The Wisdom of Solomon

Edits, corrections and cross references by The Firmament

Chapter 1

1:1 “Love uprightness, you who judge the land, think of the Lord with goodness, and seek him with sincerity of heart.”
1:2 “For he is found by those who do not try him, and is manifested to those who do not disbelieve him.”
1:3 “For crooked reasonings separate from God, and when his power is tested, it exposes fools.”
1:4 “For wisdom cannot enter a deceitful soul, or live in a body in debt to sin.”
1:5 “For the holy spirit of instruction will flee from deceit, and will rise and leave at unwise reasoning and be put to confusion at the approach of wrong.”
1:6 “For wisdom is a kindly spirit, and will not acquit a blasphemer of what he says, For God is a witness of his heart, and a truthful observer of his mind, and a hearer of his tongue.”
1:7 “For the spirit of the Lord fills the world, and that which embraces all things knows all that is said.”
1:8 “Therefore no one who utters what is wrong will go unobserved, nor will justice, in its investigation, pass him by.”
1:9 “For there will be an inquiry into the designs of the ungodly, and the sound of his words will reach the Lord, to convict him of his transgressions.”
1:10 “For a jealous ear hears everything, and the sound of grumbling is not hidden.”
1:11 “So beware of useless grumbling, and spare your tongue from slander; For no secret word goes for naught, and a lying mouth destroys the soul.”
1:12 “Do not invite death by the error of your life, or incur destruction by the work of your hands;”
1:13 “For God did not make death, and he does not enjoy the destruction of the living.”
1:14 “For he created everything to exist, and the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no poisonous drug in them, and the kingdom of Hades is not on earth.”
1:15 “For uprightness is immortal.”
1:16 “But ungodly men by their acts and words have summoned him, They thought him their friend, and softened, and made an agreement with him, for they are fit to belong to his party.”

Chapter 2

2:1 “For they did not reason soundly, but said to themselves, “Our life is short and miserable, and there is no cure when man comes to his end, and no one has been known to return from Hades.”
2:2 “For we were born at a venture, and hereafter we shall be as though we had never existed, because the breath in our nostrils is smoke, and reason is a spark in the beating of our hearts;”
2:3 “When it is quenched, the body will turn to ashes, and the spirit will dissolve like empty air.”
2:4 “And in time our name will be forgotten, and no one will remember what we have done, and our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud, and be scattered like mist pursued by the sun’s rays and overcome by its heat.”
2:5 “For our life is a fleeting shadow, and there is no way to recall our end, For it is sealed up and no one can bring it back.”
2:6 “So come, let us enjoy the good things that exist, and eagerly make use of the creation as we did in our youth.”
2:7 “Let us have our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let us not miss the spring flowers.”
2:8 “Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither;”
2:9 “Let none of us miss his share in our revelry; everywhere let us leave the signs of our gladness; For this is our portion and this our lot.”
2:10 “Let us oppress the upright poor; Let us not spare the widow, or respect the venerable gray head of the aged.”
2:11 “But let our strength be our law of uprightness, for weakness is proved useless.”
2:12 “Let us lie in wait for the upright, for he inconveniences us and opposes our doings, and reproaches us with our transgressions of the Law, and charges us with sins against what we have been taught.”
2:13 “He professes to possess knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord;”
2:14 “We have found him a reproof of our thoughts, he is wearisome to us even to see,”
2:15 “For his life is not like others, and his ways are strange.”
2:16 “He considers us counterfeit, and avoids our ways as unclean. He calls the end of the upright happy, and boasts that God is his father.”
2:17 “Let us see whether what he says is true, and let us test what will happen at his departure.”
2:18 “For if the upright man is a son of God, he will help him, and save him from the hands of his adversaries.”
2:19 “Let us test him with insults and torture, so that we may learn his patience, and prove his forbearance.”
2:20 “Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for he will be watched over, from what he says!”
2:21 “So they reasoned, but they went astray, For their wickedness blinded them,”
2:22 “And they did not know God’s secrets, or hope for the reward of holiness, Or recognize the prize of blameless souls.”
2:23 “For God created man for immortality, and made him the image of his own eternity,”
2:24 “But through the devil’s envy death came into the world, and those who belong to his party experience it.”

Chapter 3

3:1 “But the souls of the upright are in the hand of God, and no torment can reach them.”
3:2 “In the eyes of foolish people they seemed to die, and their decease was thought an affliction,”
3:3 “And their departure from us their ruin, But they are at peace.”
3:4 “For though in the sight of men they are punished, their hope is full of immortality,”
3:5 “And after being disciplined a little, they will be shown great kindness. For God has tried them, and found them worthy of himself.”
3:6 “He has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them like the sacrifice of a whole burnt offering.”
3:7 “They will shine out, when He visits them, and spread like sparks among the stubble.”
3:8 “They will judge nations and rule peoples, and the Lord will reign over them forever.”
3:9 “Those who trust in Him will understand the truth, and those who are faithful will cling to Him in love, for His chosen will find favor and mercy.”
3:10 “But the ungodly will be punished according to their reasonings, for they disregarded what was right and turned away from the Lord,”
3:11 “For the man who makes light of wisdom and instruction is wretched, and there is nothing in their hope, and their labors are unprofitable, and what they do is useless.”
3:12 “Their wives are silly, and their children bad;”
3:13 “There is a curse on their birth (offspring), for happy is the barren woman who is undefiled, who has not experienced a sinful union; she will have fruit when God examines men’s souls.”
3:14 “And happy is the eunuch who has not transgressed the Law with his hand, nor imagined wicked things against the Lord, for special favor shall be shown him for his, and a more delightful share in the Lord’s sanctuary.”
3:15 “For good work brings renown, and the root of understanding is unerring.”
3:16 “But the children of adulterers will not grow up, and the offspring of an illicit union will disappear.”
3:17 “For if they are long-lived, they will be thought of no account, and at the last, their old age will be unhonored.”
3:18 “If they die early, they will have no hope or comfort on the day of decision.”
3:19 “For the fate of an unrighteous generation is hard.”

