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WISDOM OF SOLOMON CHAPTERS 11-19
ΕΥΩΔΩΣΕ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν ἐν χειρὶ προφήτου ἁγίου.
2 διώδευσαν ἔρημον ἀοίκητον καὶ ἐν ἀβάτοις ἔπηξαν σκηνάς·
3 ἀντέστησαν πολεμίοις καὶ ἠμύναντο ἐχθρούς.
4 ἐδίψησαν καὶ ἐπεκαλέσαντό σε, καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς ἐκ πέτρας ἀκροτόμου ὕδωρ καὶ ἴαμα δίψης ἐκ λίθου σκληροῦ.
5 δι᾿ ὧν γὰρ ἐκολάσθησαν οἱ ἐχθροὶ αὐτῶν, διὰ τούτων αὐτοὶ ἀποροῦντες εὐεργετήθησαν.
6 ἀντὶ μὲν πηγῆς ἀεννάου ποταμοῦ αἵματι λυθρώδει ταραχθέντος
7 εἰς ἔλεγχον νηπιοκτόνου διατάγματος, ἔδωκας αὐτοῖς δαψιλὲς ὕδωρ ἀνελπίστως,
8 δείξας διὰ τοῦ τότε δίψους πῶς τοὺς ὑπεναντίους ἐκόλασας.
9 ὅτε γὰρ ἐπειράσθησαν, καί περ ἐν ἐλέει παιδευόμενοι, ἔγνωσαν πῶς ἐν ὀργῇ κρινόμενοι ἀσεβεῖς ἐβασανίζοντο·
10 τούτους μὲν γὰρ ὡς πατὴρ νουθετῶν ἐδοκίμασας, ἐκείνους δὲ ὡς ἀπότομος βασιλεὺς καταδικάζων ἐξήτασας.
11 καὶ ἀπόντες δὲ καὶ παρόντες ὁμοίως ἐτρύχοντο·
12 διπλῆ γὰρ αὐτοὺς ἔλαβε λύπη· καὶ στεναγμὸς μνημῶν τῶν παρελθόντων.
13 ὅτε γὰρ ἤκουσαν διὰ τῶν ἰδίων κολάσεων εὐεργετουμένους αὐτούς, ᾔσθοντο τοῦ Κυρίου·
14 ὃν γὰρ ἐν ἐκθέσει πάλαι ριφέντα ἀπεῖπον χλευάζοντες, ἐπὶ τέλει τῶν ἐκβάσεων ἐθαύμασαν, οὐχ ὅμοια δικαίοις διψήσαντες.
15 ἀντὶ δὲ λογισμῶν ἀσυνέτων ἀδικίας αὐτῶν, ἐν οἷς πλανηθέντες ἐθρήσκευον ἄλογα ἑρπετὰ καὶ κνώδαλα εὐτελῆ, ἐπαπέστειλας αὐτοῖς πλῆθος ἀλόγων ζώων εἰς ἐκδίκησιν,
16 ἵνα γνῶσιν ὅτι δι᾿ ὧν τις ἁμαρτάνει, διὰ τούτων κολάζεται.
17 οὐ γὰρ ἠπόρει ἡ παντοδύναμός σου χεὶρ καὶ κτίσασα τὸν κόσμον ἐξ ἀμόρφου ὕλης ἐπιπέμψαι αὐτοῖς πλῆθος ἄρκων ἢ θρασεῖς λέοντας
18 ἢ νεοκτίστους θυμοῦ πλήρεις θῆρας ἀγνώστους ἤτοι πυρπνόον φυσῶντας ἆσθμα ἢ βρόμους λικμωμένους καπνοῦ ἢ δεινοὺς ἀπ᾿ ὀμμάτων σπινθῆρας ἀστράπτοντας,
19 ὧν οὐ μόνον ἡ βλάβη ἠδύνατο συνεκτρῖψαι αὐτούς, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἡ ὄψις ἐκφοβήσασα διολέσαι.
20 καὶ χωρὶς δὲ τούτων, ἑνὶ πνεύματι πεσεῖν ἐδύναντο ὑπὸ τῆς δίκης διωχθέντες καὶ λικμηθέντες ὑπὸ πνεύματος δυνάμεώς σου· ἀλλὰ πάντα μέτρῳ καὶ ἀριθμῷ καὶ σταθμῷ διέταξας.
21 τὸ γὰρ μεγάλως ἰσχύειν πάρεστί σοι πάντοτε, καὶ κράτει βραχίονός σου τίς ἀντιστήσεται;
22 ὅτι ὡς ροπὴ ἐκ πλαστίγγων ὅλος ὁ κόσμος ἐναντίον σου καὶ ὡς ρανὶς δρόσου ὀρθρινὴ κατελθοῦσα ἐπὶ γῆν.
23 ἐλεεῖς δὲ πάντας, ὅτι πάντα δύνασαι, καὶ παρορᾷς ἁμαρτήματα ἀνθρώπων εἰς μετάνοιαν.
24 ἀγαπᾷς γὰρ τὰ ὄντα πάντα καὶ οὐδὲν βδελύσσῃ, ὧν ἐποίησας· οὐδὲ γὰρ ἂν μισῶν τι κατεσκεύασας.
25 πῶς δὲ ἔμεινεν ἄν τι, εἰ μὴ σὺ ἠθέλησας ἢ τὸ μὴ κληθὲν ὑπὸ σοῦ διετηρήθη;
26 φείδῃ δὲ πάντων, ὅτι σά ἐστι, δέσποτα φιλόψυχε.
ΤΟ γὰρ ἄφθαρτόν σου πνεῦμά ἐστιν ἐν πᾶσι.
2 διὸ τοὺς παραπίπτοντας κατ᾿ ὀλίγον ἐλέγχεις καὶ ἐν οἷς ἁμαρτάνουσιν ὑπομιμνήσκων νουθετεῖς, ἵνα ἀπαλλαγέντες τῆς κακίας πιστεύσωσιν ἐπὶ σέ, Κύριε.
3 καὶ γὰρ τοὺς παλαιοὺς οἰκήτορας τῆς ἁγίας σου γῆς μισήσας
4 ἐπὶ τῷ ἔχθιστα πράσσειν ἔργα φαρμακειῶν καὶ τελετὰς ἀνοσίους
5 τέκνων τε φονέας ἀνελεήμονας καὶ σπλαγχνοφάγων ἀνθρωπίνων σαρκῶν θοῖναν καὶ αἵματος, ἐκ μέσου μύστας θιάσου
6 καὶ αὐθέντας γονεῖς ψυχῶν ἀβοηθήτων, ἐβουλήθης ἀπολέσαι διὰ χειρῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν,
7 ἵνα ἀξίαν ἀποικίαν δέξηται Θεοῦ παίδων ἡ παρὰ σοὶ πασῶν τιμιωτάτη γῆ.
8 ἀλλὰ καὶ τούτων ὡς ἀνθρώπων ἐφείσω ἀπέστειλάς τε προδρόμους τοῦ στρατοπέδου σου σφῆκας, ἵνα αὐτοὺς κατὰ βραχὺ ἐξολοθρεύσωσιν.
9 οὐκ ἀδυνατῶν ἐν παρατάξει ἀσεβεῖς δικαίοις ὑποχειρίους δοῦναι ἢ θηρίοις δεινοῖς ἢ λόγῳ ἀποτόμῳ ὑφ᾿ ἓν ἐκτρῖψαι,
10 κρίνων δὲ κατὰ βραχὺ ἐδίδους τόπον μετανοίας, οὐκ ἀγνοῶν ὅτι πονηρὰ ἡ γένεσις αὐτῶν καὶ ἔμφυτος ἡ κακία αὐτῶν καὶ ὅτι οὐ μὴ ἀλλαγῇ ὁ λογισμὸς αὐτῶν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.
11 σπέρμα γὰρ ἦν κατηραμένον ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς, οὐδὲ εὐλαβούμενός τινα ἐφ᾿ οἷς ἡμάρτανον ἄδειαν ἐδίδους.
12 τίς γὰρ ἐρεῖ· τί ἐποίησας; ἢ τίς ἀντιστήσεται τῷ κρίματί σου; τίς δὲ ἐγκαλέσει σοι κατὰ ἐθνῶν ἀπολωλότων, ἃ σὺ ἐποίησας; ἢ τίς εἰς κατάστασίν σοι ἐλεύσεται ἔκδικος κατὰ ἀδίκων ἀνθρώπων;
13 οὔτε γὰρ Θεός ἐστι πλὴν σοῦ, ᾧ μέλει περὶ πάντων, ἵνα δείξῃς ὅτι οὐκ ἀδίκως ἔκρινας,
14 οὔτε βασιλεὺς ἢ τύραννος ἀντοφθαλμῆσαι δυνήσεταί σοι περὶ ὧν ἐκόλασας.
15 δίκαιος δὲ ὢν δικαίως τὰ πάντα διέπεις, αὐτὸν τὸν μὴ ὀφείλοντα κολασθῆναι καταδικάσαι ἀλλότριον ἡγούμενος τῆς σῆς δυνάμεως.
16 ἡ γὰρ ἰσχύς σου δικαιοσύνης ἀρχή, καὶ τὸ πάντων σε δεσπόζειν πάντων φείδεσθαι ποιεῖ.
17 ἰσχὺν γὰρ ἐνδείκνυσαι ἀπιστούμενος ἐπὶ δυνάμεως τελειότητι καὶ ἐν τοῖς εἰδόσι τὸ θράσος ἐξελέγχεις.
18 σὺ δὲ δεσπόζων ἰσχύος ἐν ἐπιεικείᾳ κρίνεις καὶ μετὰ πολλῆς φειδοῦς διοικεῖς ἡμᾶς· πάρεστι γάρ σοι, ὅταν θέλῃς, τὸ δύνασθαι.
19 ᾿Εδίδαξας δέ σου τὸν λαὸν διά τῶν τοιούτων ἔργων, ὅτι δεῖ τὸν δίκαιον εἶναι φιλάνθρωπον· καὶ εὐέλπιδας ἐποίησας τοὺς υἱούς σου ὅτι δίδως ἐπὶ ἁμαρτήμασι μετάνοιαν.
