21For the ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright, Our life is short and tedious, and in the death of a man there is no remedy: neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave.
2For we are born at all adventure: and we shall be hereafter as though we had never been: for the breath in our nostrils is as smoke, and a little spark in the moving of our heart:
3Which being extinguished, our body shall be turned into ashes, and our spirit shall vanish as the soft air,
4And our name shall be forgotten in time, and no man shall have our works in remembrance, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist, that is driven away with the beams of the sun, and overcome with the heat thereof.
5For our time is a very shadow that passeth away; and after our end there is no returning: for it is fast sealed, so that no man cometh again.
6Come on therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present: and let us speedily use the creatures like as in youth.
7Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments: and let no flower of the spring pass by us:
8Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they be withered:
9Let none of us go without his part of our voluptuousness: let us leave tokens of our joyfulness in every place: for this is our portion, and our lot is this.
10Let us oppress the poor righteous man, let us not spare the widow, nor reverence the ancient gray hairs of the aged.
11Let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth.
12Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraideth us with our offending the law, and objecteth to our infamy the transgressings of our education.
13He professeth to have the knowledge of God: and he calleth himself the child of the Lord.
14He was made to reprove our thoughts.
15He is grievous unto us even to behold: for his life is not like other men’s, his ways are of another fashion.
16We are esteemed of him as counterfeits: he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness: he pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh his boast that God is his father.
17Let us see if his words be true: and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him.
18For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies.
19Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience.
20Let us condemn him with a shameful death: for by his own saying he shall be respected.
21Such things they did imagine, and were deceived: for their own wickedness hath blinded them.
22As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not: neither hoped they for the wages of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for blameless souls.
23For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.
24Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.
31But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them.
2In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery,
3And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace.
4For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality.
5And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself.
6As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering.
7And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble.
8They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.
9They that put their trust in him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him: for grace and mercy is to his saints, and he hath care for his elect.
10But the ungodly shall be punished according to their own imaginations, which have neglected the righteous, and forsaken the Lord.
11For whoso despiseth wisdom and nurture, he is miserable, and their hope is vain, their labours unfruitful, and their works unprofitable:
12Their wives are foolish, and their children wicked:
13Their offspring is cursed. Wherefore blessed is the barren that is undefiled, which hath not known the sinful bed: she shall have fruit in the visitation of souls.
14And blessed is the eunuch, which with his hands hath wrought no iniquity, nor imagined wicked things against God: for unto him shall be given the special gift of faith, and an inheritance in the temple of the Lord more acceptable to his mind.
15For glorious is the fruit of good labours: and the root of wisdom shall never fall away.
16As for the children of adulterers, they shall not come to their perfection, and the seed of an unrighteous bed shall be rooted out.
17For though they live long, yet shall they be nothing regarded: and their last age shall be without honour.
18Or, if they die quickly, they have no hope, neither comfort in the day of trial.
19For horrible is the end of the unrighteous generation.
41Better it is to have no children, and to have virtue: for the memorial thereof is immortal: because it is known with God, and with men.
2When it is present, men take example at it; and when it is gone, they desire it: it weareth a crown, and triumpheth for ever, having gotten the victory, striving for undefiled rewards.
3But the multiplying brood of the ungodly shall not thrive, nor take deep rooting from bastard slips, nor lay any fast foundation.
4For though they flourish in branches for a time; yet standing not last, they shall be shaken with the wind, and through the force of winds they shall be rooted out.
5The imperfect branches shall be broken off, their fruit unprofitable, not ripe to eat, yea, meet for nothing.
6For children begotten of unlawful beds are witnesses of wickedness against their parents in their trial.
7But though the righteous be prevented with death, yet shall he be in rest.
8For honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by number of years.
9But wisdom is the gray hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age.
10He pleased God, and was beloved of him: so that living among sinners he was translated.
11Yea speedily was he taken away, lest that wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul.
12For the bewitching of naughtiness doth obscure things that are honest; and the wandering of concupiscence doth undermine the simple mind.
13He, being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time:
14For his soul pleased the Lord: therefore hasted he to take him away from among the wicked.
15This the people saw, and understood it not, neither laid they up this in their minds, That his grace and mercy is with his saints, and that he hath respect unto his chosen.
16Thus the righteous that is dead shall condemn the ungodly which are living; and youth that is soon perfected the many years and old age of the unrighteous.
17For they shall see the end of the wise, and shall not understand what God in his counsel hath decreed of him, and to what end the Lord hath set him in safety.
18They shall see him, and despise him; but God shall laugh them to scorn: and they shall hereafter be a vile carcase, and a reproach among the dead for evermore.
19For 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 in sorrow; and their memorial shall perish.
20And when they cast up the accounts of their sins, they shall come with fear: and their own iniquities shall convince them to their face.