Wisdom chapter 5

At the final judgment, righteous people stand confidently among the saints. Beholding it, wicked people realize they had excluded themselves from it.

 


 

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

 


 

THE FINAL JUDGMENT OF THE WICKED, CONTINUED

 

VERSE 1. Then the righteous man will stand in great boldness before the face of those who afflicted him, and those who make his labors of no account.

stand in great boldness. The righteous person can stand confidently before any naysayers.

before the face of those who afflicted him. The righteous person confronts those who had oppressed him or her.

make his labors of no account. Wicked people trivialize the activities of righteous people.

 

VERSE 2. When they see him, they will be troubled with terrible fear, and will be amazed at the marvel of salvation.

NAB translation. Seeing this, they shall be shaken with dreadful fear, and amazed at the unlooked-for salvation.

the unlooked-for salvation. Wicked people had not been interested in salvation. Now they behold the marvel of it, knowing they had excluded themselves from it.

 

VERSE 3. They will speak among themselves repenting, and for distress of spirit they will groan, “This was he whom we used to hold in derision, as a parable of reproach.

repenting. Wicked people repent. But it is too late.

 

VERSE 4. We fools considered his life madness, and his end without honor.

We fools. Wicked people realize that they had been fools.

 

VERSE 5. How was he counted among sons of God? How is his lot among saints?

saints. Even the most unnoticed righteous person will be counted among the great heroes of the faith.

 

VERSE 6. Truly we went astray from the way of truth. The light of righteousness didn’t shine for us. The sun didn’t rise for us.

 

VERSE 7. We took our fill of the paths of lawlessness and destruction. We traveled through trackless deserts, but we didn’t know the Lord’s way.

 

VERSE 8. What did our arrogance profit us? What good have riches and boasting brought us?

 

VERSE 9. Those things all passed away as a shadow, like a message that runs by,

 

VERSE 10. like a ship passing through the billowy water, which, when it has gone by, there is no trace to be found, no pathway of its keel in the billows.

 

VERSE 11. Or it is like when a bird flies through the air, no evidence of its passage is found, but the light wind, lashed with the stroke of its pinions, and torn apart with the violent rush of the moving wings, is passed through. Afterwards no sign of its coming remains.

 

VERSE 12. Or it is like when an arrow is shot at a mark, the air disparted closes up again immediately, so that men don’t know where it passed through.

 

VERSE 13. So we also, as soon as we were born, ceased to be; and we had no sign of virtue to show, but we were utterly consumed in our wickedness.”

 

VERSE 14. Because the hope of the ungodly man is like chaff carried by the wind, and as foam vanishing before a tempest; and is scattered like smoke by the wind, and passes by as the remembrance of a guest that waits but a day.

 

VERSE 15. But the righteous live forever. Their reward is in the Lord, and the care for them with the Most High.

the righteous live forever. In previous centuries, death was considered the end. The deceased person went down into sheol, and that was it. But now this verse is evidence that their understanding has grown. Now they believe in immortality. They see righteous people as living forever.

This will pave the way for the Christian revelation about the resurrection.

 

VERSE 16. Therefore they will receive the crown of royal dignity and the diadem of beauty from the Lord’s hand; because he will cover them with his right hand, and he will shield them with his arm.

 

VERSE 17. He will take his jealousy as complete armor, and will make the whole creation his weapons to punish his enemies:

 

VERSE 18. He will put on righteousness as a breastplate, and will wear impartial judgement as a helmet.

 

VERSE 19. He will take holiness as an invincible shield.

 

VERSE 20. He will sharpen stern wrath for a sword. The world will go with him to fight against his frenzied foes.

 

VERSE 21. Shafts of lightning will fly with true aim. They will leap to the mark from the clouds, as from a well-drawn bow.

 

VERSE 22. Hailstones full of wrath will be hurled from an engine of war. The water of the sea will be angered against them. Rivers will sternly overwhelm them.

 

VERSE 23. A mighty blast will encounter them. It will winnow them away like a tempest. So lawlessness will make all the land desolate. Their evil-doing will overturn the thrones of princes.

lawlessness will make all the land desolate. Ultimately, wicked people destroy things.

 


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