3 You provided your people with a fiery pillar to lead them on their way on the unknown journey. That pillar was like a sun, and yet that sun didn’t hurt them during their long journey to a foreign land. 4 The others deserved to be robbed of light and to be locked up in darkness. After all, they had kept your children locked up, even though it was through them that the never-ending light of the Law was to be given to the world.
Deliverance of the Israelites5 So you swept away in judgment a huge number of the children of those who had sought to kill off your holy ones’ children (though one child, who was exposed to die, was saved!). You destroyed the rest by overwhelming them with water.
6 You had already alerted our fathers to that night well in advance. You did so in order that our fathers might rejoice and put their whole trust in the promises they had been given. 7 Your people fully expected that those who always do what is right would be delivered, while their enemies would be destroyed. 8 In the same way that you punished those who opposed your people, in just this way you called your people out of that land and gave them great honor. 9 Your holy children offered secret sacrifice of the very best that they had. They were all of one mind as they carried out the Law, which had come from God, that the holy people were to share good things as well as experience dangers together, while already singing the praises of their ancestors.
10 In contrast, the loud moaning of their enemies was a jarring and miserable sound. It rose up and could be heard everywhere as they mourned their dead children. 11 The same judgment fell on both slave and ruler. Both were punished together. The lowest person and the king suffered the same thing. 12 Countless bodies lay around, united together by a common name: death. There weren’t even enough of the living left to bury the dead! In one fleeting moment, their most valued children were destroyed. 13 Because of their misguided casting of spells and drug use, they didn’t believe until it was too late.
As a result, all their oldest males were destroyed. It was only then that they acknowledged your people to be your children. 14 It was then, while everything was wrapped in a gentle silence, and half a night had already passed, 15 that your all-powerful word had leaped down from heaven, the royal throne. Like a fierce warrior, he had entered the land that was marked for destruction. 16 He carried with him your unchanging declaration like a sharp sword. He stood up and filled everything with death; he reached the sky while still standing on the ground. 17 Immediately the visions of their nightmares shook them. Unexpected fears assaulted them. 18 One here, then another there, fell to the ground half-dead. They shouted out to tell those around them why they were dying. 19 The dreams that had so bothered them had foretold that this was to happen. And so they perished knowing full well why they were suffering.
20 Those who did what is right were also touched by a test of death when many fell in the desert. But that wrath didn’t last long, 21 because a man in whom no blame could be found was already running to join the fight. He took up prayer and the reconciling incense as his weapons. He stood strong against the fury. In doing so, he limited the damage that was done. He showed that he was your servant. 22 He overcame divine anger not by bodily strength or by the power of weapons. He subdued the punisher by the word. He reminded him of the solemn pledges that had been made to our ancestors and of the covenants that had been given to them. 23 The dead already lay fallen one upon another in heaps when he stood between the punisher and the people and stopped the assault. He cut off the punisher’s access to the living. 24 On his long robe could be seen the whole of the universe. On the four rows of carved stones were the glories of the patriarchs. On the royal crown upon his head was your majesty. 25 The destroyer yielded to all these, because he feared them.