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Wisdom 14


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 are saved.

6 For in the old time also, when the proud giants perished, the hope of the world governed by thy hand escaped in a weak vessel, and left to all ages a seed of generation.

7 For blessed is the wood whereby righteousness cometh.

8 But that which is made with hands is cursed, as well it, as he that made it: he, because he made it; and it, because, being corruptible, it was called god.

9 For the ungodly and his ungodliness are both alike hateful unto God.

10 For that which is made shall be punished together with him that made it.

11 Therefore even upon the idols of the Gentiles shall there be a visitation: because in the creature of God they are become an abomination, and stumblingblocks to the souls of men, and a snare to the feet of the unwise.

12 For the devising of idols was the beginning of spiritual fornication, and the invention of them the corruption of life.

13 For neither were they from the beginning, neither shall they be for ever.

14 For by the vain glory of men they entered into the world, and therefore shall they come shortly to an end.

15 For a father afflicted with untimely mourning, when he hath made an image of his child soon taken away, now honoured him as a god, which was then a dead man, and delivered to those that were under him ceremonies and sacrifices.

16 Thus in process of time an ungodly custom grown strong was kept as a law, and graven images were worshipped by the commandments of kings.

17 Whom men could not honour in presence, because they dwelt far off, they took the counterfeit of his visage from far, and made an express image of a king whom they honoured, to the end that by this their forwardness they might flatter him that was absent, as if he were present.

18 Also the singular diligence of the artificer did help to set forward the ignorant to more superstition.

19 For he, peradventure willing to please one in authority, forced all his skill to make the resemblance of the best fashion.

20 And so the multitude, allured by the grace of the work, took him now for a god, which a little before was but honoured.

21 And this was an occasion to deceive the world: for men, serving either calamity or tyranny, did ascribe unto stones and stocks the incommunicable name.

22 Moreover this was not enough for them, that they erred in the knowledge of God; but whereas they lived in the great war of ignorance, those so great plagues called they peace.

23 For whilst they slew their children in sacrifices, or used secret ceremonies, or made revellings of strange rites;

24 They kept neither lives nor marriages any longer undefiled: but either one slew another traiterously, or grieved him by adultery.

25 So that there reigned in all men without exception blood, manslaughter, theft, and dissimulation, corruption, unfaithfulness, tumults, perjury,

26 Disquieting of good men, forgetfulness of good turns, defiling of souls, changing of kind, disorder in marriages, adultery, and shameless uncleanness.

27 For the worshipping of idols not to be named is the beginning, the cause, and the end, of all evil.

28 For either they are mad when they be merry, or prophesy lies, or live unjustly, or else lightly forswear themselves.

29 For insomuch as their trust is in idols, which have no life; though they swear falsely, yet they look not to be hurt.

30 Howbeit for both causes shall they be justly punished: both because they thought not well of God, giving heed unto idols, and also unjustly swore in deceit, despising holiness.

31 For it is not the power of them by whom they swear: but it is the just vengeance of sinners, that punisheth always the offence of the ungodly.


1 πλοῦν τις πάλιν στελλόμενος καὶ ἄγρια μέλλων διοδεύειν κύματα τοῦ φέροντος αὐτὸν πλοίου σαθρότερον ξύλον ἐπιβοᾶται

2 ἐκεῖνο μὲν γὰρ ὄρεξις πορισμῶν ἐπενόησεν τεχνῖτις δὲ σοφία κατεσκεύασεν

3 ἡ δὲ σή πάτερ διακυβερνᾷ πρόνοια ὅτι ἔδωκας καὶ ἐν θαλάσσῃ ὁδὸν καὶ ἐν κύμασι τρίβον ἀσφαλῆ

4 δεικνὺς ὅτι δύνασαι ἐκ παντὸς σῴζειν ἵνα κἂν ἄνευ τέχνης τις ἐπιβῇ

5 θέλεις δὲ μὴ ἀργὰ εἶναι τὰ τῆς σοφίας σου ἔργα διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἐλαχίστῳ ξύλῳ πιστεύουσιν ἄνθρωποι ψυχὰς καὶ διελθόντες κλύδωνα σχεδίᾳ διεσώθησαν

6 καὶ ἀρχῆς γὰρ ἀπολλυμένων ὑπερηφάνων γιγάντων ἡ ἐλπὶς τοῦ κόσμου ἐπὶ σχεδίας καταφυγοῦσα ἀπέλιπεν αἰῶνι σπέρμα γενέσεως τῇ σῇ κυβερνηθεῖσα χειρί

7 εὐλόγηται γὰρ ξύλον δι᾽ οὗ γίνεται δικαιοσύνη

8 τὸ χειροποίητον δέ ἐπικατάρατον αὐτὸ καὶ ὁ ποιήσας αὐτό ὅτι ὁ μὲν ἠργάζετο τὸ δὲ φθαρτὸν θεὸς ὠνομάσθη