20 εἰ γὰρ ἐχθροὺς παίδων σου καὶ ὀφειλομένους θανάτῳ μετὰ τοσαύτης ἐτιμώρησας προσοχῆς καὶ διέσεως, δοὺς χρόνους καὶ τόπον, δι᾿ ὧν ἀπαλλαγῶσι τῆς κακίας,
21 μετὰ πόσης ἀκριβείας ἔκρινας τοὺς υἱούς σου, ὧν τοῖς πατράσιν ὅρκους καὶ συνθήκας ἔδωκας ἀγαθῶν ὑποσχέσεων;
22 ῾Ημᾶς οὖν παιδεύων τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ἡμῶν ἐν μυριότητι μαστιγοῖς, ἵνα σου τὴν ἀγαθότητα μεριμνῶμεν κρίνοντες, κρινόμενοι δὲ προσδοκῶμεν ἔλεος.
23 ὅθεν καὶ τοὺς ἐν ἀφροσύνῃ ζωῆς βιώσαντας ἀδίκους διὰ τῶν ἰδίων ἐβασάνισας βδελυγμάτων·
24 καὶ γὰρ τῶν πλάνης ὁδῶν μακρότερον ἐπλανήθησαν, θεοὺς ὑπολαμβάνοντες τὰ καὶ ἐν ζῴοις τῶν ἐχθρῶν ἄτιμα, νηπίων δίκην ἀφρόνων ψευσθέντες.
25 διὰ τοῦτο ὡς παισὶν ἀλογίστοις τὴν κρίσιν εἰς ἐμπαιγμὸν ἔπεμψας.
26 οἱ δὲ παιγνίοις ἐπιτιμήσεως μὴ νουθετηθέντες ἀξίαν Θεοῦ κρίσιν πειράσουσιν.
27 ἐφ᾿ οἷς γὰρ αὐτοὶ πάσχοντες ἠγανάκτουν, ἐπὶ τούτοις, οὓς ἐδόκουν θεούς, ἐν αὐτοῖς κολαζόμενοι, ἰδόντες ὃν πάλαι ἠρνοῦντο εἰδέναι Θεὸν ἐπέγνωσαν ἀληθῆ· διὸ καὶ τὸ τέρμα τῆς καταδίκης ἐπ᾿ αὐτοὺς ἐπῆλθεν.
ΜΑΤΑΙΟΙ μὲν γὰρ πάντες ἄνθρωποι φύσει, οἷς παρῆν Θεοῦ ἀγνωσία καὶ ἐκ τῶν ὁρωμένων ἀγαθῶν οὐκ ἴσχυσαν εἰδέναι τὸν ὄντα οὔτε τοῖς ἔργοις προσχόντες ἐπέγνωσαν τὸν τεχνίτην·
2 ἀλλ᾿ ἢ πῦρ ἢ πνεῦμα ἢ ταχινὸν ἀέρα ἢ κύκλον ἄστρων ἢ βίαιον ὕδωρ ἢ φωστῆρας οὐρανοῦ πρυτάνεις κόσμου θεοὺς ἐνόμισαν.
3 ὧν εἰ μὲν τῇ καλλονῇ τερπόμενοι ταῦτα θεοὺς ὑπελάμβανον, γνώτωσαν πόσῳ τούτων ὁ δεσπότης ἐστὶ βελτίων, ὁ γὰρ τοῦ κάλλους γενεσιάρχης ἔκτισεν αὐτά·
4 εἰ δὲ δύναμιν καὶ ἐνέργειαν ἐκπλαγέντες νοησάτωσαν ἀπ᾿ αὐτῶν πόσῳ ὁ κατασκευάσας αὐτὰ δυνατώτερός ἐστιν·
5 ἐκ γὰρ μεγέθους καλλονῆς κτισμάτων ἀναλόγως ὁ γενεσιουργὸς αὐτῶν θεωρεῖται.
6 ἀλλ᾿ ὅμως ἐπὶ τούτοις ἔστι μέμψις ὀλίγη, καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ τάχα πλανῶνται Θεὸν ζητοῦντες καὶ θέλοντες εὑρεῖν·
7 ἐν γὰρ τοῖς ἔργοις αὐτοῦ ἀναστρεφόμενοι διερευνῶσι καὶ πείθονται τῇ ὄψει, ὅτι καλὰ τὰ βλεπόμενα.
8 πάλιν δὲ οὐδ᾿ αὐτοὶ συγγνωστοί·
9 εἰ γὰρ τοσοῦτον ἴσχυσαν εἰδέναι, ἵνα δύνωνται στοχάσασθαι τὸν αἰῶνα, τὸν τούτων δεσπότην πῶς τάχιον οὐχ εὗρον;
10 Ταλαίπωροι δὲ καὶ ἐν νεκροῖς αἱ ἐλπίδες αὐτῶν, οἵτινες ἐκάλεσαν θεοὺς ἔργα χειρῶν ἀνθρώπων, χρυσὸν καὶ ἄργυρον τέχνης ἐμμελέτημα καὶ ἀπεικάσματα ζῴων ἢ λίθον ἄχρηστον χειρὸς ἔργον ἀρχαίας.
11 εἰ δὲ καί τις ὑλοτόμος τέκνων εὐκίνητον φυτὸν ἐκπρίσας περιέξυσεν εὐμαθῶς πάντα τὸν φλοιὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ τεχνησάμενος εὐπρεπῶς κατεσκεύασε χρήσιμον σκεῦος εἰς ὑπηρεσίαν ζωῆς,
12 τὰ δὲ ἀποβλήματα τῆς ἐργασίας εἰς ἑτοιμασίαν τροφῆς ἀναλώσας ἐνεπλήσθη·
13 τὸ δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀπόβλημα εἰς οὐθὲν εὔχρηστον, ξύλον σκολιὸν καὶ ὄζοις συμπεφηκός, λαβὼν ἔγλυψεν ἐν ἐπιμελείᾳ ἀργίας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐμπειρίᾳ συνέσεως ἐτύπωσεν αὐτό, ἀπείκασεν αὐτὸ εἰκόνι ἀνθρώπου
14 ἢ ζῴῳ τινὶ εὐτελεῖ ὡμοίωσεν αὐτό, καταχρίσας μίλτῳ καὶ φύκει ἐρυθήνας χρόαν αὐτοῦ, καὶ πᾶσαν κηλῖδα τὴν ἐν αὐτῷ καταχρίσας
15 καὶ ποιήσας αὐτῷ αὐτοῦ ἄξιον οἴκημα, ἐν τοίχῳ ἔθηκεν αὐτὸ ἀσφαλισάμενος σιδήρῳ.
16 ἵνα μὲν οὖν μὴ καταπέσῃ, προενόησεν αὐτοῦ εἰδὼς ὅτι ἀδυνατεῖ ἑαυτῷ βοηθῆσαι· καὶ γάρ ἐστιν εἰκὼν καὶ χρείαν ἔχει βοηθείας.
17 περὶ δὲ κτημάτων καὶ γάμων αὐτοῦ καὶ τέκνων προσευχόμενος, οὐκ αἰσχύνεται τῷ ἀψύχῳ προσλαλῶν καὶ περὶ μὲν ὑγιείας τὸ ἀσθενὲς ἐπικαλεῖται,
18 περὶ δὲ ζωῆς τὸν νεκρὸν ἀξιοῖ, περὶ δὲ ἐπικουρίας τὸ ἀπειρότατον ἱκετεύει, περὶ δὲ ὁδοιπορίας τὸ μηδὲ βάσει χρῆσθαι δυνάμενον,
19 περὶ δὲ πορισμοῦ καὶ ἐργασίας καὶ χειρῶν ἐπιτυχίας τὸ ἀδρανέστατον ταῖς χερσὶν εὐδράνειαν αἰτεῖται.
Πλοῦν τις πάλιν στελλόμενος καὶ ἄγρια μέλλων διοδεύειν κύματα, τοῦ φέροντος αὐτὸν πλοίου σαθρότερον ξύλον ἐπιβοᾶται.
2 ἐκεῖνο μὲν γὰρ ὄρεξις πορισμῶν ἐπενόησε, τεχνῖτις δὲ σοφίᾳ κατεσκεύασεν·
3 ἡ δὲ σή, πάτερ, διακυβερνᾷ πρόνοια, ὅτι ἔδωκας καὶ ἐν θαλάσσῃ ὁδὸν καὶ ἐν κύμασι τρίβον ἀσφαλῆ,
4 δεικνὺς ὅτι δύνασαι ἐκ παντὸς σώζειν, ἵνα κἂν ἄνευ τέχνης τις ἐπιβῇ.
5 θέλεις δὲ μή ἀργὰ εἶναι τὰ τῆς σοφίας σου ἔργα, διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἐλαχίστῳ ξύλῳ πιστεύουσιν ἄνθρωποι ψυχὰς καὶ διελθόντες κλύδωνα σχεδίᾳ διεσώθησαν.
6 καὶ ἀρχῆς γὰρ ἀπολλυμένων ὑπερηφάνων γιγάντων, ἡ ἐλπὶς τοῦ κόσμου ἐπὶ σχεδίας καταφυγοῦσα ἀπέλιπεν αἰῶνι σπέρμα γενέσεως τῇ σῇ κυβερνηθεῖσα χειρί.
7 εὐλόγηται γὰρ ξύλον, δι᾿ οὗ γίνεται δικαιοσύνη·
8 τὸ χειροποίητον δέ, ἐπικατάρατον αὐτὸν καὶ ὁ ποιήσας αὐτό, ὅτι ὁ μὲν εἰργάζετο, τὸ δὲ φθαρτὸν θεὸς ὠνομάσθη.
9 ἐν ἴσῳ γὰρ μισητὰ Θεῷ καὶ ὁ ἀσεβῶν καὶ ἡ ἀσέβεια αὐτοῦ·
10 καὶ γὰρ τὸ πραχθὲν σὺν τῷ δράσαντι κολασθήσεται.
11 διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἐν εἰδώλοις ἐθνῶν ἐπισκοπὴ ἔσται, ὅτι ἐν κτίσματι Θεοῦ εἰς βδέλυγμα ἐγενήθησαν καὶ εἰς σκάνδαλα ψυχαῖς ἀνθρώπων καὶ εἰς παγίδα ποσὶν ἀφρόνων.
12 ᾿Αρχὴ γὰρ πορνείας ἐπίνοια εἰδώλων, εὕρεσις δὲ αὐτῶν φθορὰ ζωῆς.
