SOLOMON TO INDEX
The wisdom of
righteousness you that are judges in the earth, think on the Lord with a good
heart, seek Him in simplicity of heart, for He will be found of them that do not
tempt Him, and shows himself to such as do not mistrust Him.
reckless thoughts are far from Him, which in time of retribution will prove them
to be unwise, for wisdom does not enter into a malicious
soul, nor does it dwell in a body subject to sin.
3. For the
Holy Spirit, being a Spirit of discipline will flee from deceit, and remove
itself from thoughts that are reckless, without understanding, and will not
remain when unrighteousness comes near.
Wisdom is a loving Spirit, and will not acquit a blasphemer of his words, for
God is witness of his thoughts, and a true beholder of his heart, as well a
hearer of the tongue.
5. For the
Spirit of the Lord fills the earth, He who contains all things surely has
knowledge of the voice, he therefore that speaks unrighteous things cannot
remain hidden, nor shall vengeance pass him by - when it comes to execute
inquisition shall be made into the counsels of the ungodly, and the sound of his
words shall come to the Lord for the manifestation of his wicked deeds, for the
ear of jealousy hears all things, and the noise of murmuring is not hid.
therefore of murmuring which is unprofitable, refrain your tongue from
backbiting, for there is no word so secret that it shall
not be manifested, for the mouth that lies, slays the soul.
death in the error of your life, nor draw destruction upon yourself with the
works of your hands, for God did not make death, nor has He pleasure in the
destruction of the living.
9. For He
created all things that they might have their being, and the generations of the
world were created good, there was no poison in them, nor is the kingdom of
death upon the earth.
10. But them that are ungodly run to death both with their works as well as their words, for they see her as a friend, and made a covenant with it, likewise then they are worthy to partake with it.
the ungodly reasoning with themselves, but not correctly, said; Our life is
short and tedious, nor is there any remedy in the death of a man, nor is it
known that anyone has returned from the grave.
are born at adventure, and will here-after be as if we had never been, for the
breath in our nostrils is as smoke, a little spark in the moving of our heart,
which when extinguished our bodies turn into ashes, and our spirit shall vanish
as the soft air.
time our names will be forgotten, no man shall have our works in remembrance.
Our lives shall pass away like a trace of a cloud, and be dispersed as a
mist that is driven away by the rays of the sun, overcome by the heat thereof.
Our time is but a shadow that passes for there is no returning after our
end, since it is sealed that no man comes again.
therefore and let us enjoy the good things while they are present, and let us
use our bodies while they are young, let us fill ourselves with the best of
wine, and with ointments, and let no flower of the spring pass us by.
crown ourselves with rosebuds before they be withered, let none of us fail to
boast and glory so that we may leave our tokens of joy in every place, for this
is our portion and our lot.
6. Let us
oppress the poor righteous man, and not spare the widow, nor reverence the gray
hairs of the aged, but let our strength be the law of justice and do as we
please, for that which is found to be feeble, is not to be counted.
7. Let us
therefore lie in wait for the righteous, for he is not for our turn, he is clean
contrary to our doings, he upbraids us with our offenses of the law, and objects
to our infamy, the transgressions of our education.
professes to have the knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord,
he was made to reprove our thoughts, and he is grievous to us, even to behold.
is not like other men, his ways are of another fashion, we are esteemed of him
as counterfeits, he abstains from our ways as from filthiness, and pronounces
the end of the just to be blessed, making his boast that God is his Father.
So let us
see if his words are true, and prove what will happen to him in the end, for if
the just man be the Son of God, God will help him to deliver him from the hands
of his enemies.
11. Let us
examine him with despite-fullness, and with torture that we may know his
meekness, and prove his patience, let us condemn him with a shameful death, for
by his own saying, he shall be respected.
things they imagine and are deceived, for their wickedness has blinded them not
to know the mysteries of God, neither do they have the hope for the wages of
righteousness, nor do they discern the reward that the blameless have.
13. For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of His own likeness, but by the envy of the devil came death into the world, and they that belong to him, shall taste him.
The righteous enjoy God's trust
1 But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them, in the sight of the unwise they seem to die, their departure is taken for misery, and their going from them, to destruction.
2 But they are in peace, for though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality, and having been chastised a little they shall be greatly rewarded.
3 For God proves them, and finds them to be worthy, He tries them as gold in the furnace, and receives them as a full offering.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro as flames upon stubble.
4 They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the peoples, and the Lord shall rule over them forever.
5 They that trust in Him shall find Him trustworthy, and they that are faithful in His love, shall not be taken from Him, for His holy ones are in his grace and mercy, and He cares for his elect.
The undesirable end of the wicked.
6. But the ungodly shall be punished according to their own imaginations, for they did not consider the righteous, but departed from the Lord.
7. For whosoever despises wisdom and discipline shall not be saved, their hope is nothing, their labor in vain, and their works unprofitable, their wives are foolish, and their children evil, what is born of them is cursed.
8. But blessed are the barren that are undefiled, who have not known the sinful bed, she shall rejoice when the souls are judged.
9. And likewise with the unfruitful man who with his hands has not wrought iniquity, nor imagined wicked things against God, he will be given for his faith a full gift, a more acceptable place in the temple of the Lord.
