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Apocrypha. good ear unto me: if I talk much, they shall jay their hands upon their mouth. 13 Moreover by the means of her I shall obtain immortality, and leave behind me an everlasting memorial to them that come after ine. 14 I shall set the people in order, and the nation shall be subject unto me. 15 Horrible tyrants shall be afraid when they do but hear of me; I shall be found good among the multitude, and valiant in war. 16 After I have come into minehouse, I will repose myself with her: for her conversation hath no bitterness; and to live with her hath no sorrow, but mirth and joy. 17 Now, when I considered these things in myself, and pondered them in mine heart, how that to be allied unto wisdom is immortality ; 18 And great pleasure it is to have her friendship; and in the works of her hands are infinite riches; and in the exercise of conference with her, prudence; and in talking with her, a good report; I went about seeking how to take her to me. 19 For I was a witty child, and had a good spirit. 20 Yea rather, being good, I came into a body undefiled. 21 Nevertheless, when I perceived that I could not otherwise obtain her, except God gave her me ; and that was a point of wisdom also to know whose gift she was ; I prayed unto the Lord, and besought him, and with my whole heart I said, CHAP. IX. 1 A prayer unto God for his wisdom, 6 without which the best man is nothing worth, 13 neither can he tell how to please God. GOD of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things with thy word, 2 And ordained man through thy wisdom, that he should have dominion over the creatures which thou hast made, 3 And order the world according to equity and righteousness, and execute judgment with an upright heart: 4 Give me wisdom, that sitteth by thy throne ; and reject me not from among thy children: 5. For Ithy servant and son of thine handmaid am a feeble person, and of a short time, and too young for the understanding of judgment and laws. 6 * For though a man be never so perfect among the children of men, yet if thy wisdom be not with him, he shall be nothing regarded. 7 Thou hast chosen me to be a king of thy people, and a judge of thy sons and daughters: 8 Thou hast commanded me to build a temple upon thy holy mount, and an altar in
Apocrypha. the city wherein thou dwellest, a resemblance of the holy tarbernacle, which thou hast prepared from the beginning. 9 And wisdom was with thee : which knoweth thy works, and was present when thou madest the world, and knew what was acceptable in thy sight, and right in thy commandments. 1o O send her out of thy holy heavens, and from the throne of thy glory, that being present she may labour with me, that I may know what is pleasing unto thee. 11 For she knoweth and understandeth all things, and she shall lead me soberly in my doings, and preserve me in her power. 12 So shall my works be acceptable, and then shall I judge thy people righteously, and be worthy to sit in my father's seat. 13 * For what man is he that can know the counsel of God 2 or who can think what the will of the Lord is 14 For the thoughts of mortal men are miserable, and our devices are but uncertain. 15 For the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and the earthly tarbernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things. 16 And hardly do we guessaright at things that are upon earth, and with labour do we find the things that are before us : but the things that are in heaven who hath searched out 2 17 And thy counsel who hath known, except thou give wisdom, and send thy Holy Spirit from above 2 18 For so the ways of them which lived on the earth were reformed, and men were taught the things that are pleasing unto thee, and were saved through wisdom. CHAP. X. 1 What wisdom did for Ajax, 4 Noe, 5 A*rabam, 6 Lot, and against the five cities, 10 for jacob, 13 Joseph, 16 Moer, 17 and the Israelites. HE preserved the first-formed father of the world, that was created alone, and brought him out of his fall, 2 And gave him power to rule all things. 3 But when the unrighteous went away from her in his anger, he perished also in the fury wherewith he murdered his brother, 4 * For whose cause the earth being drowned with the flood, wisdom again preserved it, and directed the course of the righteous in a piece of wood of small value. 5 * Moreover, the nations in their wicked conspiracy being confounded, she found out the righteous, and preserved him blameless unto God, and kept him strong against his tender compassion toward his son. 6 * When the ungodly perished, she delivered the righteous man, who fled from the fire which fell down upon the five cities.
