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WISDOM / ΣΟΦΙΑ ΣΟΛΟΜΩΝΤΟΣ

16

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1 Therefore by the like were they punished worthily, and by the multitude of beasts tormented. 2 Instead of which punishment, dealing graciously with thine own people, thou preparedst for them meat of a strange taste, even quails to stir up their appetite: 3 To the end that they, desiring food, might for the ugly sight of the beasts sent among them lothe even that, which they must needs desire; but these, suffering penury for a short space, might be made partakers of a strange taste. 4 For it was requisite, that upon them exercising tyranny should come penury, which they could not avoid: but to these it should only be shewed how their enemies were tormented. 5 For when the horrible fierceness of beasts came upon these, and they perished with the stings of crooked serpents, thy wrath endured not for ever: 6 But they were troubled for a small season, that they might be admonished, having a sign of salvation, to put them in remembrance of the commandment of thy law. 7 For he that turned himself toward it was not saved by the thing that he saw, but by thee, that art the Saviour of all. 8 And in this thou madest thine enemies confess, that it is thou who deliverest from all evil: 9 For them the bitings of grasshoppers and flies killed, neither was there found any remedy for their life: for they were worthy to be punished by such. 10 But thy sons not the very teeth of venomous dragons overcame: for thy mercy was ever by them, and healed them. 11 For they were pricked, that they should remember thy words; and were quickly saved, that not falling into deep forgetfulness, they might be continually mindful of thy goodness. 12 For it was neither herb, nor mollifying plaister, that restored them to health: but thy word, O Lord, which healeth all things. 13 For thou hast power of life and death: thou leadest to the gates of hell, and bringest up again. 14 A man indeed killeth through his malice: and the spirit, when it is gone forth, returneth not; neither the soul received up cometh again. 15 But it is not possible to escape thine hand. 16 For the ungodly, that denied to know thee, were scourged by the strength of thine arm: with strange rains, hails, and showers, were they persecuted, that they could not avoid, and through fire were they consumed. 17 For, which is most to be wondered at, the fire had more force in the water, that quencheth all things: for the world fighteth for the righteous. 