THE BOOKS CALLED APOCRYPHA
WISDOM OF SOLOMON
WISDOM OF SOLOMON 16
1: Therefore by the like were they punished worthily, and by the multitude of beasts tormented.
2: Instead of which punishment, dealing graciously with thine own people, thou preparedst for them meat of a strange taste, even quails to stir up their appetite:
3: To the end that they, desiring food, might for the ugly sight of the beasts sent among them lothe even that, which they must needs desire; but these, suffering penury for a short space, might be made partakers of a strange taste.
4: For it was requisite, that upon them exercising tyranny should come penury, which they could not avoid: but to these it should only be shewed how their enemies were tormented.
5: For when the horrible fierceness of beasts came upon these, and they perished with the stings of crooked serpents, thy wrath endured not for ever:
6: But they were troubled for a small season, that they might be admonished, having a sign of salvation, to put them in remembrance of the commandment of thy law.
7: For he that turned himself toward it was not saved by the thing that he saw, but by thee, that art the Saviour of all.
8: And in this thou madest thine enemies confess, that it is thou who deliverest from all evil:
9: For them the bitings of grasshoppers and flies killed, neither was there found any remedy for their life: for they were worthy to be punished by such.
10: But thy sons not the very teeth of venomous dragons overcame: for thy mercy was ever by them, and healed them.
11: For they were pricked, that they should remember thy words; and were quickly saved, that not falling into deep forgetfulness, they might be continually mindful of thy goodness.
12: For it was neither herb, nor mollifying plaister, that restored them to health: but thy word, O Lord, which healeth all things.
13: For thou hast power of life and death: thou leadest to the gates of hell, and bringest up again.
14: A man indeed killeth through his malice: and the spirit, when it is gone forth, returneth not; neither the soul received up cometh again.
15: But it is not possible to escape thine hand.
16: For the ungodly, that denied to know thee, were scourged by the strength of thine arm: with strange rains, hails, and showers, were they persecuted, that they could not avoid, and through fire were they consumed.
17: For, which is most to be wondered at, the fire had more force in the water, that quencheth all things: for the world fighteth for the righteous.
18: For sometime the flame was mitigated, that it might not burn up the beasts that were sent against the ungodly; but themselves might see and perceive that they were persecuted with the judgment of God.
19: And at another time it burneth even in the midst of water above the power of fire, that it might destroy the fruits of an unjust land.
20: Instead whereof thou feddest thine own people with angels' food, and didst send them from heaven bread prepared without their labour, able to content every man's delight, and agreeing to every taste.
21: For thy sustenance declared thy sweetness unto thy children, and serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every man's liking.
22: But snow and ice endured the fire, and melted not, that they might know that fire burning in the hail, and sparkling in the rain, did destroy the fruits of the enemies.
23: But this again did even forget his own strength, that the righteous might be nourished.
24: For the creature that serveth thee, who art the Maker increaseth his strength against the unrighteous for their punishment, and abateth his strength for the benefit of such as put their trust in thee.
25: Therefore even then was it altered into all fashions, and was obedient to thy grace, that nourisheth all things, according to the desire of them that had need:
26: That thy children, O Lord, whom thou lovest, might know, that it is not the growing of fruits that nourisheth man: but that it is thy word, which preserveth them that put their trust in thee.
27: For that which was not destroyed of the fire, being warmed with a little sunbeam, soon melted away:
28: That it might be known, that we must prevent the sun to give thee thanks, and at the dayspring pray unto thee.
29: For the hope of the unthankful shall melt away as the winter's hoar frost, and shall run away as unprofitable water.