Wisdom of Solomon – Chapter 18

{18:1} But your saints were your greatest light, and they heard your voice, but did not see your form. And because they themselves did not also suffer the same things, they praised you greatly.
{18:2} And those who were wounded before, gave thanks, because they were no longer being wounded, and because they had petitioned for this gift, that there would be this difference.
{18:3} Because of this, they had a burning column of fire as a guide on the unknown way, and you displayed a harmless sun of a good hospitality.
{18:4} The others, indeed, deserved to be deprived of the light and to endure a prison of darkness, who watched for an opportunity to imprison your sons, by whom the incorruptible light of the law was beginning to be given to future generations.
{18:5} When they thought to kill the babes of the just, one son having been exposed and set free, to their disgrace, you took away a multitude of their sons and destroyed them all together in a mighty water.
{18:6} For that night was known beforehand by our fathers, so that, knowing the truth of the oaths in which they had trusted, they might be more peaceful in their souls.
{18:7} Yet your people received not only the salvation of the just, but also the destruction of the unjust.
{18:8} For just as you wounded our adversaries, so also did you greatly esteem calling us forth.
{18:9} For the just children of goodness were secretly offering sacrifice, and in agreement they administered the law of justice, so that both good and bad would be able to receive justice, and so that you might now approve of their chanting to the father.
{18:10} On the other hand, a dissimilar voice was resounding from the enemies, and a lamentable wailing was heard for the children who were being cried over.
{18:11} But the same punishment afflicted the servant with the master, and the common man endured the same as the king.
{18:12} Therefore, all were the same, with one name for death, and the dead were innumerable. For neither were the living sufficient to bury the dead, because, with a single effort, their most illustrious nation was exterminated.
{18:13} For they would not believe anything because of the drugs; then truly, at the beginning, when the extermination of the firstborn happened, they pledged the people to belong to God.
{18:14} For, when a quiet silence surrounded all things, and when the course of the night was passing the middle of its journey,
{18:15} your almighty word from heaven leapt down from your royal throne, as a fierce warrior in the midst of the land of extermination,
{18:16} as a sharp sword carrying your unfeigned authority, and standing, filled all things with death, and, standing on the earth, reached all the way up to touch heaven.
{18:17} Then, incessant visions of nightmares disturbed them, and unexpected fears overcame them.
{18:18} And another was thrown down elsewhere half-alive; and so, by means of that which was dying, the cause of death was revealed.
{18:19} For the visions that disturbed them had forewarned of these things, lest they should perish and not know why they suffered these evils.
{18:20} Yet, at that time, the trial of death touched even the just, and there was a disturbance of the multitude in the wilderness, but your wrath did not continue for long.
{18:21} For a blameless man, prospering, is to be entreated for your people, bringing forth the shield of your service, through prayer and incense, making prayerful supplication, he withstands anger, and so establishes an end to the necessary difficulty, revealing that he is your servant.
{18:22} Yet he outlasted the disturbance, not by virtue of the body, nor by force of arms, but, with a word, he subdued those who were troubling him, commemorating the oaths and covenant of the parents.
{18:23} For when they were now fallen down dead by heaps one upon another, he stood between them and cut off their attack, and he divided those who controlled the path to the living.
{18:24} For, within the garment of shame which he held, the world was all together, and the great deeds of the parents were engraved on four orders of stones, and your majesty was engraved on the crown of his head.
{18:25} Yet he who was exterminating yielded even to those he frightened. For one trial of wrath was sufficient.

Continue Reading

Wisdom of Solomon – Chapter 17

{17:1} For your judgments, O Lord, are great, and your words are indescribable. Therefore, undisciplined souls have wandered astray.
{17:2} For, while they managed to convince the unjust, so as to obtain dominion over the holy nation, they themselves were fettered with chains of darkness and of endless night, enclosed in their houses, fugitives of everlasting providence, lying in ruins.
{17:3} And, while they thought to escape notice in their secret sins, they were scattered under a dark veil of oblivion, being horribly afraid, and having been disturbed with great astonishment.
{17:4} For neither did the cave which enclosed them preserve them from fear, because descending noises disturbed them, and the sorrowful persons appearing to them intensified their fear.
{17:5} And, indeed, even fire had no strength to provide them light, nor could the clear flames of the stars illuminate that horrible night.
{17:6} Yet there appeared to them a sudden fire, filled with fear; and, having been struck with the fear of that face which is unseen, they considered those things which they did see to be worse,
{17:7} and, having been ridiculed, the illusions were removed from their arts along with their contemptuous rebuke of glorious wisdom.
{17:8} Indeed, those who promised to drive away fears and disturbances from a languishing soul, though they were filled with derision, were themselves languishing in fear.
{17:9} And, even if nothing unnatural disturbed them, yet being agitated by the passing of animals and the hissing of snakes, they died of fear, denying what they themselves saw even in the air, which no one thinks to be able to escape.
{17:10} For, while there may be apprehension with wickedness, it gives testimony to condemnation, for a troubled conscience always forecasts harshness.
{17:11} For fear is nothing else but unfaithfulness to thinking helpful things.
{17:12} And, while expectation is driven from within, the cause of this is supposing that one is great in knowledge, and as a result, conflict excels.
{17:13} Yet those who were truly powerless that night, being overcome by both the vilest and the deepest hell, were sleeping the same sleep,
{17:14} sometimes stirred up by the fear of unnatural things, other times sinking down in disgrace of soul, for a sudden and unexpected fear overcame them.
{17:15} Then, if any among them had fallen away, he was kept in a prison without bars which had been left open.
{17:16} For if a farmer, or a shepherd, or a worker in a field of labor were suddenly overcome, he endured an inescapable necessity.
{17:17} For they were all bound together with one chain of darkness. Or if there were a whistling wind, or the sweet sound of birds among the thick tree branches, or the force of water rushing excessively,
{17:18} or the strong noise of rocks crashing down, or the scattering of playful animals having been seen, or the strong voice of bellowing beasts, or the resounding of the highest mountain echo, these things made them sink down because of fear.
{17:19} For the whole world was enlightened with a clear light, and none were being hindered in their labors.
{17:20} But then, the heavy night was placed over the sun for them, an image of that darkness which was about to overcome them. Yet they were more grievous to themselves than was the darkness.

Continue Reading