Wisdom chapter 12

The Lord is lenient toward all people. He convicts them wrongdoing, little by little. Even a life of debauchery can lead people to God.



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





VERSE 1. For your incorruptible spirit is in all things.

your incorruptible spirit. That is, your “imperishable” spirit.

is in all things. When they first encounter this verse, some people think it means that the physical universe and God are the same thing. That is called Pantheism.

However, things are NOT God. Rather, God is in all things. And why not? He created everything from nothing. Why should he not inhabit all of it?


VERSE 2. Wherefore you convict little by little those who fall from the right way, and, putting them in remembrance by the things wherein they sin, you admonish them, that escaping from their wickedness they may believe in you, O Lord.

you convict little by little. God drops hints for us of how we should change our lives. These hints appear to us little by little.


VERSE 3. For truly the old inhabitants of your holy land,


VERSE 4. hating them because they practiced detestable works of enchantments and unholy rites—

enchantments. That is, witchcraft.


VERSE 5. merciless slaughters of children and sacrificial banquets of men’s flesh and of blood—

sacrificial banquets of men’s flesh. That is, cannibalism.


VERSE 6. allies in an impious fellowship, and murderers of their own helpless babes, it was your counsel to destroy by the hands of our fathers;

murderers of their own helpless babes. Parents took the life of their own children.


VERSE 7. that the land which in your sight is most precious of all might receive a worthy colony of God’s servants.


VERSE 8. Nevertheless you even spared these as men, and you sent hornets‡ as forerunners of your army, to cause them to perish little by little;


VERSE 9. Not that you were unable to subdue the ungodly under the hand of the righteous in battle, or by terrible beasts or by a stern word to make away with them at once;


VERSE 10. but judging them little by little you gave them a chance to repent, not being ignorant that their nature by birth was evil, their wickedness inborn, and that their manner of thought would never be changed.

you gave them a chance to repent. God desires that people repent. He brings judgment bit by bit, hoping we will eventually change our lives for the better.


VERSE 11. For they were a cursed seed from the beginning. It wasn’t through fear of any that you left them unpunished for their sins.


VERSE 12. For who will say, “What have you done?” Or “Who will withstand your judgement?” Who will accuse you for the perishing of nations which you caused? Or who will come and stand before you as an avenger for unrighteous men?


VERSE 13. For there isn’t any God beside you that cares for all, that you might show that you didn’t judge unrighteously.


VERSE 14. No king or prince will be able to look you in the face for those whom you have punished.


VERSE 15. But being righteous, you rule all things righteously, deeming it a thing alien from your power to condemn one that does not deserve to be punished.


VERSE 16. For your strength is the beginning of righteousness, and your sovereignty over all makes you to forbear all.

your sovereignty over all makes you to forbear all. That is, “Your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all” (NAB translation).


VERSE 17. For when men don’t believe that you are perfect in power, you show your strength, and in dealing with those who think this, you confuse their boldness.


VERSE 18. But you, being sovereign over strength, judge in gentleness, and with great forbearance do you govern us; for the power is yours whenever you desire it.

judge in gentleness. The Lord judges us with clemency.

with great forbearance do you govern us. The Lord rules over us with great leniency.


VERSE 19. But you taught your people by such works as these, how the righteous must be a lover of men. You made your sons to have good hope, because you give repentance when men have sinned.

the righteous must be a lover of men. That is, “those who are just must be kind” (NAB translation).

Are you a KIND person?


VERSE 20. For if on those who were enemies of your servants and due to death you took vengeance with so great deliberation and indulgence, giving them times and opportunities when they might escape from their wickedness;


VERSE 21. with how great carefulness you judged your sons, to whose fathers you gave oaths and covenants of good promises!


VERSE 22. Therefore while you chasten us, you scourge our enemies ten thousand times more, to the intent that we may ponder your goodness when we judge, and when we are judged may look for mercy.


VERSE 23. Wherefore also the unrighteous that lived in folly of life, you tormented through their own abominations.

tormented through their own abominations. The things they did were their own punishment.

There is a law of “sowing and reaping” throughout the Bible. We don’t know how to fully reconcile it with grace and mercy. Here are the verses we’ve found »


VERSE 24. For truly they went astray very far in the ways of error, Taking as gods those animals which even among their enemies were held in dishonor, deceived like foolish babes.


VERSE 25. Therefore, as to unreasoning children, you sent your judgement to mock them.


VERSE 26. But those who would not be admonished by a mocking correction as of children will experience a judgement worthy of God.


VERSE 27. For through the sufferings they were indignant of, being punished in these creatures which they supposed to be gods, they saw and recognized as the true God him whom they refused to know. Therefore also the result of condemnation came upon them.

saw and recognized as the true God. Even a life of debauchery can lead one to a revelation about the One True God.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.