13 οὔτε γὰρ ἦν ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς, οὔτε εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἔσται·
14 κενοδοξίᾳ γὰρ ἀνθρώπων εἰσῆλθεν εἰς κόσμον, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο σύντομον αὐτῶν τέλος ἐπενοήθη.
15 ἀώρῳ γὰρ πένθει τρυχόμενος πατήρ, τοῦ ταχέως ἀφαιρεθέντος τέκνου εἰκόνα ποιήσας, τὸν τότε νεκρὸν ἄνθρωπον νῦν ὡς Θεὸν ἐτίμησε καὶ παρέδωκε τοῖς ὑποχειρίοις μυστήρια καὶ τελετάς.
16 εἶτα ἐν χρόνῳ κρατυνθὲν τὸ ἀσεβὲς ἔθος ὡς νόμος ἐφυλάχθη, καὶ τυράννων ἐπιταγαῖς ἐθρησκεύετο τὰ γλυπτά,
17 οὓς ἐν ὄψει μὴ δυνάμενοι τιμᾶν ἄνθρωποι διὰ τὸ μακρὰν οἰκεῖν, τὴν πόρρωθεν ὄψιν ἀνατυπωσάμενοι, ἐμφανῆ εἰκόνα τοῦ τιμωμένου βασιλέως ἐποίησαν, ἵνα τὸν ἀπόντα ὡς παρόντα κολακεύωσι διὰ τῆς σπουδῆς.
18 εἰς ἐπίτασιν δὲ θρησκείας καὶ τοὺς ἀγνοοῦντας ἡ τοῦ τεχνίτου προετρέψατο φιλοτιμία·
19 ὁ μὲν γὰρ τάχα τῷ κρατοῦντι βουλόμενος ἀρέσαι, ἐξεβιάσατο τῇ τέχνῃ τὴν ὁμοιότητα ἐπὶ τὸ κάλλιον·
20 τὸ δὲ πλῆθος ἐφελκόμενον διὰ τὸ εὔχαρι τῆς ἐργασίας, τὸν πρὸ ὀλίγου τιμηθέντα ἄνθρωπον νῦν σέβασμα ἐλογίσαντο.
21 καὶ τοῦτο ἐγένετο τῷ βίῳ εἰς ἔνεδρον, ὅτι ἢ συμφορᾷ ἢ τυραννίδι δουλεύσαντες ἄνθρωποι τὸ ἀκοινώνητον ὄνομα λίθοις καὶ ξύλοις περιέθεσαν.
22 Εἶτ᾿ οὐκ ἤρκεσε τὸ πλανᾶσθαι περὶ τὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ γνῶσιν, ἀλλὰ καὶ μεγάλῳ ζῶντες ἀγνοίας πολέμῳ τὰ τοσαῦτα κακὰ εἰρήνην προσαγορεύουσιν.
23 ἢ γὰρ τεκνοφόνους τελετὰς ἢ κρύφια μυστήρια ἢ ἐμμανεῖς ἐξ ἄλλων θεσμῶν κώμους ἄγοντες,
24 οὔτε βίους οὔτε γάμους καθαροὺς ἔτι φυλάσσουσιν, ἕτερος δ᾿ ἕτερον ἢ λοχῶν ἀναιρεῖ ἢ νοθεύων ὀδυνᾷ.
25 πάντας δ᾿ ἐπιμὶξ ἔχει αἷμα καὶ φόνος, κλοπὴ καὶ δόλος, φθορά, ἀπιστία, ταραχή, ἐπιορκία,
26 θόρυβος ἀγαθῶν, χάριτος ἀμνησία, ψυχῶν μιασμός, γενέσεως ἐναλλαγή, γάμων ἀταξία, μοιχεία καὶ ἀσέλγεια.
27 ἡ γὰρ τῶν ἀνωνύμων εἰδώλων θρησκεία παντὸς ἀρχὴ κακοῦ καὶ αἰτία καὶ πέρας ἐστίν·
28 ἢ γὰρ εὐφραινόμενοι μεμήνασιν ἢ προφητεύουσι ψευδῆ ἢ ζῶσιν ἀδίκως ἢ ἐπιορκοῦσι ταχέως·
29 ἀψύχοις γὰρ πεποιθότες εἰδώλοις κακῶς ὀμόσαντες, ἀδικηθῆναι οὐ προσδέχονται.
30 ἀμφότερα δὲ αὐτοὺς μετελεύσεται τὰ δίκαια, ὅτι κακῶς ἐφρόνησαν περὶ Θεοῦ προσχόντες εἰδώλοις καὶ ἀδίκως ὤμοσαν ἐν δόλῳ καταφρονήσαντες ὁσιότητος·
31 οὐ γὰρ ἡ τῶν ὀμνυομένων δύναμις, ἀλλ᾿ ἡ τῶν ἁμαρτανόντων δίκη ἐπεξέρχεται ἀεὶ τὴν τῶν ἀδίκων παράβασιν.
ΣΥ δὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν χρηστὸς καὶ ἀληθής, μακρόθυμος καὶ ἐν ἐλέει διοικῶν τὰ πάντα.
2 καὶ γὰρ ἐὰν ἁμάρτωμεν, σοί ἐσμεν, εἰδότες σου τὸ κράτος· οὐχ ἁμαρτησόμεθα δέ, εἰδότες ὅτι σοὶ λελογίσμεθα.
3 τὸ γὰρ ἐπίστασθαί σε ὁλόκληρος δικαιοσύνη, καὶ εἰδέναι τὸ κράτος σου ρίζα ἀθανασίας.
4 οὔτε γὰρ ἐπλάνησεν ἡμᾶς ἀνθρώπων κακότεχνος ἐπίνοια, οὐδὲ σκιαγράφων πόνος ἄκαρπος, εἶδος σπιλωθὲν χρώμασι διηλλαγμένοις,
5 ὧν ὄψις ἄφροσιν εἰς ὄνειδος ἔρχεται, ποθεῖ τε νεκρᾶς εἰκόνος εἶδος ἄπνουν.
6 κακῶν ἐρασταὶ ἄξιοί τε τοιούτων ἐλπίδων, καὶ οἱ δρῶντες καὶ οἱ ποθοῦντες καὶ οἱ σεβόμενοι.
7 Καὶ γὰρ κεραμεὺς ἁπαλὴν γῆν θλίβων ἐπίμοχθον πλάσσει πρὸς ὑπηρεσίαν ἡμῶν ἓν ἕκαστον· ἀλλ᾿ ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ πηλοῦ ἀνεπλάσατο τά τε τῶν καθαρῶν ἔργων δοῦλα σκεύη τά τε ἐναντία, πάνθ᾿ ὁμοίως· τούτων δὲ ἑκατέρου τίς ἑκάστῳ ἐστὶν ἡ χρῆσις, κριτὴς ὁ πηλουργός·
8 καὶ κακόμοχθος θεὸν μάταιον ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ πλάσσει πηλοῦ, ὃς πρὸ μικροῦ γῆς γεννηθεὶς μετ᾿ ὀλίγον πορεύεται ἐξ ἧς ἐλήφθη, τὸ τῆς ψυχῆς ἀπαιτηθεὶς χρέος.
9 ἀλλ᾿ ἔστιν αὐτῷ φροντὶς οὐχ ὅτι μέλλει κάμνειν, ἀλλ᾿ ὅτι βραχυτελῆ βίον ἔχει, ἀλλ᾿ ἀντερείδεται μέν χρυσουργοῖς καὶ ἀργυροχόοις, χαλκοπλάστας τε μιμεῖται καὶ δόξαν ἡγεῖται ὅτι κίβδηλα πλάσσει.
10 σποδὸς ἡ καρδία αὐτοῦ, καὶ γῆς εὐτελεστέρα ἡ ἐλπὶς αὐτοῦ, πηλοῦ τε ἀτιμότερος ὁ βίος αὐτοῦ,
11 ὅτι ἠγνόησε τὸν πλάσαντα αὐτὸν καὶ τὸν ἐμπνεύσαντα αὐτῷ ψυχὴν ἐνεργοῦσαν καὶ ἐμφυσήσαντα πνεῦμα ζωτικόν·
12 ἀλλ᾿ ἐλογίσαντο παίγνιον εἶναι τὴν ζωὴν ἡμῶν καὶ τὸν βίον πανηγυρισμὸν ἐπικερδῆ· δεῖν γάρ φησιν ὅθεν δή, κἂν ἐκ κακοῦ, πορίζειν.
13 οὗτος γὰρ παρὰ πάντας οἶδεν ὅτι ἁμαρτάνει, ὕλης γεώδους εὔθραυστα σκεύη καὶ γλυπτὰ δημιουργῶν.
14 πάντες δ᾿ ἀφρονέστατοι καὶ τάλαντες ὑπὲρ ψυχὴν νηπίου οἱ ἐχθροὶ τοῦ λαοῦ σου καταδυναστεύσαντες αὐτόν,
15 ὅτι καὶ πάντα εἴδωλα τῶν ἐθνῶν ἐλογίσαντο θεούς, οἷς οὔτε ὀμμάτων χρῆσις εἰς ὅρασιν οὔτε ρῖνες εἰς συνολκὴν ἀέρος οὔτε ὦτα ἀκούειν οὔτε δάκτυλοι χειρῶν εἰς ψηλάφησιν, καὶ οἱ πόδες αὐτῶν ἀργοὶ πρὸς ἐπίβασιν.
16 ἄθρωπος γὰρ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς, καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα δεδανεισμένος ἔπλασεν αὐτούς· οὐδεὶς γὰρ αὐτῷ ὅμοιον ἄνθρωπος ἰσχύει πλάσαι Θεόν.
17 θνητὸς δὲ ὢν νεκρὸν ἐργάζεται χερσὶν ἀνόμοις· κρείττων γάρ ἐστι τῶν σεβασμάτων αὐτοῦ, ὧν αὐτὸς μὲν ἔζησεν, ἐκεῖνα δὲ οὐδέποτε.
18 καὶ τὰ ζῷα δὲ τὰ ἔχθιστα σέβονται· ἀνοίᾳ γὰρ συγκρινόμενα τῶν ἄλλων ἐστὶ χείρονα·
19 οὐδ᾿ ὅσον ἐπιποθῆσαι ὡς ἐν ζῴων ὄψει καλὰ τυγχάνει, ἐκπέφευγε δὲ καὶ τὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἔπαινον καὶ τὴν εὐλογίαν αὐτοῦ.
