1But the souls of the upright are in the hands of God, and no torment can touch them. 2To the unenlightened, they appeared to die, their departure was regarded as disaster, 3their leaving us like annihilation; but they are at peace. 4If, as it seemed to us, they suffered punishment, their hope was rich with immortality; 5slight was their correction, great wil their blessings be. God was putting them to the test and has provedthem worthy to be with him; 6he has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them as a perfect burnt offering. 7At their time of visitation, they wil shine out; as sparks run through the stubble, so will they. 8They wil judge nations, rule over peoples, and the Lord wil be their king for ever. 9Those who trust in him wil understand the truth, those who are faithful wil live with him in love; forgrace and mercy await his holy ones, and he intervenes on behalf of his chosen. 10But the godless wil be duly punished for their reasoning, for having neglected the upright and desertedthe Lord. 11Yes, wretched are they who scorn wisdom and discipline: their hope is void, their toil unavailing, theirachievements unprofitable; 12their wives are reckless, their children depraved, their descendants accursed. 13Blessed the sterile woman if she be blameless, and has not known an unlawful bed, for she wil havefruit at the visitation of souls. 14Blessed, too, the eunuch whose hand commits no crime, and who harbours no resentment against theLord: a special favour will be granted to him for his loyalty, a most desirable portion in the temple of the Lord. 15For the fruit of honest labours is glorious, and the root of understanding does not decay. 16But the children of adulterers wil not reach maturity, the offspring of an unlawful bed wil disappear. 17Even if they live long, they wil count for nothing, their old age wil go unhonoured at the last; 18while if they die early, they have neither hope nor comfort on the day of judgement, 19for the end of a race of evil-doers is harsh.
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