1She made their affairs prosper through the holy prophet. u Dt 2, 7; Hos 12, 14 .
2They journeyed through the uninhabited desert,* and in solitudes they pitched their tents; v 2ff: Ex 17, 2–6; Nm 20, 1–13; Pss 63, 2; 107, 4–7; Jer 2, 6 . 3they withstood enemies and took vengeance on their foes. w Ex 17, 8–16; Nm 21, 1ff. 21–35; 31, 1–12; Ps 118, 10ff . 4When they thirsted, they called upon you, and water was given them from the sheer rock, assuagement for their thirst from the hard stone. 5For by the things through which their foes were punished they in their need were benefited. x Wis 16, 1f .
First Example: Water Punishes the Egyptians and Benefits the Israelites
6Instead of a spring, when the perennial river* was troubled with impure blood y 6ff: Wis 18, 5; Ex 1, 22; 7, 17–24 . 7as a rebuke to the decree for the slaying of infants, You gave them abundant water in an unhoped‐for way, 8once you had shown by the thirst they then had how you punished their adversaries. 9For when they had been tried, though only mildly chastised, z 9ff: Wis 3, 5; 16, 3f; Dt 8, 2–5; Ps 6, 2; Prv 3, 12; 2 Mc 6, 12–11.11 . they recognized how the wicked, condemned in anger, were being tormented. 11Both those afar off and those close by were afflicted: a Ps 6, 2 . 10the latter you tested, admonishing them as a father; the former as a stern king you probed and condemned. 12For a twofold grief took hold of them b 12f: Wis 16, 8; Ex 14, 4. 18 . and a groaning at the remembrance of the ones who had departed. 13For when they heard that the cause of their own torments was a benefit to these others, they recognized the LORD. 14Him who of old had been cast out in exposure they indeed mockingly rejected; but in the end of events, they marveled at him, since their thirst proved unlike that of the just. c Ex 2, 3 .
Second Example: Animals Punish the Egyptians and Benefit the Israelites
15And in return for their senseless, wicked thoughts, which misled them into worshiping dumb* serpents and worthless insects, You sent upon them swarms of dumb creatures for vengeance; d Wis 12, 23f; 15, 18–16, 1; Ex 7, 26ff . 16that they might recognize that a man is punished by the very things through which he sins. e Wis 12, 23. 27; Ex 10, 16; Prv 1, 31f; 26, 27 .
Digression on God's Mercy
17For not without means was your almighty hand, f 17ff: Wis 12, 8f; 16, 1. 5; Gn 1, 1f; Dt 32, 24; 2 Kgs 17, 25f; Hos 13, 4–8 . that had fashioned the universe from formless matter, to send upon them a drove of bears or fierce lions, 18Or new‐created, wrathful, unknown beasts to breathe forth fiery breath, Or pour out roaring smoke, or flash terrible sparks from their eyes. 19Not only could these attack and completely destroy them; even their frightful appearance itself could slay. 20Even without these, they could have been killed at a single blast, pursued by retribution and winnowed out by your mighty spirit; But you have disposed all things by measure and number and weight. g Jb 4, 9 . 21For with you great strength abides always; who can resist the might of your arm? h Wis 12, 12; 2 Chr 20, 6 . 22Indeed, before you the whole universe is as a grain from a balance,* or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth. i Hos 13, 3 . 23But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook the sins of men that they may repent. j Wis 12, 10; Dt 9, 27; Acts 17, 30; Rom 2, 4; 11, 32; 2 Pt 3, 9 . 24For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned. k Ps 145, 9 . 25And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you? l Is 41, 4 . 26But you spare all things, because they are yours, O LORD and lover of souls, m Wis 12, 16; Is 63, 9 .