Wisdom of Solomon 14
The Use of Wood
1 Again, someone getting ready for a voyage And about to sail through wild waves Cries out loud to a piece of wood More fragile than the ship that carries him.†
2 For it was desire for gain that contrived that boat, And wisdom was the craftsman who built it;
3 But Your providence, O Father, governs its course, Because You have given it a path in the sea And a safe track in the waves,
4 Showing that You can save from every danger, And that even without skill one may embark upon the sea.
5 For You do not will that the works of Your wisdom be useless; Therefore, men trust their lives even to the smallest piece of wood, And passing through the waves on a ship They are brought safely through.
6 For even in the beginning, when arrogant giants perished, The hope of the world took refuge in a boat, And piloted by Your hand it left to the world the seed of a family.†
7 For the wood was blessed through which righteousness comes.
8 But what was made by human hands itself is accursed, And so is he who made it— He because he made it, And the perishable thing because it was called a god.†
9 For equally hateful to God are the ungodly man and his ungodliness.
10 For what was done will be punished along with him who did it.
11 Therefore there shall also be a visitation upon the idols of the nations, Because, though the wood was part of God’s creation, It was made into an abomination And became a stumbling-block for the souls of men And a trap for the feet of fools.
12 For the invention of idols was the beginning of fornication, And the conception of them the corruption of life,
13 For neither were they from the beginning Nor shall they be forever.
14 For by the vainglory of mankind they entered the world, And therefore their speedy end has been planned.
15 For a father consumed with untimely grief When his child was soon taken from him Made an image of the once-dead human being And honored him now as a god, And handed down to those under him secret mysteries and initiations.
16 Then the ungodly custom, strengthened by time, was kept as a law, And at the command of tyrants carved images were worshiped.
17 When men could not honor a tyrant before his face Because he lived far away, They imagined his face from a distance And made a visible image of the honored king, That by their zeal they might flatter the one absent as though present.
18 Then the ambition of the craftsman encouraged Even those who did not know the king to increase their worship.
19 For wishing perhaps to please the one who ruled over him, He skillfully forced the likeness into a more beautiful form,
20 And the multitude, attracted by the popularity of his work, Now considered him as an object of worship Whom a short time before they honored as a man.
21 But this became a trap for their life, Because men, in bondage either to calamity or to kingly power, Conferred on stones and wood a name not shared with another.
Idolatry Brings Evil
22 Furthermore, it was not enough for them To be deceived about the knowledge of God, But they live in a great conflict of ignorance, And they call such evils peace.†
23 For they either hold child-murdering rites of initiation, Or celebrate secret mysteries, Or engage in the frantic revelry of special customs.
24 Moreover, they keep neither life nor marriages pure, But one either kills another in ambush, Or one causes another grief when he corrupts his marriage.
25 Everything is mixed together: Blood and murder, theft and treachery, Depravity, unfaithfulness, tumult, perjury,
26 Confusion over what is good, ingratitude, corruption of family, Breakup of marriages, disorder, adultery, and debauchery.†
27 For the worship of idols not to be named Is the beginning, cause, and end of every evil.
28 For either they are driven to a frenzy in their celebrations, Or prophesy lies, Or live unrighteously, or readily swear falsely;
29 For since they trust in lifeless idols, They swear with wrong motives and expect to suffer no harm.
30 But justice will catch up with them on two counts: Because they thought wrongly about God in their devotion to idols, And by treating holiness with contempt They swore unjustly in deceit.
31 For it is not the power of making oaths, But the punishment of those who sin That always prosecutes the transgression of the unrighteous.
1 Alleluia. Praise God in His saints; Praise Him in the firmament of His power;
2 Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to the abundance of His greatness.
3 Praise Him with the sound of a trumpet; Praise Him with the harp and lyre;
4 Praise Him with timbrel and dance; Praise Him with strings and flute;
5 Praise Him with resounding cymbals; Praise Him with triumphant cymbals;
6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Alleluia.
1 This is a psalm written with David’s own hand, although outside the number, when he fought in single combat with Goliath. †I was small among my brothers And the youngest in my father’s house; I tended my father’s sheep.
2 My hands built a musical instrument; My fingers tuned a lyre.
3 And who shall tell my Lord? The Lord Himself, He Himself hears.
4 He sent forth His Angel And took me from my father’s sheep; And he anointed me with his anointing oil.
5 My brothers were handsome and tall, But the Lord took no pleasure in them.
6 I went out to meet the foreigner, And he cursed me with his idols;
7 But I drew his own sword and beheaded him, And removed disgrace from the children of Israel.
Proverbs of Solomon 31
26 She runs her household carefully, And she does not eat the bread of idleness.
27 She opens her mouth wisely and lawfully, And her charity raises her children, and they become rich, And her husband praises her,
28 “Many daughters acquire riches; many do mighty things, But you excel and surpass all.”
29 Desires to please are deceitful, and the beauty of a wife is vain; For a wise wife is blessed, And let her in fear praise the Lord.
30 Give to her from the fruits of her hands, And let her husband praise her at the gates.
1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment,†
2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.†
3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”†
4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.
5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter.
6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.”
7 And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually.†
8 So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.†
10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance
11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.
12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.
13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”†
15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”
16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate.
18 And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there.
19 While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you.
20 Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.”
21 Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, “Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?”
22 And they said, “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.”
23 Then he invited them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him.