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Apocrypha. ually procured our good, as also of blameless Esther, partaker of our kingdom, with their whole nation. 14 For by these means he thought, finding us destitute of friends, to have translated the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians. 15 But we sind that the Jews, whom this wicked wretch hath delivered to utter destruction, are no evil doers, but live by most just laws. 16 And that they be children of the most high and most mighty living God, who hath ordered the kingdom both unto us and to our progenitors in the most excellent manner. 17 * Wherefore ye shall do well not to put in execution the letters sent unto you by Aman the son of Amadatha. 18 For he, that was the worker of these things, is hanged at the gates of Susa with all his family: God, who ruleth all things, speedily rendering vengeance to him accord


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Apocrypha. 19 Therefore ye shall publish the copy of this letter in all places, that the Jews may freely live after their own laws. 20 And ye shall aid them, that even the same day, being the thirteenth day of the twelth month Adar, they may be avenged on them, who in the time of their affliction shall set upon them. 21 For Almighty God hath turned to joy unto them the day wherein the chosen people should have perished. 22 Ye shall therefore among your solemn feasts keep it an high day with all feasting : 23 That both now and hereafter there may be safety to us, and the well affected Persians; but to those which do conspire against us, a memorial of destruction. 24 Therefore every city and country whatsoever, which shall not do according to these things, shall be destroyed without mercy, with fire and sword, and shall be made not only unpassable for men, but also most hateful to wild beasts and fowls for ever.

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CHAP. I. 2 To whom God showeth himself, 4 and wisdom therself. 6 An evil speaker cannot lie bid. Lo. righteousness, ye that be judges of the earth : think of the Lord with a good (heart,) and in simplicity of heart seek him. 2 * For he will be found of them that tempt him not ; and sheweth himself unto such as do not distrust him. 3 For froward thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise. 4 * For into a malicious soul wisdom shall not enter ; nor dwell in the body that is subject unto sin. 5 For the holy spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and remove from thoughts that are without understanding, and will not abide when unrighteousness cometh in. 6 * For wisdom is a loving spirit; and will not acquit a blasphemer of his words : for God is witness of his reins, and a true beholder of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue. 7 For the spirit of the Lord filleth the world : and that which containeth all things, hath knowledge of the voice. 8 Therefore he that speaketh unrighteous things cannot be hid : neither shall vengeance, when it punisheth, pass by him. 9 For inquisition shall be made into the counsels of the ungodly : and the sound of his words shall come unto the Lord for the manifestation of his wicked deeds. 10 For the ear of jealousy heareth all things; and the noise of murmurings is not

11 Thereforebeware of murmuring, which is unprofitable ; and refrain your tongue from backbiting : for there is no word so secret, that shall go for nought : and the mouth that belieth, slayeth the soul 12 Seek not death in the error of your life: and pull not upon yourselves destruction with the works of your hands. 13 For God made not death : neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living. 14 For he created all things, that they might have their being: and the generations of the world were healthful; and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor the kingdom of death upon the earth: 15 (For righteousness is immortal :) 16 But ungodly men with their works and words called it to them : for when they thought to have it their friend, they consumed to nought, and made a covenant with it, because they are worthy to take part with it. CHAP II. 1 The victed think this life short, 5 and of no other after this ; 6 therefore they will tale their pleasure in this, 10 and conspire against the just. Fo the ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright, Our life is short and tedious, and in the death of a man there is no remedy: neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave. 2 For we are born at all adventure : and we shall be hereafter as though we had never been : for the breath in our nostrils is as smoke, and a little spark in the moving of our heart: 3 Which being extinguished, our body

