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Wisdom 3; Wisdom 4:1-19

1 But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. 2 In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, 3 and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. 4 For though in the sight of others they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. 5 Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; 6 like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them. 7 In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. 8 They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them forever. 9 Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his elect. 10 But the ungodly will be punished as their reasoning deserves, those who disregarded the righteous and rebelled against the Lord; 11 for those who despise wisdom and instruction are miserable. Their hope is vain, their labors are unprofitable, and their works are useless. 12 Their wives are foolish, and their children evil; 13 their offspring are accursed. For blessed is the barren woman who is undefiled, who has not entered into a sinful union; she will have fruit when God examines souls. 14 Blessed also is the eunuch whose hands have done no lawless deed, and who has not devised wicked things against the Lord; for special favor will be shown him for his faithfulness, and a place of great delight in the temple of the Lord. 15 For the fruit of good labors is renowned, and the root of understanding does not fail. 16 But children of adulterers will not come to maturity, and the offspring of an unlawful union will perish. 17 Even if they live long they will be held of no account, and finally their old age will be without honor. 18 If they die young, they will have no hope and no consolation on the day of judgment. 19 For the end of an unrighteous generation is grievous.
1 Better than this is childlessness with virtue, for in the memory of virtue is immortality, because it is known both by God and by mortals. 2 When it is present, people imitate it, and they long for it when it has gone; throughout all time it marches, crowned in triumph, victor in the contest for prizes that are undefiled. 3 But the prolific brood of the ungodly will be of no use, and none of their illegitimate seedlings will strike a deep root or take a firm hold. 4 For even if they put forth boughs for a while, standing insecurely they will be shaken by the wind, and by the violence of the winds they will be uprooted. 5 The branches will be broken off before they come to maturity, and their fruit will be useless, not ripe enough to eat, and good for nothing. 6 For children born of unlawful unions are witnesses of evil against their parents when God examines them. 7 But the righteous, though they die early, will be at rest. 8 For old age is not honored for length of time, or measured by number of years; 9 but understanding is gray hair for anyone, and a blameless life is ripe old age. 10 There were some who pleased God and were loved by him, and while living among sinners were taken up. 11 They were caught up so that evil might not change their understanding or guile deceive their souls. 12 For the fascination of wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind. 13 Being perfected in a short time, they fulfilled long years; 14 for their souls were pleasing to the Lord, therefore he took them quickly from the midst of wickedness. 15 Yet the peoples saw and did not understand, or take such a thing to heart, that God's grace and mercy are with his elect, and that he watches over his holy ones. 16 The righteous who have died will condemn the ungodly who are living, and youth that is quickly perfected will condemn the prolonged old age of the unrighteous. 17 For they will see the end of the wise, and will not understand what the Lord purposed for them, and for what he kept them safe. 18 The unrighteous will see, and will have contempt for them, but the Lord will laugh them to scorn. After this they will become dishonored corpses, and an outrage among the dead forever; 19 because he will dash them speechless to the ground, and shake them from the foundations; they will be left utterly dry and barren, and they will suffer anguish, and the memory of them will perish.
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