Chapter 4

4:1 “It is better to be childless but virtuous, for in the memory of virtue there is immortality, for it is recognized by both God and men; when it is present, men imitate it,”
4:2 “And they long for it when it is gone, and it marches in triumph, wearing a wreath forever, victorious in the contest for prizes that are undefiled.”
4:3 “But the numerous brood of the ungodly will be unprofitable, and with its base-born slips will not strike its roots deep, or establish a secure foundation.”
4:4 “For though it flourishes with branches for a while, it stands insecurely and will be shaken by the wind, and uprooted by the force of the winds; the twigs will be broken off before they are grown,”
4:5 “And their fruit will be useless, not ripe enough to eat, and good for nothing.”
4:6 “For children born of unlawful slumbers will be witnesses to their parents’ guilt when they are examined.”
4:7 “But an upright man, if he dies before his time, will be at rest,”
4:8 “For an honored old age does not depend on length of time, and is not measured by the number of one’s years,”
4:9 “But understanding is gray hair for men, and a blameless life is old age.”
4:10 “Because he pleased God well, he was loved by him, and while living among sinners he was taken up.”
4:11 “He was caught up, so that wickedness might not alter his understanding, or guile deceive his soul.”
4:12 “For the spell of wickedness obscures what is good, and the instability of desire perverts the innocent mind.”
4:13 “Being perfected in a little while, he has fulfilled long years,”
4:14 “For his soul pleased the Lord; Therefore he hurried from the midst of wickedness. The people saw, yet did not perceive or take such a thing to heart,”
4:15 “For favor and mercy are with His chosen, and He watches over his elect.”
4:16 “But an upright man who has fallen asleep will condemn the ungodly who are still alive, and youth that is soon perfected, the great age of the unrighteous.”
4:17 “For they see the wise man’s end, and do not perceive what the Lord’s purpose about him was, and for what he kept him safe;”
4:18 “They see, and make light of him; but the Lord will laugh them to scorn; and afterward they will become a dishonored corpse, and be insulted among the dead forever;”
4:19 “He will burst them open, dumb and swollen, and will shake them from their foundations, and they will be utterly dried up, and they will suffer anguish, and the memory of them will perish.”
4:20 “They will come like cowards at the reckoning-up of their sins, and their transgressions will convict them to their face.”

Chapter 5

5:1 “Then the upright man will stand with great boldness face to face with his oppressors and with those who set his labors at nought.”
5:2 “They will be dreadfully dismayed at the sight, and amazed at the unexpectedness of his deliverance.”
5:3 “They will talk to themselves in repentance, and in their distress of mind they will groan and say, “This is the man we fools once laughed at, and made a byword of reproach.”
5:4 “We thought his life was madness, and his end dishonored.”
5:5 “How did he come to be reckoned among the sons of God, and why is his lot among the saints?”
5:6 “Then we must have wandered from the true way, and the light of uprightness did not light us, and the sun did not rise upon us.”
5:7 “We wearied ourselves in the way of lawlessness and destruction, and traveled through trackless deserts, but we did not recognize the Lord’s road.”
5:8 “What good did our arrogance do us? and what have wealth and ostentation done for us?”
5:9 “They have all passed away like a shadow, and like a messenger running by;”
5:10 “Like a ship crossing the billowing water, and when it is gone there is no track to be found or path of its keel in the waves;”
5:11 “Or as when a bird flies through the air, it leaves no sign of its passage; The light air, whipped by the beat of its wings, and torn apart by the force of its speed, is traversed as its wings move, and afterward no sign of its passage is found there.”
5:12 “Or as when an arrow is shot at a mark, the air is pierced and immediately returns to itself, so that its course is unknown;”
5:13 “So we also, as soon as we were born, ceased to be, and had no sign of virtue to show, but were consumed in our wickedness.”
5:14 “For the ungodly man’s hope is like chaff carried by the wind, and like hoarfrost driven away by a storm, it is dissipated like smoke before the wind, and passes by like the memory of a stranger who stays but a night.”
5:15 “But the upright live forever, and their reward is with the Lord, and the Most High takes care of them.”
5:16 “Therefore they will receive the glorious kingdom, and the beautiful diadem from the Lord’s hand, for He will cover them with His right hand, and shield them with His arm.”
5:17 “He will take His jealousy for his armor, and will make creation his weapons to repulse his foes.”
5:18 “He will put on uprightness for a corselet (breastplate), and wear unfeigned justice for a helmet.”
5:19 “He will take holiness for an invincible shield,”
5:20 “And sharpen His stern anger for a sword; and with Him the world (creation) will go to war against the mad-men.”
5:21 “Well-aimed flashes of lightning will fly, and will leap to the mark from the clouds, as from a well-bent bow,”
5:22 “And from a catapult hailstones full of wrath will be hurled. The water of the sea will be angry with them, and the rivers will roll relentlessly over them.”
5:23 “A mighty wind will oppose them, and winnow them like a tempest. And lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth, and wrongdoing overturn the thrones of princes (the mighty).”

Chapter 6

6:1 “Listen therefore, kings, and understand: learn this, judges of the end of the earth;”
6:2 “Pay attention, rulers of the people, who boast of multitudes of nations;”
6:3 “For your dominion was given you from the Lord, and your sovereignty from the Most High; He will examine your works and inquire into your plans;”
6:4 “For though you are servants of his kingdom, you have not judged rightly, or kept the Law, or followed the will of God.”
6:5 “He will come upon you terribly and swiftly, for a stern judgment overtakes those in high places.”
6:6 “For the humblest man may be forgiven through mercy, but the mighty will be mightily tested,”
6:7 “For the Lord of all will show no partiality, and will not respect greatness, for it was he who made small and great, and he takes thought for all alike,”
6:8 “But a rigorous inquiry is in store for the powerful.”
6:9 “My words are addressed to you, therefore, you monarchs, so that you may learn wisdom and not go astray;”
6:10 “For those who observe holy things in holiness will be made holy, and those who are taught them will have a defense to offer;”
6:11 “So desire my words, long for them, and you will be instructed.”
6:12 “Wisdom is bright and unfading, and she is easily seen by those who love her, and found by those who search for her.”
6:13 “She forestalls those who desire her, by making herself known first.”
6:14 “The man who rises early to seek her will not have to toil, for he will find her sitting at his gates.”
6:15 “For to think of her is the highest understanding, and the man who is vigilant for her sake will soon be free from care.”
6:16 “For she goes about in search of those who are worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought.”
6:17 “For the truest beginning of her is the desire for instruction, and concern for instruction is love of her,”
6:18 “And love for her is the observance of her laws, and adherence to her laws is assurance of immortality,”
6:19 “And immortality brings men near to God;”
6:20 “So the desire for wisdom leads to a kingdom.”
6:21 “If therefore you take pleasure in thrones and scepters, monarchs of the people, honor wisdom, so that you may reign forever.”
6:22 “But what wisdom is and how she came to be, I will declare, and I will not hide these secrets from you, but I will trace her out from the beginning of creation, and make the knowledge of her clear, and I will not pass by the truth;”
6:23 “I will not travel with futile envy, for it cannot associate with wisdom.”
6:24 “The multitude of the wise is the salvation of the world, and a prudent king is the stability of his people.”
6:25 “So be instructed by my words and you will be benefited.”

