The wisdom of

Chapter 1

1.   Love 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.

2.   But 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.

4.   For 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 punishment.

6.  For 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.

7.  Beware 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.

8.  Seek not 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.

 Chapter 2

The ungodly think death to be the end

1.     For 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.

2.   For we 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.

3.  In 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.

4.  Come 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.

5.  Let us 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.

8.  He 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.

9.   His life 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.

10.  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.

  The ungodly misjudge God's meaning

12.  Such 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.

     Chapter 3

  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.

12.  Or even 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.

 Chapter 4

The children of adultery

1.     Better is it, when one is virtues, to have no children, for the memorial thereof is immortal, and is praised both by God and man.

2.  Where it 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 destruction.

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.

4.  And 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.

5.  Their 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.

  Early departure, a blessing for the righteous

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.

7.  For he 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.

10.  But they 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 ones.

  The end of the ungodly

11.  For the departed righteous shall judge the ungodly that lives, and the hastily perfected youth shall condemn the old age of the unrighteous.

12.  They 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.

15.  And in confusion and in the realization of their sins, they shall be condemned by the conviction of their own sins.

 Chapter 5

  In the day of judgment

1.  In that day the righteous shall stand with great boldness before those who afflicted them, and who cast down their works.

2.  And seeing this, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and be amazed at such a salvation, which they had never expected.

3.  In 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 reproach

4.  We as 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 ones.

5.  We however erred from the truth, and the light of righteousness has not shined for us, nor did the sun rise for us.

6.  We wearied ourselves on ways of wickedness and of destruction; we went through desert roads, but the way of the Lord we did not know.

7.  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.

9.  Or like when an arrow is shot to its goal where the parting air immediately reunites wherein no man can discern where it passed.

10.  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.

11.  For the 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.

12.  But the righteous live forever, their reward is with the Lord, their care with the Most High.

13.  Therefore also they received such a glorious kingdom and a beautiful crown from the hand of the Lord.

14.  For He 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.

16.  Then 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.

 Chapter 6

 God punishes rulers

1.  Unrighteousness destroys all nations, and a wicked life casts down the thrones of the mighty.

2.  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.

3.  For power 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.

5.  Very 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.

7.  For He who is Lord over all, fears no man's person, nor shall He stand in awe of any man's greatness.

8.  For He made both the great and the small, and cares alike for all, but a grievous trial shall be upon the mighty.

Rulers admonished to seek wisdom

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.

10.  Set therefore your affections upon my words; desire them and you shall be instructed.

11.  Wisdom is 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.

14.  For she 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.

16.  And they that love her - keep her commandments, and where her commandments are kept - is salvation and where there is salvation - there is God nearby.

17.  If 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 everlastingly.

Teaching in wisdom

18.  But what 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.

19.  For I 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.

 Chapter 7

  The king like any other man

1.  I 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.

2.  And when 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.

3.  I also 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 alike.

  Solomon asks for wisdom

4.  Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me, I called upon God, and the Spirit of wisdom came to me.

5.  I preferred her above scepters and thrones, nor did I esteem riches in comparison to her.

6.  Neither 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.

8.  And all 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.

11.  God 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.

  Wisdom - gift of God

12.  For in 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.

13.  Namely, 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.

 Nature of wisdom

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.

17.  For wisdom is more moving than any motion, she passes and goes through all things by reason of her purity.

18.  For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure image flowing from the glory of the Almighty.

19.  Nothing 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 his goodness.

20.  She is but one, and yet does all things, she remains what she is, and yet renews all things.

21.  In all ages she enters the holy ones and makes them friends of God, and through all spirits and makes them prophets of Him.

22.  For God loves no one except such as dwell with wisdom, for she is more beautiful than the sun or all stars.

23.  And compared to light, she is far above it, for light must move over for darkness, while evil shall not ever prevail against wisdom.

 Chapter 8

 Wisdom - source of all things

1.  Wisdom reaches with might from one end to the other, and orders all things orderly.

2.  Her I loved, and I sought her from my youth, I thought to take her for my bride, for I am in love with her beauty.

3.  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.

5.  If riches is a precious thing in life, what then can be more precious than the wisdom that brings forth all things?

6.  And when she works in prudence, what workman is more cunning than she?

7.  And if 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.

8.  If a man desires to know much, he will be able to discern what is past, as well as what is to come.

9.  She has knowledge of hidden words, and expounds riddles, signs and marvels she knows beforehand, and how it will be in certain seasons and hours.

  Wisdom - counselor of the king

10.  I 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.

11.  For her 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.

12.  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.