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wanish as the soft air, 4 And our name shall be forgotten in time, and no man shall have our works in remembrance, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as the mist that is driven away with the beams of the sun, and overcome with the heat thereof. 5 For our time is a very shadow that passeth away; and after our end there is no returning : for it is fast sealed, so that no man cometh again. 6 Come on therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present: and let us speedily use the creatures like as in youth. 7 Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments : and let no flower of the spring pass by us: 8 Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they be withered: 9 Let none of us go without his part of our voluptuousness: let us leave tokens of out joyfulness in every place: for this is our portion, and our lot is this. 10 Let us oppress the poor righteous man, let us not spare the widow, nor reverence the ancient gray hairs of the aged. 11 Let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth. 12 Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous : because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraideth us with our offending the law, and objecteth to our infamy the transgressings of our education. 13 He professeth to have the knowledge of God: and he calleth himself the child of the Lord. 14 He was made to reprove our thoughts. 15 He is grievous unto us even to behold: for his life is not like other men's, his ways are of another fashion. 16 We are esteemed of him as counterfeits: he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness: he pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh his boast that God is his father. 17 Let us see if his words be true: and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him. 18 For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies. 19 Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness and prove his patience. 20 Let us condemn him with a shameful death : for by his own saying he shall be respected. 21 Such things they did imagine, and were deceived : for their own wickedness hath blinded them. 22 As for the mysteries of God, they knew

CuAP. III. shall be turned into ashes, and our spirit shall

them not: neither hoped they for the wages

Apocrypka, of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for blameless souls. 23 For God created man to be immortal,and made him to be an image of his own etermity. 24 Nevertheless, through envy of the devil came death into the world : and they that do hold of his side do find it. CHAP. III. 1 The godly are happy in their death, 5 and in their troubles : 10 the twicked are not, nor their children. 16 The adulterer and his seed ball perio. UT the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. 2 In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die : and their departure is taken for misery, 3 And their going from us to be utter destruction : but they are in peace. 4 For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. 5 * And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded : for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. 6 As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. 7 And in the time of their visitation, they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. 8 They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. 9 They that put their trust in him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him : for grace and mercy is to his saints, and he hath care for his elect. 10 * But the ungodly shall be punished according to their own imaginations, which have neglected the righteous, and forsaken the Lord. 11 For whoso despiseth wisdom and nurture, he is miserable, and their hope is vain, their labours unfruitful, and their works unprofitable : 12 Their wives are foolish, and their children wicked : 13 Their offspring is cursed. Wherefore blessed is the barren that is undefiled, which hath not known the sinful bed : she shall have fruit in the visitation of souls. 14 And blo, red is the eunuch, which with his hands hath wrought no iniquity, nor imagined wicked things against God: for unto him shall be given the special gift of faith, and an inheritance in the temple of the Lord more acceptable to his mind. 15 For glorious is the fruit of good labours: and the root of wisdom shall never fall away. 16 As for the children of adulterers they shall not come to their perfection, and the seed of an unrighteous bed shall be rooted out. 17 For though they live long, yet shall they be nothing regarded : and their last age shall Apocrypha. 18 Or, if they die quickly, they have no hope, neither comfort in the day of trial. 19 For horrible is the end of the unrighteous generation. CHAP. IV. 1 The claste man shall be crowned. 3 Bastard - slips shall not thrive. ETTER it is to have no children, and to have virtue: for the memorial thereof is immortal: because it is known with God, and with men. 2. When it is present, men take example at it ; and when it is gone, they desire it : it weareth a crown, and triumpheth for ever, having gotten the victory, striving for undefiled rewards. 3 * But the multiplying brood of the ungodly shall not thrive, nor take deep rooting from bastard slips, nor lay . fast foundation. 4 For though they flourish in branches for a time; yet standing not fast, they shall be shaken with the wind, and through the force of winds they shall be rooted out. 5 The imperfect branches shall be broken off, their fruit unprofitable, not ripe to eat, yea, meet for nothing. 6 For children begotten of unlawful beds, are witnesses of wickedness against their parents in their trial. 7 But though the righteous be prevented with death, yet shall he be at rest. 8 For honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by number of years. 9 But wisdom is the gray hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age.

be without honour.