Chapter 7

7:1 “I too am a mortal man, like all men, and a descendant of that first-formed man, who sprang from the earth;”
7:2 “And I was shaped into flesh in my mother’s womb, solidified in blood in ten months from man’s seed and the pleasure of marriage.”
7:3 “And when I was born I breathed in the common air, and fell on the kindred earth, giving the same first cry as all the rest.”
7:4 “I was carefully wrapped up and nursed,”
7:5 “For no king has any other beginning of existence;”
7:6 “But all men have one entrance upon life, and the same way of leaving it.”
7:7 “Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called (upon God), and the spirit of wisdom came to me.”
7:8 “I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I thought wealth of no account compared with her.”
7:9 “I did not think a priceless stone her equal, for all the gold, in her presence, is just a little sand, and silver is no better than mud, before her.”
7:10 “I loved her more than health and good looks, and I preferred her even to light, and her radiance is unceasing.”
7:11 “But all blessings came to me along with her, and uncounted wealth is in her hands.”
7:12 “And I rejoiced over them all, because wisdom ruled them, for I did not know that she was their mother.”
7:13 “I learned honestly, and I share ungrudgingly, I will not hide her wealth away,”
7:14 “For it is an unfailing treasure for men, and those who get it make friends with God, being commended to him by the gifts that come from her discipline.”
7:15 “May God grant to me to speak properly, and to have thoughts worthy of what he has given; for it is he that guides wisdom and directs the wise.”
7:16 “For in his hand are we and our words, all understanding and knowledge of trades.”
7:17 “For it is he that has given me unerring knowledge of what is, to know the constitution of the world and the working of the elements;”
7:18 “The beginning and end and middle of periods of time, the alternations of the solstices and the changes of the seasons,”
7:19 “The cycles of the years and the positions of the stars,”
7:20 “The natures of animals, and the dispositions of wild beasts, the powers of spirits and the designs of men, the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots;”
7:21 “All that was secret or manifest I learned,”
7:22 “For wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me, for there is in her a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, undefiled, distinct, beyond harm, loving the good, keen,”
7:23 “Unhindered, beneficent, philanthropic, firm, sure, free from care, all-powerful, all-seeing, and interpenetrating all spirits that are intelligent, pure, and most subtle.”
7:24 “For wisdom is more mobile than any motion, and she penetrates and permeates everything because she is so pure;”
7:25 “For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of his Almighty glory; therefore nothing defiled can enter into her.”
7:26 “For she is a reflection of the everlasting light, and a spotless mirror of the activity of God. And a likeness (image) of his goodness.”
7:27 “Though she is one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she makes everything new; and passing into holy souls, generation after generation, she makes them friends of God, and prophets.”
7:28 “For God loves nothing but the man who lives with wisdom.”
7:29 “For she is fairer than the sun, or any group of stars; Compared with light, she is found superior;”
7:30 “For night succeeds to it, but evil cannot overpower wisdom.”

Chapter 8

8:1 “For she reaches in strength from one end of the earth to the other, and conducts everything well.”
8:2 “I loved her and sought after her from my youth up, and I undertook to make her my bride, and I fell in love with her beauty.”
8:3 “She glorifies her high birth in living with God, for the Lord of all loves her.”
8:4 “For she is initiated into the knowledge of God, and is a searcher of his works.”
8:5 “But if the possession of wealth is to be desired in life, what is richer than wisdom, which operates everything?”
8:6 “And if understanding works, who in all the world is a greater craftsman than she?”
8:7 “And if a man loves uprightness, her labors are virtues; for she teaches self-control and understanding, uprightness and courage; nothing in life is more useful to men than these.”
8:8 “But if a man longs for much experience, she knows antiquity and can forecast the future, she understands the tricks of language and the solving of riddles; She knows the meaning of signs and portents, and the outcomes of seasons and periods.”
8:9 “So I decided to bring her to live with me, knowing that she would give me good counsel, and encouragement in cares and grief.”
8:10 “Because of her I will have glory among the multitude, and honor with the elders, though I am young;”
8:11 “I will be found keen in judgment, and I will be admired in the presence of monarchs.”
8:12 “When I am silent, they will wait for me to speak, and when I speak, they will pay attention, and if I talk at some length, they will put their hands over their mouths.”
8:13 “Because of her, I will have immortality, and leave an everlasting memory to those who come after me.”
8:14 “I will govern peoples, and nations will be subject to me.”
8:15 “Dread sovereigns (tyrants) will be frightened when they hear of me; among the people I will appear good and in war brave.”
8:16 “When I enter my house, I will find rest with her, for intercourse with her has no bitterness, and living with her no grief, but gladness and joy.”
8:17 “When I considered these things with myself, and reflected in my mind that in kinship with wisdom there is immortality,”
8:18 “And in her friendship there is pure delight, and unfailing wealth in the labors of her hands, and understanding in the experience of her company, and glory in sharing in her words, I went about seeking how to win her for myself.”
8:19 “I was a well-formed child, and a good soul fell to me,”
8:20 “Or rather, I was good and entered an undefiled body.”
8:21 “But I perceived that I could not win her unless God gave her to me (And this too came of understanding, to know from whom the favor came). I appealed to the Lord and besought him, and said with all my heart:”