ΔΙΑ τοῦτο δ᾿ ὁμοίων ἐκολάσθησαν ἀξίως καὶ διὰ πλήθους κνωδάλων ἐβασανίσθησαν.
2 ἀνθ᾿ ἧς κολάσεως εὐεργετήσας τὸν λαόν σου, εἰς ἐπιθυμίαν ὀρέξεως ξένην γεῦσιν, τροφὴν ἡτοίμασας ὀρτυγομήτραν,
3 ἵνα ἐκεῖνοι μὲν ἐπιθυμοῦντες τροφὴν διὰ τὴν εἰδέ χθειαν τῶν ἐπαπεσταλμένων καὶ τὴν ἀναγκαίαν ὄρεξιν ἀποστρέφωνται, αὐτοὶ δὲ ἐπ᾿ ὀλίγον ἐνδεεῖς γενόμενοι καὶ ξένης μετάσχωσι γεύσεως.
4 ἔδει γὰρ ἐκείνοις μὲν ἀπαραίτητον ἔνδειαν ἐπελθεῖν τυραννοῦσι, τούτοις δὲ μόνον δειχθῆναι πῶς οἱ ἐχθροὶ αὐτῶν ἐβασανίζοντο.
5 Καὶ γὰρ ὅτε αὐτοῖς δεινὸς ἐπῆλθε θηρίων θυμὸς δήγμασί τε σκολιῶν διεφθείροντο ὄφεων, οὐ μέχρι τέλους ἔμεινεν ἡ ὀργή σου·
6 εἰς νουθεσίαν δὲ πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐταράχθησαν, σύμβουλον ἔχοντες σωτηρίας εἰς ἀνάμνησιν ἐντολῆς νόμου σου·
7 ὁ γὰρ ἐπιστραφεὶς οὐ διὰ τὸ θεωρούμενον ἐσώζετο, ἀλλὰ διὰ σὲ τὸν πάντων σωτῆρα.
8 καὶ ἐν τούτῳ δὲ ἔπεισας τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ἡμῶν, ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ ρυόμενος ἐκ παντὸς κακοῦ·
9 οὓς μὲν γαρ ἀκρίδων καὶ μυιῶν ἀπέκτεινε δήγματα, καὶ οὐχ εὑρέθη ἴαμα τῇ ψυχῇ αὐτῶν, ὅτι ἄξιοι ἦσαν ὑπὸ τοιούτων κολασθῆναι·
10 τοὺς δὲ υἱούς σου οὐδὲ ἰοβόλων δρακόντων ἐνίκησαν ὀδόντες, τὸ ἔλεος γάρ σου ἀντιπαρῆλθε καὶ ἰάσατο αὐτούς.
11 εἰς γὰρ ὑπόμνησιν τῶν λογίων σου ἐνεκεντρίζοντο καὶ ὀξέως διεσώζοντο, ἵνα μὴ εἰς βαθεῖαν ἐμπεσόντες λήθην ἀπερίσπαστοι γένωνται τῆς σῆς εὐεργεσίας.
12 καὶ γὰρ οὔτε βοτάνη οὔτε μάλαγμα ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς, ἀλλὰ ὁ σός, Κύριε, λόγος ὁ πάντα ἱώμενος.
13 σὺ γὰρ ζωῆς καὶ θανάτου ἐξουσίαν ἔχεις καὶ κατάγεις εἰς πύλας ᾅδου καὶ ἀνάγεις.
14 ἄνθρωπος δὲ ἀποκτέννει μὲν τῇ κακίᾳ αὐτοῦ, ἐξελθὸν δὲ πνεῦμα οὐκ ἀναστρέφει οὐδὲ ἀναλύει ψυχὴν παραληφθεῖσαν.
15 Τὴν δὲ σὴν χεῖρα φυγεῖν ἀδύνατόν ἐστιν·
16 ἀρνούμενοι γάρ σε εἰδέναι ἀσεβεῖς, ἐν ἰσχύϊ βραχίονός σου ἐμαστιγώθησαν, ξένοις ὑετοῖς καὶ χαλάζαις καὶ ὄμβροις διωκόμενοι ἀπαραιτήτοις καὶ πυρὶ καταναλισκόμενοι.
17 τὸ γὰρ παραδοξότατον, ἐν τῷ πάντα σβεννύντι ὕδατι πλεῖον ἐνήργει τὸ πῦρ, ὑπέρμαχος γὰρ ὁ κόσμος ἐστὶ δικαίων·
18 ποτὲ μὲν γὰρ ἡμεροῦτο φλόξ, ἵνα μὴ καταφλέξῃ τὰ ἐπ᾿ ἀσεβεῖς ἀπεσταλμένα ζῷα, ἀλλ᾿ αὐτοὶ βλέποντες ἴδωσιν, ὅτι Θεοῦ κρίσει ἐλαύνονται·
19 ποτὲ δὲ καὶ μεταξὺ ὕδατος ὑπὲρ τὴν πυρὸς δύναμιν φλέγει, ἵνα ἀδίκου γῆς γεννήματα διαφθείρῃ.
20 ἀνθ᾿ ὧν ἀγγέλων τροφὴν ἐψώμισας τὸν λαόν σου καὶ ἕτοιμον ἄρτον αὐτοῖς ἀπ᾿ οὐρανοῦ ἔπεμψας ἀκοπιάτως πᾶσαν ἡδονὴν ἰσχύοντα καὶ πρὸς πᾶσαν ἁρμόνιον γεῦσιν·
21 ἡ μὲν γὰρ ὑπόστασίς σου τὴν σὴν γλυκύτητα πρὸς τέκνα ἐνεφάνισε, τῇ δὲ τοῦ προσφερομένου ἐπιθυμίᾳ ὑπηρετῶν πρὸς ὅ τις ἐβούλετο μετεκιρνᾶτο.
22 χιὼν δὲ καὶ κρύσταλλος ὑπέμεινε πῦρ καὶ οὐκ ἐτήκετο, ἵνα γνῶσιν ὅτι τοὺς τῶν ἐχθρῶν καρποὺς κατέφθειρε πῦρ φλεγόμενον ἐν τῇ χαλάζῃ καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὑετοῖς διαστράπτον·
23 τοῦτο πάλιν δ᾿ ἵνα τραφῶσι δίκαιοι, καὶ τῆς ἰδίας ἐπιλελῆσθαι δυνάμεως.
24 ἡ γὰρ κτίσις σοι τῷ ποιήσαντι ὑπηρετοῦσα ἐπιτείνεται εἰς κόλασιν κατὰ τῶν ἀδίκων καὶ ἀνίεται εἰς εὐεργεσίαν ὑπὲρ τῶν εἰς σὲ πεποιθότων.
25 διὰ τοῦτο καὶ τότε εἰς πάντα μεταλλευομένη τῇ παντοτρόφῳ σου δωρεᾷ ὑπηρέτει πρὸς τὴν τῶν δεομένων θέλησιν,
26 ἵνα μάθωσιν οἱ υἱοί σου, οὓς ἠγάπησας, Κύριε, ὅτι οὐχ αἱ γενέσεις τῶν καρπῶν τρέφουσιν ἄνθρωπον, ἀλλὰ τὸ ρῆμά σου τοὺς σοὶ πιστεύοντας διατηρεῖ.
27 τὸ γὰρ ὑπὸ πυρὸς μὴ φθειρόμενον ἁπλῶς ὑπὸ βραχείας ἀκτῖνος ἡλίου θερμαινόμενον ἐτήκετο,
28 ὅπως γνωστὸν ᾖ ὅτι δεῖ φθάνειν τὸν ἥλιον ἐπ᾿ εὐχαριστίαν σου καὶ πρὸς ἀνατολὴν φωτὸς ἐντυγχάνειν σοι.
29 ἀχαρίστου γὰρ ἐλπὶς ὡς χειμέριος πάχνη τακήσεται καὶ ρυήσεται ὡς ὕδωρ ἄχρηστον.
ΜΕΓΑΛΑΙ γάρ σου αἱ κρίσεις καὶ δυσδιήγητοι· διὰ τοῦτο ἀπαίδευτοι ψυχαὶ ἐπλανήθησαν.
2 ὑπειληφότες γὰρ καταδυναστεύειν ἔθνος ἅγιον ἄνομοι, δέσμιοι σκότους καὶ μακρᾶς πεδῆται νυκτὸς κατακλεισθέντες ὀρόφοις, φυγάδες τῆς αἰωνίου προνοίας ἔκειντο.
3 λανθάνειν γὰρ νομίζοντες ἐπὶ κρυφαίοις ἁμαρτήμασιν, ἀφεγγεῖ λήθης παρακαλύμματι ἐσκορπίσθησαν, θαμβούμενοι δεινῶς καὶ ἰνδάλμασιν ἐκταρασσόμενοι·
4 οὐδὲ γὰρ ὁ κατέχων αὐτοὺς μυχὸς ἀφόβως διεφύλασσεν, ἦχοι δὲ καταράσσοντες αὐτοὺς περιεκόμπουν, καὶ φάσματα ἀμειδήτοις κατηφῆ προσώποις ἐνεφανίζετο.
5 καὶ πυρὸς μὲν οὐδεμία βία κατίσχυε φωτίζειν, οὔτε ἄστρων ἔκλαμπροι φλόγες καταυγάζειν ὑπέμενον τὴν στυγνὴν ἐκείνην νύκτα.
6 διεφαίνετο δ᾿ αὐτοῖς μόνον αὐτομάτη πυρὰ φόβου πλήρης, ἐκδειματούμενοι δὲ τῆς μὴ θεωρουμένης ἐκείνης ὄψεως ἡγοῦντο χείρω τὰ βλεπόμενα.
7 μαγικῆς δὲ ἐμπαίγματα κατέκειτο τέχνης, καὶ τῆς ἐπί φρονήσει ἀλαζονείας ἔλεγχος ἐφύβριστος·
8 οἱ γὰρ ὑπισχνούμενοι δείματα καὶ ταραχὰς ἀπελαύνειν ψυχῆς νοσούσης, οὗτοι καταγέλαστον εὐλάβειαν ἐνόσουν.
