The Book of Wisdom — Liber Sapientiæ
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Chapter 4
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Vulgate><Douay-Rheims><Knox Bible
1
O quam pulchra est casta generatio, cum claritate! immortalis est enim memoria illius, quoniam et apud Deum nota est, et apud homines.
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O HOW beautiful is the chaste generation with glory: for the memory thereof is immortal: because it is known both with God and with men.
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How fair a thing is the unwedded life that is nobly lived! Think not the me-mory of it can fade; God and man alike preserve the record;
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Cum præsens est, imitantur illam, et desiderant eam cum se eduxerit; et in perpetuum coronata triumphat, incoinquinatorum certaminum præmium vincens.
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When it is present, they imitate it: and they desire it when it hath withdrawn itself, and it triumpheth crowned for ever, winning the reward of undefiled conflicts.
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in life how eagerly imitated, in death how long regretted, in eternity how crowned with triumph, the conquest gained in fields of honourable striving!
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Multigena autem impiorum multitudo non erit utilis, et spuria vitulamina non dabunt radices altas, nec stabile firmamentum collocabunt.
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But the multiplied brood of the wicked shall not thrive, and bastard slips shall not take deep root, nor any fast foundation.
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Let the wicked gender as they will, it shall nothing avail them; what, should those bastard slips ever strike their roots deep, base the tree firm?
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Etsi in ramis in tempore germinaverint, infirmiter posita, a vento commovebuntur, et a nimietate ventorum eradicabuntur.
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And if they flourish in branches for a time, yet standing not fast, they shall be shaken with the wind, and through the force of winds they shall be rooted out.
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Burgeon they may for a little, but the wind will shake their frail hold; root and all, the storm will carry them away.
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Confringentur enim rami inconsummati; et fructus illorum inutiles et acerbi ad manducandum, et ad nihilum apti.
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For the branches not being perfect, shall be broken, and their fruits shall be unprofitable, and sour to eat, and fit for nothing.
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Half-formed, the boughs will be snapped off, and their fruit go to waste, unripe, unprofitable.
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Ex iniquis enim somnis filii qui nascuntur, testes sunt nequitiæ adversus parentes in interrogatione sua.
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For the children that are born of unlawful beds, are witnesses of wickedness against their parents in their trial.
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And indeed, when the day of reckoning comes, needs must they should be cited as witnesses against their own parents, these, the children of their shame, by unlawful dalliance begotten.
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Justus autem si morte præoccupatus fuerit, in refrigerio erit;
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But the just man, if he be prevented with death, shall be in rest.
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Not so the innocent; though he should die before his time, rest shall be his.
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senectus enim venerabilis est non diuturna, neque annorum numero computata: cani autem sunt sensus hominis,
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For venerable old age is not that of long time, nor counted by the number of years: but the understanding of a man is grey hairs.
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A seniority there is that claims reverence, owing nothing to time, not measured by the lapse of years; count a man grey-haired when he is wise,
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et ætas senectutis vita immaculata.
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And a spotless life is old age.
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ripe of age when his life is stainless.
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Placens Deo factus est dilectus, et vivens inter peccatores translatus est.
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He pleased God and was beloved, and living among sinners he was translated.
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Divine favour, divine love banished him from a life he shared with sinners;
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Raptus est, ne malitia mutaret intellectum ejus, aut ne fictio deciperet animam illius.
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He was taken away lest wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul.
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caught him away, before wickedness could pervert his thoughts, before wrong-doing could allure his heart;
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Fascinatio enim nugacitatis obscurat bona, et inconstantia concupiscentiæ transvertit sensum sine malitia.
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For the bewitching of vanity obscureth good things, and the wandering of concupiscence overturneth the innocent mind.
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such witchery evil has, to tarnish honour, such alchemy do the roving passions exercise even on minds that are true metal.
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Consummatus in brevi, explevit tempora multa;
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Being made perfect in a short space, he fulfilled a long time:
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With him, early achievement counted for long apprenticeship;
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placita enim erat Deo anima illius: propter hoc properavit educere illum de medio iniquitatum. Populi autem videntes, et non intelligentes, nec ponentes in præcordiis talia,
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For his soul pleased God: therefore he hastened to bring him out of the midst of iniquities: but the people see this, and understand not, nor lay up such things in their hearts:
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so well the Lord loved him, from a corrupt world he would grant him swift release.The world looks on, uncomprehending; a hard lesson it is to learn,
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quoniam gratia Dei et misericordia est in sanctos ejus, et respectus in electos illius.
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That the grace of God, and his mercy is with his saints, and that he hath respect to his chosen.
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that God does reward, does pity his chosen friends, does grant his faithful servants deliverance.
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Condemnat autem justus mortuus vivos impios, et juventus celerius consummata longam vitam injusti.
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But the just that is dead, condemneth the wicked that are living, and youth soon ended, the long life of the unjust.
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Did they know it, the death of the just man, with its promise early achieved, is a reproach to the wicked that live yet in late old age.
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Videbunt enim finem sapientis, et non intelligent quid cogitaverit de illo Deus, et quare munierit illum Dominus.
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For they shall see the end of the wise man, and shall not understand what God hath designed for him, and why the Lord hath set him in safety.
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But what see they? Here is a man dead, and all his wisdom could not save him. That the Lord planned all this, and for the saving of him, does not enter their minds.
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Videbunt, et contemnent eum; illos autem Dominus irridebit.
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They shall see him, and shall despise him: but the Lord shall laugh them to scorn.
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What wonder if the sight fills them with contempt? And they themselves, all the while, are earning the Lord’s contempt;
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Et erunt post hæc decidentes sine honore, et in contumelia inter mortuos in perpetuum: quoniam disrumpet illos inflatos sine voce, et commovebit illos a fundamentis, et usque ad supremum desolabuntur, et erunt gementes, et memoria illorum peribit.
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And they shall fall after this without honour, and be a reproach among the dead for ever: for he shall burst them puffed up and speechless, and shall shake them from the foundations, and they shall be utterly laid waste: they shall be in sorrow, and their memory shall perish.
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they themselves, doomed to lie there dishonoured among the dead, eternally a laughing-stock! How they will stand aghast, when he pricks the bubble of their pride! Ruins they shall be, overthrown from the foundation, land for ever parched dry; bitter torment shall be theirs, and their name shall perish irrecoverably.
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Venient in cogitatione peccatorum suorum timidi, et traducent illos ex adverso iniquitates ipsorum.
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They shall come with fear at the thought of their sins, and their iniquities shall stand against them to convict them.
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Alas, the long tally of their sins! Trembling they shall come forward, and the record of their misdeeds shall rise up to confront them.