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Wisdom 2


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 heat thereof.

5 For our time is a very shadow that passeth away; and after our end there is no returning: for it is fast sealed, so that no man cometh again.

6 Come on therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present: and let us speedily use the creatures like as in youth.

7 Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments: and let no flower of the spring pass by us:

8 Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they be withered:

9 Let none of us go without his part of our voluptuousness: let us leave tokens of 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 kn ew them not: neither hoped they for the wages of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for blameless souls.

23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own 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 εἶπον γὰρ ἐν ἑαυτοῖς λογισάμενοι οὐκ ὀρθῶς ὀλίγος ἐστὶν καὶ λυπηρὸς ὁ βίος ἡμῶν καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἴασις ἐν τελευτῇ ἀνθρώπου καὶ οὐκ ἐγνώσθη ὁ ἀναλύσας ἐξ ᾅδου

2 ὅτι αὐτοσχεδίως ἐγενήθημεν καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο ἐσόμεθα ὡς οὐχ ὑπάρξαντες ὅτι καπνὸς ἡ πνοὴ ἐν ῥισὶν ἡμῶν καὶ ὁ λόγος σπινθὴρ ἐν κινήσει καρδίας ἡμῶν

3 οὗ σβεσθέντος τέφρα ἀποβήσεται τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα διαχυθήσεται ὡς χαῦνος ἀήρ

4 καὶ τὸ ὄνομα ἡμῶν ἐπιλησθήσεται ἐν χρόνῳ καὶ οὐθεὶς μνημονεύσει τῶν ἔργων ἡμῶν καὶ παρελεύσεται ὁ βίος ἡμῶν ὡς ἴχνη νεφέλης καὶ ὡς ὁμίχλη διασκεδασθήσεται διωχθεῖσα ὑπὸ ἀκτίνων ἡλίου καὶ ὑπὸ θερμότητος αὐτοῦ βαρυνθεῖσα

5 σκιᾶς γὰρ πάροδος ὁ καιρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀναποδισμὸς τῆς τελευτῆς ἡμῶν ὅτι κατεσφραγίσθη καὶ οὐδεὶς ἀναστρέφει

6 δεῦτε οὖν καὶ ἀπολαύσωμεν τῶν ὄντων ἀγαθῶν καὶ χρησώμεθα τῇ κτίσει ὡς ἐν νεότητι σπουδαίως

7 οἴνου πολυτελοῦς καὶ μύρων πλησθῶμεν καὶ μὴ παροδευσάτω ἡμᾶς ἄνθος ἔαρος

8 στεψώμεθα ῥόδων κάλυξιν πρὶν ἢ μαρανθῆναι

9 μηδεὶς ἡμῶν ἄμοιρος ἔστω τῆς ἡμετέρας ἀγερωχίας πανταχῇ καταλίπωμεν σύμβολα τῆς εὐφροσύνης ὅτι αὕτη ἡ μερὶς ἡμῶν καὶ ὁ κλῆρος οὗτος

10 καταδυναστεύσωμεν πένητα δίκαιον μὴ φεισώμεθα χήρας μηδὲ πρεσβύτου ἐντραπῶμεν πολιὰς πολυχρονίους

11 ἔστω δὲ ἡμῶν ἡ ἰσχὺς νόμος τῆς δικαιοσύνης τὸ γὰρ ἀσθενὲς ἄχρηστον ἐλέγχεται

12 ἐνεδρεύσωμεν τὸν δίκαιον ὅτι δύσχρηστος ἡμῖν ἐστιν καὶ ἐναντιοῦται τοῖς ἔργοις ἡμῶν καὶ ὀνειδίζει ἡμῖν ἁμαρτήματα νόμου καὶ ἐπιφημίζει ἡμῖν ἁμαρτήματα παιδείας ἡμῶν

13 ἐπαγγέλλεται γνῶσιν ἔχειν θεοῦ καὶ παῖδα κυρίου ἑαυτὸν ὀνομάζει

14 ἐγένετο ἡμῖν εἰς ἔλεγχον ἐννοιῶν ἡμῶν βαρύς ἐστιν ἡμῖν καὶ βλεπόμενος

15 ὅτι ἀνόμοιος τοῖς ἄλλοις ὁ βίος αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐξηλλαγμέναι αἱ τρίβοι αὐτοῦ

16 εἰς κίβδηλον ἐλογίσθημεν αὐτῷ καὶ ἀπέχεται τῶν ὁδῶν ἡμῶν ὡς ἀπὸ ἀκαθαρσιῶν μακαρίζει ἔσχατα δικαίων καὶ ἀλαζονεύεται πατέρα θεόν