Chapter 9

9:1 “God of my forefathers and merciful Lord, Who created all things by Your Word,”
9:2 “And by your wisdom formed man to rule over the creatures you had made,”
9:3 “And manage the world in holiness and uprightness, and pass judgment in rectitude of soul,”
9:4 “Give me the wisdom that sits by your throne, and do not reject me as unfit to be one of your servants (children).”
9:5 “For I am your servant, the son of your handmaid, a man weak and short-lived, and inferior in my understanding of judgment;”
9:6 “For even if one among the sons of men is perfect, if the wisdom that comes from you is lacking, he will count for nothing.”
9:7 “You have chosen me out to be king of your people, and to be judge of your sons and daughters;”
9:8 “You told me to build a sanctuary on your holy mountain, and an altar in the city where you dwell, a copy of the holy tent which you prepared in the beginning;”
9:9 “And with you is wisdom, which knows your works, and was present when you made the world, and understands what is pleasing in your sight, and what is in accord with your commands.”
9:10 “Send her forth from the holy heavens and dispatch her from your glorious throne, to be with me and toil, and so that I may know what is pleasing to you.”
9:11 “For she knows and understands all things, and she will guide me with good sense in my actions, and will guard me with her splendor.”
9:12 “Then my doings will be acceptable, and I will judge your people uprightly, and be worthy of the throne of my father.”
9:13 “For what man can know the counsel of God, or who can decide what the Lord wills?”
9:14 “For the calculations of mortals are timid, and our designs are likely to fail,”
9:15 “For a perishable body weighs down the soul, and its earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind.”
9:16 “We can hardly guess at things upon the earth, and we have hard work finding the things that are just at hand, but who has tracked out the things in heaven?”
9:17 “And who has learned your counsel unless you gave him wisdom, and sent your holy spirit from on high?”
9:18 “So the paths of those who were on the earth were straightened, and men were taught the things that please you, and were saved by wisdom.”

Chapter 10

10:1 “It was she that protected the first-formed father of the world, in his loneliness, after his creation, and rescued him from his transgression,”
10:2 “And gave him strength to master all things.”
10:3 “And when an unrighteous man abandoned her in his anger, he perished in his fratricidal rage.”
10:4 “When the earth was deluged because of him, wisdom again saved the upright man, steering him with a cheap piece of wood.”
10:5 “It was she that when the nations were confused, in their wicked conspiracy, recognized the upright man, and preserved him blameless before God, and kept him steadfast against having pity on his child.”
10:6 “When the ungodly were perishing, she saved an upright man, who fled from the fire that descended on the Five Towns;”
10:7 “To their wickedness a smoking waste still bears lasting witness, As do trees that bear fruit that never ripens, and a pillar of salt that stands as a memorial of an unbelieving soul.”
10:8 “For because they passed wisdom by, they were not only made incapable of recognizing what was good, but also left behind them to the world a memorial of their folly, so that their faults could not pass unnoticed.”
10:9 “But wisdom delivered those who served her from their troubles.
10:10 “An upright man, who was a fugitive from a brother’s wrath, she guided in straight paths; she showed him God’s kingdom, and gave him knowledge of holy things; she made him prosper in his toils and increased the fruit of his labors;”
10:11 “When those who oppressed him were covetous, she stood by him, and made him rich.”
10:12 “She protected him from his enemies, and kept him safe from those who lay in wait for him, and decided his hard contest in his favor, so that he should know that godliness is stronger than anything.”
10:13 “When an upright man was sold, she did not abandon him, but delivered him from sin; she went down into the pit with him,”
10:14 “And she did not leave him in prison, until she brought him the scepter of a kingdom, and power over those who lorded it over him; She showed that they were false who had blamed him, and she gave him everlasting honor.”
10:15 “She delivered from a nation of oppressors a holy people and a blameless race;”
10:16 “She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord, and withstood awe-inspiring kings with portents and signs;”
10:17 “She paid to holy men a reward for their toils, she guided them along a wonderful way, and became a shelter for them in the daytime, and a flame of stars at night.”
10:18 “She brought them over the Red Sea, and led them through deep waters.”
10:19 “But their enemies she overwhelmed (drowned), and cast them up from the bottom of the deep.”
10:20 “Therefore the upright despoiled the ungodly, and they sang, Lord, of your holy name, and praised with one accord your defending hand.”
10:21 “For wisdom opens the mouth of the dumb, and makes the tongues of babes speak plainly.”

Chapter 11

11:1 “She made their doings prosper by means of a holy prophet.”
11:2 “They traveled through an uninhabited desert, and pitched their tents in trackless places.”
11:3 “They withstood their enemies and repulsed their foes.”
11:4 “They grew thirsty and called upon you, and water was given them out of a rocky cliff, and a cure for their thirst out of the hard stone.”
11:5 “For the means by which their enemies were punished benefited them in their time of need.”
11:6 “Instead of the fountain of an ever flowing river, stirred up with filthy blood,”
11:7 “As a rebuke for the decree to kill the babes, you gave them plenty of water, in a way unlooked for,”
11:8 “Showing through their thirst at that time how you punished their adversaries.”
11:9 “For when they were tried, although they were only disciplined (chastised) in mercy, they learned how the ungodly were tormented, when they were judged in wrath.”
11:10 “For these you tested like a father, warning them, but those you examined like a stern king, condemning them.”
11:11 “Whether absent or present, they were harassed alike;”
11:12 “For a double grief seized them, and groaning over the memory of the past.”
11:13 “For when they heard that through their punishments the others were benefited, they felt it was the Lord.”
11:14 “For the man who had long before been cast forth and exposed (at the casting out of the infants), and whom they had rejected with scorn, as events resulted, they admired, when they felt thirst in a different way from the upright.”
11:15 “But for the foolish fancies of their unrighteousness, misled (deceived) by which they worshiped unreasoning reptiles and worthless vermin, You sent a multitude of unreasoning creatures upon them to punish them,”
11:16 “So that they should know that a man is punished by the things through which he sins.”
11:17 “For your all-powerful hand, which created the world out of formless matter, did not lack means to send upon them a multitude of bears, or bold lions,”
11:18 “Newly created wild animals, unknown before, and full of rage, either puffing out a fiery breath, or scattering a roar of smoke, or flashing dreadful sparks from their eyes,”
11:19 “Which could not only have destroyed them utterly by the harm they did, but have made them die of fright at the very sight of them.”
11:20 “Why, without these, they might have been felled by a single breath, being pursued by justice, and scattered by the breath of your power. But you ordered everything by measure and number and weight.”
11:21 “For it is always yours to have great strength, and who can withstand the might of your arm?”
11:22 “For in your sight the whole world is like what turns the scale in a balance, and like drop of dew that comes down on the earth in the morning.”
11:23 “But you have mercy on all men, because you can do all things, and you overlook men’s sins to lead them to repent,”
11:24 “For you love all things that exist, and abhor none of the things that you have made; for you would never have formed anything if you hated it.”
11:25 “And how could anything have endured, if you had not willed it, or what had not been called forth by you have been preserved?”
11:26 “But you spare all, because they are yours, Lord, lover of life,”