13.  By her I shall obtain an undying name, leave an everlasting memorial to those after me.

14.  I shall 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.

15.  And 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.

  Wisdom acknowledged a gift of God

16.  This I 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 her hands.

18.  Her companionship gains prudence and a good name from associating and conversing with her.

19.  Therefore 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.

20.  Nevertheless 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;

 Chapter 9

  Prayer for wisdom

1.  O 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.

3.  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 Thy wisdom.

5.  Thou chose me to be a king of Thy people, a judge of Thy sons and daughters.

6.  Thou 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.

7.  And 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.

8.  Sent her 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.

11.  For what 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.

14.  How then 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.

 Chapter 10

  Blessings of wisdom

1.  She 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.

2.  And when 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.

5.  She 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.

7.  But 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.

9.  She was 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 strong.

10.  She 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.

11.  When the 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.

12.  She 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.

13.  She 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.

15.  Therefore the righteous took spoils of the ungodly and praised Thy holy name O Lord, and magnified with one accord Thy victorious hand.

16.  For wisdom opens the mouth of the dumb and makes the tongues of them that cannot speak - eloquent.

 Chapter 11

  God's help, and the plagues

1.  She 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.

2.  When they were thirsty they called on Thee, and water was given them from the high Rock, they quenched their thirst out of the hard rock.

3.  And by 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 abundance.

4.  Showing 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.

5.  These 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.

8.  For while 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.

9.  And 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.

  The Lord punishes to repentance

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.

11.  Indeed, 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.

14.  But Thou 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.  

Chapter 12

1.  For 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.

2.  For the 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.

3.  Nevertheless 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.

5.  Nor art 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?

6.  Or who 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?

7.  For there 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 , since 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 punished.

9.  For Thy strength is a rule of righteousness, and because Thou art Lord of all, Thou art gracious to all.

God judges in mercy

10.  For Thou 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.

11.  But Thou 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.

14.  Therefore, 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.

15.  It is also for this reason that the unrighteous - which live irrational lives - that Thou does plague them with their own abominations.

16.  For they 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.

17.  Therefore, 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.

 Chapter 13

1.  All 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.

2.  Who 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.

3.  But for 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?

  The folly of idolatry

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 life.

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 fair.

11.  And 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.

12.  Then when 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 for life.

13.  He begs 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.

 Chapter 14

1.  And 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 sail.

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.

3.  It 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.

4.  For even 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.

5.  For 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.

7.  Therefore 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.

Origin of idol worship

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 short.

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.

11. Then afterwards, such ungodly practices became to be held as law, kings ordering graven images to be worshipped.

12.  And for 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.

18.  Thus they neither lived pure, nor had any status of matrimony, for one killed the other with deceit, or shamed him with adultery.

19. Everything 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.

20.  For to 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 lies.

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.

23.  For the 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.

 Chapter 15

  The glory of knowing God

1.  But 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.

  The sinful folly of idolatry

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.

5.  For 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.

7.  His 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.

10. They 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 never.

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.

 Chapter 16

  Egypt's plagues

1.  Therefore 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.

2.  Heavenly; 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 were plagued.

4.  For upon 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 warning.

5.  For 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.

9.  For 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 consumed.

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 God.

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 everyone's taste.

16. For Thy sustenance declares Thy sweetness to Thy children, and serving to everyone's appetite, it tempered itself to every man's liking.

17. While 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.

19. Therefore 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.

20. For again 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 useless water.

 Chapter 17

1.  Great 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.

3.  And 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.

5.  And no 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.

8.  And 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.

13. And 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 of darkness.

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.

 Chapter 18

1.  But 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 water.

7.  Our fathers however were previously certified of that night, and were sealed, which rejoiced in the promise in which they believed.

8.  Thy people then waited on the promise of the righteous, and the destruction of their enemies.

9.  For just as Thou plagued the adversaries, Thou caused us - whom Thou had called to Thyself - to be glorious.

10.  And when 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 evil.

11.  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.

12.  For a like wrath went over ruler as well as servant, the king had to suffer what the small man suffered.

13.  For they 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.

14.  And not 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.

15.  For when 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.

16.  Namely, Thy sharp sword, which brought a strong order, it stood and caused death everywhere.

17.  And 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 unexpectedly.

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 afflicted.

19.  But the 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.

20.  For then 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.

21.  Herewith 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.

22.  For when 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.

24.  Before these the destroyer made way, being afraid of them, for it was enough that they only tasted of the wrath.

 Chapter 19

1.  But 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.

2.  For while 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 to leave.

3.  But it 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.

6.  For they 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.

7.  But 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.

8.  And 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 most unfriendly.

11.  Some whom they had accepted with pleasure, and given them equal law and rights; they treated with grievous afflictions.

12.  They then 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 doorway.

13.  The 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.

16.  For in 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.