The Wisdom of Solomon 4
When Virtue Is Present
1 Childlessness with virtue is better than this, For immortality is in its memory; Because it is known both by God and by man.†
2 When virtue is present, people imitate it, And when it goes away, they long for it. Throughout one’s lifetime, Virtue leads the struggle for undefiled prizes, Wearing a crown and conquering.†
3 But the prolific multitude of the ungodly are useful to no one, And none of their illegitimate seedlings will grow a deep root Or establish a sure footing.
4 For although they may flourish in their branches for a time, Yet without a sure footing they will be shaken by the wind And uprooted by the force of the winds.
5 Their twigs shall be broken off before they reach maturity, And their fruit will be useless, Not ripe for eating or good for anything.
6 For children born from lawless unions Are witnesses of evil against their parents In their close examination.†
7 But though a righteous man may die before his time, He shall be at rest.
8 For old age is not honored for its length of existence, Nor measured by its number of years;
9 But discernment is gray hair for mankind, And a spotless life is the maturity of old age.
The Righteous Enoch
10 There was once a man pleasing to God and loved by Him, And while living among sinners he was taken up.†
11 He was caught up lest evil change his understanding Or deceit deceive his soul.
12 For envy arising from lack of judgment obscures what is good, And a whirling of desire undermines an innocent heart.
13 He was made perfect, For in a short time he fulfilled long years,
14 For his soul was pleasing to the Lord; Therefore, He took him early from the midst of evil. Yet peoples saw this but did not understand, Nor take such a thing to heart,
15 That the Lord’s grace and mercy are with His elect And that He watches over His holy ones.
A Study in Contrasts
16 But a righteous man who is dead Shall condemn the ungodly who are living, And a youth who is quickly perfected Shall condemn the ripe old age of a wrongdoer.
17 For they will see the end of the wise man, But will not understand what the Lord purposed for him Or why He kept him safe.†
18 They will see and despise him, But the Lord will laugh them to scorn.
19 After this they shall be dead without honor And an insult among the dead continually; Because He will dash them headlong and speechless to the ground And shake them from the foundations. They shall be left dry and barren to the very end; They shall be in pain, And their memory shall perish.
20 They will come with dread In the day of reckoning for their sins, And their lawless deeds will convict them to their face.†
1 A psalm by David. †O Lord, I have cried to You; hear me; Give heed to the voice of my supplication when I cry to You.
2 Let my prayer be set forth before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, A door of enclosure about my lips.
4 Incline not my heart to evil words, To make excuses in sins With men who work lawlessness; And I will not join with their choice ones.
5 The righteous man shall correct me With mercy, and he shall reprove me; But let not the oil of the sinner anoint my head, For my prayer shall be intense in the presence of their pleasures.
6 Their judges are swallowed up by the rock; They shall hear my words, for they are pleasant.
7 As a clod of ground is dashed to pieces on the earth, So our bones were scattered beside the grave.
8 For my eyes, O Lord, O Lord, are toward You; In You I hope; take not my soul away.
9 Keep me from the snares they set for me, And from the stumbling blocks of those who work lawlessness.
10 Sinners shall fall into their own net; I am alone, until I escape.
Proverbs of Solomon 30
11 An evil offspring curses his father And does not bless his mother.†
12 An evil offspring judges himself righteous, But is not washed from his uncleanness.
13 An evil offspring has haughty eyes And exalts himself with his eyelids;
14 An evil offspring has teeth like swords And molars like knives, so as to destroy
15 And to devour the poor from the earth, And their needy from among men.
Ananias and Sapphira
1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.†
2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.
6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.”
9 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”
10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.
11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.
Evangelism in the Spirit
12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.
13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly.
14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,
15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.†
16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.