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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 15

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1But you, our God, are good and true, slow to anger, and governing all with mercy. m Ex 34, 6f; Pss 86, 5. 15; 145, 8. 9. 14 . 2For even if we sin, we are yours, and know your might; but we will not sin, knowing that we belong to you. n Jb 10, 14f LXX. 3For to know you well is complete justice, and to know your might is the root of immortality. o Wis 3, 15; Jn 17, 3 . 4For neither did the evil creation of men's fancy deceive us, nor the fruitless labor of painters, p Wis 13, 14 . A form smeared with varied colors, 5the sight of which arouses yearning in the senseless man, till he longs for the inanimate form of a dead image. 6Lovers of evil things, and worthy of such hopes are they who make them and long for them and worship them. q Ps 115, 8 .

The Potter's Clay Idols

7For truly the potter, laboriously working the soft earth, molds for our service each several article: Both the vessels that serve for clean purposes and their opposites, all alike; As to what shall be the use of each vessel of either class the worker in clay is the judge. r Wis 13, 11; Jer 18, 3f; Rom 9, 21; 2 Tm 2, 20f . 8And with misspent toil he molds a meaningless god from the selfsame clay; though he himself shortly before was made from the earth And after a little, is to go whence he was taken, when the life that was lent him is demanded back. s Gn 3, 19; Eccl 12, 7 . 9But his concern is not that he is to die nor that his span of life is brief; Rather, he vies with goldsmiths and silversmiths and emulates molders of bronze, and takes pride in modeling counterfeits. t Bar 6, 46 . 10Ashes his heart is! more worthless than earth is his hope, u Jb 13, 12 LXX. and more ignoble than clay his life; 11Because he knew not the one who fashioned him, and breathed into him a quickening soul, and infused a vital spirit. v Gn 2, 7; Zec 12, 1 . 12Instead, he esteemed our life a plaything, and our span of life a holiday for gain; “For one must,” says he, “make profit every way, be it even out of evil.” w Jas 4, 13f . 13For this man more than any knows that he is sinning, when out of earthen stuff he creates fragile vessels and idols alike. 14But all quite senseless, and worse than childish in mind, are the enemies of your people who enslaved them. x Ex 1, 13 . 15For they esteemed all the idols of the nations, gods, which have no use of the eyes for vision, nor nostrils to snuff the air, Nor ears to hear, nor fingers on their hands for feeling; even their feet are useless to walk with. y Wis 14, 11; Dt 4, 28; Pss 115, 4–7; 135, 15ff . 16For a man made them; z 16f: Wis 13. 10 . one whose spirit has been lent him fashioned them. For no man succeeds in fashioning a god like himself; 17being mortal, he makes a dead thing with his lawless hands. For he is better than the things he worships; he at least lives, but never they.

Second Example Resumed

18And besides, they worship* the most loathsome beasts— a Wis 11, 15; 12, 24 . for compared as to folly, these are worse than the rest,* 19Nor for their looks are they good or desirable beasts, but they have escaped both the approval of God and his blessing. b Gn 1, 25; 3, 14 .

Notes:

m: Ex 34, 6f; Pss 86, 5. 15; 145, 8. 9. 14 .

n: Jb 10, 14f LXX.

o: Wis 3, 15; Jn 17, 3 .

p: Wis 13, 14 .

q: Ps 115, 8 .

r: Wis 13, 11; Jer 18, 3f; Rom 9, 21; 2 Tm 2, 20f .

s: Gn 3, 19; Eccl 12, 7 .

t: Bar 6, 46 .

u: Jb 13, 12 LXX.

v: Gn 2, 7; Zec 12, 1 .

w: Jas 4, 13f .

x: Ex 1, 13 .

y: Wis 14, 11; Dt 4, 28; Pss 115, 4–7; 135, 15ff .

z: 16f: Wis 13. 10 .

a: Wis 11, 15; 12, 24 .

b: Gn 1, 25; 3, 14 .

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