ḤAḴMAH 15 (Wisdom 15)

1 But you, O Elohim, showing favour and truth,
Patient, and ruling all in kindness,

2 For if we sin, we are Yours, knowing Your power;
But we shall not sin, knowing that we are considered Yours.

3 For to know You, is perfect righteousness,
Also to know Your power is the root of immortality.

4 For neither did the evil intention of men deceive us,
Nor an image spotted with various colours,
The painter’s fruitless labour;

5 The sight of which entices fools to lust after it,
And so they desire the form of a lifeless image that has no breath.

6 Both those who make them, those who desire them, and those who worship them,
Are lovers of evil, and are worthy to have such to trust upon.

7 For the potter, kneading soft earth, fashions every vessel with much labour for our service;
Indeed, of the same clay he makes both the vessels that serve for clean uses,
And likewise also all those who serve the contrary.
But to what is the use of either, the potter himself is the judge.

8 And using his labours wickedly, he makes a vain mighty one of the same clay,
Even he which a little before was made of earth himself,
And within a little while after returns to the same,
When his life which was loaned to him shall be demanded.

9 But his concern is, not that he shall have much labour,
Nor that his life is short;
But strives to outdo goldsmiths and silversmiths,
And endeavours to do like the workers in bronze,
And counts it his esteem to make that which is counterfeit.

10 His heart is ashes, his expectancy is cheaper than dirt,
And his life of less value than clay.

11 Because he did not know his Maker,
And He who inspired into him an active being,
And breathed in a living spirit.

12 But they reckoned our life a game,
And our time here a market-place for gain;
For they say, “We must acquire every way.”
Though it be by evil means.

13 For this man, of earthly matter knows he is stumbling above all else,
Making frail vessels and graven images.

14 And all the enemies of Your people, that hold them in subjection, are most foolish,
And are more miserable than an infant.

15 For they reckoned all the idols of the gentiles to be mighty ones;
Which neither have the use of eyes to see,
Nor noses to draw breath,
Nor ears to hear,
Nor fingers of hands to touch;
And as for their feet, they are slow to move.

16 For man made them, and he who borrowed his own spirit fashioned them:
But no man makes a mighty one that is like himself.

17 For being mortal, he makes that which is dead with wicked hands;
For he himself is better than that which he worships;
Whereas he lived once, but they never.

18 Also, they worshipped those beasts that are also most hateful;
For being compared together, some are worse than others.

19 Neither do they look good, so much as to be desired regarding beasts:
But they went without the praise of Elohim and His beraḵah.