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Wisdom 19

 
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1 τοῖς δὲ ἀσεβέσιν μέχρι τέλους ἀνελεήμων θυμὸς ἐπέστη προῄδει γὰρ αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ μέλλοντα 2 ὅτι αὐτοὶ ἐπιτρέψαντες τοῦ ἀπιέναι καὶ μετὰ σπουδῆς προπέμψαντες αὐτοὺς διώξουσιν μεταμεληθέντες 3 ἔτι γὰρ ἐν χερσὶν ἔχοντες τὰ πένθη καὶ προσοδυρόμενοι τάφοις νεκρῶν ἕτερον ἐπεσπάσαντο λογισμὸν ἀνοίας καὶ οὓς ἱκετεύοντες ἐξέβαλον τούτους ὡς φυγάδας ἐδίωκον 4 εἷλκεν γὰρ αὐτοὺς ἡ ἀξία ἐπὶ τοῦτο τὸ πέρας ἀνάγκη καὶ τῶν συμβεβηκότων ἀμνηστίαν ἐνέβαλεν ἵνα τὴν λείπουσαν ταῖς βασάνοις προσαναπληρώσωσιν κόλασιν 5 καὶ ὁ μὲν λαός σου παράδοξον ὁδοιπορίαν πειράσῃ ἐκεῖνοι δὲ ξένον εὕρωσι θάνατον 1 It was not so with their impious enemies; with them, God decreed that pitiless justice should run its course, knowing well what ill-doing of theirs lay yet in store; 2 how the very men who had allowed the Israelites to depart, nay, set them eagerly on their way, would soon repent of it and march out in pursuit.[1] 3 The business of mourning still in hand, the grave-sides of the dead still calling for their tears, they must needs betake themselves to a fresh desperate shift; they would hunt down as fugitives the unwelcome guests of yesterday. 4 Fitting destiny, that lured them to a fitting doom, made them forget the past, and led them on to complete their tale of suffering and of punishment! 5 For thy people, a strange sea-faring; for those others, an unexampled manner of death! 1

Impiis autem usque in novissimum
sine misericordia ira supervenit.
Præsciebat enim et futura illorum:
2
quoniam cum ipsi permisissent ut se educerent,
et cum magna sollicitudine præmisissent illos,
consequebantur illos, pœnitentia acti.
3
Adhuc enim inter manus habentes luctum,
et deplorantes ad monumenta mortuorum,
aliam sibi assumpserunt cogitationem inscientiæ,
et quos rogantes projecerant,
hos tamquam fugitivos persequebantur.
4
Ducebat enim illos ad hunc finem digna necessitas;
et horum quæ acciderant commemorationem amittebant,
ut quæ deerant tormentis repleret punitio:
5
et populus quidem tuus mirabiliter transiret,
illi autem novam mortem invenirent.
6 ὅλη γὰρ ἡ κτίσις ἐν ἰδίῳ γένει πάλιν ἄνωθεν διετυποῦτο ὑπηρετοῦσα ταῖς σαῖς ἐπιταγαῖς ἵνα οἱ σοὶ παῖδες φυλαχθῶσιν ἀβλαβεῖς 7 ἡ τὴν παρεμβολὴν σκιάζουσα νεφέλη ἐκ δὲ προϋφεστῶτος ὕδατος ξηρᾶς ἀνάδυσις γῆς ἐθεωρήθη ἐξ ἐρυθρᾶς θαλάσσης ὁδὸς ἀνεμπόδιστος καὶ χλοηφόρον πεδίον ἐκ κλύδωνος βιαίου 8 δ{I'} οὗ πανεθνεὶ διῆλθον οἱ τῇ σῇ σκεπαζόμενοι χειρὶ θεωρήσαντες θαυμαστὰ τέρατα 9 ὡς γὰρ ἵπποι ἐνεμήθησαν καὶ ὡς ἀμνοὶ διεσκίρτησαν αἰνοῦντές σε κύριε τὸν ῥυσάμενον αὐτούς 10 ἐμέμνηντο γὰρ ἔτι τῶν ἐν τῇ παροικίᾳ αὐτῶν πῶς ἀντὶ μὲν γενέσεως ζῴων ἐξήγαγεν ἡ γῆ σκνῖπα ἀντὶ δὲ ἐνύδρων ἐξηρεύξατο ὁ ποταμὸς πλῆθος βατράχων 11 ἐ{F'} ὑστέρῳ δὲ εἶδον καὶ γένεσιν νέαν ὀρνέων ὅτε ἐπιθυμίᾳ προαχθέντες ᾐτήσαντο ἐδέσματα τρυφῆς 12 εἰς γὰρ παραμυθίαν ἐκ θαλάσσης ἀνέβη