10. For glorious are the fruits of good labors, and the root of wisdom shall not rot away.
11. But the children of adultery shall not come to perfection, the seed of the adulterous bed shall be rooted out, and though they live long, yet shall they be put to shame, and their old age shall be without honor.
if they die early, there is no hope for them, nor any comfort in the day of
trial, for the end of the unrighteous generation is horrible.
is it, when one is virtues, to have no children, for the memorial thereof is
immortal, and is praised both by God and man.
is found, it is used as an example, and he that does not have it, desires it
anyway, and boasts in eternal glory, but obtains victory in the fortress of
3. For the
fruitful multitude of the ungodly - is in vain, and what is planted of adultery
- shall not take deep roots, nor acquire firm ground.
though for a while they may flourish in the branches, while in fact they are
completely lose thereof, yet shall they be shaken by the wind, and be rooted out
by the strong wind.
untimely branches will be broken off, even as their uneatable unripe fruit is
un-profitable, worth for nothing, for children born of unlawful beds, when
asked, must testify to the wickedness of their parents.
6. But the
righteous, although he dies early, yet shall he be in rest, for not age is
honorable, nor he that lives long, but wisdom among men are the true gray hairs,
and a spotless life - ripe old age.
was pleasing before God, and beloved of Him, and was taken away from the midst
of the sinners, he was taken away lest the wickedness of men should alter his
understanding, or deceit should beguile his soul.
8. For evil
examples obscure and deceive one from what is good, and the tempting lust
under-mines the simple mind.
9. In a
short time he was made perfect, and filled many years, for his soul pleased the
Lord wherefore He hasten to take him from the wicked.
who saw it took no learning from it, nor did they take it to heart, namely, that
God's children are in his grace and mercy, and that He looks after his chosen
The end of the ungodly
departed righteous shall judge the ungodly that lives, and the hastily perfected
youth shall condemn the old age of the unrighteous.
behold the end of the wise, but consider not what the Lord has decreed
concerning them, or why He has brought them in safety.
13. They see
it, but do not take it to heart, but the Lord laughs at them, and afterwards
they shall fall shamefully, and be a reproach among the dead forever.
14. He shall
suddenly cast them down headlong, and uproot them, they shall be in terror, and
their memory shall perish.
confusion and in the realization of their sins, they shall be condemned by the
conviction of their own sins.
that day the righteous shall stand with great boldness before those who
afflicted them, and who cast down their works.
seeing this, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and be amazed at such a salvation, which they had never
anguish of soul they will speak with one another in repentance after the fact,
saying; These are they whom we at one time had in derision, a proverb of
fools counted his life madness, and his end without honor, but now look how they
are numbered among the children of God, and how their being is with the holy
however erred from the truth, and the light of righteousness has not shined for
us, nor did the sun rise for us.
wearied ourselves on ways of wickedness and of destruction; we went through
desert roads, but the way of the Lord we did not know.
What profit now has brought us our luster? What good are now our riches and our pride? It has all vanished like a shadow and like sound in thin air,
or like a ship, which leaves no trace when it has passed through the waters.
8. Or like a
bird in the air whose path therein cannot be found, for he flies moving the air
parting it with his wings, but its trace is not seen.
when an arrow is shot to its goal where the parting air immediately reunites
wherein no man can discern where it passed.
So it is
with us, after we were born, we drew to our end showing no signs of virtue;
instead in our wickedness we were consumed.
hope of the ungodly is like the dust blown away by the wind, or like a thin
fleece driven away by the storm, or like smoke driven away with the tempest, or
like one who is forgot-ten since he tarried for only a day.
righteous live forever, their reward is with the Lord, their care with the Most
also they received such a glorious kingdom and a beautiful crown from the hand
of the Lord.
shall cover them with his right hand, and protect them with his arm, He shall
take his zeal to armor, and fashion the creatures for wrath over his enemies.
15. He shall
put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgment for a helmet, He shall
take holiness for an invincible shield, and his wrath shall sharpen the sword,
and the world shall fight with Him against the unwise.
shall the right aiming thunderbolts not miss, as from a well drawn bow they
shall reach their goal from the clouds, heavy hailstones shall fall from the
wrath of the thunders.
17. And the
waters of the sea shall also rage against them, and the floods drown them, a
strong wind shall stand-up against them and in a tempest blow them away.
destroys all nations, and a wicked life casts down the thrones of the mighty.
Listen therefore you kings, and pay attention; learn you that are
judges in the earth, and give ear you that rule the peoples,
you who exalt yourself above the nations.
is given you of the Lord, and sovereignty from the Highest who will try your
works, and search out your counsels.
4. For you
being ministers of his kingdom, you have not judged aright, nor kept the law,
nor walked after the counsel of God.
horribly and swiftly He shall come upon you, for a sharp judgment shall be to
them that are in high places.
6. For mercy
will soon pardon the simple, but mighty men shall be mightily tormented.
who is Lord over all, fears no man's person, nor shall He stand in awe of any
made both the great and the small, and cares alike for all, but a grievous trial
shall be upon the mighty.
9. Unto you
therefore O kings I speak that you might learn wisdom and not fall away, for
they that keep holiness holy, shall be judged holy, and they that learn it well,
shall live well.
therefore your affections upon my words; desire them and you shall be
glorious, it never fades away and gladly shows herself to those who love her,
and she allows herself to be found by them that seek her.
12. She meets
him, and gives herself to know to those who earnestly seek her, and they who
seek her early - will not be troubled long, but will find her at his door.
13. For to try for her - is the right wisdom, and he that watches for her
shall not have to wait long.
goes about to seek such as are worthy of her, and shows herself gladly to those
that come to meet her, and looks forward to meeting him.
