The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Wisdom
But the souls of the just are in God’s hands, and no torment, in death itself, has power to reach them.
Dead? Fools think so; think their end loss,
their leaving us, annihilation; but all is well with them.
The world sees nothing but the pains they endure; they themselves have eyes only for what is immortal;
so light their suffering, so great the gain they win! God, all the while, did but test them, and testing them found them worthy of him.
His gold, tried in the crucible, his burnt-sacrifice, graciously accepted, they do but wait for the time of their deliverance;
then they will shine out, these just souls, unconquerable as the sparks that break out, now here, now there, among the stubble.✻
Theirs to sit in judgement on nations, to subdue whole peoples, under a Lord whose reign shall last for ever.
But dearly shall the wicked pay for their error,✻ for the claims of right forgotten, for the Lord’s will defied.
Their case is pitiable indeed, who make light of true wisdom and of ordered living; vain their hope, profitless their toil, barren their achievement.
Light women are the wives they wed, worthless is their brood;
a curse lies on their begetting. Blessed, rather, her lot, that childless is, yet chaste, that never knew the bed of shame; offspring she will not lack, when holy souls have their reward.
Nay, let there be some eunuch that has kept his hands clear of wrong, has never harboured treasonable thought against the Lord; he too with rare gifts shall be faithfully rewarded, shall have the portion that most contents him in God’s holy place.✻
A noble harvest good men reap from their labours; wisdom is a root which never yet cast its crop.
Not so the adulterers; never look for children of theirs to thrive; the offspring of the unhallowed wedlock will vanish away.✻
Live they long, they shall be held in no regard, in their late age unhonoured;
die they soon, they shall die without hope, no comfort to sustain them in the day when all comes to light.
Bitterly they shall rue it hereafter, the race of the evil-doers.
The Holy Bible