αὐτοῖς ὀρτυγομήτρα 13 καὶ αἱ τιμωρίαι τοῖς ἁμαρτωλοῖς ἐπῆλθον οὐκ ἄνευ τῶν προγεγονότων τεκμηρίων τῇ βίᾳ τῶν κεραυνῶν δικαίως γὰρ ἔπασχον ταῖς ἰδίαις αὐτῶν πονηρίαις 14 καὶ γὰρ χαλεπωτέραν μισοξενίαν ἐπετήδευσαν οἱ μὲν γὰρ τοὺς ἀγνοοῦντας οὐκ ἐδέχοντο παρόντας οὗτοι δὲ εὐεργέτας ξένους ἐδουλοῦντο 15 καὶ οὐ μόνον ἀλ{L'} ἤ τις ἐπισκοπὴ ἔσται αὐτῶν ἐπεὶ ἀπεχθῶς προσεδέχοντο τοὺς ἀλλοτρίους 16 οἱ δὲ μετὰ ἑορτασμάτων εἰσδεξάμενοι τοὺς ἤδη τῶν αὐτῶν μετεσχηκότας δικαίων δεινοῖς ἐκάκωσαν πόνοις 6 Each form of nature, in its own proper sphere, was formed anew as from the beginning, obedient to the new laws thou hadst given it, for the greater safety of thy children. 7 Such was the cloud that over-shadowed their camp; such the dry land that appeared where water stood before; the Red Sea unlaboriously crossed, a grassy floor spread out amid the surging billows! 8 So, sheltered by thy hand, they passed on their way, a whole nation of them, strange marvels seen in their passage; 9 lighthearted as horse at pasture or frisking lamb, they chanted praises to thee, Lord, their rescuer. 10 Such, too, were their memories of Egypt itself; memories of the land that bred lice and could breed no beasts else, the river that could spawn frogs, yet never a fish lived there. 11 Later on, they were to see how birds could be the subject of a new creation, when their appetites craved for richer fare, 12 and quails came up from the sea to content them.

Nor were the Egyptians punished without warning; the thunders that terrified them were but echoes of the past. Did not their own wickedness deserve the pains they suffered, 13 a race even more inhospitable than the men of Sodom before them? These did but refuse a welcome when strangers came to their doors; the Egyptians condemned their own guests, their own benefactors, to slavery. 14 It is one thing to be called to account for unfriendly treatment of alien folk; 15 but these Egyptians had received the Israelites into their midst with rejoicing, had admitted them to rights of citizenship, and then turned on them with savage ill-treatment. 16 No wonder blindness fell on them, as upon the men of Sodom at Lot’s door! But in Egypt the darkness was so bewildering that a man could not find his way through the doors of his own house.
6
Omnis enim creatura ad suum genus ab initio refigurabatur,
deserviens tuis præceptis,
ut pueri tui custodirentur illæsi.
7
Nam nubes castra eorum obumbrabat,
et ex aqua quæ ante erat, terra arida apparuit,
et in mari Rubro via sine impedimento,
et campus germinans de profundo nimio:
8
per quem omnis natio transivit quæ tegebatur tua manu,
videntes tua mirabilia et monstra.
9
Tamquam enim equi depaverunt escam,
et tamquam agni exsultaverunt,
magnificantes te, Domine, qui liberasti illos.
10
Memores enim erant adhuc eorum
quæ in incolatu illorum facta fuerant:
quemadmodum pro natione animalium eduxit terra muscas,
et pro piscibus eructavit fluvius multitudinem ranarum.
