Wisdom of Solomon 16:15-18:4
15 To escape from Your hand is impossible,
16 For the ungodly who refuse to know You
Were flogged by the strength of Your arm.
They were pursued by rains, hail, and thunderstorms
And consumed by fire.
17 For the fire, very contrary to expectation,
Was more effective in the water, which extinguishes everything;
For the world is a defender of the righteous.
18 For at one time the flame was subdued
That it might not burn up the creatures sent against the ungodly,
But seeing this they might know
That they were struck by the judgment of God;
19 And at another time even under water
The flame burned more intensely than fire
To destroy the harvest of the unrighteous land.
Bread from Heaven for Israel
20 Instead of these things You fed Your people the food of angels,
And without their labor You provided them
With ready-made bread from heaven,
Fitting for every pleasure and suitable to every taste.
21 For Your provision manifested sweetness toward Your people,
And the bread served the need of those who took it
And changed to what one wished.
22 Snow and ice endured fire without melting
So they might know that fire destroyed the harvest of their enemies,
The fire that burned in the hail
And flashed like lightning in the rain—
23 Again that fire which forgot its own natural power
That the righteous might be fed.
24 For the creation serves You who made it
And increases its intensity to punish the unrighteous,
But in kindness relaxes itself on behalf of those who trust in You.
25 Therefore also at that time,
It explored as though in a mine Your all-nourishing bounty
And served the will of those who supplicated You,
26 That Your children whom You loved, O Lord, might learn
That it is not the production of crops that feeds man,
But Your word that maintains those who believe in You.
27 For what was not destroyed by fire
Was melted when simply warmed by a small ray of the sun,
28 To make it known that one must get up before sunrise
To give You thanks,
And to intercede before You at the dawning of the light.
29 For the hope of an unthankful man will melt like the wintry frost
And flow away like useless water.
The Sins of Egypt
1 Great are Your judgments and hard to explain;
Therefore, ignorant souls have gone astray.
2 For when lawless men thought they exercised power
Over Your holy nation,
They themselves were prisoners of darkness and long night,
Shut in under their roofs, exiles from eternal providence.
3 For when they thought they escaped notice
With their secret sins behind a curtain of forgetfulness,
They were scattered and in a terrible state of shock
And thrown into confusion by apparitions.
4 For not even the inmost part of the house that held them
Protected them from fear,
But troubling noises sounded all around them,
And gloomy apparitions with downcast faces appeared to them.
5 No force of fire had the strength to give them light,
Nor did the very bright lights of the stars
Tarry to illuminate that hateful night.
6 Now a self-acting fire full of fear alone shone through to them,
But they were greatly terrified when that apparition was not perceived;
So they considered the things they were seeing to be worse.
7 The delusions of their magic were ineffective,
And so was the arrogant certainty of their pretense to have insight.
8 For those who promised to drive away
The fears and troubles of a sick soul
Were themselves sick with an absurd timidity.
9 For even if nothing dreadful frightened them,
Yet, scared by the passing of beasts and hissing of serpents,
They perished full of fear,
Even refusing to look at the air, which could not be avoided.
10 For evil is a cowardly thing,
And condemned by its own witness;
And tormented by conscience,
It always welcomes things full of trouble.
11 For fear is nothing but the betrayal
Of the assistance that comes from reasoning;
12 And the expectation from within considers itself to be weaker
Than ignorance of the cause which supplies the torment.
13 But they slept the same sleep throughout the night,
Which was actually powerless,
And which assaulted them from the inmost parts of a powerless Hades.
14 They were driven by the monsters of apparitions
And were paralyzed by the betrayal of their soul;
For sudden and unexpected fear was poured out on them.
15 So then whoever was there fell down
And thus was kept shut up in a prison not made of iron.
16 For whether someone was a farmer or a shepherd
Or a worker who labored in the wilderness,
He was overtaken by force and endured inescapable punishment;
For all were bound with one chain of darkness.
17 Whether there came a whistling wind,
Or the musical sound of birds in wide-spreading branches,
Or the motion of violently rushing water,
Or the hard crash of rocks thrown down,
18 Or the unseen running of leaping animals,
Or the roar of fierce wild animals,
Or an echo reflected from the hollow of mountains,
It paralyzed them with terror.
19 For the whole world was illumined with bright light
And embraced unhindered works,
20 While over those men alone heavy night was spread,
An image of darkness that was about to receive them;
But they were heavier than darkness to themselves.
Light Shines on Israel
1 But for Your holy ones there was a very great light.
Their enemies heard their voice but did not see their form;
And they considered them blessed because they had also not suffered,
2 For Your holy ones did not harm those
Who previously wronged them.
So they were thankful and begged for grace
For being at variance with them.
3 Therefore You provided a flaming pillar of fire
As a guide for their unknown journey,
And a harmless sun for their glorious exile.
4 For their enemies deserved to be deprived of light
And imprisoned in darkness,
Those who imprisoned Your children,
Through whom the incorruptible light of the law
Was to be given to the world.
1 For the End, for Jeduthun; a psalm by David.
2 Shall not my soul be submissive to God?
For from Him is my salvation.
3 For He is my God and my savior,
My protector; I shall be shaken no more.
4 How long will you attack a man?
All of you murder him;
You attack him as you would a leaning wall and a broken hedge.
5 They also planned to remove my honor;
They ran with a lie;
They blessed with their mouth, and they cursed with their heart.
6 However, be submissive to God, O my soul,
For my patient endurance is from Him.
7 For He is my God and my savior,
My protector; I shall never be moved.
8 In God is my salvation and my glory;
He is the God of my help, and my hope is in God.
9 Hope in Him, all you congregation of people;
Pour out your hearts before Him;
God is our helper.
10 But the sons of men are useless;
The sons of men are liars with the yokes of wrongdoing;
They are altogether useless.
11 Do not hope in wrongdoing,
And do not hunger for booty;
If riches flow in,
Do not set your heart on them.
12 God spoke once;
I heard these two things:
13 That power is of God, and to You, O Lord, is mercy;
For You will repay every man according to his works.
21 Truthful lips establish a testimony,
But a hasty witness has an unrighteous tongue.
22 There is deceit in the heart of a man who devises evil things,
But those who counsel peace shall be glad.
23 Nothing unrighteous will ever be pleasing to the righteous,
But the ungodly will be filled with evil things.
24 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But he who shows faithfulness is acceptable to Him.
25 A man of understanding is a throne of perception,
But the heart of the undiscerning will meet with curses.
1 Corinthians 16
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:
2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.
3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.
4 But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.
(cf. Acts 19:21)
5 Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia).
6 And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go.
7 For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.
8 But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost.
9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
10 And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.
11 Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren.
12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brethren, but he was quite unwilling to come at this time; however, he will come when he has a convenient time.
13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
14 Let all that you do be done with love.
15 I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints—
16 that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us.
17 I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied.
18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.
Greetings and a Solemn Farewell
19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
20 All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21 The salutation with my own hand—Paul’s.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.