9 ἐν ἴσῳ γὰρ μισητὰ θεῷ καὶ ὁ ἀσεβῶν καὶ ἡ ἀσέβεια αὐτοῦ

10 καὶ γὰρ τὸ πραχθὲν σὺν τῷ δράσαντι κολασθήσεται

11 διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἐν εἰδώλοις ἐθνῶν ἐπισκοπὴ ἔσται ὅτι ἐν κτίσματι θεοῦ εἰς βδέλυγμα ἐγενήθησαν καὶ εἰς σκάνδαλα ψυχαῖς ἀνθρώπων καὶ εἰς παγίδα ποσὶν ἀφρόνων

12 ἀρχὴ γὰρ πορνείας ἐπίνοια εἰδώλων εὕρεσις δὲ αὐτῶν φθορὰ ζωῆς

13 οὔτε γὰρ ἦν ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς οὔτε εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἔσται

14 κενοδοξίᾳ γὰρ ἀνθρώπων εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον καὶ διὰ τοῦτο σύντομον αὐτῶν τὸ τέλος ἐπενοήθη

15 ἀώρῳ γὰρ πένθει τρυχόμενος πατὴρ τοῦ ταχέως ἀφαιρεθέντος τέκνου εἰκόνα ποιήσας τόν ποτε νεκρὸν ἄνθρωπον νῦν ὡς θεὸν ἐτίμησεν καὶ παρέδωκεν τοῖς ὑποχειρίοις μυστήρια καὶ τελετάς

16 εἶτα ἐν χρόνῳ κρατυνθὲν τὸ ἀσεβὲς ἔθος ὡς νόμος ἐφυλάχθη

17 καὶ τυράννων ἐπιταγαῖς ἐθρησκεύετο τὰ γλυπτά οὓς ἐν ὄψει μὴ δυνάμενοι τιμᾶν ἄνθρωποι διὰ τὸ μακρὰν οἰκεῖν τὴν πόρρωθεν ὄψιν ἀνατυπωσάμενοι ἐμφανῆ εἰκόνα τοῦ τιμωμένου βασιλέως ἐποίησαν ἵνα ὡς παρόντα τὸν ἀπόντα κολακεύωσιν διὰ τῆς σπουδῆς

18 εἰς ἐπίτασιν δὲ θρησκείας καὶ τοὺς ἀγνοοῦντας ἡ τοῦ τεχνίτου προετρέψατο φιλοτιμία

19 ὁ μὲν γὰρ τάχα κρατοῦντι βουλόμενος ἀρέσαι ἐξεβιάσατο τῇ τέχνῃ τὴν ὁμοιότητα ἐπὶ τὸ κάλλιον

20 τὸ δὲ πλῆθος ἐφελκόμενον διὰ τὸ εὔχαρι τῆς ἐργασίας τὸν πρὸ ὀλίγου τιμηθέντα ἄνθρωπον νῦν σέβασμα ἐλογίσαντο

21 καὶ τοῦτο ἐγένετο τῷ βίῳ εἰς ἔνεδρον ὅτι ἢ συμφορᾷ ἢ τυραννίδι δουλεύσαντες ἄνθρωποι τὸ ἀκοινώνητον ὄνομα λίθοις καὶ ξύλοις περιέθεσαν

22 εἶτ᾽ οὐκ ἤρκεσεν τὸ πλανᾶσθαι περὶ τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ γνῶσιν ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν μεγάλῳ ζῶντες ἀγνοίας πολέμῳ τὰ τοσαῦτα κακὰ εἰρήνην προσαγορεύουσιν

23 ἢ γὰρ τεκνοφόνους τελετὰς ἢ κρύφια μυστήρια ἢ ἐμμανεῖς ἐξάλλων θεσμῶν κώμους ἄγοντες

24 οὔτε βίους οὔτε γάμους καθαροὺς ἔτι φυλάσσουσιν ἕτερος δ᾽ ἕτερον ἢ λοχῶν ἀναιρεῖ ἢ νοθεύων ὀδυνᾷ

25 πάντα δ᾽ ἐπιμὶξ ἔχει αἷμα καὶ φόνος κλοπὴ καὶ δόλος φθορά ἀπιστία τάραχος ἐπιορκία

26 θόρυβος ἀγαθῶν χάριτος ἀμνηστία ψυχῶν μιασμός γενέσεως ἐναλλαγή γάμων ἀταξία μοιχεία καὶ ἀσέλγεια

27 ἡ γὰρ τῶν ἀνωνύμων εἰδώλων θρησκεία παντὸς ἀρχὴ κακοῦ καὶ αἰτία καὶ πέρας ἐστίν

28 ἢ γὰρ εὐφραινόμενοι μεμήνασιν ἢ προφητεύουσιν ψευδῆ ἢ ζῶσιν ἀδίκως ἢ ἐπιορκοῦσιν ταχέως

