The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Wisdom
Chapter 19
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It was not so with their impious enemies; with them, God decreed that pitiless justice should run its course, knowing well what ill-doing of theirs lay yet in store;
how the very men who had allowed the Israelites to depart, nay, set them eagerly on their way, would soon repent of it and march out in pursuit.
The business of mourning still in hand, the grave-sides of the dead still calling for their tears, they must needs betake themselves to a fresh desperate shift; they would hunt down as fugitives the unwelcome guests of yesterday.
Fitting destiny, that lured them to a fitting doom, made them forget the past, and led them on to complete their tale of suffering and of punishment!
For thy people, a strange sea-faring; for those others, an unexampled manner of death!

Each form of nature, in its own proper sphere, was formed anew as from the beginning, obedient to the new laws thou hadst given it, for the greater safety of thy children.
Such was the cloud that over-shadowed their camp; such the dry land that appeared where water stood before; the Red Sea unlaboriously crossed, a grassy floor spread out amid the surging billows!
So, sheltered by thy hand, they passed on their way, a whole nation of them, strange marvels seen in their passage;
lighthearted as horse at pasture or frisking lamb, they chanted praises to thee, Lord, their rescuer.
Such, too, were their memories of Egypt itself; memories of the land that bred lice and could breed no beasts else, the river that could spawn frogs, yet never a fish lived there.
Later on, they were to see how birds could be the subject of a new creation, when their appetites craved for richer fare,
and quails came up from the sea to content them.

Nor were the Egyptians punished without warning; the thunders that terrified them were but echoes of the past. Did not their own wickedness deserve the pains they suffered,
a race even more inhospitable than the men of Sodom before them? These did but refuse a welcome when strangers came to their doors; the Egyptians condemned their own guests, their own benefactors, to slavery.
It is one thing to be called to account for unfriendly treatment of alien folk;
but these Egyptians had received the Israelites into their midst with rejoicing, had admitted them to rights of citizenship, and then turned on them with savage ill-treatment.
No wonder blindness fell on them, as upon the men of Sodom at Lot’s door! But in Egypt the darkness was so bewildering that a man could not find his way through the doors of his own house.

All the elements may be transposed among themselves, keeping up the same answering rhythm, like the notes of a harp altering their mood; so much we may infer with certainty from the sights that have been witnessed in the past.
Land-beasts turned to water-beasts, and the firm ground was trodden by creatures born to swim.
Fire surpassed its own nature, when water forgot to quench it;
then fire, in its turn, could not waste the frail flesh of living creatures that traversed it, nor melt that heavenly food that melted easily as ice. No means wouldst thou neglect, Lord, to magnify thy people and win them renown; never wouldst thou leave them unregarded, but always and everywhere camest to their side.