The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Wisdom
When man was but newly made, the lonely father of this created world, she it was that watched over him,
and set him free from wrong-doing of his own,✻ and gave him the mastery over all things else.
Against her Cain rebelled,✻ when he did foul wrong, and by murderous spite against his brother compassed his own ruin.
Who but she, when the world was a-drowning for Cain’s fault,✻ gave it a second term of life, steering, on a paltry raft, one innocent man to safety?
And when the nations went their several ways,✻ banded in a single conspiracy of wickedness, of one man’s innocence she still took note; Abraham must be kept irreproachable in God’s service, and steeled against pity for his own child.
Here was another innocent man, Lot, that owed his preservation to Wisdom, when godless folk were perishing all around him. Escape he should, when fire came down upon the Cities of the Plain;
those five cities whose shame is yet unforgotten, while smoke issues from the barren soil, and never tree bears seasonable fruit, and the pillar of salt stands monument to an unbelieving soul.
Fatal neglect of Wisdom’s guidance, that could blind their eyes to the claims of honour, and leave the world such a memorial of their folly, as should make the record of their sins unmistakable!
But those who cherish her, Wisdom brings safely out of all their striving.
When Jacob, her faithful servant, was in flight from his brother’s anger, she guided him straight to his goal, and on the way shewed him the heavenly kingdom, gave him knowledge of holy things. She enriched him by his toil, and gave all his labours a happy issue.
Knavery went about to get the better of him, but she stood by him and prospered him;
kept him safe from his enemies, protected him from their scheming. She would have him wrestle manfully, and prove that there is no strength like the strength of wisdom.
When Joseph, in his innocence, was sold for a slave, Wisdom did not desert him, did not leave him among the guilty, but went down with him into his dungeon.
Fast he was bound, but she had not finished with him till she gave him dominion over a whole kingdom, and power to do what he would with his persecutors. So she brought home the lie to those who had traduced him, and won him everlasting fame.
So, too, with that innocent people of Israel, that unoffending race; did she not deliver them from the nations that kept them under?
Did she not enter into the heart of God’s servant, confronting dread rulers with portent and with miracle?
Did she not restore to men ill-used the just reward of their labours? She, too, led them out on their miraculous journey, affording them shelter by day and starry radiance at night.
She made a passage for them through the Red Sea, brought them safely through those leagues of water,
and churned up the bodies of their drowned enemy from those unfathomed depths. So, enriched by the spoils of the godless,
they extolled, O Lord, thy holy name, proclaimed with one voice thy sovereign power;
Wisdom opened the dumb mouths, and made the lips of infants✻ vocal with praise.
The Holy Bible