18 For sometime the flame was mitigated, that it might not burn up the beasts that were sent against the ungodly; but themselves might see and perceive that they were persecuted with the judgment of God. 19 And at another time it burneth even in the midst of water above the power of fire, that it might destroy the fruits of an unjust land. 20 Instead whereof thou feddest thine own people with angels’ food, and didst send them from heaven bread prepared without their labour, able to content every man’s delight, and agreeing to every taste. 21 For thy sustenance declared thy sweetness unto thy children, and serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every man’s liking. 22 But snow and ice endured the fire, and melted not, that they might know that fire burning in the hail, and sparkling in the rain, did destroy the fruits of the enemies. 23 But this again did even forget his own strength, that the righteous might be nourished. 24 For the creature that serveth thee, who art the Maker increaseth his strength against the unrighteous for their punishment, and abateth his strength for the benefit of such as put their trust in thee. 25 Therefore even then was it altered into all fashions, and was obedient to thy grace, that nourisheth all things, according to the desire of them that had need: 26 That thy children, O Lord, whom thou lovest, might know, that it is not the growing of fruits that nourisheth man: but that it is thy word, which preserveth them that put their trust in thee. 27 For that which was not destroyed of the fire, being warmed with a little sunbeam, soon melted away: 28 That it might be known, that we must prevent the sun to give thee thanks, and at the dayspring pray unto thee. 29 For the hope of the unthankful shall melt away as the winter’s hoar frost, and shall run away as unprofitable water. ΔΙΑ τοῦτο δ᾿ ὁμοίων ἐκολάσθησαν ἀξίως καὶ διὰ πλήθους κνωδάλων ἐβασανίσθησαν. 2 ἀνθ᾿ ἧς κολάσεως εὐεργετήσας τὸν λαόν σου, εἰς ἐπιθυμίαν ὀρέξεως ξένην γεῦσιν, τροφὴν ἡτοίμασας ὀρτυγομήτραν, 3 ἵνα ἐκεῖνοι μὲν ἐπιθυμοῦντες τροφὴν διὰ τὴν εἰδέ χθειαν τῶν ἐπαπεσταλμένων καὶ τὴν ἀναγκαίαν ὄρεξιν ἀποστρέφωνται, αὐτοὶ δὲ ἐπ᾿ ὀλίγον ἐνδεεῖς γενόμενοι καὶ ξένης μετάσχωσι γεύσεως. 4 ἔδει γὰρ ἐκείνοις μὲν ἀπαραίτητον ἔνδειαν ἐπελθεῖν τυραννοῦσι, τούτοις δὲ μόνον δειχθῆναι πῶς οἱ ἐχθροὶ αὐτῶν ἐβασανίζοντο. 5 Καὶ γὰρ ὅτε αὐτοῖς δεινὸς ἐπῆλθε θηρίων θυμὸς δήγμασί τε σκολιῶν διεφθείροντο ὄφεων, οὐ μέχρι τέλους ἔμεινεν ἡ ὀργή σου· 6 εἰς νουθεσίαν δὲ πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐταράχθησαν, σύμβουλον ἔχοντες σωτηρίας εἰς ἀνάμνησιν ἐντολῆς νόμου σου· 7 ὁ γὰρ ἐπιστραφεὶς οὐ διὰ τὸ θεωρούμενον ἐσώζετο, ἀλλὰ διὰ σὲ τὸν πάντων σωτῆρα. 