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Wisdom - Chapter 11

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Wisdom Chapters

1 She made their actions successful, by means of a holy prophet.

2 They journeyed through an unpeopled desert and pitched their tents in inaccessible places.

3 They stood firm against their enemies, fought off their foes.

4 On you they called when they were thirsty, and from the rocky cliff water was given them, from hard stone a remedy for their thirst.

5 Thus, what had served to punish their enemies became a benefit for them in their difficulties.

6 Whereas their enemies had only the ever-flowing source of a river fouled with mingled blood and mud,

7 to punish them for their decree of infanticide, you gave your people, against all hope, water in abundance,

8 once you had shown by the thirst that they were experiencing how severely you were punishing their enemies.

9 From their own ordeals, which were only loving correction, they realised how an angry sentence was tormenting the godless;

10 for you had tested your own as a father admonishes, but the others you had punished as a pitiless king condemns,

11 and, whether far or near, they were equally afflicted.

12 For a double sorrow seized on them, and a groaning at the memory of the past;

13 when they learned that the punishments they were receiving were beneficial to the others, they realised it was the Lord,

14 while for the man whom long before they had exposed and later mockingly rebuffed, they felt only admiration when all was done, having suffered a thirst so different from that of the upright.

15 For their foolish and wicked notions which led them astray into worshipping mindless reptiles and contemptible beetles, you sent a horde of mindless animals to punish them

16 and to teach them that the agent of sin is the agent of punishment.

17 And indeed your all-powerful hand which created the world from formless matter, did not lack means to unleash a horde of bears or savage lions on them

18 or unknown beasts, newly created, full of rage, breathing out fire, or puffing out stinking smoke, or flashing fearful sparks from their eyes,

19 beasts able not only to destroy them, being so savage, but even to strike them dead by their terrifying appearance.

20 However, without these, one breath could have blown them over, pursued by Justice, whirled away by the breath of your power. You, however, ordered all things by measure, number and weight.

21 For your great power is always at your service, and who can withstand the might of your arm?

22 The whole world, for you, can no more than tip a balance, like a drop of morning dew falling on the ground.

23 Yet you are merciful to all, because you are almighty, you overlook people's sins, so that they can repent.

24 Yes, you love everything that exists, and nothing that you have made disgusts you, since, if you had hated something, you would not have made it.

25 And how could a thing subsist, had you not willed it? Or how be preserved, if not called forth by you?

26 No, you spare all, since all is yours, Lord, lover of life!


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