1 Then the just will stand with great steadfastness against those who have oppressed them and have taken away their labors.
2 Seeing this, they will be troubled with terrible fear, and they will be amazed at the suddenness of unexpected salvation.
3 Driven toward regret, and through the anguish of their groaning spirit, they will say within themselves: “These are the ones whom we held for some time in derision and in mocking reproach.
4 We foolish considered their life to be madness, and their end to be without honor.
5 How is it that they are counted among the sons of God, and their place is among the holy?
6 Therefore, we have strayed from the way of truth, and the light of justice has not shined on us, and the sun of understanding has not risen on us.
7 We exhausted ourselves in the way of iniquity and perdition, and have walked a difficult way, while ignoring the way of the Lord.
8 How has arrogance benefited us? Or what has exalting in riches brought us?
9 All those things have passed away like a shadow, and like a messenger traveling quickly by;
10 and like a ship passing over the waves of water, when it has gone by, its trace cannot be found, nor can the pathway of its keel in the waves;
11 or, like a bird flying through the air, there is no evidence of her journey to be found, but there is hardly a sound as the beating of her wings lifts up the air and, by the force of her journey, divides the air she has flown across, which was disturbed by her wings, and afterwards there is no sign of her journey to be found;
12 or, like an arrow shot at a selected mark, the air continues to be divided and to be brought together again, so that its passing is unknown.
13 And in like manner we, having been born, continuously cease to exist, and indeed, we depart with no sign of virtue to show, but we are consumed in our malice.”
14 Such things those who sinned said in hell.
15 For the hope of the impious is like feathers, which are blown away by the wind, and like a thin foam, which is dispersed by a storm, and like smoke, which is scattered by the wind, and like the memory of a guest who passes by one day.
16 But the just will live forever, and their reward is with the Lord, and the thought of them is with the Most High.
17 Therefore, they will receive a beautiful kingdom and a crown of splendor from the hand of the Lord, for with his right hand he will cover them, and with his holy arm he will defend them.
18 And his zeal will take up arms, and he will equip his servants for retribution on their enemies.
19 He will put on justice as a breastplate, and he will grasp sure judgment as a helmet.
20 He will select fairness as an invincible shield.
21 Yet he will sharpen his severe wrath into a spear, and he will fight with those of the world against the irrational.
22 Shafts of lightning will hurl forth accurately, and, as if from a well-curved bow of clouds, they will be expelled and will fly to the determined mark.
23 And hail will be cast like stones full of anger, and the water of the sea will rise up against them, and the rivers will charge forth harshly.
24 The spirit of virtue will stand firm against them and like a whirlwind will divide them, and he will lead all the world of iniquity into a wasteland, and malice will overthrow the seats of power.