Wisdom of Solomon – Chapter 13

{13:1} But all men are vain, who are not under the knowledge of God, and who, from these good things that are seen, were not able to understand he who is, nor, by paying attention to the works, did they acknowledge he who was the artisan.
{13:2} Instead, they had considered either the fire, or the air, or the atmosphere, or the circle of stars, or the great sea, or the sun and moon, to be the gods that rule the world.
{13:3} If they, being delighted by such sights, supposed them to be gods, let them know how great the Lord of them is in splendor. For he who created all things is the author of beauty.
{13:4} Or, if they wondered at their power and their effects, let them understand by these things, that he who created them is mightier than they are.
{13:5} For, by the greatness of the creation and its beauty, the creator of these will be able to be seen discernibly.
{13:6} Yet, up to this point, the complaint about this is lesser. For perhaps they made a mistake in this, while desiring and seeking to find God.
{13:7} And, indeed, having some familiarity with him through his works, they search, and they are persuaded, because the things that they are seeing are good.
{13:8} But, then again, neither can their debt be ignored.
{13:9} For, if they were able to know enough so that they could value the universe, how is it they did not easily discover the Lord of it?
{13:10} Yet they are unhappy, and their hope is among the dead, for they have called ‘gods’ the works of the hands of men, gold and silver, the inventions of skill, and the likeness of animals, or a useless stone, the work of an ancient hand.
{13:11} Or, it is as if a craftsman, a workman of the forest, had cut straight wood, and, with his expertise, shaved off all of its bark, and, with his skill, diligently fashioned a vessel, practical for use in life,
{13:12} and even the remains of his work were exhausted in the preparation of food;
{13:13} and, from the remainder of this, which has become useful for nothing, a curved piece of wood and full of knots, he diligently carves it in his spare time, and, through the knowledge of his art, forms it and makes it in the image of a man,
{13:14} or something comparable to an animal, thoroughly rubbing it with red ochre, to make it red with the color of the pigment, and to cover every imperfection which is in it;
{13:15} and it is as if he made a fitting resting place for it, even setting it in a wall and fastening it with iron,
{13:16} providing for it, lest it should fall, knowing that it is unable to help itself, for it is an image and it is in need of help.
{13:17} And then, making an offering, he inquires about his wealth, and about his sons, and about marriage. And he is not ashamed to talk to that which has no soul.
{13:18} And for health, indeed, something unhealthy is being prayed to, and for life, he petitions what is dead, and for help, he calls upon something helpless,
{13:19} and for a good journey, he entreats that which is unable to walk, and for acquiring, and for working, and for success in all things, he entreats that which is useless in all things.

Continue Reading

Wisdom of Solomon – Chapter 12

{12:1} O how good and gracious, Lord, is your spirit in all things!
{12:2} Therefore, those who wander afield, you correct, and, as to those who sin, you counsel them and admonish them, so that, having abandoned malice, they may believe in you, O Lord.
{12:3} For those ancient inhabitants of your holy land, who you abhorred,
{12:4} because they were doing works hateful to you, through unjust medicines and sacrifices,
{12:5} and the merciless murderers of their own sons, and the eaters of human entrails, and the devourers of blood apart from your community sacrament,
{12:6} and the sellers performing the ceremonies of helpless souls, you willed to destroy by the hands of our parents,
{12:7} so that they might worthily secure the sojourn of the children of God, in the land which is most beloved by you.
{12:8} Yet, so that you were lenient even to these men, you sent wasps, forerunners of your army, so that you might destroy them little by little,
{12:9} not because you were unable to subdue the impious under the just by war or by cruel beasts, or with a harsh word to exterminate them at once,
{12:10} but, in judging by degrees, you were giving them a place of repentance, not unaware that their nation is wicked, and their malice is inherent, and that their thinking could never be changed.
{12:11} For this offspring was accursed from the beginning. Neither did you, fearing anyone, give favor to their sins.
{12:12} For who will say to you, “What have you done?” Or who will stand against your judgment? Or who will come before you as a defender of unfair men? Or who will accuse you, if the nations perish, which you have made?
{12:13} For neither is there any other God but you, who has care of all, to whom you would show that you did not give judgment unjustly.
{12:14} Neither will king or tyrant inquire before you about those whom you destroyed.
{12:15} Therefore, since you are just, you order all things justly, considering it foreign to your virtue to condemn him who does not deserve to be punished.
{12:16} For your power is the beginning of justice, and, because you are Lord of all, you make yourself to be lenient to all.
{12:17} For you reveal power to those who do not believe you to be perfect in power, and you expose the arrogance of those who do not know you.
{12:18} Yet, you are the master of power, since you judge with tranquility, and since you administer us with great reverence; for it is close to you to be used whenever you will.
{12:19} But you have taught your people, through such works, that they must be just and humane, and you have made your sons to be of good hope, because in judging you provide a place for repentance from sins.
{12:20} For even if the enemies of your servants were deserving of death, you afflicted them with great attentiveness, providing a time and a place whereby they would be able to be changed from malice;
{12:21} with what diligence, then, have you judged your sons, whose parents you have given oaths and covenants in good faith!
{12:22} Therefore, while you give us discipline, you give our enemies a multiplicity of scourges, so that in judging we may think on your goodness, and when we are judged, we may hope for mercy.
{12:23} Therefore, also to these, who have lived their life irrationally and unjustly, through these things that they worshiped, you gave the greatest torments.
{12:24} And, indeed, they wandered for a long time in the way of error, valuing those things as gods, which are worthless even among animals, living in foolish irrational behavior.
{12:25} Because of this, you have given a judgment in derision, as if from foolish children.
{12:26} But those who have not been corrected by mockery and chiding, have experienced a judgment worthy of God.
{12:27} For among those who were indignant at their sufferings, which came through those things that they reputed to be gods, when they saw that they would be destroyed by these same things, those who formerly refused knowledge of him, now acknowledged the true God, and, because of this, the end of their condemnation came upon them.

Continue Reading