8 καὶ ἐν τούτῳ δὲ ἔπεισας τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ἡμῶν, ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ ῥυόμενος ἐκ παντὸς κακοῦ· 9 οὓς μὲν γαρ ἀκρίδων καὶ μυιῶν ἀπέκτεινε δήγματα, καὶ οὐχ εὑρέθη ἴαμα τῇ ψυχῇ αὐτῶν, ὅτι ἄξιοι ἦσαν ὑπὸ τοιούτων κολασθῆναι· 10 τοὺς δὲ υἱούς σου οὐδὲ ἰοβόλων δρακόντων ἐνίκησαν ὀδόντες, τὸ ἔλεος γάρ σου ἀντιπαρῆλθε καὶ ἰάσατο αὐτούς. 11 εἰς γὰρ ὑπόμνησιν τῶν λογίων σου ἐνεκεντρίζοντο καὶ ὀξέως διεσώζοντο, ἵνα μὴ εἰς βαθεῖαν ἐμπεσόντες λήθην ἀπερίσπαστοι γένωνται τῆς σῆς εὐεργεσίας. 12 καὶ γὰρ οὔτε βοτάνη οὔτε μάλαγμα ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς, ἀλλὰ ὁ σός, Κύριε, λόγος ὁ πάντα ἱώμενος. 13 σὺ γὰρ ζωῆς καὶ θανάτου ἐξουσίαν ἔχεις καὶ κατάγεις εἰς πύλας ᾅδου καὶ ἀνάγεις. 14 ἄνθρωπος δὲ ἀποκτέννει μὲν τῇ κακίᾳ αὐτοῦ, ἐξελθὸν δὲ πνεῦμα οὐκ ἀναστρέφει οὐδὲ ἀναλύει ψυχὴν παραληφθεῖσαν. 15 Τὴν δὲ σὴν χεῖρα φυγεῖν ἀδύνατόν ἐστιν· 16 ἀρνούμενοι γάρ σε εἰδέναι ἀσεβεῖς, ἐν ἰσχύϊ βραχίονός σου ἐμαστιγώθησαν, ξένοις ὑετοῖς καὶ χαλάζαις καὶ ὄμβροις διωκόμενοι ἀπαραιτήτοις καὶ πυρὶ καταναλισκόμενοι. 17 τὸ γὰρ παραδοξότατον, ἐν τῷ πάντα σβεννύντι ὕδατι πλεῖον ἐνήργει τὸ πῦρ, ὑπέρμαχος γὰρ ὁ κόσμος ἐστὶ δικαίων· 18 ποτὲ μὲν γὰρ ἡμεροῦτο φλόξ, ἵνα μὴ καταφλέξῃ τὰ ἐπ᾿ ἀσεβεῖς ἀπεσταλμένα ζῷα, ἀλλ᾿ αὐτοὶ βλέποντες ἴδωσιν, ὅτι Θεοῦ κρίσει ἐλαύνονται· 19 ποτὲ δὲ καὶ μεταξὺ ὕδατος ὑπὲρ τὴν πυρὸς δύναμιν φλέγει, ἵνα ἀδίκου γῆς γεννήματα διαφθείρῃ. 20 ἀνθ᾿ ὧν ἀγγέλων τροφὴν ἐψώμισας τὸν λαόν σου καὶ ἕτοιμον ἄρτον αὐτοῖς ἀπ᾿ οὐρανοῦ ἔπεμψας ἀκοπιάτως πᾶσαν ἡδονὴν ἰσχύοντα καὶ πρὸς πᾶσαν ἁρμόνιον γεῦσιν· 21 ἡ μὲν γὰρ ὑπόστασίς σου τὴν σὴν γλυκύτητα πρὸς τέκνα ἐνεφάνισε, τῇ δὲ τοῦ προσφερομένου ἐπιθυμίᾳ ὑπηρετῶν πρὸς ὅ τις ἐβούλετο μετεκιρνᾶτο. 22 χιὼν δὲ καὶ κρύσταλλος ὑπέμεινε πῦρ καὶ οὐκ ἐτήκετο, ἵνα γνῶσιν ὅτι τοὺς τῶν ἐχθρῶν καρποὺς κατέφθειρε πῦρ φλεγόμενον ἐν τῇ χαλάζῃ καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὑετοῖς διαστράπτον· 23 τοῦτο πάλιν δ᾿ ἵνα τραφῶσι δίκαιοι, καὶ τῆς ἰδίας ἐπιλελῆσθαι δυνάμεως. 24 ἡ γὰρ κτίσις σοι τῷ ποιήσαντι ὑπηρετοῦσα ἐπιτείνεται εἰς κόλασιν κατὰ τῶν ἀδίκων καὶ ἀνίεται εἰς εὐεργεσίαν ὑπὲρ τῶν εἰς σὲ πεποιθότων. 25 διὰ τοῦτο καὶ τότε εἰς πάντα μεταλλευομένη τῇ παντοτρόφῳ σου δωρεᾷ ὑπηρέτει πρὸς τὴν τῶν δεομένων θέλησιν, 26 ἵνα μάθωσιν οἱ υἱοί σου, οὓς ἠγάπησας, Κύριε, ὅτι οὐχ αἱ γενέσεις τῶν καρπῶν τρέφουσιν ἄνθρωπον, ἀλλὰ τὸ ρῆμά σου τοὺς σοὶ πιστεύοντας διατηρεῖ. 27 τὸ γὰρ ὑπὸ πυρὸς μὴ φθειρόμενον ἁπλῶς ὑπὸ βραχείας ἀκτῖνος ἡλίου θερμαινόμενον ἐτήκετο, 28 ὅπως γνωστὸν ᾖ ὅτι δεῖ φθάνειν τὸν ἥλιον ἐπ᾿ εὐχαριστίαν σου καὶ πρὸς ἀνατολὴν φωτὸς ἐντυγχάνειν σοι. 29 ἀχαρίστου γὰρ ἐλπὶς ὡς χειμέριος πάχνη τακήσεται καὶ ρυήσεται ὡς ὕδωρ ἄχρηστον.

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