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Wisdom of Solomon 16

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Wisdom of Solomon 16

1Therefore those men were deservedly punished through such creatures,

and were tormented by a multitude of animals.

2Instead of this punishment thou didst show kindness to thy people,

and thou didst prepare quails to eat,

a delicacy to satisfy the desire of appetite;

3in order that those men, when they desired food,

might lose the least remnant of appetitea

because of the odious creatures sent to them,

while thy people,b after suffering want a short time,

might partake of delicacies.

4For it was necessary that upon those oppressors inexorable want should come,

while to these it was merely shown how their enemies were being tormented.

5For when the terrible rage of wild beasts came upon thy peoplec

and they were being destroyed by the bites of writhing serpents,

thy wrath did not continue to the end;

6they were troubled for a little while as a warning,

and received a token of deliverance to remind them of thy law's command.

7For he who turned toward it was saved, not by what he saw,

but by thee, the Savior of all.

8And by this also thou didst convince our enemies

that it is thou who deliverest from every evil.

9For they were killed by the bites of locusts and flies,

and no healing was found for them,

because they deserved to be punished by such things;

10but thy sons were not conquered even by the teeth of venomous serpents,

for thy mercy came to their help and healed them.

11To remind them of thy oracles they were bitten,

and then were quickly delivered,

lest they should fall into deep forgetfulness

and become unresponsived to thy kindness.

12For neither herb nor poultice cured them,

but it was thy word, O Lord, which heals all men.

13For thou hast power over life and death;

thou dost lead men down to the gates of Hades and back again.

14A man in his wickedness kills another,

but he cannot bring back the departed spirit,

nor set free the imprisoned soul.

Disastrous Storms Strike Egypt

15To escape from thy hand is impossible;

16for the ungodly, refusing to know thee,

were scourged by the strength of thy arm,

pursued by unusual rains and hail and relentless storms,

and utterly consumed by fire.

17For-most incredible of all-in the water, which quenches all things,

the fire had still greater effect,

for the universe defends the righteous.

18At one time the flame was restrained,

so that it might not consume the creatures sent against the ungodly,

but that seeing this they might know

that they were being pursued by the judgment of God;

19and at another time even in the midst of water it burned more intensely than fire,

to destroy the crops of the unrighteous land.

The Israelites Receive Manna

20Instead of these things thou didst give thy people food of angels,

and without their toil thou didst supply them from heaven with bread ready to eat,

providing every pleasure and suited to every taste.

21For thy sustenance manifested thy sweetness toward thy children;

and the bread, ministeringe to the desire of the one who took it,

was changed to suit every one's liking.

22Snow and ice withstood fire without melting,

so that they might know that the crops of their enemies

were being destroyed by the fire that blazed in the hail

and flashed in the showers of rain;

23whereas the fire,f in order that the righteous might be fed,

even forgot its native power.

24For creation, serving thee who hast made it,

exerts itself to punish the unrighteous,

and in kindness relaxes on behalf of those who trust in thee.

25Therefore at that time also, changed into all forms,

it served thy all-nourishing bounty,

according to the desire of those who had need,g

26so that thy sons, whom thou didst love, O Lord, might learn

that it is not the production of crops that feeds man,

but that thy word preserves those who trust in thee.

27For what was not destroyed by fire

was melted when simply warmed by a fleeting ray of the sun,

28to make it known that one must rise before the sun to give thee thanks,

and must pray to thee at the dawning of the light;

29for the hope of an ungrateful man will melt like wintry frost,

and flow away like waste water.