Chapter 12

12:1 “For your imperishable spirit is in all things.”
12:2 “Therefore you correct (chasten) little by little those who go astray, and you admonish them by reminding them of the things through which they sin; so that they may escape from their wickedness and believe in you, Lord.”
12:3 “(For it was thy will to destroy by the hands of our fathers) those who long ago inhabited your holy land.”
12:4 “You hated for acting most hatefully, practicing enchantments (witchcrafts) and unholy rites,”
12:5 “Merciless killing of children, and cannibal feasting on (devourers of) human flesh and blood.”
12:6 “Initiates (priests) from the midst of a pagan brotherhood (idolatrous crew), and parents who were murderers of helpless lives, You determined to destroy by the hands of our forefathers,”
12:7 “So that the land which you prized above all others might receive a worthy colony of God’s children.”
12:8 “But even these, as being men, you spared, and you sent wasps as forerunners of your host, to destroy them little by little.”
12:9 “Not that you were unable to make the upright defeat the ungodly in battle, or to destroy them at one blow with terrible wild animals or a stern command,”
12:10 “But in judging them little by little you gave them opportunity to repent, for you were not ignorant that their origin was evil, and their wickedness inborn, and that their manner of thought would never change.”
12:11 “For they were a race accursed from the beginning, and it was not through fear of any man that you left them unpunished for their sins.”
12:12 “For who can say, “What have you done?” Or who can oppose your judgment? And who can accuse you of the destruction of the nations which you made? Or who will come to stand before you as the avenger of unrighteous men?”
12:13 “For neither is there any God but you, who care for all men, to show that you do not judge unrighteously,”
12:14 “Nor will any king or monarch be able to face you about those whom you have punished.”
12:15 “But since you are upright, you conduct all things uprightly, considering it inconsistent with your power to condemn the man who does not deserve to be punished.”
12:16 “For your strength is the beginning of uprightness and the fact that you are Lord of all makes you spare all.”
12:17 “For when men disbelieve in the perfection of your power, you display your strength, and in the case of those that know, you rebuke their rashness.”
12:18 “But you, being master of your strength, judge us with fairness and govern us with great forbearance. For the power is at your command, whenever you wish it.”
12:19 “By such deeds you taught your people that the upright man must be humane (merciful), and you made your sons be of good hope, because you give repentance for sins,”
12:20 “For if you punished with such care and indulgence those who were the enemies of your servants, and deserved death, giving them time and opportunity to escape from their wickedness,”
12:21 “With what exactness you have judged your sons, to whose forefathers you gave oaths and agreements promising them good!”
12:22 “So when you discipline (chasten) us, you flog our enemies ten thousand fold, so that when we judge we may reflect on your goodness, and when we are judged we may look for mercy.”
12:23 “Therefore you tormented through their own abominable practices those who lived wickedly, in a life of folly,”
12:24 “For they went astray far beyond the ways of error, accepting as gods the lowest and basest of animals (beasts), being deceived like foolish babies.”
12:25 “Therefore you sent your judgment in mockery of them, as though to unreasoning children.”
12:26 “But those who cannot be admonished by mockeries of correction, will experience a judgment worthy of God.”
12:27 “For because through what they suffered they became indignant at those whom they considered gods, being punished by means of them, they saw and recognized as the true God him whom they had before refused to know. Therefore the very height of condemnation overtook them.”

Chapter 13

13:1 “For all men are foolish (vain) by nature, and had no perception of God, and from the good things that were visible they had not the power to know him who is, nor through paying attention to his works did they recognize the workman,”
13:2 “But either fire, or wind, or swift air, or the circle of the stars, or rushing water, or the heavenly luminaries, the rulers of the world, they considered gods.”
13:3 “And if through delight in their beauty they supposed that these were gods, let them know how far superior is the Lord of these, for the originator of beauty created them;”
13:4 “But if it was through awe at their power and operation, let them conclude from them how much mightier he who formed them is.”
13:5 “For from the greatness and beauty of what is created, the originator of them is correspondingly perceived.”
13:6 “But yet little blame attaches to these men, for perhaps they just go astray in their search for God and their desire to find him;”
13:7 “For living among his works they search and believe the testimony of their sight, that what they see is beautiful.”
13:8 “But again, even they are not to be excused;”
13:9 “For if they had power to know so much that they could try to make out the world, why did they not sooner find the Lord of all this?”
13:10 “For they are miserable, and their hopes are set on the dead, who have called the works of men’s hands gods, gold and silver, the subject of art, and likenesses of animals (beasts), or useless stone, worked by some ancient hand.”
13:11 “But if some carpenter saws down a tree he can handle, and skillfully strips off all its bark, and shaping it nicely makes a dish suited to the uses of life,”
13:12 “And burns the chips of his work to prepare his food, and eats his fill;”
13:13 “But the worst of them, which is good for nothing, crooked piece, full of knots, he takes and carves to occupy his spare time, and shapes it with understanding skill, he makes it a copy of a human form,”
13:14 “Or makes it like some common animal (beast), smearing it with vermilion, and painting its surface red, and coating every blemish in it;”
13:15 “And making an abode for it worthy of it, he fixes it on the wall, and fastens it with iron.”
13:16 “So he plans for it, so that it will not fall down, for he knows that it cannot help itself; for it is only an image and needs help.”
13:17 “But he prays to it about his property and his marriage and his children, and is not ashamed to speak to a lifeless thing,”
13:18 “And appeals to something that is weak, for health, and asks something that is dead, for life, and supplicates what is itself utterly inexperienced, for aid, and something that cannot even take a step, about a journey,”
13:19 “And he asks strength for gain and business and success in what he undertakes from something whose hands are most feeble.”