15. For where
there is eagerness to learn, there the beginning of wisdom is found, and they
that pay attention to her - love her.
that love her - keep her commandments, and where her commandments are kept - is
salvation and where there is salvation - there is God nearby.
therefore you desire wisdom, she will lead you to work in her, and if you desire
to rule people, to be kings and princes, then keep her in honor so you may rule
wisdom is, and from where, that I will tell you and not hide her mysteries, but
to seek her out from the beginning of her creation, and to reveal her to you
openly, not hiding her truth from you.
want nothing to do with the poison of envy, for she has nothing in common with
wisdom, for in the multitude of the wise is the blessing of the world.
20. And a
wise king is the treasure of its people. Receive
therefore instruction at my word, and it will do you good.
also am a mortal man like everyone else, the offspring of the first made in the
earth. I am also flesh for nine
months formed in the womb of a mother, completed in the blood by the seed of a
man, and in the pleasure that comes with the marital bed.
I was born I also drew in the common air, and fell upon the earth who bears us
all alike, my first voice also was to cry like everyone else.
was nursed with care in swaddling cloths, for there is no king that has any
other beginning, but they all have one the same entrance in this life, and exit
I prayed, and understanding was given me, I called upon God, and the Spirit of
wisdom came to me.
preferred her above scepters and thrones, nor did I esteem riches in comparison
did I compare precious stones to her, and gold compared to her is like worthless
sand, and silver like slime by comparison to her.
7. I loved
her above health and beauty, and chose to have her as my light, for the light
that comes from her never ceases.
good things came together with her, countless riches in her hand, and I rejoiced
in all things the wisdom going before me.
9. I did not
know that all such came of her, in humility I learned, and I will share her
liberally, I do not want to hide her riches.
10. For she
is a never failing treasure to man, and they that use her - become friends of
God, being commended by Him for the gift to be educated.
granted me to speak wisely, and to conceive rightly according to the gift of
wisdom, for it is He who leads upon the paths of wisdom, and directs the wise.
His hands are both we and our works, and all art and workmanship, for He has
given me certain knowledge of the things that are.
how the world was made, and the operation of the elements, the beginning,
ending, and midst of times, the alterations of the turning of the sun, the
change of seasons, the circuit of the years, the position of stars, the natures
of living creatures, the fury of wild beasts, the violence of the winds, the
reasoning of men, the diversities of plants and the virtues of roots.
14. All such
things as are either secret or manifest I know for the wisdom which is the master
of all things, taught me.
15. For in
her is the Spirit of understanding, holy, single, manifold, subtle, lively,
clear, undefiled, plain, gentle, friendly, serious, free, generous, loving men,
firm, sure, certain, and safe.
16. She can
do all things, sees all things, and goes through all spirits no matter how
subtle, or clear, or sharp they may be.
wisdom is more moving than any motion, she passes and goes through all things by
reason of her purity.
is the breath of the power of God, and a pure image flowing from the glory of
therefore which is defiled can come unto her, for she is the brightness of the
everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of
20. She is
but one, and yet does all things, she remains what she is, and yet renews all
ages she enters the holy ones and makes them friends of God, and through all
spirits and makes them prophets of Him.
loves no one except such as dwell with wisdom, for she is more beautiful than
the sun or all stars.
compared to light, she is far above it, for light must move over for darkness,
while evil shall not ever prevail against wisdom.
reaches with might from one end to the other, and orders all things orderly.
loved, and I sought her from my youth, I thought to take her for my bride, for I
am in love with her beauty.
She is of
a glorious descending since she dwells with God and He loves her.
4. She is
the secret counsel in the knowledge of God, and chooses His works.
is a precious thing in life, what then can be more precious than the wisdom that
brings forth all things?
she works in prudence, what workman is more cunning than she?
one love righteousness, so shall his works be only virtues, for she teaches
discipline, prudence, justice, and strength, which things are most profitable in
the lives of men.
If a man
desires to know much, he will be able to discern what is past, as well as what
is to come.
knowledge of hidden words, and expounds riddles, signs and marvels she knows
beforehand, and how it will be in certain seasons and hours.
purposed to take her to live with me, for I know that she would be a good
counselor to me, a comfort in cares and sorrows.
sake I shall have estimation among the people, and honor with the elders, and
though I am young I shall be found prudent in judgment, and mighty men will
marvel at me.
When I am
silent they shall wait on me, when I speak they shall pay attention, when my
words go forth they shall place their hands on their mouth.
By her I
shall obtain an undying name, leave an everlasting memorial to those after me.
rule nations, peoples shall be subject to me, horrible tyrants shall be afraid
when they only hear of me, and by the people I will be found merciful, and
valiant in war.
remaining at home I shall have my rest with her, for there is no bitterness in
being with her, nor sorrow to live with her, but love and joy.
considered with myself, and took it to heart, for they that are allied to her -
have eternal life.
17. They that
have her for friend - gain pure pleasure, infinite riches are in the works of
companionship gains prudence and a good name from associating and conversing
I went about to seek her, to take her to me, for I was a gentle child, and had a
good spirit, and when I became taught - I became into an undefiled body.
when I perceived that I could not otherwise obtain her except by the gift of
God, and that also was a point in wisdom, to acknowledge from where she was, I
prayed unto the Lord, and sought Him with my whole heart, and said;
God of my fathers, Lord of mercy who made all things by Thy word, and ordained
man by Thy wisdom that he should have dominion over the creatures which Thou has
made, that he should rule the world with equity and righteousness, and execute
judgment with an upright heart.
