1Thus they were appropriately punished by similar creatures and tormented by swarms of vermin. 2In contrast to this punishment, you did your people a kindness and, to satisfy their sharp appetite,provided quails -- a luscious rarity -- for them to eat. 3Thus the Egyptians, at the repulsive sight of the creatures sent against them, were to find that, thoughthey longed for food, they had lost their natural appetite; whereas your own people, after a short privation, wereto have a rare relish for their portion. 4Inevitable that relentless want should seize on the former oppressors; enough for your people to beshown how their enemies were being tortured. 5Even when the fearful rage of wild animals overtook them and they were perishing from the bites ofwrithing snakes, your retribution did not continue to the end. 6Affliction struck them briefly, by way of warning, and they had a saving token to remind them of thecommandment of your Law, 7for whoever turned to it was saved, not by what he looked at, but by you, the Saviour of all. 8And by such means you proved to our enemies that you are the one who delivers from every evil; 9for them, the bites of locusts and flies proved fatal and no remedy could be found to save their lives,since they deserved to be punished by such creatures. 10But your children, not even the fangs of poisonous snakes could bring them down; for your mercycame to their help and cured them. 11One sting -- how quickly healed!-to remind them of your pronouncements rather than that, by sinkinginto deep forgetfulness, they should be cut off from your kindness. 12No herb, no poultice cured them, but your al -healing word, Lord. 13Yes, you are the one with power over life and death, bringing to the gates of Hades and back again. 14A human being out of malice may put to death, but cannot bring the departed spirit back or free thesoul that Hades has once received. 15It is not possible to escape your hand. 16The godless who refused to acknowledge you were scourged by the strength of your arm, pursued byno ordinary rains, hail and unrelenting downpours, and consumed by fire. 17Even more wonderful, in the water -- which quenches al -- the fire raged fiercer than ever; for theelements fight for the upright. 18At one moment, the fire would die down, to avoid consuming the animals sent against the godlessand to make clear to them by that sight, that the sentence of God was pursuing them; 19at another, in the very heart of the water, it would burn more fiercely than fire to ruin the produce of awicked land. 20How differently with your people! You gave them the food of angels, from heaven untiringly providingthem bread already prepared, containing every delight, to satisfy every taste. 21And the substance you gave showed your sweetness towards your children, for, conforming to thetaste of whoever ate it, it transformed itself into what each eater wished. 22Snow and ice endured the fire, without melting; this was to show them that, to destroy the harvests oftheir enemies, fire would burn even in hail and flare in fal ing rain, 23whereas, on the other hand, it would even forget its own strength in the service of feeding the upright. 24For the creation, being at the service of you, its Creator, tautens to punish the wicked and slackensfor the benefit of those who trust in you. 25And this is why, by changing into al things, it obediently served your all-nourishing bounty,conforming to the wishes of those who were in need; 26so that your beloved children, Lord, might learn that the various crops are not what providenourishment, but your word which preserves al who believe in you. 27For that which fire could not destroy melted in the heat of a single fleeting sunbeam, 28to show that, to give you thanks, we must rise before the sun and meet you at the dawning of theday; 29whereas the hope of the ungrateful melts like winter frost and flows away like water running to waste.
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