9 καὶ γὰρ εἰ μηδὲν αὐτοὺς ταραχῶδες ἐφόβει, κνωδάλων παρόδοις καὶ ἑρπετῶν συριγμοῖς ἐκσεσοβημένοι, διώλλυντο ἔντρομοι καὶ τὸν μηθαμόθεν φευκτὸν ἀέρα προσιδεῖν ἀρνούμενοι.
10 δειλὸν γὰρ ἰδίως πονηρία μαρτυρεῖ καταδικαζομένη, ἀεὶ δὲ προσείληφε τὰ χαλεπὰ συνεχομένη τῇ συνειδήσει·
11 οὐθὲν γάρ ἐστι φόβος εἰ μὴ προδοσία τῶν ἀπὸ λογισμοῦ βοηθημάτων.
12 ἔνδοθεν δὲ οὖσα ἥττων ἡ προσδοκία, πλείονα λογίζεται τὴν ἄγνοιαν τῆς παρεχούσης τὴν βάσανον αἰτίας.
13 οἱ δὲ τὴν ἀδύνατον ὄντως νύκτα καὶ ἐξ ἀδυνάτου ᾅδου μυχῶν ἐπελθοῦσαν, τὸν αὐτὸν ὕπνον κοιμώμενοι,
14 τὰ μὲν τέρασιν ἠλαύνοντο φαντασμάτων, τὰ δὲ τῆς ψυχῆς παρελύοντο προδοσίᾳ· αἰφνίδιος γὰρ αὐτοῖς καὶ ἀπροσδόκητος φόβος ἐπῆλθεν.
15 εἶθ᾿ οὕτως, ὃς δήποτ᾿ οὖν ἦν ἐκεῖ καταπίπτων, ἐφρουρεῖτο εἰς τὴν ἀσίδηρον εἱρκτὴν κατακλεισθείς·
16 εἴ τε γὰρ γεωργὸς ἦν τις ἢ ποιμὴν ἢ τῶν κατ᾿ ἐρη μίαν ἐργάτης μόχθων, προληφθεὶς τὴν δυσάλυκτον ἔμενεν ἀνάγκην,
17 μιᾷ γὰρ ἁλύσει σκότους πάντες ἐδέθησαν· εἴτε πνεῦμα συρίζον ἢ περὶ ἀμφιλαφεῖς κλάδους ὀρνέων ἦχος εὐμελὴς ἢ ρυθμὸς ὕδατος πορευομένου βίᾳ ἢ κτύπος ἀπηνὴς καταρριπτομένων πετρῶν,
18 ἢ σκιρτώντων ζώων δρόμος ἀθεώρητος ἢ ὠρυομένων ἀπηνεστάτων θηρίων φωνὴ ἢ ἀντανακλωμένη ἐκ κοιλοτάτων ὀρέων ἠχώ, παρέλυεν αὐτοὺς ἐκφοβοῦντα.
19 ὅλος γὰρ ὁ κόσμος λαμπρῷ καταλάμπετο φωτὶ καὶ ἀνεμποδίστοις συνείχετο ἔργοις·
20 μόνοις δὲ ἐκείνοις ἐπετέτατο βαρεῖα νύξ, εἰκὼν τοῦ μέλλοντος αὐτοὺς διαδέχεσθαι σκότους, ἑαυτοῖς δὲ ἦσαν βαρύτεροι σκότους.
ΤΟΙΣ δὲ ὁσίοις σου μέγιστον ἦν φῶς· ὧν φωνὴν μὲν ἀκούοντες, μορφὴν δὲ οὐχ ὁρῶντες, ὅτι μὲν οὐ κἀκεῖνοι ἐπεπόνθεισαν, ἐμακάριζον,
2 ὅτι δὲ οὐ βλάπτουσι προηδικημένοι, ηὐχαρίστουν καὶ τοῦ διενεχθῆναι χάριν ἐδέοντο.
3 ἀνθ᾿ ὧν πυριφλεγῆ στῦλον, ὁδηγὸν μὲν ἀγνώστου ὁδοιπορίας, ἥλιον δὲ ἀβλαβῆ φιλοτίμου ξενιτείας παρέσχες.
4 ἄξιοι μὲν γὰρ ἐκεῖνοι στερηθῆναι φωτὸς καὶ φυλακισθῆναι ἐν σκότει, οἱ κατακλείστους φυλάξαντες τοὺς υἱούς σου, δι᾿ ὧν ἤμελλε τὸ ἄφθαρτον νόμου φῶς τῷ αἰῶνι δίδοσθαι.
5 Βουλευσαμένους δ᾿ αὐτοὺς τὰ τῶν ὁσίων ἀποκτεῖναι νήπια καὶ ἑνὸς ἐκτεθέντος τέκνου καὶ σωθέντος, εἰς ἔλεγχον τὸ αὐτῶν ἀφείλω πλῆθος τέκνων καὶ ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἀπώλεσας ἐν ὕδατι σφοδρῷ.
6 ἐκείνη ἡ νὺξ προεγνώσθη πατράσιν ἡμῶν, ἵνα ἀσφαλῶς εἰδότες οἷς ἐπίστευσαν ὅρκοις ἐπευθυμήσωσι.
7 προσεδέχθη δὲ ὑπὸ λαοῦ σου σωτηρία μὲν δικαίων, ἐχθρῶν δὲ ἀπώλεια·
8 ᾧ γὰρ ἐτιμωρήσω τοὺς ὑπεναντίους, τοῦτο ἡμᾶς προσκαλεσάμενος ἐδόξασας.
9 κρυφῆ γὰρ ἐθυσίαζον ὅσιοι παῖδες ἀγαθῶν καὶ τὸν τῆς θειότητος νόμον ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ διέθεντο τῶν αὐτῶν ὁμοίως καὶ ἀγαθῶν καὶ κινδύνων μεταλήψεσθαι τοὺς ἁγίους, πατέρων ἤδη προαναμέλποντες αἴνους.
10 ἀντήχει δ᾿ ἀσύμφωνος ἐχθρῶν βοή, καὶ οἰκτρὰ διεφέρετο θρηνουμένων παίδων·
11 ὁμοίᾳ δὲ δίκῃ δοῦλος ἅμα δεσπότῃ κολασθεὶς καὶ δημότης βασιλεῖ τὰ αὐτὰ πάσχων,
12 ὁμοθυμαδὸν δὲ πάντες ἐν ἑνὶ ὀνόματι θανάτου νεκροὺς εἶχον ἀναριθμήτους· οὐδὲ γὰρ πρὸς τὸ θάψαι οἱ ζῶντες ἦσαν ἱκανοί, ἐπεὶ πρὸς μίαν ροπὴν ἡ ἐντιμοτέρα γένεσις αὐτῶν διέφθαρτο.
13 πάντα γὰρ ἀπιστοῦντες διὰ τὰς φαρμακείας ἐπὶ τῷ τῶν πρωτοτόκων ὀλέθρῳ, ὡμολόγησαν Θεοῦ υἱὸν λαὸν εἶναι.
14 ἡσύχου γὰρ σιγῆς περιεχούσης τὰ πάντα καὶ νυκτὸς ἐν ἰδίῳ τάχει μεσαζούσης,
15 ὁ παντοδύναμός σου λόγος ἀπ᾿ οὐρανῶν ἐκ θρόνων βασιλειῶν ἀπότομος πολεμιστὴς εἰς μέσον τῆς ὀλεθρίας ἥλατο γῆς,
16 ξίφος ὀξὺ τὴν ἀνυπόκριτον ἐπιταγήν σου φέρων, καὶ στὰς ἐπλήρωσε τὰ πάντα θανάτου· καὶ οὐρανοῦ μὲν ἥπτετο, βεβήκει δ᾿ ἐπὶ γῆς.
17 τότε παραχρῆμα φαντασίαι μὲν ὀνείρων δεινῶς ἐξετάραξαν αὐτούς, φόβοι δὲ ἐπέστησαν ἀδόκητοι,
18 καὶ ἄλλος ἀλλαχῇ ριφεὶς ἡμίθνητος δι᾿ ἣν ἔθνησκεν αἰτίαν ἐνεφάνιζεν·
19 οἱ γὰρ ὄνειροι θορυβήσαντες αὐτοὺς τοῦτο προεμήνυσαν, ἵνα μὴ ἀγνοοῦντες δι᾿ ὃ κακῶς πάσχουσιν ἀπόλωνται.
20 ῞Ηψατο δὲ καὶ δικαίων πεῖρα θανάτου, καὶ θραῦσις ἐν ἐρήμῳ ἐγένετο πλήθους. ἀλλ᾿ οὐκ ἐπὶ πολὺ ἔμεινεν ἡ ὀργή·
21 σπεύσας γὰρ ἀνὴρ ἄμεμπτος προεμάχησε τὸ τῆς ἰδίας λειτουργίας ὅπλον, προσευχὴν καὶ θυμιάματος ἐξιλασμὸν κομίσας, ἀντέστη τῷ θυμῷ καὶ πέρας ἐπέθηκε τῇ συμφορᾷ, δεικνὺς ὅτι σός ἐστι θεράπων.
22 ἐνίκησε δὲ τὸν ὄχλον οὐκ ἰσχύϊ τοῦ σώματος, οὐχ ὅπλων ἐνεργείᾳ, ἀλλὰ λόγῳ τὸν κολάζοντα ὑπέταξεν, ὅρκους πατέρων καὶ διαθήκας ὑπομνήσας.
23 σωρηδὸν γὰρ ἤδη πεπτωκότων ἐπ᾿ ἀλλήλων νεκρῶν, μεταξὺ στάς, ἀνέκοψε τὴν ὀργὴν καὶ διέσχισε τὴν πρὸς τοὺς ζῶντας ὁδόν.
24 ἐπὶ γὰρ ποδήρους ἐνδύματος ἦν ὅλος ὁ κόσμος, καὶ πατέρων δόξαι ἐπὶ τετραστίχου λίθου γλυφῆς, καὶ μεγαλωσύνη σου ἐπὶ διαδήματος κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ.
25 τούτοις εἶξεν ὁ ὀλοθρεύων, ταῦτα δὲ ἐφοβήθησαν· ἦν γὰρ μόνη ἡ πεῖρα τῆς ὀργῆς ἱκανή.
ΤΟΙΣ δὲ ἀσεβέσι μέχρι τέλους ἀνελεήμων θυμὸς ἐπέστη· προῄδει γὰρ αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ μέλλοντα,
2 ὅτι αὐτοὶ ἐπιτρέψαντες τοῦ ἀπιέναι καὶ μετὰ σπουδῆς προπέμψαντες αὐτούς, διώξουσι μεταμεληθέντες.
