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Wisdom 11

 
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1 εὐόδωσεν τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν ἐν χειρὶ προφήτου ἁγίου 2 διώδευσαν ἔρημον ἀοίκητον καὶ ἐν ἀβάτοις ἔπηξαν σκηνάς 3 ἀντέστησαν πολεμίοις καὶ ἐχθροὺς ἠμύναντο 4 ἐδίψησαν καὶ ἐπεκαλέσαντό σε καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς ἐκ πέτρας ἀκροτόμου ὕδωρ καὶ ἴαμα δίψης ἐκ λίθου σκληροῦ 5 6 δ{I'} ὧν γὰρ ἐκολάσθησαν οἱ ἐχθροὶ αὐτῶν διὰ τούτων αὐτοὶ ἀποροῦντες εὐεργετήθησαν 7 ἀντὶ μὲν πηγῆς ἀενάου ποταμοῦ αἵματι λυθρώδει ταραχθέντος 8 εἰς ἔλεγχον νηπιοκτόνου διατάγματος ἔδωκας αὐτοῖς δαψιλὲς ὕδωρ ἀνελπίστως 9 δείξας διὰ τοῦ τότε δίψους πῶς τοὺς ὑπεναντίους ἐκόλασας 10 ὅτε γὰρ ἐπειράσθησαν καίπερ ἐν ἐλέει παιδευόμενοι ἔγνωσαν πῶς με{T'} ὀργῆς κρινόμενοι ἀσεβεῖς ἐβασανίζοντο 11 τούτους μὲν γὰρ ὡς πατὴρ νουθετῶν ἐδοκίμασας ἐκείνους δὲ ὡς ἀπότομος βασιλεὺς καταδικάζων ἐξήτασας 12 καὶ ἀπόντες δὲ καὶ παρόντες ὁμοίως ἐτρύχοντο 13 διπλῆ γὰρ αὐτοὺς ἔλαβεν λύπη καὶ στεναγμὸς μνημῶν τῶν παρελθόντων 14 ὅτε γὰρ ἤκουσαν διὰ τῶν ἰδίων κολάσεων εὐεργετημένους αὐτούς ᾔσθοντο τοῦ κυρίου 15 ὃν γὰρ ἐν ἐκθέσει πάλαι ῥιφέντα ἀπεῖπον χλευάζοντες ἐπὶ τέλει τῶν ἐκβάσεων ἐθαύμασαν οὐχ ὅμοια δικαίοις διψήσαντες 1 With Moses set apart for his spokesman,[1] to what good issue he brought all their enterprises! 2 Through desert solitudes they journeyed on, pitching their camp far from the haunts of men; 3 boldly they confronted their enemy, and overcame his malice. 4 When they were thirsty, on thy name they called, and out of the rock’s sheer face water was given to heal their thirst, out of the hard flint. 5 Strange likeness between the punishment that befell their enemies,[2] who went thirsty while Israel had drink to their heart’s content, 6 and the relief of their want Israel now experienced! 7 Thou who once, into defiling blood, hadst troubled the sources of a living stream, 8 to avenge a murderous edict against new-born children, didst now give thy people abundant water to drink, by means unlooked for. 9 How ill it had gone with their adversaries in Egypt, that thirst of theirs in the desert plainly shewed them; 10 in mercy schooled, yet sorely tried, they learned to know what torments the wicked had undergone, forfeit to thy vengeance. 11 For Israel, only a test of their faith; only a father’s correction; for Egypt, as from a king, stern scrutiny and stern doom. 12 Tidings from far away, that racked the Egyptians no less than their own former sufferings; 13 anguish redoubled, as they groaned over the memory of things past! 14 That the same plague of thirst which had tortured themselves should be the source of Israel’s rejoicing! Then indeed they felt the Lord’s power, then indeed they wondered at the revenge time had brought; 15 wondered at Moses, whom their insolence had long ago disinherited, when they exposed him with the other children. Thirst, that had been Egypt’s enemy, had no terrors for the just. 1

Direxit opera eorum in manibus prophetæ sancti.