7 Of whose wickedness even to this day Apocrypka. the waste land that smoketh is a testimony, and plants bearing fruit that never come to ripeness: and a standing pillar of salt is a monument of an unbelieving soul. 8 For regarding not wisdom, they gat not only this hurt, that they knew not the things which were good; but also left behind them to the world a memorial of their foolishness: so that in the things wherein they offended they could not so much as be hid. 9 But wisdom delivered from pain those that attended upon her. 10 * When the righteous fled from his brother's wrath, she guided him in right paths, shewed him the kingdom of God, and gave him knowledge of holy things, made him rich in his travels, and multiplied the fruit of his labours. 11 In the covetousness of such as oppressed him she stood by him, and made him rich. 12 She defended him srom his enemies, and kept him safe from those that lay in weight, and in a sore conflict she gave him the victory; that he might know that godliness is stronger than all. 13 * When the righteous was sold, she forsook him not, but delivered him from sin : she went down with him into the pit, 14 And left him not in bonds, till she brought him the sceptre of the kingdom, and power against those that oppressed him: as for them that had accused him, she shewed them to be liars, and gave him perpetual glory. 15 She delivered the righteous people and blameless seed from the nation that oppressed them. 16 She entered into the soul of the servant of the Lord, and withstood dreadful kings in wonders and signs; 17 * Rendered to the righteous a reward of their labours, guided them in a marvellous way, and was unto them for a covert by day, and a light of stars in the night season ; 18 Brought them through the Red sea, and led them through much water: 19 But she drowned their enemies, and east them up out of the bottom of the deep. 20 Therefore the righteous spoiled the ungodly, and praised thy holy name, O Lord, and magnified with one accord thine hand, that fought for them. 21 For wisdom opened the mouth of the dumb, and made the tongues of them that cannot speak eloquent. CHAP. XI. 5 The Egyptians were punished, and the Israelites reserved in the same thing. HE 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,
WISDOM OF SOLOMON.
Apocrypha. 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 For a manifest reproof of that commandment, whereby the infants were slain, thou gavest unto them abundance of water by a means which they hoped not for: 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, thirsting in another manner than the just. 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 rejected 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 vibe 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 strengt at all times when thou wilt; and who may withstand the power of thine arm 2
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 anything, if thou hadst hated it. 25 And how could anything have endured, if it had not been thy will 2 or been preserved, if not called by thee * 26 But thou sparest all : for they are thine, O Lord, thou lover of souls. CHAP. XII. 2 Gada'id not destroy those of Chanaan all at once: 12 if le bad done so, who could control him * OR 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 it was thy will to destroy by the hands of our fathers both those old inhabitants of thy holy land, 4 Whom thou hatedst for doing most odious works of witchcrafts, and wicked sacrifices; 5 And also those merciless murderers of children, and devourers of man's flesh, and the feasts of blood, 6. With their priests out of the midst of their idolatrous crew, and the parents,that killed with their own hands souls destitute of help : 7 That the land, which thou esteemedst above all other, might receive a worthy colony of God's children. 8 Nevertheless, even those thou sparedst as men, and did 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 : io 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 2 or who shall withstand thy judgment or who shall accuse thee for the nations that perish, whom thou hast made 2 or who shall come to stand against thee, to be revenged for the unrighteous men 2 13 for neither is there any God but thou
Apocryoka. that carest 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 of 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 2 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. CHAP. XIII. 1 They were not excused that worshipped any of God’s works : 10 but most wretched are they that worslip the works of men's land.
Apocrypha. URELY vain are all men by nature, who are ignorant of God, and could not out of the good things that are scen know him that is : neither by considering the works did they acknowledge the work master; 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 bepardoned. 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 called them gods, which are the works of men's 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 handsomeJy, and made a vessel thereof fit for the service of man's 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 colouringit 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. 18 For health, he calleth upon that which is weak : for life, prayeth to that which is dead : for aid, lumbly beseecheth that which
WISDOM OF SOLOMON.
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 anything. CHAP. XIV. 1 Though men do not pray to their ships, 5 yet they are saved by them rather than by their idor. GAIN, 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 stumbling blocks 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 com
mandments of kings.
Apocrypha. 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 as a Imall. 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 faisely, 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 holincSS. 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. CHAP. XV. 1 We do acknowledge the true God. 7 The folly of idol makers, 14 and of the enemies of God's people.
B'. thou. O God, art gracious and true, long sustering, and in mercy ordering all things.
Apocrypha. 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 painter's 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 Both they that make them, they that desire them, and they that worship them, are lovers of evil things, and are worthy to have such things to trust upon. 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 of the which he was taken, 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.