Chapter 14

14:1 “Again, a man setting out on a voyage, and about to travel over wild waves, calls upon a piece of wood more unsound than the ship that carries him.”
14:2 “For it was designed through the desire for gain, and wisdom was the craftsman that built it.”
14:3 “And Your providence, Father, pilots it, for You give a way even in the sea, and a safe path through the waves,”
14:4 “Showing that You can save from anything, so that even without skill a man may go to sea.”
14:5 “But it is Your will that the works of your wisdom should not be idle; Therefore men trust their lives to even the smallest plank, and cross the flood on a raft and get safely over.”
14:6 “For in the beginning, when the haughty giants perished, the hope of the world took refuge on a raft, and steered by Your hand left to the world a generating seed.”
14:7 “For blessed is wood through which uprightness comes,”
14:8 “But what is made with hands is accursed, along with the man who made it, because he shaped it, and what was perishable was called a god.”
14:9 “For the ungodly man and his ungodliness are equally hateful to God.”
14:10 “For what is done must be punished with the man who did it.”
14:11 “Therefore there will be an examination of the idols of the heathen, for although part of God’s creation, they became an abomination, and snares to the souls of men, and a trap for the feet of the foolish.”
14:12 “For the devising of idols is the beginning of spiritual fornication, and the invention of them is the corruption of life.”
14:13 “For they did not exist from the beginning, and they will not last forever;”
14:14 “For through the vanity of men they came into the world, and therefore a speedy end for them was designed.”
14:15 “For a father afflicted with untimely grief, made a likeness of his child, that had been quickly taken from him, and presently honored as a god him who was once a dead man, and handed down to his subjects mysteries and rites.”
14:16 “Then the ungodly practice, strengthened by time, came to be observed as law, and by the orders of monarchs carved images were worshiped.”
14:17 “And when men could not honor them in their presence, because they lived far away, they imagined how they looked, far away, and made a visible image of the king they honored. So as by their zeal to flatter the absent one as though he were present.”
14:18 “But the ambition of the artist stimulated, even those who did not know the subject to intensified worship;
14:19 “For he, perhaps wishing to gratify someone in authority, elaborated the likeness by his art into greater beauty;”
14:20 “And the multitude, attracted by the charm of his workmanship, now regarded as an object of worship the one whom they had recently honored as a man.”
14:21 “And this was an occasion to deceive the world, because men in bondage to misfortune or royal authority, clothed stick and stones with the Name that cannot be shared with others.”
14:22 “And then it was not enough for them to go astray about the knowledge of God, but though living in a great war of ignorance, they call such evils peace.”
14:23 “For neither while they murder children in their rites nor celebrate secret mysteries, nor hold frenzied revels with alien laws,”
14:24 “Do they keep their lives or marriages pure, but one man waylays another and kills him, or grieves him by adultery.”
14:25 “And it is all a confusion of blood and murder, theft and fraud, depravity, faithlessness, discord, perjury,”
14:26 “Clamor at the good men, forgetfulness of favors, defilement of souls, changing of kind, disorder in marriages, adultery, and shameless uncleanness.”
14:27 “For the worship of the unspeakable idols is the beginning, and cause, and end of every evil.”
14:28 “For they either rejoice in madness, or prophesy falsely, or live unrighteously, or readily forswear themselves.”
14:29 “For since they believe in lifeless idols, they do not expect to be harmed for swearing wickedly.”
14:30 “But justice will overtake them for both matters, because they thought wickedly of God and gave heed to idols, and because they swore unrighteously to deceive, in disregard of holiness.”
14:31 “For it is not the power of the gods men swear by, but the penalty of those who sin that always pursues the transgression of the unrighteous.”

Chapter 15

15:1 “But you, our God, are kind and true, You are longsuffering, and govern everything in mercy.”
15:2 “For even if we sin, we are yours, and know your might; But we will not sin, for we know that we are accounted yours.”
15:3 “For to know you is perfect uprightness, and to recognize your might is the root of immortality.”
15:4 “For no artful device of men has led us astray, nor the fruitless labor of scene-painters, a figure smeared with varied colors,”
15:5 “The appearance of which leads to desire in fools, and they long for the form of a dead image, that has no breath.”
15:6 “Lovers of evil and deserving of such hopes are those who make them and those who feel desire for them and those who worship them.”
15:7 “For a potter, molding the soft earth, laboriously shapes each object for our use; Why, from the same clay he forms dishes to serve clean purposes, and those of the opposite kind, all alike; But of what use shall be made of either, the potter is the judge.”
15:8 “And with misdirected toil he shapes a futile god out of the same clay, and having himself shortly before sprung from the earth, after a little while goes to that from which he was taken, when he is called upon to return the soul that was lent him.”
15:9 “But he is concerned, not because he will grow tired, nor because his life is short, but he competes with gold and silversmiths, and copies those who mold brass, and thinks it a glory that he can form counterfeits.”
15:10 “His heart is ashes, and his hope cheaper than dirt, and his life more worthless than clay,”
15:11 “For he has not recognized the one who formed him, and inspired him with an active soul, and breathed into him the breath of life.”
15:12 “But they consider our existence play, and life a lucrative fair, for they say, one must make money any way one can, even by evil.”
15:13 “For this man knows better than all others that he sins, producing from earthy material fragile dishes and carved images.”
15:14 “But most foolish, and more wretched than a baby’s soul, are all those enemies of your people, who oppress them.”
15:15 “For they consider all the idols of the heathen gods, which neither have eyes to see with, nor noses to inhale the air, nor ears to hear with, nor fingers on their hands to feel with, and their feet are of no use to walk on.”
15:16 “For a man made them, and one whose own spirit is borrowed formed them; for no man can form a god like himself;”
15:17 “For mortal as he is, what he makes with his lawless hands is dead; for he is better than the things he worships, for of the two, he has life, but they never had it.”
15:18 “Why, they worship even the most hateful beasts; for by comparison, they are worse than the animals in their lack of intelligence.”
15:19 “Nor are they in their appearance as animals so beautiful as to be desired, but they have escaped both the praise of God and his blessing.”

