Wisdom of Solomon 18:5-19:22
5 When they resolved to kill the babes of Your holy ones
And one child was exposed and rescued,
You took away as a rebuke a multitude of their children;
And You destroyed them together in the violent water.
6 That night was made known beforehand to our fathers
So they might rejoice with sure knowledge in the oaths they trusted.
7 The salvation of the righteous and the destruction of enemies
Were expected by Your people,
8 For You punished our enemies with the same means
By which You called and glorified us.
9 For in secret the holy children of good people offered sacrifices,
And in harmony with the divine law made a covenant,
That the saints would share alike in good things and in dangers;
And already they were singing the praises of their fathers.
10 But the discordant cry of their enemies resounded,
And their pitiful outcry and mourning for their children spread abroad.
11 The servant was punished with the same penalty as the master,
And the common man suffered the same thing as the king.
12 They all together by the one name of death
Had innumerable dead persons,
For there were not enough living even to bury them;
Because in one critical moment their valued children were destroyed.
13 For they disbelieved everything because of their sorceries,
But at the destruction of their firstborn,
They acknowledged the people to be God’s son.
14 For while gentle silence embraced everything
And night at its own speed was half over,
15 Your all-powerful Word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne,
Into the midst of a doomed land,
A relentless warrior carrying the sharp sword
Of Your irrevocable command,
16 And He stood and filled all things with death
And touched heaven while standing on earth.
17 Then immediately apparitions in terrifying dreams troubled them,
And unexpected fears set upon them,
18 And they threw themselves to the ground half-dead,
One apparition here and another there,
To make known to them the reason they were dying.
19 For the dreams which disturbed them revealed this beforehand,
So they might not die without understanding
Why it was they suffered.
Aaron Prays for Israel
20 The experience of death also touched the righteous,
And a plague came upon the multitude in the desert;
But the wrath did not last long.
21 For a blameless man hastened and acted as their champion.
He carried the instrument of his ministry:
Prayer and the atonement of incense,
And withstood the anger and put an end to the calamity,
Showing that he was Your servant.
22 He conquered the wrath not by strength of body,
And not by the power of weapons,
But by a word he subdued the punisher,
Because he remembered the oaths and covenants of the fathers.
23 For when the dead had already fallen on one another in heaps,
He stood in the midst and drove back the wrath
And cut off its path to the living.
24 For the whole world was on his long robe,
And the glories of the fathers were a carved work
Arranged in four rows of stones;
And Your majesty was on the diadem on his head.
25 To these the destroyer yielded
And these he feared;
For the trial of his wrath alone was enough.
The Foolishness of Egypt
1 But unmerciful anger came upon the ungodly to the end,
For God knew of them and their future beforehand,
2 That they would allow Your people to depart
And eagerly send them forth,
But then change their minds and pursue them.
3 For while they were yet mourning
And lamenting at the graves of their dead,
They made another foolish decision
And pursued as fugitives
Those whom they had begged and had sent away.
4 For a deserved destiny drew them to this end
And made them forget what had happened,
So they might fill up the punishment
Which was lacking in their torments,
5 And that Your people might attempt an incredible journey,
But that they themselves might come upon a strange death.
Creation Serves Its God
6 For the whole creation in its kind was fashioned again from above
To serve Your commands,
That Your servants might be kept unharmed.
7 The cloud was seen overshadowing the camp
And the emerging of dry land out of the water previously present,
An unhindered way out of the Red Sea
And a grassy plain out of the violence of rough water,
8 Through which those sheltered by Your hand
Passed with the whole nation
After observing marvelous wonders.
9 For they grazed like horses
And leaped about like lambs,
Praising You, O Lord, who saved them.
10 For they still remembered their sojourn in a foreign land,
How instead of the birth of animals the land brought forth small flies,
And instead of things living in water
The river vomited forth a multitude of frogs.
11 Afterwards they also saw a new kind of birds,
When led by their passion they requested meats for self-indulgence;
12 For their relief, quails came up from the sea.
The Punishment of Egypt
13 The punishments did not come upon the sinners
Without previous signs in the violence of thunder,
And they suffered justly because of their own evils;
For they practiced a very bitter hatred of strangers.
14 Others did not welcome those unknown to them when they arrived,
But these enslaved foreign benefactors.
15 And not only this, but there shall be a certain visitation
Because they received foreigners hatefully;
16 For after receiving them with festivals,
They mistreated with terrible sufferings
Those who had already shared the same rights.
17 They were also stricken with blindness
Like those at the doors of the righteous man,
When, clothed in darkness, each sought the way through his own doors.
God Dwells with His People
18 For the elements combined among themselves in different ways,
Which can be accurately conjectured from the sight of what took place,
As on a harp the sounds of the rhythm differ in expression
While always remaining the same in sound.
19 For land animals were changed into water creatures,
And creatures that swim crossed over to the land.
20 In water, fire prevailed with its own power,
And water forgot its quenching properties.
21 Flames, on the contrary, did not consume
The flesh of perishable animals that walked among them,
Nor was the species of immortal food capable of being melted
Like easily melted ice.
22 For in everything, O Lord, You have exalted and glorified Your people,
And have not neglected to be present with them in every time and place.
1 A psalm by David, when he was in the desert of Judea.
2 O God, my God, I rise early to be with You;
My soul thirsts for You.
How often my flesh thirsts for You
In a desolate, impassable, and waterless land.
3 So in the holy place I appear before You,
To see Your power and Your glory.
4 Because Your mercy is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
5 Thus I will bless You in my life;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
6 May my soul be filled, as if with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall sing praise to You with lips filled with rejoicing.
7 If I remembered You on my bed,
I meditated on You at daybreak;
8 For You are my helper,
And in the shelter of Your wings I will greatly rejoice.
9 My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand takes hold of me.
10 But they seek for my soul in vain;
They shall go into the lowest parts of the earth.
11 They shall be given over to the edge of the sword;
They shall be a portion for foxes.
12 But the king shall be glad in God;
All who swear by Him shall be praised,
For the mouth that speaks unrighteous things is stopped.
26 The hand of the chosen shall prevail easily,
But the deceitful shall be for captivity.
27 A fearful word troubles the heart of a righteous man,
But a good message makes him glad.
28 A righteous arbiter shall be his own friend,
But the decisions of the ungodly are unreasonable.
29 Evil things shall pursue sinners,
And the way of the ungodly will lead them astray.
30 A deceitful man will not gain his prey,
But a pure man is a precious possession.
31 In the ways of righteousness there is life,
But the ways of remembering wrongs are unto death.
2 Corinthians 1:1–22
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Comfort in Suffering
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.
Delivered from Suffering
8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.
9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead,
10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,
11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.
12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.
13 For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end
14 (as also you have understood us in part), that we are your boast as you also are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Sparing the Church
15 And in this confidence I intended to come to you before, that you might have a second benefit—
16 to pass by way of you to Macedonia, to come again from Macedonia to you, and be helped by you on my way to Judea.
17 Therefore, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be Yes, Yes, and No, No?
18 But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No.
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes.
20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God,
22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.