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Wisdom 16

 
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1 διὰ τοῦτο δ{I'} ὁμοίων ἐκολάσθησαν ἀξίως καὶ διὰ πλήθους κνωδάλων ἐβασανίσθησαν 2 ἀν{Q'} ἧς κολάσεως εὐεργετήσας τὸν λαόν σου εἰς ἐπιθυμίαν ὀρέξεως ξένην γεῦσιν τροφὴν ἡτοίμασας ὀρτυγομήτραν 3 ἵνα ἐκεῖνοι μὲν ἐπιθυμοῦντες τροφὴν διὰ τὴν εἰδέχθειαν τῶν ἐπαπεσταλμένων καὶ τὴν ἀναγκαίαν ὄρεξιν ἀποστρέφωνται αὐτοὶ δὲ ἐ{P'} ὀλίγον ἐνδεεῖς γενόμενοι καὶ ξένης μετάσχωσι γεύσεως 4 ἔδει γὰρ ἐκείνοις μὲν ἀπαραίτητον ἔνδειαν ἐπελθεῖν τυραννοῦσιν τούτοις δὲ μόνον δειχθῆναι πῶς οἱ ἐχθροὶ αὐτῶν ἐβασανίζοντο 5 καὶ γὰρ ὅτε αὐτοῖς δεινὸς ἐπῆλθεν θηρίων θυμὸς δήγμασίν τε σκολιῶν διεφθείροντο ὄφεων οὐ μέχρι τέλους ἔμεινεν ἡ ὀργή σου 6 εἰς νουθεσίαν δὲ πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐταράχθησαν σύμβολον ἔχοντες σωτηρίας εἰς ἀνάμνησιν ἐντολῆς νόμου σου 7 ὁ γὰρ ἐπιστραφεὶς οὐ διὰ τὸ θεωρούμενον ἐσῴζετο ἀλλὰ διὰ σὲ τὸν πάντων σωτῆρα 1 Fittingly, then, were the Egyptians plagued by such beasts as these, that swarmed to their undoing.[1] 2 Thy own people no plague befell; pined their queasy stomach for dainties, thou wouldst feed them on quails. 3 Though hunger drove them to food, the men of Egypt turned away with loathing from the necessaries they craved, so foul the sight of the frogs that came to punish them. Thy own people should go wanting for a little, only so as to prepare them for the dainties that would follow. 4 Their oppressors must feel the pinch of poverty; for themselves, the sight of another’s chastisement should be lesson enough. 5 When they themselves encountered brute malice, and the bites of writhing serpents threatened them with destruction, 6 thy vengeance did not go to all lengths; enough that they should be warned by a brief experience of distress; they should be put in mind of thy law, yet have the assurance that thou wouldst come to their rescue. 7 For indeed, he who turned to look did not win safety from the brazen serpent which met his eyes, but from thee, who alone canst save. 1

Propter hæc et per his similia passi sunt digne tormenta,
et per multitudinem bestiarum exterminati sunt.
2
Pro quibus tormentis bene disposuisti populum tuum,
quibus dedisti concupiscentiam delectamenti sui novum saporem,
escam parans eis ortygometram:
3
ut illi quidem, concupiscentes escam
propter ea quæ illis ostensa et missa sunt,
etiam a necessaria concupiscentia averterentur.
Hi autem in brevi inopes facti, novam gustaverunt escam.
4
Oportebat enim illis sine excusatione quidem
supervenire interitum exercentibus tyrannidem;
his autem tantum ostendere
quemadmodum inimici eorum exterminabantur.
5
Etenim cum illis supervenit sæva bestiarum ira,
morsibus perversorum colubrorum exterminabantur.
6
Sed non in perpetuum ira tua permansit,
sed ad correptionem in brevi turbati sunt,
signum habentes salutis ad commemorationem mandati legis tuæ.
7
Qui enim conversus est,
non per hoc quod videbat sanabatur,
sed per te, omnium salvatorem.