2. Grant me
the wisdom that is always by Thy throne, and reject me not from Thy children.
For I Thy
servant and son of Thy handmaid am a feeble person of short time and too small
for the understanding of judgment and laws.
4. And even
if a man were perfect among the children of men, yet he would be nothing without
chose me to be a king of Thy people, a judge of Thy sons and daughters.
commanded me to build a temple upon Thy holy mountain, and an altar in the city
wherein Thou dwells in the likeness of Thy most holy tabernacle, which Thou has
prepared from the beginning.
wisdom was with Thee knowing Thy works, and was present when Thou made the
world, and acknowledged what was acceptable in Thy sight, and what was right
according to Thy commandments.
out of Thy holy heaven, from the throne of Thy glory, that being with me she may
labor with me, so that I may know what is pleasing to Thee.
9. For she
knows and understands all things, and shall lead me soberly in my doings, and
preserve me in her power.
10. So shall
my works be acceptable and I shall judge Thy people righteously, and be worthy
the trust of my fathers.
man shall know the counsel of God? Or
who can perceive the will of the Lord?
12. For the
thoughts of mortal men are unsure, and our counsels dangerous, for the
corruptible flesh presses the soul, and the earthly vessel weighs down the many
meditations of the mind.
13. We hardly
guess aright at things on earth - and already we are overwhelmed in labor.
shall we search out what is in heaven, or who can know Thy counsel lest Thou
grant us Thy wisdom, and Thy Holy Spirit from above?
15. For in
this way these who lived on earth were reformed and taught the things that are
pleasing to Thee, and were saved by wisdom.
preserved him who was first created as a father to the world and brought him out
from his fall, and gave him power to rule all things.
the unrighteous one for his anger departed from her, he destroyed himself for
the cold-blooded murder of his brother.
3. And when
the earth for his sake was drowned in the flood, wisdom again preserved it by
directing the course of the righteous upon simple wood.
4. And when
the nations altogether walked in wickedness, she found out the righteous and
preserved him blameless before God, and kept him strong against his tender
compassion for his son.
delivered the righteous when the ungodly perished and fled from the fire that
consumed the five cities, the devastation of which still smokes as a testimony
to their wickedness, the trees that bore unripe fruit, and the pillar of salt
that stands as a token to the unbelieving soul.
6. For they
who regard not wisdom not only suffer this loss that they did not know what is
good, but they also leave behind to the living a memorial that they cannot
remain hidden in that in which they wandered foolishly.
wisdom delivers those that keep themselves to her from all care.
8. When the
righteous fled from his brother's wrath, she guided him in rights path and
showed him the kingdom of God, and gave him knowledge of what is holy.
with him in his labors and multiplied the fruits thereof so that he gained much
thereby; she stood with him and made him rich against the ill desires of the
safeguarded him against those who laid in wait for him, and gave him victory in
strong battles so that he might realize that Godliness is stronger than all.
righteous was sold she forsook him not but kept him from sin, she went down with
him in the pit, and left him not in his bonds till she brought him the scepter
of the kingdom. And gave him power
against those that oppressed him, and showed his accusers to be liars, and gave
him a perpetual glory.
delivered the righteous people, the blameless seed from the nations that
oppressed her; she came into the soul of the servant of the Lord and withstood
dreadful kings in wonders and signs.
rewarded the righteous with the reward of their labors and led them in marvelous
ways; she was to them a cover by day, and a light by night.
14. She led
them through the Red Sea, through the great waters, and drowned their enemies
casting them to the bottom of the deep.
the righteous took spoils of the ungodly and praised Thy holy name O Lord, and
magnified with one accord Thy victorious hand.
wisdom opens the mouth of the dumb and makes the tongues of them that cannot
speak - eloquent.
prospered their work in the hand of the most holy prophet, and led them through
the wild desert pitching their tents in a wilderness, that they might withstand
their enemies, and avenge themselves on their adversaries.
were thirsty they called on Thee, and water was given them from the high Rock,
they quenched their thirst out of the hard rock.
the things wherewith their enemies were plagued - they were benefited, for
instead of being troubled with blood, for them came running waters, and as
punishment for their order to kill their infants Thou gave them hidden water in
therewith that with the thirst of one Thou does plague the adversaries, for when
these were tried and chastened in grace, they acknowledged that the ungodly are
judged and tormented in wrath.
Thou did reprove and admonish as a Father, but the others Thou did punish and
condemn them as a strong King.
6. And both
such as were present and such as were absent were vexed alike, thus-way a double
grief came upon them since they also groaned in remembering the thing past.
7. For when
they heard that these were benefited wherein they were plagued, they became
aware of the Lord whom they scornfully rejected.
they laughed at Him, in the end when it came to this, they had to marvel that
their thirst was not like that of the righteous.
likewise for the senseless thoughts of their unrighteousness in which they were
deceived worshipping irrational serpents and disgusting animals, so also did
Thou sent among them irrational animals for wrath, so they might know that
wherewith a man sins - therewith also he is punished.
10. For it
was not lacking in Thy power who created the world out of a shapeless form, to
sent to them a multitude of bears or fierce lions. Or newly created unknown animals which breathed fire or
sneezed foul smoke, or shooting horrible sparks out of their eyes, who not only
could wound them to destruction, but in sight alone scare them to death.
they were able to cut one down in a single blow, and persecute in wrath those
are destroyed in the Spirit of Thy power.