Chapter 16

16:1 “Therefore they were punished as they deserved, by similar beasts, and tormented with a multitude of vermin.”
16:2 “And instead of this punishment, you benefited your own people, and to satisfy the desire of their appetite, you prepared meat with a strange taste, even quails for food,”
16:3 “So that those others, when they desired food, because of the hideousness of the things sent among them, should lose even the smallest appetite; While these, after being in want for a little while, should partake of something with a strange taste.”
16:4 “For it was necessary that an unescapable penury should come upon those others for their tyrannical behavior, but these should only be shown how their enemies were tormented.”
16:5 “For when the terrible fury of wild animals came upon them, and they were perishing by the bites of wriggling snakes, your wrath did not continue to the uttermost,”
16:6 “But they were troubled for a little while to admonish them, for they had a token of preservation to remind them of the commandment of your law;”
16:7 “For the one who turned toward it was saved not because of what he saw, but because of you, who are the preserver of all.”
16:8 “And by this you persuaded our enemies that you are the one who delivers from every evil.”
16:9 “For they were killed by the bites of locusts and flies, and no cure was found for their life, for they deserved to be punished by such means.”
16:10 “But not even the teeth of venomous serpents could overcome your sons, for your mercy came to help them and healed them.”
16:11 “For it was to remind them of your oracles that they were stung, and they were quickly delivered, to keep them from falling into deep forgetfulness and becoming sundered from your kindness.”
16:12 “For it was no plant or plaster that cured them, but Your Word, Lord, that heals all men.”
16:13 “For you have power over life and death, and you take men down to the gates of Hades and bring them up again.”
16:14 “A man may kill in his wickedness, but the spirit once it is gone out he cannot bring back, nor can he release the imprisoned soul.”
16:15 “But it is impossible to escape your hand,”
16:16 “For ungodly men, refusing to know you, were flogged with the strength of your arm, pursued by unusual rains and hailstorms and relentless showers, and utterly consumed by fire.”
16:17 “For, strangest of all, on the water, which quenches everything, the fire had the greater effect, for the universe is the champion of the upright;”
16:18 “For now the flame was quieted, so that it should not burn up the beasts sent against the ungodly. But that they, when they saw it, might recognize that they were pursued by the judgment of God;”
16:19 “And again it blazed up in the midst of the water, with more than fiery power, to destroy the products of an unrighteous land.”
16:20 “Instead of these you gave your people angels’ food, and untiringly supplied them with bread from heaven, ready to eat, strong in all enjoyment and suited to every taste;”
16:21 “For your support manifested your sweetness toward your children, and the bread, responding to the desire of the man that took it, was changed to what each one desired.”
16:22 “But snow and ice endured fire without melting, so that they should know that fire was destroying the fruits of their enemies, blazing in the hail, and flashing in the rain;”
16:23 “And that this again, in order that upright men might be fed, had forgotten its power.”
16:24 “For creation, serving you who made it, increases his strength against the unrighteous, to punish them, but abates his strength to benefit those who put their trust in you.”
16:25 “Therefore even then, assuming all forms, it served your all-sustaining bounty, according to the desire of those who were in need,”
16:26 “So that your children, whom you have loved, Lord, might learn that it is not the production of the fruits that supports man, but that it is Your Word that preserves those who put their trust in you.”
16:27 “For what the fire could not destroy, melted away when it was simply warmed by a fleeting sunbeam,”
16:28 “So that it might be known that we must rise before the sun to give you thanks, and appeal to you at the rising of the light.”
16:29 “For the unthankful man’s hope will melt like the wintry hoarfrost, and run off like useless water.”

Chapter 17

17:1 “For your judgments are great and hard to set forth; therefore uninstructed souls went astray.”
17:2 “For when unrighteous men thought to oppress the holy nation, they lay shut up under their roofs, exiled from the eternal providence,”
17:3 “Prisoners of darkness and captives of the long night. For when they thought they were hidden in their secret sins by a dark veil of forgetfulness, they were scattered, terribly frightened and troubled by strange apparitions.”
17:4 “For even the inner chamber that held them did not protect them from fear, but appalling sounds rung around them, and sad visions appeared to them with heavy countenances.”
17:5 “No power of the fire might give them light, nor could the bright flames of the stars undertake to illumine that hateful night.”
17:6 “Only there shone on them a fearful flame, of itself, and though dreadfully frightened at that sight when it could not be seen, they thought the things they beheld still worse.”
17:7 “And the delusions of magic art were prostrate, and their boasted wisdom suffered a contemptuous rebuke,”
17:8 “For those who claimed to drive away fears and troubles from sick souls were sick themselves with ridiculous fear.”
17:9 “For if nothing alarming frightened them, yet scared by the creeping of vermin and the hissing of reptiles,”
17:10 “They died of fright, refusing to look even upon the firmament, which could not be escaped on any side.”
17:11 “For wickedness is a cowardly thing, condemned by a witness of its own, and being distressed by conscience, has always exaggerated hardships;”
17:12 “For fear is nothing but the giving up of the reinforcements that come from reason,”
17:13 “And as the expectation of them from within is deficient, it reckons its ignorance worse than the cause of the torment.”
17:14 “But they, sleeping the same sleep that night, which was indeed intolerable, and which came upon them out of the bottom of inevitable Hades,”
17:15 “Were now driven by monstrous phantoms, and now paralyzed by their soul’s surrender; for they were drenched in sudden, unlooked-for fear.”
17:16 “Then whoever was there fell down, and so was shut up and guarded in a prison not made of iron;”
17:17 “For whether a man was a husbandman or a shepherd, or a laborer whose work was in the field, he was overtaken and suffered the unavoidable fate, for they were all bound with one chain of darkness.”
17:18 “Whether there was a whistling wind, or a melodious sound of birds in spreading branches, or the regular noise of rushing water,”
17:19 “Or a harsh crashing of stones thrown down, or the unseen running of bounding animals, or the sound of the most savage wild beasts roaring, or an echo thrown back from a hollow in the mountains, it paralyzed them with terror.”
17:20 “For the whole world was bathed in bright light, and occupied in unhindered work;”
17:21 “Only over them was spread a heavy night, a picture of the darkness that was to receive them. But heavier than the darkness were they to themselves.”