8 καὶ ἐν τούτῳ δὲ ἔπεισας τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ἡμῶν ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ ῥυόμενος ἐκ παντὸς κακοῦ 9 οὓς μὲν γὰρ ἀκρίδων καὶ μυιῶν ἀπέκτεινεν 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 ἀντιπαρῆλθεν καὶ ἰάσατο αὐτούς 11 εἰς γὰρ ὑπόμνησιν τῶν λογίων σου ἐνεκεντρίζοντο καὶ ὀξέως διεσῴζοντο 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 πάντας ἰώμενος 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 παραλημφθεῖσαν 8 No better proof could our enemies have, that from all peril thou alone deliverest. 9 Bite of locust or sting of fly was the undoing of them; no salve could be found against the mortal punishment they had deserved. 10 And here were these sons of thine, unvanquished even by the teeth of venomous serpents, because thy mercy came out to meet them and gave relief. 11 They must feel the prick, to remind them of the commandments they had from thee, and then quickly be rescued before they sank into deep lethargy, beyond the reach of thy succour. 12 Herb nor plaster it was that cured them, but thy word, Lord, that all healing gives. 13 Lord of life as of death, thou canst bring us down to the grave and back from the grave; 14 thine is not the fatal stroke man deals in spite, that banishes life beyond recall, imprisons the soul for ever. 8
In hoc autem ostendisti inimicis nostris
quia tu es qui liberas ab omni malo.
9
Illos enim locustarum et muscarum occiderunt morsus,
et non est inventa sanitas animæ illorum,
quia digni erant ab hujuscemodi exterminari.
10
Filios autem tuos nec draconum venenatorum vicerunt dentes:
misericordia enim tua adveniens sanabat illos.
11
In memoria enim sermonum tuorum examinabantur,
et velociter salvabantur:
ne in altam incidentes oblivionem
non possent tuo uti adjutorio.
12
Etenim neque herba, neque malagma sanavit eos:
sed tuus, Domine, sermo, qui sanat omnia.
13
Tu es enim, Domine, qui vitæ et mortis habes potestatem,
et deducis ad portas mortis, et reducis.
14
Homo autem occidit quidem per malitiam;
et cum exierit spiritus, non revertetur,
nec revocabit animam quæ recepta est.
15 τὴν δὲ σὴν χεῖρα φυγεῖν ἀδύνατόν ἐστιν 16 ἀρνούμενοι γάρ σε εἰδέναι ἀσεβεῖς ἐν ἰσχύι 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 ἐστὶν δικαίων 18 ποτὲ μὲν γὰρ ἡμεροῦτο φλόξ ἵνα μὴ καταφλέξῃ τὰ ἐ{P'} ἀσεβεῖς ἀπεσταλμένα ζῷα ἀλ{L'} αὐτοὶ βλέποντες εἰδῶσιν ὅτι θεοῦ κρίσει ἐλαύνονται 19 ποτὲ δὲ καὶ μεταξὺ ὕδατος ὑπὲρ τὴν πυρὸς δύναμιν φλέγει ἵνα ἀδίκου γῆς γενήματα διαφθείρῃ 20 ἀν{Q'} ὧν ἀγγέλων τροφὴν ἐψώμισας τὸν λαόν σου καὶ ἕτοιμον ἄρτον ἀ{P'} οὐρανοῦ παρέσχες αὐτοῖς ἀκοπιάτως πᾶσαν ἡδονὴν ἰσχύοντα καὶ πρὸς πᾶσαν ἁρμόνιον γεῦσιν 21 ἡ μὲν γὰρ ὑπόστασίς σου τὴν σὴν πρὸς τέκνα ἐνεφάνιζεν γλυκύτητα 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 {D'} ἵνα τραφῶσιν δίκαιοι καὶ τῆς ἰδίας ἐπιλέλησται δυνάμεως 24 ἡ γὰρ κτίσις σοὶ τῷ ποιήσαντι ὑπηρετοῦσα ἐπιτείνεται εἰς κόλασιν κατὰ τῶν ἀδίκων καὶ ἀνίεται εἰς εὐεργεσίαν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἐπὶ σοὶ πεποιθότων 15 Truly, thine is a power there is no escaping; 16 the uplifted arm that plagued impious Egypt, where thou wast treated as a stranger. Strange, indeed, to that country were the rains that hunted them down, the fierce hail-storms; the fire, too, that wasted them. 17 Wonder beyond all wont, that in water, the all-quenching, fire should rage its fiercest; no element but must rally in the cause of right. 18 Here the flame would burn low, to spare those creatures a scorching, that were thy emissaries against the godless; doubt there should be none, for any who saw it, but divine justice was at his heels. 19 Here, in the very midst of the water it would burn as never fire burned yet, to blast all the fruits of that accursed land. 20 And thy own people, Lord? Them thou didst foster with the food of angels; bread from heaven thou didst set before them, which no labour of theirs had made ready, every taste uniting that could bring content, of every appetite the welcome choice. 21 So would thy own nature manifest a father’s universal love; this food should humour the eater’s whim, turning itself into that which he craved most. 22 In Egypt, snow and ice had resisted the fire, never melting; plain it was that this fire, which shone out amid the hailstones and the rain, was in alliance with them to burn up and destroy the enemy’s harvest. 23 Now, once again, fire forgot its own nature, this time, to give faithful souls their nourishment![2] 24 So well does thy creation obey thee, its author, now exerting all its powers to punish the wicked, now abating its force to do thy loyal followers a service! 15
Sed tuam manum effugere impossibile est.