11
Novissime autem viderunt novam creaturam avium,
cum, adducti concupiscentia, postulaverunt escas epulationis.
12
In allocutione enim desiderii ascendit illis de mari ortygometra:
13
et vexationes peccatoribus supervenerunt,
non sine illis quæ ante facta erant argumentis per vim fulminum:
juste enim patiebantur secundum suas nequitias.
14

Etenim detestabiliorem inhospitalitatem instituerunt:
alii quidem ignotos non recipiebant advenas;
alii autem bonos hospites in servitutem redigebant.
15
Et non solum hæc, sed et alius quidam respectus illorum erat,
quoniam inviti recipiebant extraneos.
16
Qui autem cum lætitia receperunt hos
qui eisdem usi erant justitiis,
sævissimis afflixerunt doloribus.
17 ἐπλήγησαν δὲ καὶ ἀορασίᾳ ὥσπερ ἐκεῖνοι ἐπὶ ταῖς τοῦ δικαίου θύραις ὅτε ἀχανεῖ περιβληθέντες σκότει ἕκαστος τῶν ἑαυτοῦ θυρῶν τὴν δίοδον ἐζήτει 18 δ{I'} ἑαυτῶν γὰρ τὰ στοιχεῖα μεθαρμοζόμενα ὥσπερ ἐν ψαλτηρίῳ φθόγγοι τοῦ ῥυθμοῦ τὸ ὄνομα διαλλάσσουσιν πάντοτε μένοντα ἤχῳ ὅπερ ἐστὶν εἰκάσαι ἐκ τῆς τῶν γεγονότων ὄψεως ἀκριβῶς 19 χερσαῖα γὰρ εἰς ἔνυδρα μετεβάλλετο καὶ νηκτὰ μετέβαινεν ἐπὶ γῆς 20 πῦρ ἴσχυεν ἐν ὕδατι τῆς ἰδίας δυνάμεως καὶ ὕδωρ τῆς σβεστικῆς φύσεως ἐπελανθάνετο φλόγες ἀνάπαλιν εὐφθάρτων ζῴων οὐκ ἐμάραναν σάρκας ἐμπεριπατούντων οὐδὲ τηκτὸν κρυσταλλοειδὲς εὔτηκτον γένος ἀμβροσίας τροφῆς κατὰ πάντα γάρ κύριε ἐμεγάλυνας τὸν λαόν σου καὶ ἐδόξασας καὶ οὐχ ὑπερεῖδες ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ καὶ τόπῳ παριστάμενος 17 All the elements may be transposed among themselves, keeping up the same answering rhythm, like the notes of a harp altering their mood; so much we may infer with certainty from the sights that have been witnessed in the past.[2] 18 Land-beasts turned to water-beasts, and the firm ground was trodden by creatures born to swim. 19 Fire surpassed its own nature, when water forgot to quench it; 20 then fire, in its turn, could not waste the frail flesh of living creatures that traversed it, nor melt that heavenly food that melted easily as ice. No means wouldst thou neglect, Lord, to magnify thy people and win them renown; never wouldst thou leave them unregarded, but always and everywhere camest to their side.[3] 17
Percussi sunt autem cæcitate:
sicut illi in foribus justi,
cum subitaneis cooperti essent tenebris,
unusquisque transitum ostii sui quærebat.
18
In se enim elementa dum convertuntur,
sicut in organo qualitatis sonus immutatur,
et omnia suum sonum custodiunt:
unde æstimari ex ipso visu certo potest.
19
Agrestia enim in aquatica convertebantur,
et quæcumque erant natantia, in terram transibant.
20
Ignis in aqua valebat supra suam virtutem,
et aqua extinguentis naturæ obliviscebatur.
!--LATIN=27wis019021a-->
Flammæ e contrario corruptibilium animalium
non vexaverunt carnes coambulantium,
nec dissolvebant illam, quæ facile dissolvebatur sicut glacies, bonam escam.
!--LATIN=27wis019022a-->
In omnibus enim magnificasti populum tuum, Domine,
et honorasti, et non despexisti,
in omni tempore et in omni loco assistens eis.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.