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Wisdom 18


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 destruction,

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 τοῖς δὲ ὁσίοις σου μέγιστον ἦν φῶς ὧν φωνὴν μὲν ἀκούοντες μορφὴν δὲ οὐχ ὁρῶντες ὅτι μὲν οὐ κἀκεῖνοι ἐπεπόνθεισαν ἐμακάριζον

2 ὅτι δ᾽ οὐ βλάπτουσιν προηδικημένοι ηὐχαρίστουν καὶ τοῦ διενεχθῆναι χάριν ἐδέοντο

3 ἀνθ᾽ ὧν πυριφλεγῆ στῦλον ὁδηγὸν μὲν ἀγνώστου ὁδοιπορίας ἥλιον δὲ ἀβλαβῆ φιλοτίμου ξενιτείας παρέσχες

4 ἄξιοι μὲν γὰρ ἐκεῖνοι στερηθῆναι φωτὸς καὶ φυλακισθῆναι σκότει οἱ κατακλείστους φυλάξαντες τοὺς υἱούς σου δι᾽ ὧν ἤμελλεν τὸ ἄφθαρτον νόμου φῶς τῷ αἰῶνι δίδοσθαι

5 βουλευσαμένους δ᾽ αὐτοὺς τὰ τῶν ὁσίων ἀποκτεῖναι νήπια καὶ ἑνὸς ἐκτεθέντος τέκνου καὶ σωθέντος εἰς ἔλεγχον τὸ αὐτῶν ἀφείλω πλῆθος τέκνων καὶ ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἀπώλεσας ἐν ὕδατι σφοδρῷ

6 ἐκείνη ἡ νὺξ προεγνώσθη πατράσιν ἡμῶν ἵνα ἀσφαλῶς εἰδότες οἷς ἐπίστευσαν ὅρκοις ἐπευθυμήσωσιν

7 προσεδέχθη ὑπὸ λαοῦ σου σωτηρία μὲν δικαίων ἐχθρῶν δὲ ἀπώλεια

8 ᾧ γὰρ ἐτιμωρήσω τοὺς ὑπεναντίους τούτῳ ἡμᾶς προσκαλεσάμενος ἐδόξασας

9 κρυφῇ γὰρ ἐθυσίαζον ὅσιοι παῖδες ἀγαθῶν καὶ τὸν τῆς θειότητος νόμον ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ διέθεντο τῶν αὐτῶν ὁμοίως καὶ ἀγαθῶν καὶ κινδύνων μεταλήμψεσθαι τοὺς ἁγίους πατέρων ἤδη προαναμέλποντες αἴνους

10 ἀντήχει δ᾽ ἀσύμφωνος ἐχθρῶν ἡ βοή καὶ οἰκτρὰ διεφέρετο φωνὴ θρηνουμένων παίδων

11 ὁμοίᾳ δὲ δίκῃ δοῦλος ἅμα δεσπότῃ κολασθεὶς καὶ δημότης βασιλεῖ τὰ αὐτὰ πάσχων

12 ὁμοθυμαδὸν δὲ πάντες ἐν ἑνὶ ὀνόματι θανάτου νεκροὺς εἶχον ἀναριθμήτους οὐδὲ γὰρ πρὸς τὸ θάψαι οἱ ζῶντες ἦσαν ἱκανοί ἐπεὶ πρὸς μίαν ῥοπὴν ἡ ἐντιμοτέρα γένεσις αὐτῶν διέφθαρτο

13 πάντα γὰρ ἀπιστοῦντες διὰ τὰς φαρμακείας ἐπὶ τῷ τῶν πρωτοτόκων ὀλέθρῳ ὡμολόγησαν θεοῦ υἱὸν λαὸν εἶναι

14 ἡσύχου γὰρ σιγῆς περιεχούσης τὰ πάντα καὶ νυκτὸς ἐν ἰδίῳ τάχει μεσαζούσης

15 ὁ παντοδύναμός σου λόγος ἀπ᾽ οὐρανῶν ἐκ θρόνων βασιλείων ἀπότομος πολεμιστὴς εἰς μέσον τῆς ὀλεθρίας ἥλατο γῆς ξίφος ὀξὺ τὴν ἀνυπόκριτον ἐπιταγήν σου φέρων

16 καὶ στὰς ἐπλήρωσεν τὰ πάντα θανάτου καὶ οὐρανοῦ μὲν ἥπτετο βεβήκει δ᾽ ἐπὶ γῆς

17 τότε παραχρῆμα φαντασίαι μὲν ὀνείρων δεινῶν ἐξετάραξαν αὐτούς φόβοι δὲ ἐπέστησαν ἀδόκητοι

18 καὶ ἄλλος ἀλλαχῇ ῥιφεὶς ἡμίθνητος δι᾽ ἣν ἔθνῃσκον αἰτίαν ἐνεφάνιζεν

19 οἱ γὰρ ὄνειροι θορυβήσαντες αὐτοὺς τοῦτο προεμήνυσαν ἵνα μὴ ἀγνοοῦντες δι᾽ ὃ κακῶς πάσχουσιν ἀπόλωνται

20 ἥψατο δὲ καὶ δικαίων πεῖρα θανάτου καὶ θραῦσις ἐν ἐρήμῳ ἐγένετο πλήθους ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἐπὶ πολὺ ἔμεινεν ἡ ὀργή