12. But Thou
has ordered all things with measure, with number and with weight, for great
ability is always with Thee, and who can resist the power of Thy arm?
13. For the
whole world is before Thee as dust on the scale, or like a drop of the morning
dew that falls upon the earth.
has compassion on all, for Thou has power over all, and looks past the sins of
men that they might amend themselves.
15. For Thou
loves all that is, and does not hate anything which Thou has made, for Thou
would not have made it if Thou were to come to hate it.
16. For what
could remain if Thou did not will it? Or
who could be preserved if Thou had not call it?
17. But Thou
does spare all things, for they are Thine O Lord who loves life.
Thy incorruptible Spirit is in all things, therefore Thou punishes them that
offend, chastising them to cause them to remember wherein they have sinned, and
that leaving their wickedness - they may believe on Thee O Lord.
former inhabitants of the Holy Land whom Thou did despise for their wickedness
with witchcraft and ungodly offerings, these Thou did destroy by the hand of our
fathers. Those merciless murderers
of children who ate human flesh, and feasted on blood as if they were performing
some service to Thee, so that the land, which Thou esteemed above all - might
receive a worthy colony of God.
Thou did spare them, they being men, by sending upon them wasps, forerunners of
Thy host, to destroy them little by little.
Not that Thou should not be able to bring them down in battle by the hand
of the righteous, or to destroy them with cruel nets or with one word destroy
them all at once.
4. No, but
Thou rather judged them little by little giving them time to repentance, even
though Thou did full well know that they were an evil generation.
And that their evil was born in with them, and that they would never
change their thoughts, for they were an accursed seed from the beginning.
Thou required to overlook anyone to forgive them wherein they have sinned, for
who will say to Thee; What art Thou doing?
Or who shall withstand Thy judgments?
will accuse Thee for the destruction of the nations, which Thou Thyself did
create? Who will come to stand
against Thee as an avenger upon righteous men?
is no God other than Thee who cares for all, showing that Thy judgment are not
unjust, for neither king nor tyrant can show his face before Thee for any of
those whom Thou does punish
thus in fact Thou art righteous, Thou does order all things righteously and
considers it not fitting with Thy majesty to condemn such as deserved not to be
9. For Thy
strength is a rule of righteousness, and because Thou art Lord of all, Thou art
gracious to all.
did show Thy strength to them who did not believe that Thou art full of power,
showing Thyself to them who thought themselves bold and mighty.
O mighty Lord judges with meekness, and rules us with much kindness, for Thou
can perform all that Thou wilt.
12. But by
such works Thy people are taught that they should be just and merciful, and Thy
children are herewith taught to understand that they should keep good hopes, and
that Thou wilt accept repentance for sins.
13. For if
Thou does not punish the enemies of Thy children with such kindness, who were
guilty of death, giving them time and room to depart from their wickedness.
So then with how much the greater circumspection wilt Thou judge Thy
children with whose fathers Thou made oaths and covenants of good promises.
as often as Thou chasten us, so much in thousand-fold does Thou plague our
enemies, to the end that we may become aware of Thy goodness, and that when we
judge or are judged, that we should nevertheless trust on Thy mercy.
also for this reason that the unrighteous - which live irrational lives - that
Thou does plague them with their own abominations.
had gotten themselves so deep in error as to hold for gods - such beasts which
were even despised by their enemies. They
being deceived as children of no understanding.
as children without reason Thou sent them a scornful judgment, and when such
correction would not conform them, they received Thy stronger judgment.
18. For with
just such things, which they held for gods, they were being punished, and it
grieved them much when they had to acknowledge Thou as God, whom they would not
know before, wherefore also at end the judgment came on them.
men are by nature vain who do not know God, and that make no attempt to come to
know Him who is, who by considering the works - know not the Master thereof.
instead hold either fire or wind, or the swift air, or the stars, or the strong
waters, or the lights of heaven to be gods to govern the world.
as much as they were so delighted with its beauty - to hold them as gods, they
should have realized how much the better the Lord thereof is, for He who is the
Master of all beauty - has also created them.
4. And be it
so that they marvel at that might and power, so they should very well have
under-stood how much the mightier He is who prepared all these things, for in
the great beauty of the created things is seen Him who created them.
5. Yet these
are not the only ones to blame, for others also, such as seek God who would
gladly find Him, they can also err, for in being with the creature, and
considering the same, they become captive in its very beholding, since the
created things are beautiful to behold.
6. Yet they
are not therefore to be pardoned, for in the ability to know and honor the
creature, why did they not much sooner discover the Lord thereof?
7. But most
miserable and like death are those who call things made by men as god, things
made of gold or silver in the likeness of animals, or worthless stones that were
cut in former days.
8. For like
the carpenter who looks for something to make, he cuts down a tree, removes its
bark, and smoothing it with cunning he prepares something fair and useful in
9. The bits
and pieces he uses to cook his food so he may be nourished, and of that which
remains, which is of no good use being crooked or having knots.
