which leads to fornication, integration is forced onto them and fornication is everywhere. Rejecting Sodomy, the courts rule that gender is the same as sex, that discrimination against sex is immoral by their own standards, and now the acceptance of Sodomy is forced everywhere. Rejecting vaccination, since it is sorcery, legislation is introduced which makes vaccination mandatory. Rejecting the vile education of the ungodly, Christian parents who seek to educate their own children are also being persecuted. True Christians are intractable to the wicked, and

that is why today all formerly Christian nations are being plunged into decadence, tyranny, and are overrun with beasts, so that true Christians no longer have any political power within their own nations. Perhaps this lesson is another reason why the rabbis of Judaism despise the Wisdom of Solomon, because they despise its education.

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