Bible Study: background

From Dr Mazinghi’s translation of the Wisdom of Solomon

Wis 1:1-15

Love justice, you who govern on earth,
reflect on the Lord with a soul that is well-disposed
and seek him with simplicity of heart,
for he allows himself to be found by those who do not test him
and he reveals himself to those who do not lack faith in him.
For devious thoughts separate one from God,
so that, when put to the test, divine power punishes the foolish.
Because wisdom will not enter a soul that is plotting evil
and it cannot dwell in a body that is the slave to sin.

For wisdom is a spirit, the friend of humanity,
but will not leave unpunished the one who blasphemes with his own lips,
because God is the witness of his feelings (kidneys)
and the true searcher of his heart
and hears what the tongue says.
For the spirit of the Lord fills the earth
and the one who holds all things together knows every voice.
Therefore no one who speaks unjust things can remain hidden from him,
and accusing justice will not pass him by without notice.

Keep yourselves, therefore, from useless murmuring,
and avoid the tongue of slander
because not even a word spoken in secret will escape without consequences
and a lying mouth slays the soul.
Do not strive to seek death by the error of your life
nor bring ruin upon yourselves by the works of your hands.

Because God did not create death,
and he takes no delight in the destruction of the living.
For he created everything for existence,
the generations of the cosmos are bearers of salvation
and there is no poison of ruin in them
nor is the dominion of Hades over the earth
for justice is immortal.

Wisdom 1:16 – 2:24

With their deeds and words, however, the ungodly summon [death],
the pine for it, believing it to be a friend,
and they make a pact with it,
because they deserve to belong to its party!
For reasoning falsely, they said to one another:

Short and sad is our life,
there is no cure for a persons end
and no one is known who can free from Hades.
By chance we were born
and afterwards we shall be as though we had never been.
Because the breath of our nostrils is steam,
thought, a spark which comes from the beating of our heart.
When it is extinguished, the body becomes ash
and the spirit vanishes like thin air.
Even our name will be forgotten with time
and no one will remember our deeds.
Our life will pass away like the trail of a cloud
and will be scattered like the mist,
chased by the rays of the sun
and overcome by its heat.
for the time of our life is the fleeting of a shadow
and our end is without return;
once the seal has been fixed, no one turns back.

Come, then, let us enjoy present pleasures
and take advantage of created things with the ardour of youth!
Let us take our fill of costly wine and perfumes
and not allow the flower of spring to escape us!
Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither,
let no meadow be safe from our orgy.
Let us leave the signs of our pleasure everywhere,
because this is our role, this is our heritage.

Let us lord it over the poor man who is just,
let us not spare the widow,
no respect for the white hairs of the old, laden with years.
Let our might be the law of justice,
because weakness is no use for anything.
Let us set snares for the just an, because he is troublesome to us
and opposes our actions.
He rebukes us for sins against the Law
and accuses us of sins against the traditional discipline.
He proclaims that he possesses knowledge of God
and declares himself to be son of the Lord.
He has become for us a reproof to our way of thinking,
the very sight of him is a burden to us,
because his life is different from that of others
and his ways are totally alien.
We are considered counterfeit coin by him
and he avoids our ways as something impure.
He proclaims the final destiny of the just to be happy
and he boasts of having God as his father.

Let us see if his words are true
and let us put to the test what will happen at his end,
for if the just man is son of God, he will take care of him
and deliver him from the hand of his adversaries.
With insults and tortures, let us put him to the test,
to discover his meekness
and try his forbearance.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death,
because he claims, God will come to him at the end.

They reason thus, but they deceive themselves;
for their wickedness has blinded them,
since they have not known the mysterious plans of God,
nor hoped in a reward for holiness
nor looked for a reward for souls without fault;
for God created humanity in incorruption,
and made it the image of his own nature.
But through the devil’s envy, death entered the world
and those who belong to its party experience it.

This entry was posted in Church. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s