The Bible in Its Traditions

Wisdom 4:20–5:14

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20  They will hurry with fear at the understanding of their sins, and their iniquities will bear witness against them.

20  And when they cast up the accounts of their sins, they shall come with fear: and their own iniquities shall convince them to their face.

5:1  Then the just will stand with great steadfastness against those who have oppressed them and have taken away their labors.

Then shall the righteous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of his labours.

5:2  Seeing this, they will be troubled with terrible fear, and they will be amazed at the suddenness of unexpected salvation.

When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for.

5:3  Driven toward regret, and through the anguish of their groaning spirit, they will say within themselves: “These are the ones whom we held for some time in derision and in mocking reproach.

And they repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit shall say within themselves, This was he, whom we had sometimes in derision, and a proverb of reproach

5:4  We foolish considered their life to be madness, and their end to be without honor.

We fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without honour

5:5  How is it that they are counted among the sons of God, and their place is among the holy?

How is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints!

5:6  Therefore, we have strayed from the way of truth, and the light of justice has not shined on us, and the sun of understanding has not risen on us.

Therefore have we erred from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness hath not shined unto us, and the sun of righteousness rose not upon us.

5:7  We exhausted ourselves in the way of iniquity and perdition, and have walked a difficult way, while ignoring the way of the Lord.

We wearied ourselves in the way of wickedness and destruction: yea, we have gone through deserts, where there lay no way: but as for the way of the Lord, we have not known it.

5:8  How has arrogance benefited us? Or what has exalting in riches brought us?

What hath pride profited us? or what good hath riches with our vaunting brought us?

5:9  All those things have passed away like a shadow, and like a messenger traveling quickly by;

All those things are passed away like a shadow, and as a post that hasted by;

5:10  and like a ship passing over the waves of water, when it has gone by, its trace cannot be found, nor can the pathway of its keel in the waves;

10  And as a ship that passeth over the waves of the water, which when it is gone by, the trace thereof cannot be found, neither the pathway of the keel in the waves;

5:11  or, like a bird flying through the air, there is no evidence of her journey to be found, but there is hardly a sound as the beating of her wings lifts up the air and, by the force of her journey, divides the air she has flown across, which was disturbed by her wings, and afterwards there is no sign of her journey to be found;

11  Or as when a bird hath flown through the air, there is no token of her way to be found, but the light air being beaten with the stroke of her wings and parted with the violent noise and motion of them, is passed through, and therein afterwards no sign where she went is to be found;

5:12  or, like an arrow shot at a selected mark, the air continues to be divided and to be brought together again, so that its passing is unknown.

12  Or like as when an arrow is shot at a mark, it parteth the air, which immediately cometh together again, so that a man cannot know where it went through

5:13  And in like manner we, having been born, continuously cease to exist, and indeed, we depart with no sign of virtue to show, but we are consumed in our malice.”

13  Even so we in like manner, as soon as we were born, began to draw to our end, and had no sign of virtue to shew; but were consumed in our own wickedness.

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5:14  Such things those who sinned said in hell.