|14||Wisdom of Solomon||Reference|
|Again, one preparing to sail and about to voyage over raging waves |
calls upon a piece of wood more fragile than the ship which carries him.
|For it was desire for gain that planned that vessel, |
and wisdom was the craftsman who built it;
|but it is thy providence, O Father, that steers its course, |
because thou hast given it a path in the sea,
and a safe way through the waves,
|showing that thou canst save from every danger, |
so that even if a man lacks skill, he may put to sea.
|It is thy will that works of thy wisdom should not be without effect; |
therefore men trust their lives even to the smallest piece of wood,
and passing through the billows on a raft they come safely to land.
|For even in the beginning, when arrogant giants were perishing, |
the hope of the world took refuge on a raft,
and guided by thy hand left to the world the seed of a new generation.
|For blessed is the wood by which righteousness comes.|
|But the idol made with hands is accursed, and so is he who made it; |
because he did the work, and the perishable thing was named a god.
|For equally hateful to God are the ungodly man and his ungodliness,|
|for what was done will be punished together with him who did it.|
|Therefore there will be a visitation also upon the heathen idols, |
because, though part of what God created,
they became an abomination,
and became traps for the souls of men and a snare to the feet of the foolish.
|For the idea of making idols was the beginning of fornication, |
and the invention of them was the corruption of life,
|Origins of idolatry. Wis.14.12-21|
|for neither have they existed from the beginning nor will they exist for ever.|
|For through the vanity of men they entered the world, |
and therefore their speedy end has been planned.
|For a father, consumed with grief at an untimely bereavement, |
made an image of his child, who had been suddenly taken from him;
and he now honored as a god what was once a dead human being,
and handed on to his dependents secret rites and initiations.
|Then the ungodly custom, grown strong with time, was kept as a law, |
and at the command of monarchs graven images were worshipped.
|When men could not honor monarchs in their presence, since they lived at a distance, |
they imagined their appearance far away,
and made a visible image of the king whom they honored,
so that by their zeal they might flatter the absent one as though present.
|Then the ambition of the craftsman impelled even those who did not know the king to intensify their worship.|
|For he, perhaps wishing to please his ruler, |
skilfully forced the likeness to take more beautiful form,
|and the multitude, attracted by the charm of his work, |
now regarded as an object of worship the one whom shortly before they had honored as a man.
|And this became a hidden trap for mankind, |
because men, in bondage to misfortune or to royal authority,
bestowed on objects of stone or wood the name that ought not to be shared.
|Afterward it was not enough for them to err about the knowledge of God, |
but they live in great strife due to ignorance,
and they call such great evils peace.
|Results of idolatry. Wis.14.22-31|
|For whether they kill children in their initiations, or celebrate secret mysteries, |
or hold frenzied revels with strange customs,
|they no longer keep either their lives or their marriages pure, |
but they either treacherously kill one another,
or grieve one another by adultery,
|and all is a raging riot of blood and murder, theft and deceit, |
corruption, faithlessness, tumult, perjury,
|confusion over what is good, forgetfulness of favors, |
pollution of souls, sex perversion,
disorder in marriage, adultery, and debauchery.
|For the worship of idols not to be named |
is the beginning and cause and end of every evil.
|For their worshippers either rave in exultation, |
or prophesy lies,
or live unrighteously, or readily commit perjury;
|for because they trust in lifeless idols |
they swear wicked oaths and expect to suffer no harm.
|But just penalties will overtake them on two counts: |
because they thought wickedly of God in devoting themselves to idols,
and because in deceit they swore unrighteously through contempt for holiness.
|For it is not the power of the things by which men swear, |
but the just penalty for those who sin,
that always pursues the transgression of the unrighteous.
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