21 σπεύσας γὰρ ἀνὴρ ἄμεμπτος προεμάχησεν τὸ τῆς ἰδίας λειτουργίας ὅπλον προσευχὴν καὶ θυμιάματος ἐξιλασμὸν κομίσας ἀντέστη τῷ θυμῷ καὶ πέρας ἐπέθηκε τῇ συμφορᾷ δεικνὺς ὅτι σός ἐστιν θεράπων

22 ἐνίκησεν δὲ τὸν χόλον οὐκ ἰσχύι τοῦ σώματος οὐχ ὅπλων ἐνεργείᾳ ἀλλὰ λόγῳ τὸν κολάζοντα ὑπέταξεν ὅρκους πατέρων καὶ διαθήκας ὑπομνήσας

23 σωρηδὸν γὰρ ἤδη πεπτωκότων ἐπ᾽ ἀλλήλων νεκρῶν μεταξὺ στὰς ἀνέκοψε τὴν ὀργὴν καὶ διέσχισεν τὴν πρὸς τοὺς ζῶντας ὁδόν

24 ἐπὶ γὰρ ποδήρους ἐνδύματος ἦν ὅλος ὁ κόσμος καὶ πατέρων δόξαι ἐπὶ τετραστίχου λίθων γλυφῆς καὶ μεγαλωσύνη σου ἐπὶ διαδήματος κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ

25 τούτοις εἶξεν ὁ ὀλεθρεύων ταῦτα δὲ ἐφοβήθη ἦν γὰρ μόνη ἡ πεῖρα τῆς ὀργῆς ἱκανή


1 [Sanctis autem tuis maxima erat lux,
et horum quidem vocem audiebant, sed figuram non videbant.
Et quia non et ipsi eadem passi erant, magnificabant te;

2 et qui ante læsi erant, quia non lædebantur, gratias agebant,
et ut esset differentia, donum petebant.

3 Propter quod ignis ardentem columnam
ducem habuerunt ignotæ viæ,
et solem sine læsura boni hospitii præstitisti.

4 Digni quidem illi carere luce,
et pati carcerem tenebrarum,
qui inclusos custodiebant filios tuos,
per quos incipiebat incorruptum legis lumen sæculo dari.]

5 [Cum cogitarent justorum occidere infantes,
et uno exposito filio et liberato,
in traductionem illorum, multitudinem filiorum abstulisti,
et pariter illos perdidisti in aqua valida.

6 Illa enim nox ante cognita est a patribus nostris,
ut vere scientes quibus juramentis crediderunt,
animæquiores essent.

7 Suscepta est autem a populo tuo sanitas quidem justorum,
injustorum autem exterminatio.

8 Sicut enim læsisti adversarios,
sic et nos provocans magnificasti.

9 Absconse enim sacrificabant justi pueri bonorum,
et justitiæ legem in concordia disposuerunt;
similiter et bona et mala recepturos justos,
patrum jam decantantes laudes.

10 Resonabat autem inconveniens inimicorum vox,
et flebilis audiebatur planctus ploratorum infantium.

11 Simili autem pœna servus cum domino afflictus est,
et popularis homo regi similia passus.

12 Similiter ergo omnes, uno nomine mortis,
mortuos habebant innumerabiles:
nec enim ad sepeliendum vivi sufficiebant,
quoniam uno momento quæ erat præclarior
natio illorum exterminata est.

13 De omnibus enim non credentes, propter veneficia;
tunc vero primum cum fuit exterminium primogenitorum,
spoponderunt populum Dei esse.

14 Cum enim quietum silentium contineret omnia,
et nox in suo cursu medium iter haberet,

15 omnipotens sermo tuus de cælo, a regalibus sedibus,
durus debellator in mediam exterminii terram prosilivit,

16 gladius acutus insimulatum imperium tuum portans:
et stans, replevit omnia morte,
et usque ad cælum attingebat stans in terra.

17 Tunc continuo visus somniorum malorum turbaverunt illos,
et timores supervenerunt insperati.

18 Et alius alibi projectus semivivus,
propter quam moriebatur causam demonstrabat mortis.

19 Visiones enim quæ illos turbaverunt hæc præmonebant,
ne inscii quare mala patiebantur perirent.

20 Tetigit autem tunc et justos tentatio mortis,
et commotio in eremo facta est multitudinis:
sed non diu permansit ira tua.

21 Prosperans enim homo sine querela deprecari pro populis,
proferens servitutis suæ scutum,
orationem et per incensum deprecationem allegans,
restitit iræ, et finem imposuit necessitati,
ostendens quoniam tuus est famulus.

22 Vicit autem turbas non in virtute corporis,
nec armaturæ potentia:
sed verbo illum qui se vexabat subjecit,
juramenta parentum et testamentum commemorans.

23 Cum enim jam acervatim cecidissent super alterutrum mortui,
interstitit, et amputavit impetum,
et divisit illam quæ ad vivos ducebat viam.

24 In veste enim poderis quam habebat, totus erat orbis terrarum;
et parentum magnalia in quatuor ordinibus lapidum erant sculpta,
et magnificentia tua in diademate capitis illius sculpta erat.

25 His autem cessit qui exterminabat, et hæc extimuit:
erat enim sola tentatio iræ sufficiens.]

Next: Wisdom 19