Wisdom of Solomon – Chapter 16

{16:1} Because of this, and by means of things similar to these, they were allowed to endure fitting torments, and they were exterminated by a multitude of beasts.
{16:2} Instead of these torments, you administered your people kindly, giving them a desire for a new taste from your delights, and preparing quails for their food,
{16:3} so that, even those desiring food, because of those things which were sent and revealed to them, were now turned away from a necessary desire. Yet these, after a brief time, having become weak, tasted a new food.
{16:4} For it was necessary, though they are without excuse, for them to unexpectedly come upon the ruin of exercising tyranny, yet this was as if to show them how their enemies were being exterminated.
{16:5} And so, when fierce beasts overcame them in anger, they were exterminated by the bites of perverse snakes.
{16:6} But your anger did not continue forever, though they were troubled for a short time for their correction, they have a sign of salvation as a remembrance of the commandment of your law.
{16:7} For he who turned to it was not healed by what he saw, but by you, the Savior of all.
{16:8} Yet in this you revealed to our enemies that you are he who delivers from all evil.
{16:9} For they were killed by the biting of locusts and flies, and there was found no remedy for their life, because they deserved to be destroyed by such things.
{16:10} But not even the teeth of venomous serpents conquered your sons, for your mercy came to them and healed them.
{16:11} For, in remembrance of your words, they were examined and were quickly saved, for forgetfulness is not engraved into your altar so that they would be unable to obtain your help.
{16:12} And, indeed, neither an herb, nor a poultice, healed them, but your word, O Lord, which heals all.
{16:13} For it is you, O Lord, who holds the power of life and death; you both lead to the threshold of death and you restore.
{16:14} Yet man, indeed, kills his own soul through malice, and when his spirit goes forth, it will not be returned, nor will he call back his soul when it has been received.
{16:15} But it is impossible to escape your hand.
{16:16} For the impious, having refused to know you, have been scourged by the strength of your arm, enduring persecution by unusual waters, and by hailstorms, and by rain storms, and being consumed by fire.
{16:17} For there was something extraordinary in water, which extinguishes all things; it has prevailed more than fire; for the world is the defender of the just.
{16:18} Indeed, at a certain time, the fire was subdued, so as not to burn away the animals, which were sent against the impious; and so that, in seeing this, they might know that they are suffering persecution by the judgment of God.
{16:19} And, at another time, fire burned, beyond its own power, in the midst of water, and it flared up from all around, so as to destroy the nations of an unjust land.
{16:20} Instead of these things, you nourished your people with the food of angels, and, having prepared bread from heaven, you served them without labor that which holds within itself every delight and the sweetness of every flavor.
{16:21} For your nature showed your sweetness, which you hold within your sons, and serving the will of each one, it was converted to what each one preferred.
{16:22} But snow and ice held back the strength of fire, and did not melt, so that they might know that fire, burning in the hail and flashing in the rain, destroyed the fruits of the enemies.
{16:23} Yet it was also the case, so that the just might be nourished, that fire had even been deprived of its own power.
{16:24} For the creature serving you, the Creator, grows red hot in the midst of the conflict against the unjust, and yet it subsides for the benefit of those who trust in you.
{16:25} Because of this, and at that time, having been transfigured in all things, your grace was diligently serving as the nursemaid of all things, according to the will of those who long for you,
{16:26} so that your sons, whom you loved, O Lord, might know that it is not the fruits of nature which feed men, but your word, which preserves those who believe in you.
{16:27} For that which could not be destroyed by fire, was immediately melted when warmed by a few rays of the sun,
{16:28} so that it might be clear to all that it is right to come before the sun to bless you, and to adore you at the dawning of the light.
{16:29} For the hope of the ungrateful will melt away like the winter’s ice and will disperse like overflowing water.

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Wisdom of Solomon – Chapter 15

{15:1} But you, our God, are gracious and true, patient, and in mercy ordering all things.
{15:2} And, indeed, if we sin, we are yours, knowing your greatness; and, if we do not sin, we know that we are counted with you.
{15:3} For to have known you is perfect justice, and to know justice and your virtue is the root of immortality.
{15:4} For the skillful planning of evil men has not led us into error, nor the shadow of a picture, a fruitless labor, an image having been sculpted through the use of diverse colors,
{15:5} the sight of which gives desire to the foolish, and he loves the likeness of a lifeless image without a soul.
{15:6} Deserving are the lovers of evil, those who hope in such things, and those who make them, and those who love them, and those who promote them.
{15:7} But even the potter, pressing laboriously, molds the soft earth into vessels, each one for our use. And from the same clay he molds vessels, those which are for clean use, and similarly, those which are for the opposite. But, as to what is the use of a vessel, the potter is the judge.
{15:8} And with effort he molds an empty god of the same clay, he who a little before had been made from the earth, and, after brief time, he himself returns from whence he came, to be claimed by he who holds the debt of his soul.
{15:9} Yet his concern is, not what his work will be, nor that his life is short, but that he is being contested by those who work with gold and silver, yet he also does the same to those who work with copper, and he glories that he makes worthless things.
{15:10} For his heart is ashes, and his hope is worthless dirt, and his life is more common than clay,
{15:11} because he ignores the One who molded him, and who instilled in him a working soul, and who breathed into him a living spirit.
{15:12} Yet they even considered our life to be a plaything, and the usefulness of life to be the accumulation of wealth, and that we must be acquiring things in every possible way, even from evil.
{15:13} For, above all else, he knows himself to be lacking, who, from fragile material of the earth forms vessels and graven images.
{15:14} For all the foolish and unhappy, in charge of the way of the arrogant soul, are enemies of your people and rule over them,
{15:15} because they have esteemed all the idols of the nations as gods, which neither have the use of eyes to see, nor noses to draw breath, nor ears to hear, nor the fingers of hands to grasp, and even their feet are slow to walk.
{15:16} For man made them, and he who borrowed his own breath, formed them. For no man will be able to form God in the likeness of himself.
{15:17} For, being mortal, he forms a dead thing with his unjust hands. Yet, he is better than those things that he worships, because he indeed has lived, though he is mortal, but they never have.
{15:18} Moreover, they worship the most miserable animals, for, to make a foolish comparison, these others are worse.
{15:19} But not even from their appearance can anyone discern anything good in these animals. Yet they have fled from the praise of God, and from his blessing.

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