December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Book of Wisdom
- 1 2 She preserved the first-formed father of the world when he alone had been created; And she raised him up from his fall,
- and gave him power to rule all things.
- 3 But when the unjust man withdrew from her in his anger, he perished through his fratricidal wrath.
- 4 When on his account the earth was flooded, Wisdom again saved it, piloting the just man on frailest wood.
- 5 She, when the nations were sunk in universal wickedness, knew the just man, kept him blameless before God, and preserved him resolute against pity for his child.
- 6 She delivered the just man from among the wicked who were being destroyed, when he fled as fire descended upon Pentapolis--
- 7 Where as a testimony to its wickedness, there yet remain a smoking desert, Plants bearing fruit that never ripens, and the tomb of a disbelieving soul, a standing pillar of salt.
- For those who forsook Wisdom first were bereft of knowledge of the right, And then they left mankind a memorial of their folly-- so that they could not even be hidden in their fall.
- But Wisdom delivered from tribulations those who served her.
- 8 She, when the just man fled from his brother's anger, guided him in direct ways, Showed him the kingdom of God and gave him knowledge of holy things; She prospered him in his labors and made abundant the fruit of his works,
- Stood by him against the greed of his defrauders, and enriched him;
- 9 She preserved him from foes, and secured him against ambush, And she gave him the prize for his stern struggle that he might know that devotion to God is mightier than all else.
- 10 She did not abandon the just man when he was sold, but delivered him from sin.
- She went down with him into the dungeon, and did not desert him in his bonds, Until she brought him the scepter of royalty and authority over his oppressors, Showed those who had defamed him false, and gave him eternal glory.
- The holy people and blameless race--it was she who delivered them from the nation that oppressed them.
- 11 She entered the soul of the LORD'S servant, and withstood fearsome kings with signs and portents;
- she gave the holy ones the recompense of their labors, Conducted them by a wondrous road, and became a shelter for them by day and a starry flame by night.
- She took them across the Red Sea and brought them through the deep waters--
- 12 But their enemies she overwhelmed, and cast them up from the bottom of the depths.
- Therefore the just despoiled the wicked; and they sang, O LORD, your holy name
- Because Wisdom opened the mouths of the dumb, and gave ready speech to infants.
Table of Contents Previous Chapter Next Chapter
1 [1-21] This chapter prepares for the following section (Wisdom 11:2-19:22) on the history of Israel in the Exodus, by reviewing the dealings of Wisdom with the patriarchs. It has a parallel in Sirach 44-50; cf also Wisdom 18:9
2 [1-2] Adam.
3  Cain.
4  Noah.
5  Abraham.
6  Lot. Pentapolis: the five cities, including Sodom; cf Genesis 14:2.
7  Disbelieving soul: Lot's wife; cf Genesis 19:26.
8 [10-12] Jacob.
9  Devotion to God: in the Greek this signifies "piety" or "religion," and is the equivalent of the Hebrew "fear of the LORD"; cf Proverb 1:7.
10 [13-14] Joseph.
11  Moses.
12  Cast them up: their bodies, on the shore.
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