3 ἔτι γὰρ ἐν χερσὶν ἔχοντες τὰ πένθη καὶ προσοδυρόμενοι τάφοις νεκρῶν, ἕτερον ἐπεσπάσαντο λογισμὸν ἀνοίας καὶ οὓς ἱκετεύοντες ἐξέβαλον, τούτους ὡς φυγάδες ἐδίωκον.
4 εἷλκε γὰρ αὐτοὺς ἡ ἀξία ἐπὶ τοῦτο τὸ πέρας ἀνάγκη καὶ τῶν συμβεβηκότων ἀμνηστίαν ἐνέβαλεν, ἵνα τὴν λείπουσαν ταῖς βασάνοις προαναπληρώσωσι κόλασιν,
5 καὶ ὁ μὲν λαός σου παράδοξον ὁδοιπορίαν περάσῃ, ἐκεῖνοι δὲ ξένον εὕρωσι θάνατον.
6 ὅλη γὰρ ἡ κτίσις ἐν ἰδίῳ γένει πάλιν ἄνωθεν διετυποῦτο ὑπηρετοῦσα ταῖς σαῖς ἐπιταγαῖς. ἵνα οἱ σοὶ παῖδες φυλαχθῶσιν ἀβλαβεῖς.
7 ἡ τὴν παρεμβολὴν σκιάζουσα νεφέλη, ἐκ δὲ προϋφεστῶτος ὕδατος ξηρᾶς ἀνάδυσις γῆς ἐθεωρήθη, ἐξ ἐρυθρᾶς θαλάσσης ὁδὸς ἀνεμπόδιστος καὶ χλοηφόρον πεδίον ἐκ κλύδωνος βιαίου·
8 δι᾿ οὗ πανεθνὶ διῆλθον οἱ τῇ σῇ σκεπαζόμενοι χειρί, θεωρήσαντες θαυμαστὰ τέρατα.
9 ὡς γὰρ ἵπποι ἐνεμήθησαν καὶ ὡς ἀμνοὶ διεσκίρτησαν αἰνοῦντές σε, Κύριε, τὸν ρυόμενον αὐτούς.
10 ἐμέμνηντο γὰρ ἔτι τῶν ἐν τῇ παροικίᾳ αὐτῶν, πῶς ἀντὶ μὲν γενέσεως ζῴων ἐξήγαγεν ἡ γῆ σκνῖπα, ἀντὶ δὲ ἐνύδρων ἐξηρεύξατο ὁ ποταμὸς πλῆθος βατράχων.
11 ἐφ᾿ ὑστέρῳ δὲ εἶδον καὶ νέαν γένεσιν ὀρνέων, ὅτι ἐπιθυμίᾳ προαχθέντες ᾐτήσαντο ἐδέσματα τρυφῆς·
12 εἰς γὰρ παραμυθίαν ἀνέβη αὐτοῖς ἀπὸ θαλάσσης ὀρτυγομήτρα.
13 καὶ αἱ τιμωρίαι τοῖς ἀμαρτωλοῖς ἐπῆλθον οὐκ ἄνευ τῶν προγεγονότων τεκμηρίων τῇ βίᾳ τῶν κεραυνῶν· δικαίως γὰρ ἔπασχον ταῖς ἰδίαις αὐτῶν πονηρίαις, καὶ γὰρ χαλεπωτέραν μισοξενίαν ἐπετήδευσαν.
14 οἱ μὲν γὰρ τοὺς ἀγνοοῦντας οὐκ ἐδέχοντο παρόντας, οὗτοι δὲ εὐεργέτας ξένους ἐδουλοῦντο.
15 καὶ οὐ μόνον, ἀλλ᾿ ἤ τις ἐπισκοπὴ ἔσται αὐτῶν, ἐπεὶ ἀπεχθῶς προσεδέχοντο τοὺς ἀλλοτρίους·
16 οἱ δὲ μετὰ ἑορτασμάτων εἰσδεξάμενοι τοὺς ἤδη τῶν αὐτῶν μετεσχηκότας δικαίων, δεινοῖς ἐκάκωσαν πόνοις.
17 ἐπλήγησαν δὲ καὶ ἀορασίᾳ, ὥσπερ ἐκεῖνοι ἐπὶ ταῖς τοῦ δικαίου θύραις, ὅτε ἀχανεῖ περιβληθέντες σκότει, ἕκαστος τῶν αὐτοῦ θυρῶν τὴν δίοδον ἐζήτει.
18 δι᾿ ἑαυτῶν γὰρ τὰ στοιχεῖα μεθαρμοζόμενα, ὥσπερ ἐν ψαλτηρίῳ φθόγγοι τοῦ ρυθμοῦ τὸ ὄνομα διαλλάσσουσι, πάντοτε μένοντα ἤχῳ, ὅπερ ἐστὶν εἰκάσαι ἐκ τῆς τῶν γεγονότων ὄψεως ἀκριβῶς.
19 χερσαῖα γὰρ εἰς ἔνυδρα μετεβάλλετο, καὶ νηκτὰ μετέβαινεν ἐπὶ γῆς·
20 πῦρ ἴσχυεν ἐν ὕδατι τῆς ἰδίας δυνάμεως, καὶ ὕδωρ τῆς σβεστικῆς δυνάμεως ἐπελανθάνετο·
21 φλόγες ἀνάπαλιν εὐφθάρτων ζῴων οὐκ ἐμάραναν σάρκας ἐμπεριπατούντων, οὐδὲ τηκτὸν κρυσταλλοειδὲς εὔτηκτον γένος ἀμβροσίας τροφῆς.
22 Κατὰ πάντα γάρ, Κύριε, ἐμεγάλυνας τὸν λαόν σου καὶ ἐδόξασας καὶ οὐχ ὑπερεῖδες ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ καὶ τόπῳ παριστάμενος.
WISDOM OF SOLOMON
She prospered their works in the hand of the holy prophet.
2 They went through the wilderness that was not inhabited, and pitched tents in places where there lay no way.
3 They stood against their enemies, and were avenged of their adversaries.
4 When they were thirsty, they called upon thee, and water was given them out of the flinty rock, and their thirst was quenched out of the hard stone.
5 For by what things their enemies were punished, by the same they in their need were benefited.
6 For instead of a fountain of a perpetual running river troubled with foul blood,
7 in rebuke for the decree to kill the infants, thou unexpectedly gavest them abundant water,
8 Declaring by that thirst then how thou hadst punished their adversaries.
9 For when they were tried albeit but in mercy chastised, they knew how the ungodly were judged in wrath and tormented,
10 For these thou didst admonish and try, as a father: but the other, as a severe king, thou didst condemn and punish.
11 Whether they were absent or present, they were vexed alike.
12 For a double grief came upon them, and a groaning for the remembrance of things past.
13 For when they heard by their own punishments the other to be benefited, they had some feeling of the Lord.
14 For whom they respected with scorn, when he was long before thrown out at the casting forth of the infants, him in the end, when they saw what came to pass, they admired.
15 But for the foolish devices of their wickedness, wherewith being deceived they worshipped serpents void of reason, and vile beasts, thou didst send a multitude of unreasonable beasts upon them for vengeance;
16 That they might know, that wherewithal a man sinneth, by the same also shall he be punished.
17 For thy Almighty hand, that made the world of matter without form, wanted not means to send among them a multitude of bears or fierce lions,
18 Or unknown wild beasts, full of rage, newly created, breathing out either a fiery vapour, or filthy scents of scattered smoke, or shooting horrible sparkles out of their eyes:
19 Whereof not only the harm might dispatch them at once, but also the terrible sight utterly destroy them.
20 Yea, and without these might they have fallen down with one blast, being persecuted of vengeance, and scattered abroad through the breath of thy power: but thou hast ordered all things in measure and number and weight.
21 For thou canst shew thy great strength at all times when thou wilt; and who may withstand the power of thine arm?
22 For the whole world before thee is as a little grain of the balance, yea, as a drop of the morning dew that falleth down upon the earth.
23 But thou hast mercy upon all; for thou canst do all things, and winkest at the sins of men, because they should amend.
24 For thou lovest all the things that are, and abhorrest nothing which thou hast made: for never wouldest thou have made any thing, if thou hadst hated it.
25 And how could any thing have endured, if it had not been thy will? or been preserved, if not called by thee?
26 But thou sparest all: for they are thine, O Lord, thou lover of souls.
For thine incorruptible Spirit is in all things.
2 Therefore chastenest thou them by little and little that offend, and warnest them by putting them in remembrance wherein they have offended, that leaving their wickedness they may believe on thee, O Lord.
3 For even the old inhabitants of thy holy land, whom thou hatedst
4 for doing most odious works of witchcrafts, and wicked sacrifices;
5 And also those merciless murderers of children, and sacrificial feasting on human flesh and bloodóthose initiates from the midst of a pagan ceremony
6 and parents who murder helpless lives, thou didst will to destroy by the hands of our fathers
7 That the land, which thou esteemedst above all other, might receive a worthy colony of Godís children.
8 Nevertheless even those thou sparedst as men, and didst send wasps, forerunners of thine host, to destroy them by little and little.
9 Not that thou wast unable to bring the ungodly under the hand of the righteous in battle, or to destroy them at once with cruel beasts, or with one rough word:
10 But executing thy judgments upon them by little and little, thou gavest them place of repentance, not being ignorant that they were a naughty generation, and that their malice was bred in them, and that their cogitation would never be changed.
11 For it was a cursed seed from the beginning; neither didst thou for fear of any man give them pardon for those things wherein they sinned.
12 For who shall say, What hast thou done? or who shall withstand thy judgment? or who shall accuse thee for the nations that perish, whom thou made? or who shall come to stand against thee, to be revenged for the unrighteous men?
13 For neither is there any God but thou that careth for all, to whom thou mightest shew that thy judgment is not unright.
14 Neither shall king or tyrant be able to set his face against thee for any whom thou hast punished.
15 Forsomuch then as thou art righteous thyself, thou orderest all things righteously: thinking it not agreeable with thy power to condemn him that hath not deserved to be punished.
16 For thy power is the beginning of righteousness, and because thou art the Lord of all, it maketh thee to be gracious unto all.
17 For when men will not believe that thou art of a full power, thou shewest thy strength, and among them that know it thou makest their boldness manifest.
