Wisdom Preserves Her Followers
1She preserved the first-formed father* of the worlda
when he alone had been created;b
And she raised him up from his fall,
2and gave him power to rule all things.c
3But when an unrighteous man* withdrew from her in his anger,
he perished through his fratricidal wrath.d
4When on his account the earth was flooded, Wisdom again saved it,
piloting the righteous man* on frailest wood.e
5She, when the nations were sunk in universal wickedness,
knew the righteous man,* kept him blameless before God,
and preserved him resolute against pity for his child.f
6She rescued a righteous man* from among the wicked who were being destroyed,g
when he fled as fire descended upon the Pentapolis—
7Where as a testimony to its wickedness,
even yet there remain a smoking desert,
Plants bearing fruit that never ripens,
and the tomb of a disbelieving soul,* a standing pillar of salt.h
8For those who forsook Wisdom
not only were deprived of knowledge of the good,
But also left the world a memorial of their folly,
so that they could not even be hidden in their fall.
9But Wisdom rescued from tribulations those who served her.i
10She, when a righteous man* fled from his brother’s anger,j
guided him in right ways,
Showed him the kingdom of God
and gave him knowledge of holy things;
She prospered him in his labors
and made abundant the fruit of his works,
11Stood by him against the greed of his defrauders,
and enriched him;k
12She preserved him from foes,
and secured him against ambush,
And she gave him the prize for his hard struggle
that he might know that devotion to God* is mightier than all else.l
13She did not abandon a righteous man* when he was sold,m
but rescued him from sin.n
14She went down with him into the dungeon,
and did not desert him in his bonds,
Until she brought him the scepter of royalty
and authority over his oppressors,
Proved false those who had defamed him,
and gave him eternal glory.
15The holy people and their blameless descendants—it was she
who rescued them from the nation that oppressed them.o
16She entered the soul of the Lord’s servant,*
and withstood fearsome kings with signs and wonders;p
17she gave the holy ones the reward of their labors,q
Conducted them by a wondrous road,
became a shelter for them by day
a starry flame by night.
18She took them across the Red Sea
and brought them through the deep waters.
19Their enemies she overwhelmed,
and churned them up* from the bottom of the depths.
20Therefore the righteous despoiled the wicked;
and they sang of your holy name, Lord,
and praised in unison your conquering hand,r
21Because Wisdom opened the mouths of the mute,
and gave ready speech to infants.s
* [10:1–21] This chapter prepares for the following section (Wis 11:2–19:22) on the history of Israel in the exodus, by reviewing the dealings of Wisdom with the patriarchs. It has a parallel in Sir 44–50; cf. also Wis 18:9.
* [10:3] Cain.
* [10:4] Noah.
* [10:5] Abraham.
* [10:6] Lot. Pentapolis: the five cities, including Sodom; cf. Gn 14:2.
* [10:7] Disbelieving soul: Lot’s wife; cf. Gn 19:26.
* [10:12] Devotion to God: in the Greek this signifies “piety” or “religion,” and is the equivalent of the Hebrew “fear of the Lord”; cf. Prv 1:7.
* [10:16] Moses.
* [10:19] Churned them up: casting their bodies on the shore.
e. [10:4] Wis 14:5–6; Gn 6:5–9.
g. [10:6] Gn 18:22–33; 19:15–25; 2 Pt 2:6–7.
j. [10:10] Gn 27:43–45; 28:12–15.
k. [10:11] Gn 30:29–30; 31:5–12.
l. [10:12] Gn 32:24–29; 1 Tm 4:8.
o. [10:15] Ex 3:9; 14:30; 19:6.
p. [10:16] Wis 1:4; 7:27; Ex 4:10; Ps 76:13.
q. [10:17–19] Wis 14:3; 19:7; Ex 13:21–22; Ex 14–15; Ps 77:20–21; 78:13, 53; Is 4:5–6.
r. [10:20] Ex 12:35–36; 15:1–21.