2
Iter fecerunt per deserta quæ non habitabantur,
et in locis desertis fixerunt casas.
3
Steterunt contra hostes,
et de inimicis se vindicaverunt.
4
Sitierunt, et invocaverunt te,
et data est illis aqua de petra altissima,
et requies sitis de lapide duro.
5

Per quæ enim pœnas passi sunt inimici illorum
a defectione potus sui,
et in eis cum abundarent filii Israël lætati sunt:
6
per hæc, cum illis deessent, bene cum illis actum est.
7
Nam pro fonte quidem sempiterni fluminis,
humanum sanguinem dedisti injustis.
8
Qui cum minuerentur in traductione infantium occisorum,
dedisti illis abundantem aquam insperate,
9
ostendens per sitim quæ tunc fuit,
quemadmodum tuos exaltares,
et adversarios illorum necares.
10
Cum enim tentati sunt,
et quidem cum misericordia disciplinam accipientes,
scierunt quemadmodum cum ira judicati impii tormenta paterentur.
11
Hos quidem tamquam pater monens probasti;
illos autem tamquam durus rex interrogans condemnasti.
12
Absentes enim, et præsentes, similiter torquebantur.
13
Duplex enim illos acceperat tædium et gemitus,
cum memoria præteritorum.
14
Cum enim audirent per sua tormenta bene secum agi,
commemorati sunt Dominum, admirantes in finem exitus.
15
Quem enim in expositione prava projectum deriserunt,
in finem eventus mirati sunt,
non similiter justis sitientes.
16 ἀντὶ δὲ λογισμῶν ἀσυνέτων ἀδικίας αὐτῶν ἐν οἷς πλανηθέντες ἐθρήσκευον ἄλογα ἑρπετὰ καὶ κνώδαλα εὐτελῆ ἐπαπέστειλας αὐτοῖς πλῆθος ἀλόγων ζῴων εἰς ἐκδίκησιν 17 ἵνα γνῶσιν ὅτι δ{I'} ὧν τις ἁμαρτάνει διὰ τούτων κολάζεται 18 οὐ γὰρ ἠπόρει ἡ παντοδύναμός σου χεὶρ καὶ κτίσασα τὸν κόσμον ἐξ ἀμόρφου ὕλης ἐπιπέμψαι αὐτοῖς πλῆθος ἄρκων ἢ θρασεῖς λέοντας 19 ἢ νεοκτίστους θυμοῦ πλήρεις θῆρας ἀγνώστους ἤτοι πυρπνόον φυσῶντας ἄσθμα ἢ βρόμον λικμωμένους καπνοῦ ἢ δεινοὺς ἀ{P'} ὀμμάτων σπινθῆρας ἀστράπτοντας 20 ὧν οὐ μόνον ἡ βλάβη ἠδύνατο συνεκτρῖψαι αὐτούς ἀλλὰ καὶ ἡ ὄψις ἐκφοβήσασα διολέσαι 21 καὶ χωρὶς δὲ τούτων ἑνὶ πνεύματι πεσεῖν ἐδύναντο ὑπὸ τῆς δίκης διωχθέντες καὶ λικμηθέντες ὑπὸ πνεύματος δυνάμεώς σου ἀλλὰ πάντα μέτρῳ καὶ ἀριθμῷ καὶ σταθμῷ διέταξας 16 So lost to piety were these Egyptians, such foolish reasonings led them astray, that they worshipped brute[3] reptiles, and despicable vermin. And swarms of brute beasts thou didst send to execute thy vengeance, 17 for the more proof that a man’s own sins are the instrument of his punishment. 18 Thy power knows no restraint, the power that created an ordered world out of dark chaos. It had been easy to send a plague of bears upon them, or noble lions; 19 or to form new creatures, of a ferocity hitherto unknown, breathing fiery breath, churning out foul fumes, terrible sparks darting from their eyes, 20 so that men would die of fear at their very aspect, without waiting for proof of their power to do harm. 21 Nay, without more ado thou mightest have overthrown them with a single blast; all at once their sins should have found them out, thy fierce breath whirled them away; but no, all thou doest is done in exact measure, all is nicely calculated and weighed. 16
Pro cogitationibus autem insensatis iniquitatis illorum,
quod quidam errantes colebant mutos serpentes
et bestias supervacuas,
immisisti illis multitudinem mutorum animalium in vindictam;
17
ut scirent quia per quæ peccat quis, per hæc et torquetur.