18 But thou, mastering thy power, judgest with equity, and orderest us with great favour: for thou mayest use power when thou wilt.
19 But by such works hast thou taught thy people that the just man should be merciful, and hast made thy children to be of a good hope that thou givest repentance for sins.
20 For if thou didst punish the enemies of thy children, and the condemned to death, with such deliberation, giving them time and place, whereby they might be delivered from their malice:
21 With how great circumspection didst thou judge thine own sons, unto whose fathers thou hast sworn, and made covenants of good promises?
22 Therefore, whereas thou dost chasten us, thou scourgest our enemies a thousand times more, to the intent that, when we judge, we should carefully think of thy goodness, and when we ourselves are judged, we should look for mercy.
23 Wherefore, whereas men have lived dissolutely and unrighteously, thou hast tormented them with their own abominations.
24 For they went astray very far in the ways of error, and held them for gods, which even among the beasts of their enemies were despised, being deceived, as children of no understanding.
25 Therefore unto them, as to children without the use of reason, thou didst send a judgment to mock them.
26 But they that would not be reformed by that correction, wherein he dallied with them, shall feel a judgment worthy of God.
27 For, look, for what things they grudged, when they were punished, that is, for them whom they thought to be gods; now being punished in them, when they saw it, they acknowledged him to be the true God, whom before they denied to know: and therefore came extreme damnation upon them.
Surely vain are all men by nature, who are ignorant of God, and could not out of the good things that are seen know him that is: neither by considering the works did they acknowledge the workmaster;
2 But deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the violent water, or the lights of heaven, to be the gods which govern the world.
3 With whose beauty if they being delighted took them to be gods; let them know how much better the Lord of them is: for the first author of beauty hath created them.
4 But if they were astonished at their power and virtue, let them understand by them, how much mightier he is that made them.
5 For by the greatness and beauty of the creatures proportionably the maker of them is seen.
6 But yet for this they are the less to be blamed: for they peradventure err, seeking God, and desirous to find him.
7 For being conversant in his works they search him diligently, and believe their sight: because the things are beautiful that are seen.
8 Howbeit neither are they to be pardoned.
9 For if they were able to know so much, that they could aim at the world; how did they not sooner find out the Lord thereof?
10 But miserable are they, and in dead things is their hope, who call them gods, which are the works of menís hands, gold and silver, to shew art in, and resemblances of beasts, or a stone good for nothing, the work of an ancient hand.
11 Now a carpenter that felleth timber, after he hath sawn down a tree meet for the purpose, and taken off all the bark skilfully round about, and hath wrought it handsomely, and made a vessel thereof fit for the service of manís life;
12 And after spending the refuse of his work to dress his meat, hath filled himself;
13 And taking the very refuse among those which served to no use, being a crooked piece of wood, and full of knots, hath carved it diligently, when he had nothing else to do, and formed it by the skill of his understanding, and fashioned it to the image of a man;
14 Or made it like some vile beast, laying it over with vermilion, and with paint colouring it red, and covering every spot therein;
15 And when he had made a convenient room for it, set it in a wall, and made it fast with iron:
16 For he provided for it that it might not fall, knowing that it was unable to help itself; for it is an image, and hath need of help:
17 Then maketh he prayer for his goods, for his wife and children, and is not ashamed to speak to that which hath no life. For health he calleth upon that which is weak:
18 for life prayeth to that which is dead; for aid humbly beseecheth that which hath least means to help: and for a good journey he asketh of that which cannot set a foot forward:
19 And for gaining and getting, and for good success of his hands, asketh ability to do of him, that is most unable to do any thing.
Again, one preparing himself to sail, and about to pass through the raging waves, calleth upon a piece of wood more rotten than the vessel that carrieth him.
2 For verily desire of gain devised that, and the workman built it by his skill.
3 But thy providence, O Father, governeth it: for thou hast made a way in the sea, and a safe path in the waves;
4 Shewing that thou canst save from all danger: yea, though a man went to sea without art.
5 Nevertheless thou wouldest not that the works of thy wisdom should be idle, and therefore do men commit their lives to a small piece of wood, and passing the rough sea in a weak vessel are saved.
6 For in the old time also, when the proud giants perished, the hope of the world governed by thy hand escaped in a weak vessel, and left to all ages a seed of generation.
7 For blessed is the wood whereby righteousness cometh.
8 But that which is made with hands is cursed, as well it, as he that made it: he, because he made it; and it, because, being corruptible, it was called god.
9 For the ungodly and his ungodliness are both alike hateful unto God.
10 For that which is made shall be punished together with him that made it.
11 Therefore even upon the idols of the Gentiles shall there be a visitation: because in the creature of God they are become an abomination, and stumblingblocks to the souls of men, and a snare to the feet of the unwise.
12 For the devising of idols was the beginning of spiritual fornication, and the invention of them the corruption of life.
13 For neither were they from the beginning, neither shall they be for ever.
14 For by the vain glory of men they entered into the world, and therefore shall they come shortly to an end.
15 For a father afflicted with untimely mourning, when he hath made an image of his child soon taken away, now honoured him as a god, which was then a dead man, and delivered to those that were under him ceremonies and sacrifices.
16 Thus in process of time an ungodly custom grown strong was kept as a law, and graven images were worshipped by the commandments of kings.
17 Whom men could not honour in presence, because they dwelt far off, they took the counterfeit of his visage from far, and made an express image of a king whom they honoured, to the end that by this their forwardness they might flatter him that was absent, as if he were present.
18 Also the singular diligence of the artificer did help to set forward the ignorant to more superstition.
19 For he, peradventure willing to please one in authority, forced all his skill to make the resemblance of the best fashion.
20 And so the multitude, allured by the grace of the work, took him now for a god, which a little before was but honoured.
21 And this was an occasion to deceive the world: for men, serving either calamity or tyranny, did ascribe unto stones and stocks the incommunicable name.
22 Moreover this was not enough for them, that they erred in the knowledge of God; but whereas they lived in the great war of ignorance, those so great plagues called they peace.
23 For whilst they slew their children in sacrifices, or used secret ceremonies, or made revellings of strange rites;
24 They kept neither lives nor marriages any longer undefiled: but either one slew another traitorously, or grieved him by adultery.
25 So that there reigned in all men without exception blood, manslaughter, theft, and dissimulation, corruption, unfaithfulness, tumults, perjury,
26 Disquieting of good men, forgetfulness of good turns, defiling of souls, changing of kind, disorder in marriages, adultery, and shameless uncleanness.
27 For the worshipping of idols not to be named is the beginning, the cause, and the end, of all evil.
28 For either they are mad when they be merry, or prophesy lies, or live unjustly, or else lightly forswear themselves.
29 For insomuch as their trust is in idols, which have no life; though they swear falsely, yet they look not to be hurt.
30 Howbeit for both causes shall they be justly punished: both because they thought not well of God, giving heed unto idols, and also unjustly swore in deceit, despising holiness.
31 For it is not the power of them by whom they swear: but it is the just vengeance of sinners, that punisheth always the offence of the ungodly.
But thou, O God, art gracious and true, longsuffering, and in mercy ordering all things,
2 For if we sin, we are thine, knowing thy power: but we will not sin, knowing that we are counted thine.
3 For to know thee is perfect righteousness: yea, to know thy power is the root of immortality.
4 For neither did the mischievous invention of men deceive us, nor an image spotted with divers colours, the painterís fruitless labour;
5 The sight whereof enticeth fools to lust after it, and so they desire the form of a dead image, that hath no breath.
6 Lovers of evil things and worthy of such objects of hope are those who make or long for or worship them.
7 For the potter, tempering soft earth, fashioneth every vessel with much labour for our service: yea, of the same clay he maketh both the vessels that serve for clean uses, and likewise also all such as serve to the contrary: but what is the use of either sort, the potter himself is the judge.
8 And employing his labours lewdly, he maketh a vain god of the same clay, even he which a little before was made of earth himself, and within a little while after returneth to the same, out when his life which was lent him shall be demanded.
9 Notwithstanding his care is, not that he shall have much labour, nor that his life is short: but striveth to excel goldsmiths and silversmiths, and endeavoureth to do like the workers in brass, and counteth it his glory to make counterfeit things.
10 His heart is ashes, his hope is more vile than earth, and his life of less value than clay:
11 Forasmuch as he knew not his Maker, and him that inspired into him an active soul, and breathed in a living spirit.
12 But they counted our life a pastime, and our time here a market for gain: for, say they, we must be getting every way, though it be by evil means.
13 For this man, that of earthly matter maketh brittle vessels and graven images, knoweth himself to offend above all others.
14 And all the enemies of thy people, that hold them in subjection, are most foolish, and are more miserable than very babes.
15 For they counted all the idols of the heathen to be gods: which neither have the use of eyes to see, nor noses to draw breath, nor ears to hear, nor fingers of hands to handle; and as for their feet, they are slow to go.
16 For man made them, and he that borrowed his own spirit fashioned them: but no man can make a god like unto himself.
17 For being mortal, he worketh a dead thing with wicked hands: for he himself is better than the things which he worshippeth: whereas he lived once, but they never.
18 Yea, they worshipped those beasts also that are most hateful: for being compared together, some are worse than others.
19 Neither are they beautiful, so much as to be desired in respect of beasts: but they went without the praise of God and his blessing.
Therefore by the like were they punished worthily, and by the multitude of beasts tormented.
2 Instead of which punishment, dealing graciously with thine own people, thou preparedst for them meat of a strange taste, even quails to stir up their appetite:
3 To the end that they, desiring food, might for the ugly sight of the beasts sent among them lothe even that, which they must needs desire; but these, suffering penury for a short space, might be made partakers of a strange taste.
4 For it was requisite, that upon them exercising tyranny should come penury, which they could not avoid: but to these it should only be shewed how their enemies were tormented.
5 For when the horrible fierceness of beasts came upon these, and they perished with the stings of crooked serpents, thy wrath endured not for ever:
6 But they were troubled for a small season, that they might be admonished, having a sign of salvation, to put them in remembrance of the commandment of thy law.
7 For he that turned himself toward it was not saved by the thing that he saw, but by thee, that art the Saviour of all.
8 And in this thou madest thine enemies confess, that it is thou who deliverest from all evil:
9 For them the bitings of grasshoppers and flies killed, neither was there found any remedy for their life: for they were worthy to be punished by such.
