ḤAḴMAH 16 (Wisdom 16)

1 Therefore by these they were rightly punished,
And tortured by a multitude of beasts.

2 Instead of this punishment, dealing favourably with Your own people,
You prepared for them delicacies for food,
Even quails to arouse their appetite;

3 So that they, desiring food,
Due to the ugly sight of the beasts sent among them,
Might loathe even that which they desired.
But these, suffering hardship for a short time,
Might be made partakers of delicacies.

4 For it was necessary, that upon those oppressors suffering should come, which they could not avoid.
But to these it should only be shown how their enemies were punished.

5 For when the fearful fierceness of beasts came upon them,
And they perished with the stings of writhing serpents,
Your wrath did not endure forever.

6 But they were troubled for a little while that they might be warned,
Receiving a sign of deliverance, to remind them of the Command of Your Law.

7 For he who turned himself toward it was not saved by that which he saw,
But by You, who are the Saviour of all.

8 And in this You made Your enemies confess,
That it is You who delivers from all evil.

9 For the biting of locusts and flies killed them,
Neither was there found any healing for their life:
For they deserved to be punished by such.

10 But Your sons were not overcome by the very fangs of venomous serpents,
For Your kindness was continually upon them, and healed them.

11 For they were pierced, that they should remember Your Words,
And were quickly delivered,
So not to fall into deep forgetfulness,
That they remember Your goodness.

12 For it was neither herb, nor poultice, that healed them,
But Your Word, O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, that heals all.

13 For You have power of life and death.
You lead to the gates of She’ol, and bring up again.

14 Because of his evil a man kills,
And the spirit, when it is gone, does not return;
Neither the being that is taken up comes again.

15 But it is impossible to escape Your hand.

16 For the wicked, that denied to know You,
Were beaten by the strength of Your arm;
They were pursued with strange rains, hail and showers that they could not avoid,
And they were consumed by fire.

17 For the fire – which is most astounding – had more force in the water, that quenches all;
For the world fights for the righteous.

18 For at one time the flame was restrained,
That it might not consume the beasts that were sent against the wicked;
But seeing this they might see that they were punished with the judgment of Elohim.

19 And at another time it burns stronger than fire even in the midst of water,
That it might destroy the increase of an unrighteous land.

20 Instead You fed Your own people with food of messengers,
And sent them bread from the shamayim prepared without their labour,
Able to content every delight, and pleasant to every taste.

21 For your sustenance revealed Your sweetness toward Your children,
And serving to the appetite of the eater,
Rendered itself to every man’s liking.

22 But snow and ice endured the fire, without melting,
That they might know that fire burning in the hail, and flashing in the rain,
Destroyed the increase of their enemies.

23 But this again forgot even its own strength,
That the righteous might be nourished.

24 For the creation that serves You, the Maker,
Increases its strength against the unrighteous for their punishment.
And diminishes its strength for the benefit of those who put their trust in You.

25 Therefore even then was it changed into all forms.
And was obedient to Your favour, who sustains all,
According to the desire of those who had need;

26 That Your children, O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, whom You love, might know,
That it is not the growing of crops that nourishes man;
But that it is Your Word, that preserves those who put their trust in You.

27 For that which was not destroyed by the fire,
Being warmed with a few rays of sun, soon melted away,

28 That it might be known that we must rise before the sun and give You thanks,
And pray to you at the daybreak.

29 For the expectancy of the unthankful shall melt away as the winter frost,
And shall run away as useless water.