16
Negantes enim te nosse impii,
per fortitudinem brachii tui flagellati sunt:
novis aquis, et grandinibus,
et pluviis persecutionem passi,
et per ignem consumpti.
17
Quod enim mirabile erat, in aqua, quæ omnia extinguit,
plus ignis valebat:
vindex est enim orbis justorum.
18
Quodam enim tempore mansuetabatur ignis,
ne comburerentur quæ ad impios missa erant animalia,
sed ut ipsi videntes scirent
quoniam Dei judicio patiuntur persecutionem.
19
Et quodam tempore in aqua
supra virtutem ignis exardescebat undique,
ut iniquæ terræ nationem exterminaret.
20
Pro quibus angelorum esca nutrivisti populum tuum,
et paratum panem de cælo præstitisti illis sine labore,
omne delectamentum in se habentem,
et omnis saporis suavitatem.
21
Substantia enim tua dulcedinem tuam,
quam in filios habes, ostendebat;
et deserviens uniuscujusque voluntati,
ad quod quisque volebat convertebatur.
22
Nix autem et glacies sustinebant vim ignis, et non tabescebant:
ut scirent quoniam fructus inimicorum exterminabat
ignis ardens in grandine et pluvia coruscans;
23
hic autem iterum ut nutrirentur justi,
etiam suæ virtutis oblitus est.
24
Creatura enim tibi factori deserviens,
exardescit in tormentum adversus injustos,
et lenior fit ad benefaciendum pro his qui in te confidunt.
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 ῥῆμά 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 ἐ{P'} εὐχαριστίαν σου καὶ πρὸς ἀνατολὴν φωτὸς ἐντυγχάνειν σοι 29 ἀχαρίστου γὰρ ἐλπὶς ὡς χειμέριος πάχνη τακήσεται καὶ ῥυήσεται ὡς ὕδωρ ἄχρηστον 25 Why should nature, seconding that universal bounty of thine, go to all shifts to meet the needs of thy suppliants, 26 but for the instruction of thy own children, Lord, children so well beloved? They were to learn that man lives, not by the ripening of crops, but by thy word, ever protecting the souls that trust in thee. 27 This manna, that never shrank from the fire while it was a-cooking, would melt before the heat of the sun’s first feeble ray. 28 What meant this, but that we must be up before the sun to give thee thanks, seeking thy audience with day’s earliest light? 29 Thankless if a man be, like the hoar frost of winter his hopes shall dissolve; like water that goes to waste they shall vanish. 25
Propter hoc et tunc in omnia transfigurata,
omnium nutrici gratiæ tuæ deserviebat,
ad voluntatem eorum qui a te desiderabant:
26
ut scirent filii tui quos dilexisti, Domine,
quoniam non nativitatis fructus pascunt homines,
sed sermo tuus hos qui in te crediderint conservat.
27
Quod enim ab igne non poterat exterminari,
statim ab exiguo radio solis calefactum tabescebat:
28
ut notum omnibus esset
quoniam oportet prævenire solem ad benedictionem tuam,
et ad ortum lucis te adorare.
29
Ingrati enim spes tamquam hibernalis glacies tabescet,
et disperiet tamquam aqua supervacua.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.