10 He pleased God, and was beloved of

him : so that living among sinners he was translated. 11 Yea, speedily was he taken away, lest that wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul. 12 For the bewitching of naughtiness doth obscure things that are honest; and the wandering of concupiscence doth undermine the simple mind. 13 He, being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time: 14 For his soul pleased the Lord: therefore hasted he to take him away from among the wicked. 15 This the people saw, and understood it not, neither laid they up this in their minds, that his grace and mercy is with his saints, and that he hath respect unto his chosen. 16 Thus the righteous that is dead shall condemn the ungodly which are living ; and youth that is soon perfected the many years and old age of the unrighteous. 17 For they shall see the end of the wise, and shall not understand what God in his counsel hath decreed of him, and to what end the Lord hath set him in safety. 18 They shall see him, and despise him;


Apocrypha. but God shall laugh them to scorn ; and they shall hereafter be a vile carcase, and a reproach among the dead for evermore. 19 For he shall rend them, and cast their down headlong, that they shall be speechless; and he shall shake them from the foundation; and they shall be utterly laid waste, and be in sorrow ; and their memorial shali perisi. 20 And when they cast up the accounts of their sins, they shall come with fear ; and their own iniquities shall convince then, to their face. CHAP. V. 1 The wicked shall ovonder at the godly, 4 and ess. foss their error, 5 and the vanity of their lives. | His shall the righteous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of his labours. — 2 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. 3 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: 4 * We fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without honour: 5 * How is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints : 6 Therefore have we erred from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness hath not shined unto us, and the sum of righteousness rose not upon us. 7 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. 8 What hath pride profited us? or what good hath riches with our vaunting brought us 2 9 All those things are passed away like a shadow, and as a post that hasteth by ; 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; 1 1 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 afterward no sign where she went is to be found; 12 Or like as when an arrow is shot at a mark, it parteth the air, which immediately

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Apocryple. 14 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. 15 But the righteous live for evermore; their reward also is with the Lord, and the care of them is with the Most High. 16 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. 17 He shall take to him his jealousy for complete armour, and make the creature his weapon for the revenge of his enemies. 18 He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgment instead of an helmet. 19 He shall take holiness for an invincible shield. 20 His severe wrath shall he sharpen for a sword, and the world shall fight with him against the unwise. 21 Then shall the right aiming thunderbolts go abroad; and from the clouds, as from a well drawn bow, shall they fly to the mark. 22 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. 23 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. CHAP. VI. 1 Kings must give ear : 3 they bave their power from God, 5 who will not pare them. 12 Widom is soon found: 21 princes must seek for it. EAR therefore, O ye kings, and understand ; learn, ye that be judges of the ends of the earth. 2 Give ear, ye that rule the people, and glory in the multitude of nations. 3 * For power is given you of the Lord, and sovereignty from the Highest, who shall try your works, and search out your counsels. 4 Because, being ministers of his kingdom, ye have not judged aright, nor kept the law, nor walked after the counsel of God; 5 * Horribly and speedily shall he come upon you : for a sharp judgment shall be to them that be in high places. 6 For mercy will soon pardon the meanest: but mighty men shall be mightily tormented. 7 For he which is Lord over all shall fear no man's person, neither shall he stand in awe of any man's greatness: for he hath made the small and great, and careth for all alike. 8. But a sore trial shall come upon the mighty.


Apocrypto, 9 Unto you therefore, Okings, do I speak, that ye may learn wisdom, and not fall away. 10 For they that keep holiness holily shall be judged holy and they that have learned such things shall find what to answer. 11. Wherefore set your affection upon my words; desire them, and ye shall be instructed. 12 * Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away : yea, she is easily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek her. 13 She preventeth them that desire her, in making herself first known unto them. 14 Whoso seeketh her early shall have no great travail: for he shall find her sitting at his doors. 15 To think therefore upon her is perfection of wisdom ; and whoso watcheth for her shall quickly be without care. 16 For she goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her, sheweth herself favourably unto them in the ways, and meeteth them in every thought. 17 For the very true beginning of her is the desire of discipline ; and the care of discipline is love; 18 And love is the keeping of her laws; and the giving heed unto her laws is the assurance of incorruption ; 19 And incorruption maketh us near uns to God : 20 Therefore the desire of wisdom bringeth to a kingdom. 21 If your delight be then in thrones and sceptres, O ye kings of the people, honour wisdom, that ye may reign for evermore. 22 As for wisdom, what she is, and how she came up, I will tell you, and will not hide mysteries from you : but will seek her out from the beginning of her nativity, and bring the knowledge of her into light, and will not pass over the truth. 23 Neither will I go with consuming envy; for such a man shall have no fellowship with wisdom. 24 But the multitude of the wise is the welfare of the world: and a wise king is the upholding of the people. 25 Receive therefore instruction through my words, and it shall do you good. CHAP. VII. 1 All men have their beginning and end alike. 8 He preferred wisdom before all thing else. MYSELF also am a mortal man, like to . all, and the offspring of him that was first made of the earth, 2 And in my mother's womb was fashioned to be flesh in the time of ten months, being compacted in blood, of the seed of man, and the pleasure that came with sleep. 3 And when I was born, I drew in the common air, and fell upon the earth, which is of like nature, and the first voice which I uttered was crying, as all others do.

