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Wisdom 2, RSV

  
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2:1 For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves, "Short and sorrowful is our life, and there is no remedy when a man comes to his end, and no one has been known to return from Hades.

2:2 Because we were born by mere chance, and hereafter we shall be as though we had never been; because the breath in our nostrils is smoke, and reason is a spark kindled by the beating of our hearts.

2:3 When it is extinguished, the body will turn to ashes, and the spirit will dissolve like empty air.

2:4 Our name will be forgotten in time and no one will remember our works; our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud, and be scattered like mist that is chased by the rays of the sun and overcome by its heat.

2:5 For our allotted time is the passing of a shadow, and there is no return from our death, because it is sealed up and no one turns back.

2:6 "Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that exist, and make use of the creation to the full as in youth.

2:7 Let us take our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no flower of spring pass by us.

2:8 Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither.

2:9 Let none of us fail to share in our revelry, everywhere let us leave signs of enjoyment, because this is our portion, and this our lot.

2:10 Let us oppress the righteous poor man; let us not spare the widow nor regard the gray hairs of the aged.

2:11 But let our might be our law of right, for what is weak proves itself to be useless.

2:12 "Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training.

2:13 He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord.

2:14 He became to us a reproof of our thoughts;

2:15 the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange.

2:16 We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father.

2:17 Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life;

2:18 for if the righteous man is God's son, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries.

2:19 Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance.

2:20 Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected."

2:21 Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray, for their wickedness blinded them,

2:22 and they did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hope for the wages of holiness, nor discern the prize for blameless souls;

2:23 for God created man for incorruption, and made him in the image of his own eternity,

2:24 but through the devil's envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his party experience it.

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