1It was Wisdom who protected the first man to be fashioned, the father of the world, who had beencreated al alone, she it was who rescued him from his fal 2and gave him the strength to subjugate al things. 3But when in his wrath a wicked man deserted her, he perished in his fratricidal fury. 4When because of him the earth was drowned, it was Wisdom again who saved it, piloting the uprightman on valueless timber. 5Again, when, concurring in wickedness, the nations had been thrown into confusion, she singled outthe upright man, preserved him blameless before God and fortified him against pity for his child. 6She it was who, while the godless perished, saved the upright man as he fled from the fire rainingdown on the Five Cities, 7in witness against whose evil ways a desolate land still smokes, where plants bear fruit that neverripens and where, monument to an unbelieving soul, there stands a pillar of salt. 8For, by ignoring the path of Wisdom, not only did they suffer the loss of not knowing the good, but theyleft the world a memorial to their fol y, so that their offences could not pass unnoticed. 9But Wisdom delivered her servants from their ordeals. 10The upright man, fleeing from the anger of his brother, was led by her along straight paths. Sheshowed him the kingdom of God and taught him the knowledge of holy things. She brought him success in hislabours and gave him ful return for all his efforts; 11she stood by him against grasping and oppressive men and she made him rich. 12She preserved him from his enemies and saved him from the traps they set for him. In an arduousstruggle she awarded him the prize, to teach him that piety is stronger than al . 13She did not forsake the upright man when he was sold, but snatched him away from sin; 14she accompanied him down into the pit, nor did she abandon him in his chains until she had broughthim the sceptre of a kingdom and authority over his despotic masters, thus exposing as liars those who hadtraduced him, and giving him honour everlasting. 15It was Wisdom who delivered a holy people, a blameless race, from a nation of oppressors. 16She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord, and withstood fearsome kings with wonders and signs. 17To the holy people she gave the wages of their labours; she guided them by a marvellous road,herself their shelter by day -- and their starlight through the night. 18She brought them across the Red Sea, leading them through an immensity of water, 19whereas she drowned their enemies, then spat them out from the depths of the abyss. 20So the upright despoiled the godless; Lord, they extol ed your holy name, and with one accordpraised your protecting hand; 21for Wisdom opened the mouths of the dumb and made eloquent the tongues of babes.
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