Wisdom chapter 14

Solomon points out more ironies in worshipping idols. He describes how idolatry gets started, and then established in a society.



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





VERSE 1. Again, one preparing to sail, and about to journey over raging waves, calls upon a piece of wood more rotten than the vessel that carries him.


VERSE 2. For the hunger for profit planned it, and wisdom was the craftsman who built it.


VERSE 3. Your providence, O Father, guides it along, because even in the sea you gave a way, and in the waves a sure path,

O Father. This is the first time we know of that the Old Testament refers to the One God as “Father.”


VERSE 4. showing that you can save out of every danger, that even a man without skill may put to sea.


VERSE 5. It is your will that the works of your wisdom should be not idle. Therefore men also entrust their lives to a little piece of wood, and passing through the surge on a raft come safely to land.


VERSE 6. For in the old time also, when proud giants were perishing, the hope of the world, taking refuge on a raft, your hand guided the seed of generations of the race of men.

proud giants. That is, the Nephilim:

Genesis 6:4. The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when God’s sons came in to men’s daughters and had children with them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

Numbers 13:33. There we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim. We were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

Wisdom 14:6. For in the old time also, when proud giants were perishing, the hope of the world, taking refuge on a raft, your hand guided the seed of generations of the race of men.

Sirach 16:7. He was not pacified toward the giants of old time, Who revolted in their strength.

Baruch 3:26. There were the giants born that were famous of old, great of stature, and expert in war.

the hope of the world. That is, Noah.


VERSE 7. For blessed is wood through which comes righteousness;


VERSE 8. but the idol made with hands is accursed, itself and he that made it; because his was the working, and the corruptible thing was called a god:


VERSE 9. For both the ungodly and his ungodliness are alike hateful to God;


VERSE 10. for truly the deed will be punished together with him who committed it.


VERSE 11. Therefore also there will be a visitation among the idols of the nation, because, though formed of things which God created, they were made an abomination, stumbling blocks to the souls of men, and a snare to the feet of the foolish.



SUMMARY: When we get our understanding of God wrong, then all sorts of other problems emerge: idolatry, loss of respect for the life of a child, bizarre spiritualities, adultery, theft, crime, murder, perjury, shamelessness.

Conversely, when we get God right, then we generally turn from these things and live uprightly.

The foundation of how we live is our image of God. Upon this flows pretty much all the rest. Theology begets philosophy. Theology begets worldview. Theology begets behavior.


VERSE 12. For the devising of idols was the beginning of fornication, and the invention of them the corruption of life.


VERSE 13. For they didn’t exist from the beginning, and they won’t exist forever.

they didn’t exist from the beginning. Idols are not eternal. Rather, someone made them at some point in history.

they won’t exist forever. Idols are not eternal. They will eventually go the way of all things.


VERSE 14. For by the vaingloriousness of men they entered into the world, and therefore was a speedy end is planned for them.


VERSE 15. For a father worn with untimely grief, making an image of the child quickly taken away, now honored him as a god which was then a dead man, and delivered to those that were under him mysteries and solemn rites.

now honored him as a god. We quickly deify the things we love, after they are gone.

delivered to those that were under him. That is, handed down to his subjects.

mysteries and solemn rites. The subjects are required to perform sacrifices to the thing their ruler had loved.


VERSE 16. Afterward the ungodly custom, in process of time grown strong, was kept as a law, and the engraved images received worship by the commandments of princes.


VERSE 17. And when men could not honor them in presence because they lived far off, imagining the likeness from afar, they made a visible image of the king whom they honored, that by their zeal they might flatter the absent as if present.


VERSE 18. But worship was raised to a yet higher pitch, even by those who didn’t know him, urged forward by the ambition of the architect;


VERSE 19. for he, wishing perhaps to please one in authority, used his art to force the likeness toward a greater beauty.


VERSE 20. So the multitude, allured by reason of the grace of his handiwork, now consider an object of devotion him that a little before was honored as a man.


VERSE 21. And this became an ambush, because men, in bondage either to calamity or to tyranny, invested stones and stocks with the incommunicable Name.


VERSE 22. Afterward it was not enough for them to go astray concerning the knowledge of God; but also, while they live in a great war of ignorance that they call a multitude of evils peace.


VERSE 23. For either slaughtering children in solemn rites, or celebrating secret mysteries, or holding frantic revels of strange ordinances,

slaughtering children in solemn rites. The religion of ancient Canaan required parents to slaughter their own children as a religious sacrifice.

celebrating secret mysteries. Some religions have people meet secretly and perform secret rituals.

frantic revels of strange ordinances. Some religions have rites consisting of wild behavior.


VERSE 24. no longer do they guard either life or purity of marriage, but one brings upon another either death by treachery, or anguish by adultery.


VERSE 25. And all things confusedly are filled with blood and murder, theft and deceit, corruption, faithlessness, tumult, perjury,


VERSE 26. confusion about what is good, forgetfulness of favors, ingratitude for benefits, defiling of souls, confusion of sex, disorder in marriage, adultery and wantonness.


VERSE 27. For the worship of idols that may not be named is a beginning and cause and end of every evil.

The Bible is clear as to the root of evil. And yet Christians explain it away in order to justify their greed. Read more »


VERSE 28. For their worshipers either make merry to madness, or prophesy lies, or live unrighteously, or lightly commit perjury.


VERSE 29. For putting their trust in lifeless idols, when they have sworn a wicked oath, they expect not to suffer harm.


VERSE 30. But for both, the just doom will pursue them, because they had evil thoughts of God by giving heed to idols, and swore unrighteously in deceit through contempt for holiness.


VERSE 31. For it is not the power of them by whom men swear, but it is the just penalty for those who sin that always visits the transgression of the unrighteous.


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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.