10 But thy sons not the very teeth of venomous dragons overcame: for thy mercy was ever by them, and healed them.
11 For they were pricked, that they should remember thy words; and were quickly saved, that not falling into deep forgetfulness, they might be continually mindful of thy goodness.
12 For it was neither herb, nor mollifying plaister, that restored them to health: but thy word, O Lord, which healeth all things.
13 For thou hast power of life and death: thou leadest to the gates of hell, and bringest up again.
14 A man indeed killeth through his malice: and the spirit, when it is gone forth, returneth not; neither the soul received up cometh again.
15 But it is not possible to escape thine hand.
16 For the ungodly, that denied to know thee, were scourged by the strength of thine arm: with strange rains, hails, and showers, were they persecuted, that they could not avoid, and through fire were they consumed.
17 For, which is most to be wondered at, the fire had more force in the water, that quencheth all things: for the world fighteth for the righteous.
18 For sometime the flame was mitigated, that it might not burn up the beasts that were sent against the ungodly; but themselves might see and perceive that they were persecuted with the judgment of God.
19 And at another time it burneth even in the midst of water above the power of fire, that it might destroy the fruits of an unjust land.
20 Instead whereof thou feddest thine own people with angelsí food, and didst send them from heaven bread prepared without their labour, able to content every manís delight, and agreeing to every taste.
21 For thy sustenance declared thy sweetness unto thy children, and serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every manís liking.
22 But snow and ice endured the fire, and melted not, that they might know that fire burning in the hail, and sparkling in the rain, did destroy the fruits of the enemies.
23 But this again did even forget his own strength, that the righteous might be nourished.
24 For the creature that serveth thee, who art the Maker increaseth his strength against the unrighteous for their punishment, and abateth his strength for the benefit of such as put their trust in thee.
25 Therefore even then was it altered into all fashions, and was obedient to thy grace, that nourisheth all things, according to the desire of them that had need:
26 That thy children, O Lord, whom thou lovest, might know, that it is not the growing of fruits that nourisheth man: but that it is thy word, which preserveth them that put their trust in thee.
27 For that which was not destroyed of the fire, being warmed with a little sunbeam, soon melted away:
28 That it might be known, that we must prevent the sun to give thee thanks, and at the dayspring pray unto thee.
29 For the hope of the unthankful shall melt away as the winterís hoar frost, and shall run away as unprofitable water.
For great are thy judgments, and cannot be expressed: therefore unnurtured souls have erred.
2 For when unrighteous men thought to oppress the holy nation; they being shut up in their houses, the prisoners of darkness, and fettered with the bonds of a long night, lay there exiled from the eternal providence.
3 For while they supposed to lie hid in their secret sins, they were scattered under a dark veil of forgetfulness, being horribly astonished, and troubled with strange apparitions.
4 For neither might the corner that held them keep them from fear: but noises as of waters falling down sounded about them, and sad visions appeared unto them with heavy countenances.
5 No power of the fire might give them light: neither could the bright flames of the stars endure to lighten that horrible night.
6 Only there appeared unto them a fire kindled of itself, very dreadful: for being much terrified, they thought the things which they saw to be worse than the sight they saw not.
7 As for the illusions of art magick, they were put down, and their vaunting in wisdom was reproved with disgrace.
8 For they, that promised to drive away terrors and troubles from a sick soul, were sick themselves of fear, worthy to be laughed at.
9 For though no terrible thing did fear them; yet being scared with beasts that passed by, and hissing of serpents, They died for fear, denying that they saw the air, which could of no side be avoided.
10 For wickedness, condemned by her own witness, is very timorous, and being pressed with conscience, always forecasteth grievous things.
11 For fear is nothing else but a betraying of the succours which reason offereth.
12 And the expectation from within, being less, counteth the ignorance more than the cause which bringeth the torment.
13 But they sleeping the same sleep that night, which was indeed intolerable, and which came upon them out of the bottoms of inevitable hell,
14 Were partly vexed with monstrous apparitions, and partly fainted, their heart failing them: for a sudden fear, and not looked for, came upon them.
15 So then whosoever there fell down was straitly kept, shut up in a prison without iron bars,
16 For whether he were husbandman, or shepherd, or a labourer in the field, he was overtaken, and endured that necessity, which could not be avoided:
17 for they were all bound with one chain of darkness. Whether it were a whistling wind, or a melodious noise of birds among the spreading branches, or a pleasing fall of water running violently, Or a terrible sound of stones cast down,
18 or a running that could not be seen of skipping beasts, or a roaring voice of most savage wild beasts, or a rebounding echo from the hollow mountains; these things made them to swoon for fear.
19 For the whole world shined with clear light, and none were hindered in their labour:
20 Over them only was spread an heavy night, an image of that darkness which should afterward receive them: but yet were they unto themselves more grievous than the darkness.
Nevertheless thy saints had a very great light, whose voice they hearing, and not seeing their shape, because they also had not suffered the same things, they counted them happy.
2 But for that they did not hurt them now, of whom they had been wronged before, they thanked them, and besought them pardon for that they had been enemies.
3 Instead whereof thou gavest them a burning pillar of fire, both to be a guide of the unknown journey, and an harmless sun to entertain them honourably.
4 For they were worthy to be deprived of light and imprisoned in darkness, who had kept thy sons shut up, by whom the uncorrupt light of the law was to be given unto the world.
5 And when they had determined to slay the babes of the saints, one child being cast forth, and saved, to reprove them, thou tookest away the multitude of their children, and destroyedst them altogether in a mighty water.
6 Of that night were our fathers certified afore, that assuredly knowing unto what oaths they had given credence, they might afterwards be of good cheer.
7 So of thy people was accepted both the salvation of the righteous, and destruction of the enemies.
8 For wherewith thou didst punish our adversaries, by the same thou didst glorify us, whom thou hadst called.
9 For the righteous children of good men did sacrifice secretly, and with one consent made a holy law, that the saints should be like partakers of the same good and evil, the fathers now singing out the songs of praise.
10 But on the other side there sounded an ill according cry of the enemies, and a lamentable noise was carried abroad for children that were bewailed.
11 The master and the servant were punished after one manner; and like as the king, so suffered the common person.
12 So they all together had innumerable dead with one kind of death; neither were the living sufficient to bury them: for in one moment the noblest offspring of them was destroyed.
13 For whereas they would not believe any thing by reason of the enchantments; upon the destruction of the firstborn, they acknowledged this people to be the sons of God.
14 For while all things were in quiet silence, and that night was in the midst of her swift course,
15 Thine Almighty word leaped down from heaven out of thy royal throne, as a fierce man of war into the midst of a land of destruction,
16 And brought thine unfeigned commandment as a sharp sword, and standing up filled all things with death; and it touched the heaven, but it stood upon the earth.
17 Then suddenly visions of horrible dreams troubled them sore, and terrors came upon them unlooked for.
18 And one thrown here, and another there, half dead, shewed the cause of his death.
19 For the dreams that troubled them did foreshew this, lest they should perish, and not know why they were afflicted.
20 Yea, the tasting of death touched the righteous also, and there was a destruction of the multitude in the wilderness: but the wrath endured not long.
21 For then the blameless man made haste, and stood forth to defend them; and bringing the shield of his proper ministry, even prayer, and the propitiation of incense, set himself against the wrath, and so brought the calamity to an end, declaring that he was thy servant.
22 So he overcame the destroyer, not with strength of body, nor force of arms, but with a word subdued him that punished, alleging the oaths and covenants made with the fathers.
23 For when the dead were now fallen down by heaps one upon another, standing between, he stayed the wrath, and parted the way to the living.
24 For in the long garment was the whole world, and in the four rows of the stones was the glory of the fathers graven, and thy Majesty upon the diadem of his head.
25 Unto these the destroyer gave place, and was afraid of them: for it was enough that they only tasted of the wrath.
As for the ungodly, wrath came upon them without mercy unto the end: for he knew before what they would do;
2 How that having given them leave to depart, and sent them hastily away, they would repent and pursue them.
3 For whilst they were yet mourning and making lamentation at the graves of the dead, they added another foolish device, and pursued them as fugitives, whom they had intreated to be gone.
4 For the destiny, whereof they were worthy, drew them unto this end, and made them forget the things that had already happened, that they might fulfil the punishment which was wanting to their torments:
5 And that thy people might pass a wonderful way: but they might find a strange death.
6 For the whole creature in his proper kind was fashioned again anew, serving the peculiar commandments that were given unto them, that thy children might be kept without hurt:
7 As namely, a cloud shadowing the camp; and where water stood before, dry land appeared; and out of the Red sea a way without impediment; and out of the violent stream a green field:
8 Where through all the people went that were defended with thy hand, seeing thy marvellous strange wonders.
9 For they went at large like horses, and leaped like lambs, praising thee, O Lord, who hadst delivered them.
10 For they were yet mindful of the things that were done while they sojourned in the strange land, how the ground brought forth flies instead of cattle, and how the river cast up a multitude of frogs instead of fishes.
11 But afterwards they saw a new generation of fowls, when, being led with their appetite, they asked delicate meats.
12 For quails came up unto them from the sea for their contentment.
13 And punishments came upon the sinners not without former signs by the force of thunders: for they suffered justly according to their own wickedness, insomuch as they used a more hard and hateful behaviour toward strangers.
14 For others refused to welcome those who did not know them when they visited, but these made slaves of guests who were their benefactors.
15 And not only so, but peradventure some respect shall be had of those, because they used strangers not friendly:
16 But these very grievously afflicted them, whom they had received with feastings, and were already made partakers of the same laws with them.
17 Therefore even with blindness were these stricken, as those were at the doors of the righteous man: when, being compassed about with horrible great darkness, every one sought the passage of his own doors.
18 For the elements were changed in themselves by a kind of harmony, like as in a psaltery notes change the name of the tune, and yet are always sounds; which may well be perceived by the sight of the things that have been done.
19 For earthly things were turned into watery, and the things, that before swam in the water, now went upon the ground.
20 The fire had power in the water, forgetting his own virtue: and the water forgat his own quenching nature.
21 On the other side, the flames wasted not the flesh of the corruptible living things, though they walked therein; neither melted they the icy kind of heavenly meat that was of nature apt to melt.
22 For in all things, O Lord, thou didst magnify thy people, and glorify them, neither didst thou lightly regard them: but didst assist them in every time and place.