Chapter 18

18:1 “But your holy ones enjoyed a very great light; and the others, hearing their voices but not seeing their forms, thought them happy, because they had not suffered the same things,”
18:2 “But they were thankful because the others, though they had before been wronged, did not hurt them, and prayed to be separated from them.”
18:3 “Therefore you provided a blazing pillar as guide on their unknown journey, and an unharmful sun for their honorable exile.”
18:4 “For they deserved to be deprived of light and imprisoned in darkness who had kept your sons shut up, through whom the imperishable light of the Law was to be given to the world.”
18:5 “When they plotted to kill the babes of the holy ones, though one child had been exposed and saved, to rebuke them, you took away the multitude of their children, and destroyed them all together in a mighty flood.”
18:6 “That night was made known to our forefathers before-hand, so that they should know certainly what oaths they had believed, and rejoice.”
18:7 “The preservation of the upright and the destruction of their enemies were expected by your people;”
18:8 “For in punishing their adversaries, you called us to you and glorified us.”
18:9 “For in secret the holy children of good men offered the sacrifice, and with one accord agreed to the divine law, that they should share alike the same blessings and dangers, and were already beginning to sing the praises of their forefathers,”
18:10 “When there echoed back the discordant shout of their enemies, and the piteous sound of lamentation for children spread abroad;”
18:11 “But slave was punished with master, with the same penalty, and the commoner suffered the same as the king,”
18:12 “And all of them together under one form of death had countless corpses. For those who were alive were not even enough to bury them, for in one instant their most valued children were destroyed.”
18:13 “For though they disbelieved everything because of their enchantments, when the first-born were destroyed, they acknowledged this people to be the sons of God.”
18:14 “For when gentle silence enveloped everything, and night was midway of her swift course,”
18:15 “Your Almighty Word leaped from heaven out of your royal throne, as a stern warrior, into the midst of the doomed land,”
18:16 “Carrying for a sharp sword your undisguised command, and stood still, and filled all things with death, and it touched heaven but walked upon the earth.”
18:17 “Then suddenly apparitions in dreadful dreams startled them, and unexpected fears assailed them,”
18:18 “And one thrown here half-dead, another there, showed why they were dying,”
18:19 “For the dreams that had alarmed them warned them of it, so that they should not perish without knowing why they suffered.”
18:20 “But the experience of death affected the upright also, and a multitude were destroyed in the desert. But the wrath did not continue long.”
18:21 “For a blameless man hurried to fight in their defense, bringing the great shield of his proper ministry, prayer and the propitiation of incense; he withstood that wrath and put an end to the disaster, showing that he was a servant of yours;”
18:22 “So he overcame the destroyer, not by bodily strength, nor by force of arms, but with a word he subdued him that punished, when he appealed to the oaths and covenants given to the forefathers.”
18:23 “For when the dead had already fallen on one another in heaps, he stood between, and cut the wrath short and parted the way to the living.”
18:24 “For on his long robe was the whole world, and the glories of the forefathers were in the carving of the four rows of stones, and your majesty was on the diadem upon his head.”
18:25 “Before these the destroyer gave way, and these he feared, for that experience of wrath was enough by itself.”

Chapter 19

19:1 “But on the ungodly, wrath came upon them without mercy unto the end, for he knew before what they would do.”
19:2 “That after permitting them to go away, and sending them off in haste, they would change their minds and pursue them.”
19:3 “For while they were still busy with their mourning, and were lamenting beside the graves of the dead, they involved themselves in another foolish design, and pursued as runaways those whom they had driven out with entreaties.”
19:4 “For the fate they deserved drew them to this end, and made them forget what had happened, so that they should fulfil the punishment that their torments lacked,”
19:5 “And your people should experience an incredible journey, while they themselves should find a strange death.”
19:6 “For the whole creation in its own kind was reshaped anew, in obedience to your commands, so that your children might be protected unharmed.”
19:7 “The cloud was seen that overshadowed the camp, and the emergence of dry land where water had stood before, an unobstructed road out of the Red Sea, and a grassy plain out of the raging billow;”
19:8 “Through which those who were protected by your hand passed over as a nation, witnessing marvelous wonders.”
19:9 “For they ranged like horses and skipped like lambs, praising you, Lord, who had delivered them.”
19:10 “For they still remembered the things that were done while they sojourned in the strange land, how instead of the birth of cattle, the earth brought forth gnats, and instead of fishes, the river vomited up a host of frogs.”
19:11 “But later they saw a new production of birds also, when moved by appetite they asked for delicacies;
19:12 “For quails came up from the sea to their relief.”
19:13 “And those punishments came upon the sinners, not without premonitory signs, in the violence of the thunders; for they suffered justly through their own wickedness, for they exhibited a more bitter hatred of strangers.”
19:14 “For the Sodomites would not receive men who they did not know when they came to them, but these men made slaves of strangers who showed them kindness.”
19:15 “And not only so, but those others shall have some consideration for the men they received with such hostility were aliens;”
19:16 “But these men, though they had welcomed them with feasting, afflicted those who had already shared the same rights with them, with dreadful labors.”
19:17 “And they were stricken with loss of sight too, like those others, at the upright man’s door, when, surrounded with horrible, great darkness, each one sought the way through his own doors.”
19:18 “For the elements changed in order with one another, just as on a harp the notes vary the character of the time, yet keep the pitch,”
19:19 “As one may accurately infer from the observation of what happened; for land animals were turned into water creatures, and swimming things changed to the land;”
19:20 “Fire retained its power in water, and water forgot its quenching property.”
19:21 “Contrariwise, flames did not wither the flesh of perishable animals that walked about among them, nor was the easily melting ice-like kind of immortal food melted.”
19:22 “For in everything, you, Lord, magnified and glorified your people, and you did not neglect them, but stood by them at every time and place.”