Wisdom Chapters (English Bible : Catholic Public Domain Version – CPDV)
1 But you, our God, are gracious and true, patient, and in mercy ordering all things.
2 And, indeed, if we sin, we are yours, knowing your greatness; and, if we do not sin, we know that we are counted with you.
3 For to have known you is perfect justice, and to know justice and your virtue is the root of immortality.
4 For the skillful planning of evil men has not led us into error, nor the shadow of a picture, a fruitless labor, an image having been sculpted through the use of diverse colors,
5 the sight of which gives desire to the foolish, and he loves the likeness of a lifeless image without a soul.
6 Deserving are the lovers of evil, those who hope in such things, and those who make them, and those who love them, and those who promote them.
7 But even the potter, pressing laboriously, molds the soft earth into vessels, each one for our use. And from the same clay he molds vessels, those which are for clean use, and similarly, those which are for the opposite. But, as to what is the use of a vessel, the potter is the judge.
8 And with effort he molds an empty god of the same clay, he who a little before had been made from the earth, and, after brief time, he himself returns from whence he came, to be claimed by he who holds the debt of his soul.
9 Yet his concern is, not what his work will be, nor that his life is short, but that he is being contested by those who work with gold and silver, yet he also does the same to those who work with copper, and he glories that he makes worthless things.
10 For his heart is ashes, and his hope is worthless dirt, and his life is more common than clay,
11 because he ignores the One who molded him, and who instilled in him a working soul, and who breathed into him a living spirit.
12 Yet they even considered our life to be a plaything, and the usefulness of life to be the accumulation of wealth, and that we must be acquiring things in every possible way, even from evil.
13 For, above all else, he knows himself to be lacking, who, from fragile material of the earth forms vessels and graven images.
14 For all the foolish and unhappy, in charge of the way of the arrogant soul, are enemies of your people and rule over them,
15 because they have esteemed all the idols of the nations as gods, which neither have the use of eyes to see, nor noses to draw breath, nor ears to hear, nor the fingers of hands to grasp, and even their feet are slow to walk.
16 For man made them, and he who borrowed his own breath, formed them. For no man will be able to form God in the likeness of himself.
17 For, being mortal, he forms a dead thing with his unjust hands. Yet, he is better than those things that he worships, because he indeed has lived, though he is mortal, but they never have.
18 Moreover, they worship the most miserable animals, for, to make a foolish comparison, these others are worse.
19 But not even from their appearance can anyone discern anything good in these animals. Yet they have fled from the praise of God, and from his blessing.