Exhortation to Justice, the Key to Life
1Love justice,* you who judge the earth; a 1 Chr 29, 17; Ps 2, 10; Is 26, 9 . think of the LORD in goodness, and seek him in integrity of heart; b 1f: Sir 1, 25 . 2Because he is found by those who test him not, and he manifests himself to those who do not disbelieve him. c 1 Chr 28, 9 . 3For perverse counsels separate a man from God, and his power, put to the proof, rebukes the foolhardy; d Is 59, 2 . 4Because into a soul that plots evil wisdom enters not, nor dwells she in a body under debt of sin. e Sir 15, 7f; Rom 7, 14 . 5For the holy spirit of discipline* flees deceit and withdraws from senseless counsels; and when injustice occurs it is rebuked. f Is 63, 10 . 6For wisdom is a kindly spirit, yet she acquits not the blasphemer of his guilty lips; Because God is the witness of his inmost self g Jer 17, 10 . and the sure observer of his heart and the listener to his tongue. h 6f: Jer 23, 24f . 7For the spirit of the LORD fills the world, i Wis 12, 1 . is all‐embracing, and knows what man says.* 8Therefore no one who utters wicked things can go unnoticed, nor will chastising condemnation pass him by. j Prv 19, 5 . 9For the devices of the wicked man shall be scrutinized, and the sound of his words shall reach the LORD, for the chastisement of his transgressions; 10Because a jealous ear hearkens to everything, k 10f: Nm 14, 27f . and discordant grumblings are no secret. 11Therefore guard against profitless grumbling, and from calumny* withhold your tongues; For a stealthy utterance does not go unpunished, and a lying mouth slays the soul. 12Court not death by your erring way of life, nor draw to yourselves destruction by the works of your hands. 13Because God did not make death, l 13f: Ez 18, 32; 33, 11; 2 Pt 3, 9 . nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. 14For he fashioned all things that they might have being; and the creatures of the world are wholesome, And there is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of the nether world on earth, 15For justice is undying. m Is 51, 6ff .
The Wicked Reject Immortality and Justice Alike
16It was the wicked who with hands and words invited death, considered it a friend, and pined for it, and made a covenant with it, Because they deserve to be in its possession, n Is 28, 15 .