10. This he
takes when he has nothing better to do, and with diligence he works it according
to his professional cunning to an image of a person, or some detestable beast,
and neatly overlay's it, or paints it with red and white paint so it may be
having made room for it he fastens it to the wall with nails so it may not fall,
for yes, he cares this much for it very well knowing that it cannot help itself,
being nothing but an image requiring help.
he prays for his goods and his wife and children he is not even ashamed to speak
to such a lifeless thing, he calls to the weakling for health, and to the dead
one who cannot move for help to him, and to one who cannot travel to give him a
good journey, and also for his labors and profits that he may have success - he
prays to such a one who cannot perform anything.
likewise with them who prepare to sail, knowing they will encounter rough sea
they call upon a piece of wood more rotten than the boat itself on which they
2. The boat
was discovered and build to gain a living, masterly formed, but it is Thy
providence O Father who directs it. For
Thou prepares a path in the sea, a safe highway in the midst of the waves,
whereby Thou does demonstrate that Thou art able to help in all manner of ways,
even if one goes to sea without a ship.
however is not in Thy will that that which Thou has made should be useless,
therefore also do men trust their lives on mere wood, and are kept safe within
their boat with which they sail on the sea.
so in earlier times when the proud giants were destroyed, they who retained the
hope to multiply upon the earth, fled in a boat guided by Thy hand, and
accordingly their seed was left in the earth.
blessed is the wood wherewith men work rightly, but cursed that which is made by
the hand of man, as well as the man who made it, because he made it foremost to
call it a god, while it is nothing more than a corruptible thing.
6. For God
is at enmity both with the ungodly, as well as with their ungodly works, and
that, which is made - shall be punished together with the master thereof.
also are they visited - the idols of the nations - for they are an abomination
to the creatures of God, a vexation to the souls of men, and to the unwise they
have become a snare.
8. For to
elevate idols is the greatest whoredom, and the inventing thereof a very
harmful purpose in life.
9. They did
not exist from the beginning, nor will they remain forever, but by the vain
glory of men have they come into the world, therefore also will their lives be
10. For a
father mourning over a son, soon taken from him, had made an image of him, and
so began to hold him who was dead for a god, and also instituted a service and
offering for him.
afterwards, such ungodly practices became to be held as law, kings ordering
graven images to be worshipped.
those who lived far away, not able to honor them in person, it was them allowed
to make images of his face, to set up lofty images of the idol king, to the
intend they might flatter him who was absent as if he were present.
13. And the
lust for glory of the artists supplemented the idolatry of those without
understanding, for those wishing to please the rulers; they competed with each
other to make them as fair as possible.
14. And the
people then, who beheld such fair works, began to hold him who before was
honored only as a man, now as a god.
15. By this
came the deceit into the world, for those who were afflicted, or who chose to
believe the tyrants, took stone and wood, and gave it an unfitting name.
16. And it
not being enough for them to err in the knowledge of God, and they living in
great chaos of undeed, they even called such war and undeed - as peace.
17. For they
killed their own children in sacrifice, or kept secret ceremonies, or vile
gatherings after unnatural fashion.
neither lived pure, nor had any status of matrimony, for one killed the other
with deceit, or shamed him with adultery.
therefore that proceeded from them was murder, thievery, falsehood, deceit,
unfaithfulness, boasting, perjury, ungratefulness, disturbing the good, vexing
the young hearts, stupid sins, blood shame, adultery, and wantonness.
serve disgusting idols is the beginning as well as the end of all evil, and when
they feast they act as though they are mad, and when they prophecy - it is only
21. They do
not live justly, and swear oaths lightly, for while they believe in those
lifeless idols, yet they have no fear to swear falsely.
22. But both
shall receive their judgment, for they did not consider God rightly, and because
they considered idols and swore unjustly in falsehood, nor did they consider
what was holy.
wickedness of the ungodly comes to an end - not after the madness by which they
swear, but according to the punishment they earned with their sins.
Thou O Lord our God art gracious, faithful, and long suffering, ruling all
things with compassion, and even if we sin, we are Thine, and know Thy power.
2. And thus
knowing Thee we sin not, for we are counted among Thy own, for to know Thee is
perfect righteousness, and to know Thy power is the root of eternal life.
3. For we
are not so deceived by the evil inventions of men, nor in those worthless labors
of the craftsmen who make an image with divers colors whose beholding stirs up
desires in those lacking understanding.
4. And they
deserve it who have their lust in lifeless dead images, both such as fashion
them, as those who honor them.
again, the potter labors with clay to make all sorts of vessels for use, with
the same clay then he makes vessels for both pure and impure use, and unto what
end they be used - depends on the potter.
6. What is
then most miserable is that from this same clay he makes a god, which just
previously was nothing more than dust, just as the potter himself will again
become the dust from which he was taken.
trouble then is not in that he must once perish, nor that his life is short, but
that he competes with the goldsmiths and workers of silver, that he copies them
that cast brass.
8. For such
he holds for fame and glory, the fact that he is able to perform false labor,
for the thoughts of his heart are ashes, and his hope less than the dust, and
his life more corruptible than the clay.
9. For while
he does not know - Him who formed him, who fused his spirit within him, and who
breathe his breath of life in him - they hold life for butchering, and human
endeavor as a gambling.
content that in all things there must be gain, and that the same should be with
evil cunning, while all the while they know that they sin to make such worthless
images of clay.
11. They then
are more foolish and more miserable than children, to hold all such idols of the
nations as gods, whose eyes cannot see, whose nose breathe no air, whose ears
hear nothing, and who with their fingers cannot touch their feet that are too
slow to go.
12. For they
were made by men, by one who received his own breath from another, such a one
made the image, man however cannot make that which is alike to him, nor that it
should be a god.
