O Lord, your acts of judgment are marvelous and hard to explain; that is why people who had not been taught about them went astray.
When lawless people imagined that they had your holy nation in their power, they were themselves imprisoned in a long night of darkness. They lay in their own houses, shut off from your eternal care.
They thought that their sins had been secret and unnoticed, shielded from view by a dark curtain of forgetfulness, but now they were horribly afraid, confused, and terrified by ghostly forms.
Not even the dark corners where they lay could protect them from fear. They were surrounded by horrible noises; grim ghosts with gloomy faces appeared before their eyes.
No fire had power to give them light, and the brilliant stars could do nothing to relieve that deathly darkness.
There was only a dreadful fire, lit by no human hand, that shone on them, and in their terror they believed that the real world was even worse than the things they imagined.
The illusions produced by their magic tricks were put to shame, and all the wisdom they had boasted of came to nothing.
They had claimed they could drive away all the fears and illnesses of sick minds, but now they themselves were sick with silly, groundless fears.