1Then the upright will stand up boldly to face those who had oppressed him and had thought so little of his sufferings. 2And, seeing him, they wil be seized with terrible fear, amazed that he should have been sounexpectedly saved. 3Stricken with remorse, they wil say to one another with groans and labouring breath, 4'This is the one whom we used to mock, making him the butt of our insults, fools that we were! His lifewe regarded as madness, his ending as without honour. 5How has he come to be counted as one of the children of God and to have his lot among the holy ones? 6Clearly we have strayed from the way of truth; the light of justice has not shone for us, the sun has notrisen for us. 7We have left no path of lawlessness or ruin unexplored, we have crossed deserts where there was notrack, but the way of the Lord is one we have never known. 8What good has arrogance been to us? What has been the purpose of our riches and boastfulness? 9Al those things have passed like a shadow, passed like a fleeting rumour. 10Like a ship that cuts through heaving waves -- leaving no trace to show where it has passed, no wakefrom its keel in the waves. 11Or like a bird flying through the air -- leaving no proof of its passing; it whips the light air with the strokeof its pinions, tears it apart in its whirring rush, drives its way onward with sweeping wing, and afterwards no signis seen of its passage. 12Or like an arrow shot at a mark, the pierced air closing so quickly on itself, there is no knowing whichway the arrow has passed. 13So with us: scarcely born, we disappear; of virtue not a trace have we to show, we have spentourselves in our own wickedness!' 14For the hope of the godless is like chaff carried on the wind, like fine spray driven by the storm; itdisperses like smoke before the wind, goes away like the memory of a one-day guest. 15But the upright live for ever, their recompense is with the Lord, and the Most High takes care of them. 16So they wil receive the glorious crown and the diadem of beauty from the Lord's hand; for he wilshelter them with his right hand and with his arm he wil shield them. 17For armour he will take his jealous love, he wil arm creation to punish his enemies; 18he wil put on justice as a breastplate, and for helmet wear his forthright judgement; 19he wil take up invincible holiness for shield, 20of his pitiless wrath he will forge a sword, and the universe wil march with him to fight the reckless. 21Bolts truly aimed, the shafts of lightning wil leap, and from the clouds, as from a ful -drawn bow, fly totheir mark; 22and the catapult wil hurl hailstones charged with fury. The waters of the sea wil rage against them,the rivers engulf them without pity, 23a mighty gale wil rise against them and winnow them like a hurricane. Thus wickedness wil lay thewhole earth waste and evil-doing bring down the thrones of the mighty.
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