13. For while
he is mortal, he with his ungodly hands makes what is dead, and himself is
better than that to which he ascribes worship, for he lives, but the other
14. And on
top of that, they honor all sorts of hateful beasts, for these in comparison
with other irrational animals - are much worse, they not being lovely like other
beasts, which also are beautiful and praised and blessed of God.
also were they plagued with such things, pained with the multitude of such
dishonorable beasts, while instead, the Lord did good unto his people, giving
them new food.
Quails for their appetite, to the end that by such food sent to them they might
lose their natural appetite, while the others, who suffered a moment of want,
might enjoy a new food.
3. For it
was so required that those who dealt in tyranny should suffer unbearable want,
but come to the others as an admonition and realization as to how their enemies
them too came evil and angry beasts, being bitten and killed by serpents, yet
the anger was not to the end, but only for a moment to frighten them as a
again, they had a blessed sign whereby to remember the commandments of Thy law,
for those who turned to it, were healed, which was not in what they beheld, but
in Thou O Savior of all.
6. In these
Thou showed our enemies that it is Thou who art our helper in all evil.
7. For they
were bitten and killed by grasshoppers and flies, but were unable to find help
for their lives, for they were worthy to be punished by such.
8. But as
for Thy children, the teeth of the dragon were not able to harm them, for Thy
mercy was upon them, and Thou healed them.
For no sooner were they punished or Thou did again heal them so they
might learn to think on Thy word, and not fall so deeply as to forget Thy
goodness to be turned from it.
neither herbs nor bandages healed them, but Thy word O Lord which heals all, for
Thou has power over life and death.
10. Thou goes
downward to the gates of death and brings men back again, but a man, if he has
killed one in his anger, he can neither return the spirit that has departed, nor
the soul that was taken away.
11. But it is
impossible to escape Thy hand, for the ungodly who refused to know Thee, were
punished by Thy mighty arm when they went through the unnatural rain and hail,
the showers of which they could not escape, for pursued by the fire they were
12. And this
is most marvelous that the fire burned in the water, which otherwise puts out
the fire, for the earth fought for the righteous.
13. For at
occasion the flame measured itself so not to burn the animals, which were sent
against the ungodly, which was a notice that they were plagued by a judgment of
14. For again
at moments, the fire in the water would burn above the might thereof, so that it
would consume the unrighteous.
15. And in
opposition thereto, Thou kept Thy people with angel's food, sending them bread
from heaven prepared without labor, able to satisfy every man's delight, to
16. For Thy
sustenance declares Thy sweetness to Thy children, and serving to everyone's
appetite, it tempered itself to every man's liking.
yonder, the snow and the hailstones did not melt the fire that they might
experience the destruction of their fruits in a fire that burned in hail, and
lighted in the rain.
18. The fire
was to forget its own power in order that the righteous should come to repent,
for the creature serves Thee as Creator, and is strong as a plague for the
unrighteous, and tempers itself for a blessing to those who trust in Thee.
also in that time it changed itself into all forms to serve the gifts that feeds
all, everyone according to their needs. So
that Thy children O Lord, whom Thou love, might learn that it is not the earthly
grown food that feeds, but Thy word that sustains all who believe on Thee.
that which was not consumed by the fire melted by the warmth of a little
sunlight, and this was so that it might be known; that before the sun rises one
should thank Thee, and before the light rises, to come before Thee.
21. For the
hope of the ungrateful shall melt like the winter's frost, and flow off as
are Thy judgments, which cannot be expressed O Lord, and therefore also the
foolish deceive themselves.
2. For when
they thought to oppress the holy people, the unrighteous were bound in darkness
as prisoners of the long night, and as escapees they laid under their roofs
banished from the eternal wisdom.
supposing they were hidden in their secret sins under a dark cover and
forgotten, instead they were horribly frightened with apparitions.
4. Thus even
the dark corners in which they hid were no safety to them to keep them from
fear, for noises came from round about that frightened them, and astonishing
visions for which they utterly trembled.
power of fire was able to give them light, nor were the bright flames of the
stars in the sky able to lighten that terrible night.
6. For the
fire appeared to them from itself, very dreadful, and they were terrified for
such apparitions who were in fact nothing, for they imagined that there was
something more terrifying behind it which they could not see.
7. And as
for their magic, it was put down, their boasting in their wisdom was put to
shame, for those that had the gall to attempt to drive sickness out from the
souls - became themselves sick - as a mocking to them.
though no terrible thing frightened them yet they perished from fright for the
animals that passed by and the hissing of the serpents, and not willing to look
up to Him with whom they cannot be without.
9. For being
so confused is due to one's own wickedness, which convinces him to his own
judgment, and a guilty conscience always expects the worst, for fear is this,
that one does not trust his judgment, nor knowing where to obtain help.
10. And where
there is little comfort in the heart, there is fear and confusion greater than
the plague itself.
11. And those
who went to sleep in that night, which was a terrible night, having come forth
right out of the horrible corners of hell, they were partly vexed with monstrous
apparitions, some falling down not knowing what to do for their lives.
12. For a
sudden and unexpected fear came on them, and whoever was caught therein fell as
if locked in a prison, kept there without bars of iron.
whether he was a farmer, a shepherd, or a laborer of the desert, he was
overtaken to endure it by necessity, for they were all bound by the same chain
14. And when
a wind whistled, or a bird sang melodiously from among the thick branches, or if
water fell noisily, or stones fell down with a rumble, or if jumping beasts
passed by which they knew not, or if the wild beast would howl, or an echo
resounded from the hollow mountains, it made them to swoon for fear.