17 ἴδωμεν εἰ οἱ λόγοι αὐτοῦ ἀληθεῖς καὶ πειράσωμεν τὰ ἐν ἐκβάσει αὐτοῦ

18 εἰ γάρ ἐστιν ὁ δίκαιος υἱὸς θεοῦ ἀντιλήμψεται αὐτοῦ καὶ ῥύσεται αὐτὸν ἐκ χειρὸς ἀνθεστηκότων

19 ὕβρει καὶ βασάνῳ ἐτάσωμεν αὐτόν ἵνα γνῶμεν τὴν ἐπιείκειαν αὐτοῦ καὶ δοκιμάσωμεν τὴν ἀνεξικακίαν αὐτοῦ

20 θανάτῳ ἀσχήμονι καταδικάσωμεν αὐτόν ἔσται γὰρ αὐτοῦ ἐπισκοπὴ ἐκ λόγων αὐτοῦ

21 ταῦτα ἐλογίσαντο καὶ ἐπλανήθησαν ἀπετύφλωσεν γὰρ αὐτοὺς ἡ κακία αὐτῶν

22 καὶ οὐκ ἔγνωσαν μυστήρια θεοῦ οὐδὲ μισθὸν ἤλπισαν ὁσιότητος οὐδὲ ἔκριναν γέρας ψυχῶν ἀμώμων

23 ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἔκτισεν τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐπ᾽ ἀφθαρσίᾳ καὶ εἰκόνα τῆς ἰδίας ἀϊδιότητος ἐποίησεν αὐτόν

24 φθόνῳ δὲ διαβόλου θάνατος εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον πειράζουσιν δὲ αὐτὸν οἱ τῆς ἐκείνου μερίδος ὄντες


1 [Dixerunt enim cogitantes apud se non recte:
Exiguum et cum tædio est tempus vitæ nostræ,
et non est refrigerium in fine hominis,
et non est qui agnitus sit reversus ab inferis.

2 Quia ex nihilo nati sumus,
et post hoc erimus tamquam non fuerimus.
Quoniam fumus flatus est in naribus nostris,
et sermo scintilla ad commovendum cor nostrum:

3 qua extincta, cinis erit corpus nostrum,
et spiritus diffundetur tamquam mollis aër;
et transibit vita nostra tamquam vestigium nubis,
et sicut nebula dissolvetur quæ fugata est a radiis solis,
et a calore illius aggravata.

4 Et nomen nostrum oblivionem accipiet per tempus,
et nemo memoriam habebit operum nostrorum.

5 Umbræ enim transitus est tempus nostrum,
et non est reversio finis nostri:
quoniam consignata est, et nemo revertitur.

6 Venite ergo, et fruamur bonis quæ sunt,
et utamur creatura tamquam in juventute celeriter.

7 Vino pretioso et unguentis nos impleamus,
et non prætereat nos flos temporis.

8 Coronemus nos rosis antequam marcescant;
nullum pratum sit quod non pertranseat luxuria nostra:

9 nemo nostrum exsors sit luxuriæ nostræ.
Ubique relinquamus signa lætitiæ,
quoniam hæc est pars nostra, et hæc est sors.

10 Opprimamus pauperem justum, et non parcamus viduæ,
nec veterani revereamur canos multi temporis:

11 sit autem fortitudo nostra lex justitiæ;
quod enim infirmum est, inutile invenitur.

12 Circumveniamus ergo justum, quoniam inutilis est nobis,
et contrarius est operibus nostris,
et improperat nobis peccata legis,
et diffamat in nos peccata disciplinæ nostræ.

13 Promittit se scientiam Dei habere,
et filium Dei se nominat.

14 Factus est nobis in traductionem cogitationum nostrarum.

15 Gravis est nobis etiam ad videndum,
quoniam dissimilis est aliis vita illius,
et immutatæ sunt viæ ejus.

16 Tamquam nugaces æstimati sumus ab illo,
et abstinet se a viis nostris tamquam ab immunditiis,
et præfert novissima justorum,
et gloriatur patrem se habere Deum.

17 Videamus ergo si sermones illius veri sint,
et tentemus quæ ventura sunt illi,
et sciemus quæ erunt novissima illius.

18 Si enim est verus filius Dei, suscipiet illum,
et liberabit eum de manibus contrariorum.

19 Contumelia et tormento interrogemus eum,
ut sciamus reverentiam ejus,
et probemus patientiam illius.

20 Morte turpissima condemnemus eum;
erit enim ei respectus ex sermonibus illius.

21 Hæc cogitaverunt, et erraverunt:
excæcavit enim illos malitia eorum.

22 Et nescierunt sacramenta Dei:
neque mercedem speraverunt justitiæ,
nec judicaverunt honorem animarum sanctarum.

23 Quoniam Deus creavit hominem inexterminabilem,
et ad imaginem similitudinis suæ fecit illum.

24 Invidia autem diaboli mors introivit in orbem terrarum:

25 imitantur autem illum qui sunt ex parte illius.]

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