18
Non enim impossibilis erat omnipotens manus tua,
quæ creavit orbem terrarum ex materia invisa,
immittere illis multitudinem ursorum, aut audaces leones,
19
aut novi generis ira plenas ignotas bestias,
aut vaporem ignium spirantes,
aut fumi odorem proferentes,
aut horrendas ab oculis scintillas emittentes;
20
quarum non solum læsura poterat illos exterminare,
sed et aspectus per timorem occidere.
21
Sed et sine his uno spiritu poterant occidi,
persecutionem passi ab ipsis factis suis,
et dispersi per spiritum virtutis tuæ:
sed omnia in mensura, et numero et pondere disposuisti.
22 τὸ γὰρ μεγάλως ἰσχύειν σοι πάρεστιν πάντοτε καὶ κράτει βραχίονός σου τίς ἀντιστήσεται 23 ὅτι ὡς ῥοπὴ ἐκ πλαστίγγων ὅλος ὁ κόσμος ἐναντίον σου καὶ ὡς ῥανὶς δρόσου ὀρθρινὴ κατελθοῦσα ἐπὶ γῆν 24 ἐλεεῖς δὲ πάντας ὅτι πάντα δύνασαι καὶ παρορᾷς ἁμαρτήματα ἀνθρώπων εἰς μετάνοιαν 25 ἀγαπᾷς γὰρ τὰ ὄντα πάντα καὶ οὐδὲν βδελύσσῃ ὧν ἐποίησας οὐδὲ γὰρ ἂν μισῶν τι κατεσκεύασας 26 πῶς δὲ διέμεινεν ἄν τι εἰ μὴ σὺ ἠθέλησας ἢ τὸ μὴ κληθὲν ὑπὸ σοῦ διετηρήθη 27 φείδῃ δὲ πάντων ὅτι σά ἐστιν δέσποτα φιλόψυχε 22 No moment passes but thou, if thou wilt, canst shew thyself supreme; that arm has power there is no withstanding; 23 the whole world, matched against thee, is but a scruple on the balance, is but a drop of dew, falling to earth at sunrise. 24 Only thou art all-merciful, as befits the Almighty, and dost overlook our human slips, in hope of our repentance. 25 All things thou lovest, nor holdest any of thy creatures in abhorrence; hate and create thou couldst not, 26 nor does aught abide save at thy will, whose summoning word holds them in being. 27 They are thine, and thou sparest them; all things that live thou lovest, thou, the Master of them all. 22
Multum enim valere, tibi soli supererat semper:
et virtuti brachii tui quis resistet?
23
Quoniam tamquam momentum stateræ,
sic est ante te orbis terrarum,
et tamquam gutta roris antelucani quæ descendit in terram.
24
Sed misereris omnium, quia omnia potes;
et dissimulas peccata hominum, propter pœnitentiam.
25
Diligis enim omnia quæ sunt,
et nihil odisti eorum quæ fecisti;
nec enim odiens aliquid constituisti aut fecisti.
26
Quomodo autem posset aliquid permanere, nisi tu voluisses?
aut quod a te vocatum non esset conservaretur?
27
Parcis autem omnibus, quoniam tua sunt, Domine,
qui amas animas.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.