15. The whole world was in bright light, and occupied itself undisturbed in their pursued, but over these alone came a deep dark night, an image of the darkness that afterwards was to receive them, but they were themselves more harmful than the darkness.
Thy holy ones had a great light, and the enemies thinking they heard voices,
were not able to see their form, while the others counted themselves blessed in
that they did not suffer the same things.
2. And these
thanked them that they did not avenge themselves on those who formerly shamed
them, but asking pardon they wished only that they would depart far from them.
3. And to
them Thou gave a pillar of fire to guide their unknown path, a sun to entertain
them upon their glorious journey.
4. For they
who had held Thy children, by who the incorruptible light of Thy law was to be
brought to the world, were worthy to be deprived of light and to be imprisoned
in darkness as in a dungeon.
5. When they
determined to slay the children of the holy ones, one child was cast forth,
saved in order to reprove them.
6. Thou then
did take away their multitude of children, destroying them as well in a mighty
fathers however were previously certified of that night, and were sealed, which
rejoiced in the promise in which they believed.
people then waited on the promise of the righteous, and the destruction of their
9. For just
as Thou plagued the adversaries, Thou caused us - whom Thou had called to
Thyself - to be glorious.
the holy children of the righteous offered to Thee in secret, doing according to
Thy holy law, they as holy children together purposed to suffer both good and
beforehand they sung the holy songs of the fathers, and in contrast thereto was
heard the hard cry of the enemies, the sound of lamenting for their children
being carried here and there.
like wrath went over ruler as well as servant, the king had to suffer what the
small man suffered.
altogether had innumerable dead, having died the same death, and there were not
enough living to bury the dead, for in one hour was destroyed what had been
their noblest offspring.
previously willing to believe anything, being hindered by their enchanters,
they, after the death of only the firstborn, had to acknowledge that this people
had God to their Father.
all things had rest, it being quiet, and barely midnight, Thy Almighty word came
down from heaven from Thy royal throne like a mighty warrior into the midst of
the land that was to destruction.
Thy sharp sword, which brought a strong order, it stood and caused death
although it stood upon the earth, it nonetheless reached unto heaven, then
suddenly they were terrified by visions of terrible dreams, fear coming on them
18. And one
lay here, with another yonder half dead, in which it was evident to them for
what cause they had so died, for the dreams, which had terrified them fore
showed this, lest they should perish not knowing why they were so deeply
vexation of death touched also the righteous in that time, for a vault opened in
the desert among the multitude, but this anger did not long endure.
the blameless man made haste, and stood forth defending them, using the weapons
of his ministry, namely prayer, and the appropriation of incense, and withstood
the anger bringing an end to the calamity.
he showed that he was Thy servant, he did not overcome the frightened people
with bodily strength, nor with might of weapons, but he subdued Him who plagued
them in recounting the oath and the covenant made with the fathers.
the dead were already in heaps together, he stood in the midst and stayed the
wrath, and parted the way to the living.
23. For in
his long garment was the whole world, and the honor of the fathers were graven
in the four rows of stones, and Thy majesty upon the diadem of his head.
these the destroyer made way, being afraid of them, for it was enough that they
only tasted of the wrath.
the wrath came upon the ungodly without mercy up unto the end, for He knew in
advance what they would do, how having given them leave to depart, and hastily
sending them away, they would repent, and pursue them.
they were yet mourning and lamenting at the graves of their dead, they added
another foolish device - to pursue them as fugitives whom first they had begged
was so destined that they were thus to come to their end as they had earned.
And they had to forget what had been done to them in order that they
might receive the full judgment, which was still wanting.
And that Thy people might pass by a marvelous way, while they might find
a strange death.
4. For the
created thing (the waters) having its own nature, changed itself upon Thy
command, which it serves, so that Thy children might be kept without hurt.
5. And the
cloud overshadowed the army. And
where previously there was water, now dry land was seen, a way in the red sea
without impediment, out of the mighty flood a green field defended Thy people
who went through it by Thy hand, beholding Thy marvelous wonders.
went like horses in a green field, and like darting lambs praising Thee O Lord
who had delivered them. For they
remembered how it had been in the afflictions, how the earth instead of normal
animals, brought forth flies, and how the water brought forth a multitude of
frogs instead of fish.
afterwards they saw also a new sort of fowl, at the time when they lusted asking
for delicate food, for quails came upon them from the sea to reward their lust.
punishment came upon the sinners also with signs, through strong lightning's, for
it was just that they so suffered for their wickedness in as much as they
treated their guests in a most hateful manner.
9. For those
that came having nowhere to go, would not receive them, and some forced their
guest, who had done them well, into service of slavery.
10. And not
only this, but they will yet receive another wrath, for they treated strangers
11. Some whom
they had accepted with pleasure, and given them equal law and rights; they
treated with grievous afflictions.
were also stricken with blindness as those who before the doors of the righteous
were overtaken with thick darkness wherein each one had to search for his own
elements lauded together in harmony, like psaltery notes changing the tune, and
yet are always sound, even as it was seen by what had occurred.
14. For that
which normally is on land - was in water, and what was in water was on land, the
fire was mighty above its power, while the water forgot its power to quench.
15. And again
the flames consumed not the flesh of the corruptible living things, though they
walked in it, nor did it melt the icy kind of heavenly meat that was of a nature
apt to melt.
all things O Lord Thou did magnify Thy people, and glorified them, neither did
Thou regard them lightly, but assisted them in every place and time.