The Bible in Its Traditions

Wisdom 5:1–24

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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.

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.

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

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

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!

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.

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.

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?

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;

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;

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;

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

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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14  Such things those who sinned said in hell.

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15  For the hope of the impious is like feathers, which are blown away by the wind, and like a thin foam, which is dispersed by a storm, and like smoke, which is scattered by the wind, and like the memory of a guest who passes by one day.

15  For the hope of the ungodly is like dust that is blown away with the wind; like a thin froth that is driven away with the storm; like as the smoke which is dispersed here and there with a tempest, and passeth away as the remembrance of a guest that tarrieth but a day.

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16  But the just will live forever, and their reward is with the Lord, and the thought of them is with the Most High.

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17  Therefore, they will receive a beautiful kingdom and a crown of splendor from the hand of the Lord, for with his right hand he will cover them, and with his holy arm he will defend them.

17  Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord’s hand: for with his right hand shall he cover them, and with his arm shall he protect them.

18  And his zeal will take up arms, and he will equip his servants for retribution on their enemies.

18  He shall take to him his jealousy for complete armour, and make the creature his weapon for the revenge of his enemies.

19  He will put on justice as a breastplate, and he will grasp sure judgment as a helmet.

19  He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgement instead of an helmet.

20  He will select fairness as an invincible shield.

20  He shall take holiness for an invincible shield.

21  Yet he will sharpen his severe wrath into a spear, and he will fight with those of the world against the irrational.

21  His severe wrath shall he sharpen for a sword, and the world shall fight with him against the unwise.

22  Shafts of lightning will hurl forth accurately, and, as if from a well-curved bow of clouds, they will be expelled and will fly to the determined mark.

22  Then shall the right aiming thunderbolts go abroad; and from the clouds, as from a well drawn bow, shall they fly to the mark.

23  And hail will be cast like stones full of anger, and the water of the sea will rise up against them, and the rivers will charge forth harshly.

23  And hailstones full of wrath shall be cast as out of a stone bow, and the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the floods shall cruelly drown them.

24  The spirit of virtue will stand firm against them and like a whirlwind will divide them, and he will lead all the world of iniquity into a wasteland, and malice will overthrow the seats of power.

24  Yea, a mighty wind shall stand up against them, and like a storm shall blow them away: thus iniquity shall lay waste the whole earth, and ill dealing shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty.