Article Index

Book of Wisdom: Chapters 1 - 6

Chapter 1

1 Love uprightness,1 you that be rulers of the earth: 2 meditate on God with a good heart, and in simplicity of heart seek him.

2 For he will be found by those who do not put him to the test; and will reveal himself to those who do not mistrust him.

3 Perverse thoughts separate people from the Power of God: and that Power, when it is put to the test, confounds the stupid.

4 For into the soul of a wrong-doer Wisdom shall not enter; nor will she dwell in a body that is enslaved to sin.3

5 For the Holy Spirit of instruction will flee from deceitfulness, and recoils from thoughts that are without understanding, and will not remain when vice comes in.

6 For Wisdom is a loving Spirit; though she will not let a blasphemer go unpunished: since God observes the very mind, and beholds the heart with accuracy, and is conscious of every word.

7 For the Spirit of God fills the world: and that Spirit which holds in itself all things has knowledge of every word spoken.

8 Therefore they that speak what is wrong cannot go undetected: neither will avenging justice pass by them.

9 For examination will be made into the very schemes of the God-less: and the report of their words come unto God to convict them of their evil.

10 For the ear of jealousy hears all things: and the noise of murmurs does not escape it.

11 Therefore beware of frivolous complaints, which is unprofitable; and restrain your tongue from finding fault with the way things are: for there is no word so secret, that shall go undetected: and the mouth that lies kills the soul.

12 Seek not death by the error of your ways: and pull not upon yourselves destruction with the works of your hands.

13 For God did not make Death4 neither has he pleasure in the destruction of the living.

14 To Be – for this God created all things; the creatures of the universes are healing creatures, they do not have dying natures.

15 And the destructive power of Hades has no hold over them; for the power of uprightness is immortality.

Life as the self-indulgent see it

16 But the self-indulgent court after Death with deed and word, counting him among their friends, and they slave themselves weary for him; making a pact with him, since they are worthy to belong to him.

Chapter 2

1 For the Godless said, reasoning with themselves, but stupidly. “Our life is short and tedious, and in the death of a man there is no remedies: neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave.

2 For we are born by chance: and we shall be hereafter as though we had never been: for the breath in our nostrils is as smoke, and reason is a little spark from the beat of our heart;

3 When this is extinguished, our body shall be turned into ashes, and our spirit shall melt away as the soft air,

4 And our name shall be forgotten in time, and no person shall remember our works, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud - and it will vanish as a mist that is driven away with the beams of the sun, and will be overcome with the heat thereof.

5 For our time is a shadow that pass away; and after our end there is no returning: for it is sealed, so that no man comes back again.

6 Come on then, let us enjoy the good things of today: and let use created things with the zeal of youth.

7 Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments; and let no flower of the spring air pass us by:

8 Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they wither:

9 let no meadow be excluded from our orgy: let us leave the marks of joyfulness in every place: for this is our portion, and this is our lot.

10 Let us oppress the poor, the meek and the upright; let us not spare the widow, nor respect the aged, white-haired with many years.5

11 Let our strength be the rule of justice: for that which is weak is by reason of no worth.6

12 Therefore let us lay traps for the upright; since they oppose and annoy us: they reproach us for offending the Law, and accuse us of sins against our upbringing.

13 They (the upright) claim to have knowledge of God: and they call themselves children of God.

14 They seem to have been made only to reprove our thoughts

15 The very sight of them is grievous to us for their lives are not like other people’s, their ways are of another fashion.

16 In their opinion we are counterfeits: they abstain from our ways as they would from filth they pronounce the end of their lives to be blessed and they boast that God is their father

17 Let us see if their words be true and let us test what shall happen to them in the end.

18 For if the upright man is the son of God, then God will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies.

19 Let us examine this with cruelty and torture, that we may explore their gentleness, and test their patience.

20 Let us condemn them to a shameful death: for God will rescue them - or so they claim."

Their Error

21 Such things they did reason, but they are misled: for their malice has blinded them.

22 As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not: neither could they hope for the wages of uprightness, nor did they understand the reward for blameless souls.

23 For God created human beings to be immortal, and made them to be as an image of his own eternal nature.

24 The Death was brought into the world through the envy of the Satan: and they that follow his ways, worship him and are his children and they find his reward.

Chapter 3

Compared Destinies

1 But the souls of the upright are in the hand of God, and there shall no misery touch them

2 In the eye of the unenlightened the upright seem to die after their departure. And their departure is taken for misery,

3 and their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace.

4 For though, in the sight of the unenlightened they may haveseemed to suffer punishment in life, yet their hope is of immortality.

5 And having been a little chastised in that life, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God put them to the test, purifying them, and found them worthy for himself.

6 As gold in the furnace has he tried them, an received them as an offering.

7 And in the time of their judgement, their light shall shine, running to and fro as sparks run through the stubble.

8 They shall judge nations, and have dominion over their people, and their God shall reign in them for ever.

9 They that trust in him shall come to understand the truth: and the faithful ones shall live with him in love: for grace and mercy await his holy ones, and he intervenes on behalf of his chosen.

10 But the Godless shall be punished for their reasoning, and for having neglected the upright, and forsaken God.

11 For whoever despises Wisdom and discipline they are miserable7, and their hope is in vain, their labours unfruitful and their achievements unprofitable:

12 Their wives are foolish, and their children viced:

13 Their offspring is cursed.

On Spiritual Alliances and its offspring

Therefore blessed is the barren womb that is undefiled, which has not known the sinful bed: she shall have fruit in the judgement of souls.8

14 And blessed is the eunuch,9 which with his hand commits no wrong, nor thought wicked things against God: for unto him shall be given the special gift of faith and an inheritance in the temple of God more acceptable to his mind.

15 The fruit of good labour is glorious,10 it is the root of understanding which shall not decay.

16 As for the children of adulterers11 they shall not come to maturity, and the offspring of an unrighteous bed shall be rooted out.

17 Even in they live long, yet shall they be counted as nothing: and their old age shall be without honour.

18 Or, if they die quickly, they neither hope or comfort in the day of the trial.

19 For horrible is the end of the unrighteous generation.

Chapter 4

1 Better it is to have no children, and to have virtue: for the memory thereof is immortal: because it is recognised by God and by humans.12

2 When virtue is present, humans; imitate it, when it is absent, humans long for it: when it is crowned it triumphs for eternity having striven for untainted prizes and gained victory.13

3 But the multiplying brood of the Godless shall not thrive, grown from bastard slips, they will not root deeply and they will not lay any firm foundations.

4 Though they may flourish as branches for a while; yet on unsteady foundations they shall be shaken with the wind, and through the force of the storms they shall be uprooted.

5 The imperfect branches shall be broken off, their fruit unprofitable, not ripe to eat, yes, good for noting.

6 For children begotten of unlawful beds are witnesses of wickedness against their parents in their trial.

What true long-life is to be counted as.

7 Though the upright be prevented with death to live to an old age, yet shall they be in peace.

8 For honourable age is not that which stands in length of time, nor that which is measured by number of years.

9 But wisdom is what ‘gray hair’ is about to humans, and an unstained life is what ‘ripe old age’ is.

10 He gained favour with God, and was loved by him: whilst living among sinners he was translated.14

11 Yes he was quickly taken away, before the evil of this place should warp his understanding, or deceit should seduce his soul.

12 For the fascination of evil throws a shadow on things that are good, and the whirlwind of desire corrupts the simple mind.

13 That soul, having been made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time:

14 For his soul pleased God: therefore she was hurriedly withdrawn from among the weakness around her.

15 This the people see and don’t understand and it does not enter their thoughts that grace and mercy await God’s chosen ones, and that he intervenes on behalf of his holy ones

16 Thus it is how the upright that died shall condemn the Godless which are living, and youth that is soon perfected condemn the many years and old age of the God-less.

17 People see the end of the wise, and shall not understand what God has in store for them, and to what end God has set them in safety.

18 They, look on and sneer, but God shall laugh at them; soon they will be objects of horror among the dead, and corpses without honour.

19 For he shall rend them, and cast them down headlong, that they shall be speechless; and he shall shake them from the foundation; and they shall be utterly laid waste, and be prey to sorrow; and their memory will perish.15

Judgement day for the God-less

20 And when the account of their ways are drawn up, they shall approach with fear: and their own iniquities shall convince them to their face.

Chapter 5

1 Then shall the upright stand in great boldness before the face of such as have oppressed him, and thought so little of his sufferings.

2 When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness that he was so unexpectedly saved, so far beyond all that they valued in life.

3 And they, repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit will say within themselves, “This was he, whom we used to mock, making him the receiver of our insults, making fools of ourselves.

4 We fools thought his life to be madness, and his end to be without honour:

5 How is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the holy ones?16

6 Clearly have we made an error in our judgement regarding the Way of truth, the light of uprightness has not shined from us, and the sun has not risen for us.

7 We wearied ourselves in the way of wickedness and destruction: yes, we have gone through deserts, where there lay no way: but as for the Way of God, we have not known it.

8 What has pride profited us? or what good has our riches and arrogance been to us?

9 All those things have passed away like a shadow, like a fleeting rumour,

10 as a ship that slips over the waves of the water, which when it is gone by, no trace of it can be found, not even the furrow of the keel in the waves;

11 Or as when a bird has flown through the air, there is no token of her way to be found, but the light air being beaten with the stroke of her wings and parted with the violent noise and motion of them, is passed through, and therein afterwards no sign where she went is to be found;

12 Or like as when an arrow is shot at a mark, it parts the air, which immediately comes together again so that a person cannot know where it went though:

13 Even so did we, as soon as we were born we began to disappear, and no sign of virtue is there to show; but we have spent ourselves in our wickedness!

14 For the hope of the Godless is like dust that is blown away with the wind; like a thin foam that is driven away with the storm like smoke which is disperses here and here with a wind, and passes away as the remembrance of a guest that visited but a day.

How the Godloving will experience their victory

15 But the upright live for evermore; their reward also is with God, and the care of them is with the Most High.

16 There shall they receive a glorious kingdom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord’s hand : for God will cover them with his right hand, and with his arm will he protect them.

17 For armour he shall put on his jealous love, and he will make creation so as to punish his enemies.

18 He shall put on uprightness as a breastplate, and true judgement instead of a helmet.

19 He shall take holiness for an invincible shield.

20 His severe wrath shall he sharpen for a sword, and the universe will fight with him against the reckless

21 Then shall shafts of lightning shoot from above, as from a well drawn bow shall they fly to the mark.

22 And hailstones full of fury will be cast as out from a catapult, and the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the rivers shall drown them mercilessly.

23 Yes, a mighty wind shall stand up against them, and like a storm shall blow them away. This is how evil can lay waste the whole earth, and wickedness will bring down the thrones of the mighty. 17

We are all rulers who must seek Wisdom

Chapter 6

1 Hear therefore, O you kings, and understand; learn, you that may be judges of the ends of the earth.

2 Give ear, you that rule your people, and receive glory in the multitude of nations.

3 For power is given you of God, and sovereignty from the Most High, who shall test your works, and search through your counsels.18

4 Because, being ministers of his kingdom, you have not judged aright, nor kept the law, nor walked after the counsel of God;

5 Horribly and speedily shall he come upon you: for a sharp judgment shall be to them that be in high places.

6 For mercy will soon come to the humble: but mighty men shall be mightily judged.

7 For he which is God over all shall fear no person’s stature, and neither shall he stand in awe of person’s greatness: for he has made the small and great, and cares for all alike.

8 But a sore trial shall come upon those who wield power.

9 Unto you therefore, O kings, do I speak, that you may gain Wisdom, and not fall into error.

10 For they that observe holy things in a holy manner will be judged in a holy manner: and they that have learned such things shall find in them what to answer at the trial.

11 Set your heart upon my words; truly desire them, and you will be instructed.

Finding Wisdom starts with seeking Wisdom

12 Wisdom shines brightly, she never fades away: yes, she is easily seen by them that love her, and is found by those that seek her.

13 She anticipates those that desire her by making herself known to them first.

14 Whoever sees her from early on shall have no great travail: for they shall find her sitting at their doors.

15 Meditating on her is understanding in its perfect form, and whoever watches in the night, shall soon be without care.19

16 For she goes about seeking those who are worthy of her, she shows herself benevolently in their ways, and meets them in their every thought.

17 For the very true beginning of her is the desire of discipline and instruction; and the care of discipline and instruction is to love her;

18 and love is the keeping of her laws; and the keeping of her laws is the assurance of incorruption;

19 and incorruption brings us close to God:20

20 the desire of Wisdom therefore leads to sovereignty

21 If your delight is in thrones and sceptres, O you kings of the people, then honour Wisdom, that you may reign for evermore.21

The author promises to describe Wisdom

22 As for Wisdom, what she is, and how she came about, I will tell you, and will not hide the mysteries from you; I will follow her steps from the beginning of her birth, and bring the knowledge of her into light, and I will not pass over the truth.

23 I will not walk in consuming envy; for such a man shall have no fellowship with Wisdom.

24 But the greater the number of wise people the greater the welfare of the world: and a wise king is the upholding of the people.

25 Receive therefore instruction through my words, and it shall do you good.