29 ἀψύχοις γὰρ πεποιθότες εἰδώλοις κακῶς ὀμόσαντες ἀδικηθῆναι οὐ προσδέχονται

30 ἀμφότερα δὲ αὐτοὺς μετελεύσεται τὰ δίκαια ὅτι κακῶς ἐφρόνησαν περὶ θεοῦ προσέχοντες εἰδώλοις καὶ ἀδίκως ὤμοσαν ἐν δόλῳ καταφρονήσαντες ὁσιότητος

31 οὐ γὰρ ἡ τῶν ὀμνυμένων δύναμις ἀλλ᾽ ἡ τῶν ἁμαρτανόντων δίκη ἐπεξέρχεται ἀεὶ τὴν τῶν ἀδίκων παράβασιν


1 [Iterum alius navigare cogitans,
et per feros fluctus iter facere incipiens,
ligno portante se, fragilius lignum invocat.

2 Illud enim cupiditas acquirendi excogitavit,
et artifex sapientia fabricavit sua.

3 Tua autem, Pater, providentia gubernat:
quoniam dedisti et in mari viam,
et inter fluctus semitam firmissimam,

4 ostendens quoniam potens es ex omnibus salvare,
etiam si sine arte aliquis adeat mare.

5 Sed ut non essent vacua sapientiæ tuæ opera,
propter hoc etiam et exiguo ligno credunt homines animas suas,
et transeuntes mare per ratem liberati sunt.

6 Sed et ab initio cum perirent superbi gigantes,
spes orbis terrarum ad ratem confugiens,
remisit sæculo semen nativitatis quæ manu tua erat gubernata.

7 Benedictum est enim lignum per quod fit justitia;

8 per manus autem quod fit idolum,
maledictum est et ipsum, et qui fecit illud:
quia ille quidem operatus est,
illud autem cum esset fragile, deus cognominatus est.

9 Similiter autem odio sunt Deo impius et impietas ejus;

10 etenim quod factum est, cum illo qui fecit tormenta patietur.

11 Propter hoc et in idolis nationum non erit respectus,
quoniam creaturæ Dei in odium factæ sunt,
et in tentationem animabus hominum,
et in muscipulam pedibus insipientium.

12 Initium enim fornicationis est exquisitio idolorum,
et adinventio illorum corruptio vitæ est:

13 neque enim erant ab initio,
neque erunt in perpetuum.

14 Supervacuitas enim hominum hæc advenit in orbem terrarum,
et ideo brevis illorum finis est inventus.]

15 [Acerbo enim luctu dolens pater,
cito sibi rapti filii fecit imaginem;
et illum qui tunc quasi homo mortuus fuerat,
nunc tamquam deum colere cœpit,
et constituit inter servos suos sacra et sacrificia.

16 Deinde interveniente tempore, convalescente iniqua consuetudine,
hic error tamquam lex custoditus est,
et tyrannorum imperio colebantur figmenta.

17 Et hos quos in palam homines honorare non poterant
propter hoc quod longe essent,
e longinquo figura eorum allata,
evidentem imaginem regis quem honorare volebant fecerunt,
ut illum qui aberat, tamquam præsentem colerent sua sollicitudine.

18 Provexit autem ad horum culturam
et hos qui ignorabant artificis eximia diligentia.

19 Ille enim, volens placere illi qui se assumpsit,
elaboravit arte sua ut similitudinem in melius figuraret.

20 Multitudo autem hominum, abducta per speciem operis,
eum qui ante tempus tamquam homo honoratus fuerat,
nunc deum æstimaverunt.

21 Et hæc fuit vitæ humanæ deceptio,
quoniam aut affectui aut regibus deservientes homines,
incommunicabile nomen lapidibus et lignis imposuerunt.]

22 [Et non suffecerat errasse eos circa Dei scientiam,
sed et in magno viventes inscientiæ bello,
tot et tam magna mala pacem appellant.

23 Aut enim filios suos sacrificantes,
aut obscura sacrificia facientes,
aut insaniæ plenas vigilias habentes,

24 neque vitam, neque nuptias mundas jam custodiunt:
sed alius alium per invidiam occidit,
aut adulterans contristat,

25 et omnia commista sunt: sanguis, homicidium,
furtum et fictio, corruptio et infidelitas,
turbatio et perjurium, tumultus bonorum,

26 Dei immemoratio, animarum inquinatio,
nativitatis immutatio, nuptiarum inconstantia,
inordinatio mœchiæ et impudicitiæ.

27 Infandorum enim idolorum cultura
omnis mali causa est, et initium et finis.

28 Aut enim dum lætantur insaniunt,
aut certe vaticinantur falsa,
aut vivunt injuste, aut pejerant cito.

29 Dum enim confidunt in idolis quæ sine anima sunt,
male jurantes noceri se non sperant.

30 Utraque ergo illis evenient digne,
quoniam male senserunt de Deo, attendentes idolis,
et juraverunt injuste,
in dolo contemnentes justitiam.

31 Non enim juratorum virtus,
sed peccantium pœna,
perambulat semper injustorum prævaricationem.]

Next: Wisdom 15