4pocrypia. 4 I was nursed in swaddling clothes, and that with cares. 5 For there is no king that had any other beginning of birth. 6 For all men have one entrance into life, and the like going out. 7 Wherefore I prayed, and understanding was given me: I cauled upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. 8 * I preferred her before sceptres and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her. 9 Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay betore her. 10 I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light : for the light that cometh from her never goeth Qut. 11 All good things together came to me with her,and innumerable riches in her hands. 12 And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them : and I knew not that she was the mother of them. 13 I learned diligently, and do communicate her liberally : I do not hide her riches. 14 For she is a treasure unto men that never faileth : which they that use become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts that come from learning. 15 God hath granted me to speak as I would, and to conceive as is meet for the things that are given me: because it is he that leadeth unto wisdom, and directeth the wise. 16 For in his hand are both we and our words; all wisdom also, and knowledge of workmanship. 17 For he hath given me certain knowledge of the things that are, namely, to know how the world was made, and the operation of the elements : 18 The beginning, ending, and midst of the times : the alterations of the turnings of the run, and the change of seasons: 19 The circuits of years, and the positions of stars : 20 The natures of living creatures, and the furies of wild beasts : the violence of winds, and the reasonings of men: the diversities of plants, and the virtues of roots: 21 And all such things as are either secret or manifest, them I know. 22 For wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me : for in her is an understanding spirit, holy, one only, manifold, subtil, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good, quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do good, 23 Kind to man, steadfast, sure, free from care, having all power, overseeing all things, and going through all understanding, pure and meet subtil spirits. *


Apocrypor. 24 For wisdom is more moving than any motion : she passeth and goeth through als things by reason of her pureness. 25 For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty : therefore can no defiled thing fall into her. 26 For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness. 27 And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself she maketh all things new ; and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God, and prophets. 28 For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom. 29 For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it. 30 For after this cometh night : but vice shall not prevail against wisdom. CHAP. Visi. 2 He is in love ovità wisdom ; 4 for be it at Hot it, bath every good thing. ISDOM reacheth from one end to another mightily: and sweetly doth she order all things. 2 * I loved her, and sought ber out from my youth, I desired to make her my spouse, and I was a lover of her beauty. 3 In that she is conversant with God, she magnifieth her nobility : yea, the Lord of all things himself loved her. 4 * For she is privy to the mysteries of the knowledge of God, and a lover of his works. 5 If riches be a possession to be desired in this life; what is richer than wisdom, that worketh all things 2 6 And if prudence work; who of all that are, is a more cunning workman than she 7 And if a man love righteousness, her labours are virtues: for she teacheth temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude : which are such things, as men can have nothing more profitable in their life. 8 If a man desire much experience, she knoweth things of old, and conjectureth aright what is to come : she knoweth the subtilties of speeches, and can expound dark sentences: she foresceth signs and wonders, and the events of seasons and times. 9 Therefore I purposed to take her to me to live with me, knowing that she would be a counsellor of good things, and a comfort in cares and grief. 10 For her sake I shall have estimation among the multitude, and honour with the elders, though I be young. 11 I shall be found of a quick conceit in judgment, and shall be admired in the sight of great men. 12 when I hold my tongue, they shall bide my leisure, and when I speak, they shall give

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