1 Love righteousness, ye that be judges of the earth think of
the Lord with a good (heart,) and in simplicity of heart seek
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 hid.
11 Therefore beware 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
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.
1 For 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 shall be turned into ashes,
and our spirit shall vanish 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 a mist, that is
driven away with the beams of the sun, and overcome with the
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
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 our 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 them not neither hoped
they for the wages of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for
23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an
image of his own eternity.
24 Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the
world and they that do hold of his side do find it.
1 But 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
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
11 For whoso despiseth wisdom and nurture, he is miserable, and
their hope is vain, their labours unfruitful, and their works
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 blessed 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
17 For though they live long, yet shall they be nothing regarded
and their last age shall be without honour.
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.
1 Better it is to have no children, and to have virtue for the
memorial thereof is immortal because it is known with God, and
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 any fast
4 For though they flourish in branches for a time; yet standing
not last, 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 in 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
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
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; 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 them 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 shall perish.
20 And when they cast up the accounts of their sins, they shall
come with fear and their own iniquities shall convince them to
1 Then shall the righteous man stand in great boldness before
the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of
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
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 sun 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?
9 All those things are passed away like a shadow, and as a post
that hasted 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;
11 Or as when a bird hath flown through the air, there is no
token of her way to be found, but the light air being beaten
with the stroke of her wings and parted with the violent noise
and motion of them, is passed through, and therein afterwards no
sign where she went is to be found;
12 Or like as when an arrow is shot at a mark, it parteth the
air, which immediately cometh together again, so that a man
cannot know where it went through:
13 Even so we in like manner, as soon as we were born, began to
draw to our end, and had no sign of virtue to shew; but were
consumed in our own wickedness.
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
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
1 Hear 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
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
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.
9 Unto you therefore, O kings, 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 unto 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.
1 I 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.
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
7 Wherefore I prayed, and understanding was given me I called
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 before 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
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 turning of the sun, 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
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 most subtil, spirits.
24 For wisdom is more moving than any motion she passeth and
goeth through all 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
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
30 For after this cometh night but vice shall not prevail
1 Wisdom reacheth from one end to another mightily and sweetly
doth she order all things.
2 I loved her, and sought her 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?
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 en can have nothing more profitable in
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
foreseeth signs and wonders, and the events of seasons and
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 good ear unto me if I talk much, they
shall lay 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
14 I shall set the people in order, and the nations 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
16 After I am come into mine house, 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 my heart, how that to be allied unto wisdom is
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,
1 O 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 I thy 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
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 the city wherein thou dwellest, a resemblance of
the holy tabernacle, which thou hast prepared from the
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.
10 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? 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
earthy tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many
16 And hardly do we guess aright 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?
17 And thy counsel who hath known, except thou give wisdom, and
send thy Holy Spirit from above?
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.
1 She 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 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
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 Rut 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 from his enemies, and kept him safe from
those that lay in wait, and in a sore conflict she gave him the
victory; that he might know that goodness 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 cover by day,
and a light of stars in the night season;
18 Brought them through the Red sea, and led them through much
19 But she drowned their enemies, and cast 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.
1 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
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 of a perpetual running river troubled with foul
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
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 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
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
1 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 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 didst send
wasps, forerunners of thine host, to destroy them by little and
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
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
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
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
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
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.
1 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
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
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 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
skillfully round about, and hath wrought it handsomely, 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 colouring it red, and covering every
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
17 Then maketh he prayer for his goods, for his wife and
children, and is not ashamed to speak to that which hath no
18 For health he calleth upon that which is weak 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
1 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
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
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
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 traiterously, or grieved him by
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.
1 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 painter's
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 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
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
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
1 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
12 For it was neither herb, nor mollifying plaister, that
restored them to health but thy word, O Lord, which healeth all
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
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
20 Instead whereof thou feddest thine own people with angels'
food, and didst send them from heaven bread prepared without
their labour, able to content every man's 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 man's 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
winter's hoar frost, and shall run away as unprofitable water.
1 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
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
9 For though no terrible thing did fear them; yet being scared
with beasts that passed by, and hissing of serpents,
10 They died for fear, denying that they saw the air, which
could of no side be avoided.
11 For wickedness, condemned by her own witness, is very
timorous, and being pressed with conscience, always forecasteth
12 For fear is nothing else but a betraying of the succours
which reason offereth.
13 And the expectation from within, being less, counteth the
ignorance more than the cause which bringeth the torment.
14 But they sleeping the same sleep that night, which was indeed
intolerable, and which came upon them out of the bottoms of
15 Were partly vexed with monstrous apparitions, and partly
fainted, their heart failing them for a sudden fear, and not
looked for, came upon them.
16 So then whosoever there fell down was straitly kept, shut up
in a prison without iron bars,
17 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 for they were all bound with one chain of
18 Whether it were a whistling wind, or a melodious noise of
birds among the spreading branches, or a pleasing fall of water
19 Or a terrible sound of stones cast down, 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.
20 For the whole world shined with clear light, and none were
hindered in their labour:
21 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.
1 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
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 daidem 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.
1 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 fulfill the punishment which was wanting to
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 Wherethrough 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
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 the Sodomites did not receive those, whom they knew not
when they came but these brought friends into bondage, that had
well deserved of them.
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
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.