Wisdom’s purpose in history
3 When a wicked man disregarded Wisdom in his anger, he perished along with his desire to murder his brother. 4 Because of him, the earth was flooded. Wisdom again came to the rescue. She took a man who did what was right and steered him straight on a vessel made of cheap wood.
5 When the peoples of the world were thrown into confusion by the combined force of their wickedness, Wisdom found one who did what was right and kept him pure before God. She even kept him strong when he would have been swayed by compassion for his child.
6 When the ungodly were about to be wiped out, Wisdom saved a man who did what was right. He was able to flee from the fire that descended on the five cities. 7 A smoking wasteland is all that remains, witnessing to their wickedness. Plants there never produce fully formed fruit. A pillar of salt still stands there as a reminder of a faithless being. 8 By trying to get along without Wisdom, they didn’t recognize what was good. In doing so, they left a lasting memorial of their foolishness for everyone to see. They were unable to hide the things that led to their downfall.
9 But Wisdom rescues her servants from their trials. 10 When a man, who did what was right, fled from his brother’s anger, Wisdom led him on straight paths. She showed him God’s kingdom and gave him knowledge of holy things. She caused him to prosper through his handiworks and increased the fruit of his labors. 11 When some, because of greed, sought to get the upper hand over him, she stood by him and made him even richer. 12 She protected him from his enemies and kept him safe from those who set an ambush for him. She intervened on his behalf in a difficult contest so that he might know that godliness is more powerful than anything.
13 When a man who did what was right was sold into slavery, she didn’t abandon him. She rescued him from sin. 14 She even went down into the pit with him. She didn’t forsake him when he was in chains. In the end, she obtained for him the symbol of kingly rule and authority over those who would have ruled over him. She showed that those who had accused him were liars. She gave him eternal glory.
15 Wisdom rescued a holy people and a pure generation from the grip of people who were crushing them. 16 She entered the soul of a man who served the Lord. She enabled him to oppose terrifying kings by means of signs and wonders. 17 She rewarded the holy ones for their labors and led them along a wonderful route. She became a shelter for them by day and a flaming shower of stars by night. 18 She carried them across the Red Sea[a] and led them through deep waters. 19 She drowned their enemies and caused the depths to boil up over them. 20 The people who did what was right then stripped the ungodly of their weapons. All together they sang hymns to your holy name, Lord. They praised your hand, which had defended and fought for them. 21 Wisdom opens the mouths of those who can’t speak and puts clear words on the tongues of infants.
- Wisdom 10:18 Or traditionally Reed Sea in Hebrew Bible