Wisdom chapter 10

Solomon shares his heroes of wisdom from the Old Testament: Noah, Lot, Joseph, and Moses. He says devotion to God is mightier than all else.

 


 

The Book of Wisdom is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches

 


 

HEROES OF WISDOM IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

 

VERSE 1. Wisdom guarded to the end the first formed father of the world, that was created alone, And delivered him out of his own transgression,

the first formed father of the world. That is, Adam.

his own transgression. That is, the fall of Adam into sin in the Garden of Eden.

 

VERSE 2. And gave him strength to get dominion over all things.

 

VERSE 3. But when an unrighteous man fell away from her in his anger, He perished himself in the rage wherewith he killed his brother.

he killed his brother. It was Cain who killed his brother.

 

VERSE 4. And when for his cause the earth was drowning with a flood, Wisdom again saved it, Guiding the righteous man’s course by a poor piece of wood.

the earth was drowning with a flood. Humans had become so wicked that God had to flood the whole earth.

the righteous man. That is, Noah.

 

VERSE 5. Moreover, when nations consenting together in wickedness had been confounded, Wisdom knew the righteous man, and preserved him blameless to God, And kept him strong when his heart yearned toward his child.

 

VERSE 6. While the ungodly were perishing, wisdom delivered a righteous man, When he fled from the fire that descended out of heaven on Pentapolis.

a righteous man. That is, Lot.

the fire that descended out of heaven. The fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

Pentapolis. That is, the region of the five cities.

 

VERSE 7. To whose wickedness a smoking waste still witnesses, And plants bearing fair fruit that comes not to ripeness; Yes and a disbelieving soul has a memorial there, a pillar of salt still standing.

a disbelieving soul. Lot’s wife did not believe the warning. She looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah.

a pillar of salt. When she looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt.

 

VERSE 8. For having passed wisdom by, Not only were they disabled from recognising the things which are good, But they also left behind them for human life a monument of their folly; To the end that where they went astray they might fail even to be unseen:

 

VERSE 9. But wisdom delivered out of troubles those that waited on her.

 

VERSE 10. When a righteous man was a fugitive from a brother’s wrath, wisdom guided him in straight paths; She showed him God’s kingdom, and gave him knowledge of holy things; She prospered him in his toils, and multiplied the fruits of his labor;

 

VERSE 11. When in their covetousness men dealt hardly with him, She stood by him and made him rich;

 

DEVOTION TO GOD IS MIGHTIER THAN ALL ELSE

 

VERSE 12. She guarded him from enemies, And from those that lay in wait she kept him safe, And over his sore conflict she watched as judge, That he might know that godliness is more powerful than all.

NAB translation. She preserved him from foes, and secured him against ambush, And she gave him the prize for his hard struggle that he might know that devotion to God is mightier than all else.

devotion to God. Our Bible Reading Project does not try to make us Bible scholars. No, we’re simply reading the Bible in order to grow in love with God.

mightier than all else. With our devotion to God strengthened, we’ll be better able to share God’s love with others, in the Good News of Jesus Christ.

A famous Christian analogy of this is the “Little Way” of love of by St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

Another analogy of this verse can be found in Hinduism. Many Hindus hold that there are four paths to God. The simplest path is Karma Yoga, or selfless action. This was the spiritual path of Mohandas K. Gandhi. He led his nation to freedom from England by Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is a bit like our Christian idea of charitable works. We Christians say we must put our faith into action.

The next step up this Hindu “ladder” of paths to God is Jnana Yoga, or spiritual knowledge. Jnana Yoga is like our Christian practice of Scripture reading and study.

Above that is Raja Yoga, or meditation. This is analogous to our Christian idea of sitting in meditative prayer or contemplative prayer.

The top rung of this Hindu ladder is Bhakti Yoga, or devotion. Bhakti Yoga is heartfelt devotion, heartfelt love for God. Hindus say this is the fastest and most reliable way to God.

 

VERSE 13. When a righteous man was sold, wisdom forsook him not, But from sin she delivered him; She went down with him into a dungeon,

a righteous man. That is, Joseph.

was sold. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery.

 

VERSE 14. And in bonds she left him not, Till she brought him the sceptre of a kingdom, And authority over those that dealt tyrannously with him; She showed them also to be false that had mockingly accused him, And gave him eternal glory.

 

VERSE 15. Wisdom delivered a holy people and a blameless seed from a nation of oppressors.

 

VERSE 16. She entered into the soul of a servant of the Lord, And withstood terrible kings in wonders and signs.

a servant of the Lord. That is, Moses.

withstood terrible kings. Moses stood face-to-face with Pharaoh.

wonders and signs. Through Moses, God did great wonders and signs.

 

VERSE 17. She rendered to holy men a reward of their toils; She guided them along a marvelous way, And became to them a covering in the day-time, And a flame of stars through the night.

 

VERSE 18. She brought them over the Red sea, And led them through much water;

 

VERSE 19. But their enemies she drowned, And out of the bottom of the deep she cast them up.

their enemies she drowned. The army of Pharaoh was drown in the Red Sea.

 

VERSE 20. Therefore the righteous plundered the ungodly; And they sang praise to your holy name, O Lord, And extolled with one accord your hand that fought for them:

 

VERSE 21. Because wisdom opened the mouth of the mute, And made the tongues of babes to speak clearly.

 


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