1 But indignation without mercy came upon the ungodly to the end; For God also foreknew their future,
2 how, having changed their minds to let your people go, and having sped them eagerly on their way, they would change their minds and pursue them.
3 For while they were yet in the midst of their mourning, and lamenting at the graves of the dead, they drew upon themselves another counsel of folly, and pursued as fugitives those whom they had begged to leave and driven out.
4 For the doom which they deserved was drawing them to this end, and it made them forget the things that had happened to them, that they might fill up the punishment which was yet lacking to their torments,
5 and that your people might journey on by a marvellous road, but they themselves might find a strange death.
6 For the whole creation, each part in its diverse kind, was made new again, complying with your commandments, that your servants might be kept unharmed.
7 Then the cloud that overshadowed the camp was seen, and dry land rising up out of what had been water, out of the Red sea an unhindered highway, and a grassy plain out of the violent surge,
8 by which they passed over with all their army, these who were covered with your hand, having seen strange marvels.
9 For like horses they roamed at large, and they skipped about like lambs, praising you, O Lord, who was their deliverer.
10 For they still remembered the things that happened in the time of their sojourning, how instead of bearing cattle, the land brought forth lice, and instead of fish, the river spewed out a multitude of frogs.
11 But afterwards, they also saw a new generation race of birds, when, led on by desire, they asked for luxurious dainties;
12 For, to comfort them, quails came up for them from the sea.
13 Punishments came upon the sinners, not without the signs that were given beforehand by the force of the thunders; for they justly suffered through their own wickednesses, for the hatred which they practised towards guests was grievous indeed.
14 For whereas the others didn’t receive the strangers when they came to them, the Egyptians made slaves of guests who were their benefactors.
15 And not only so, but God will visit the men of Sodom another way, since they received as enemies those who were aliens;
16 whereas these first welcomed with feastings, and then afflicted with dreadful toils, those who had already shared with them in the same rights.
17 And moreover they were stricken with loss of sight (even as were those others at the righteous man’s doors), when, being surrounded with yawning darkness, they each looked for the passage through his own door.
18 For as the notes of a lute vary the character of the rhythm, even so the elements, changing their order one with another, continuing always in its sound, as may clearly be conjectured from the sight of the things that have happened.
19 For creatures of the dry land were turned into creatures of the waters, and creatures that swim moved upon the land.
20 Fire kept the mastery of its own power in water, and water forgot its quenching nature.
21 On the contrary, flames didn’t consume flesh of perishable creatures that walked amongst them, neither did they melt the ice-like grains of ambrosial food that were apt to melt.
22 For in all things, O Lord, you magnified your people, and you glorified them and didn’t lightly regard them, standing by their side in every time and place.
Esther Greek Sirach Baruch
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