The Hidden Counsels of God A. ON SUFFERING
1But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, f Jb 12, 10; 5, 19 . and no torment shall touch them.* 2They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction 3and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. g Is 57, 2 . 4For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; 5Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. h Tb 12, 13; 2 Cor 4, 17; 1 Pt 1, 6f . 6As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings* he took them to himself. i Ps 51, 19; Prv 17, 3; Sir 2, 5; Is 48, 10 . 7In the time of their visitation* they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; j Dn 12, 3; Ob 18; Mal 3, 3; Mt 13, 43 . 8They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the LORD shall be their King forever. k Wis 8, 14; Prv 8, 16; Dn 7, 22; 1 Cor 6, 2; Rv 20, 4 . 9Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, l Wis 3, 9; 4, 15; Jb 10, 12; Jn 15, 10 . and his care is with his elect. 10But the wicked shall receive a punishment to match their thoughts,* since they neglected justice and forsook the LORD. 11For he who despises wisdom and instruction is doomed. m Prv 1, 7 . Vain is their hope, fruitless are their labors, and worthless are their works. n 11f: Sir 41, 8 . 12Their wives are foolish and their children wicked; accursed is their brood. o Dt 28, 18ff .
B. ON CHILDLESSNESS
13Yes, blessed is she who, childless and undefiled, knew not transgression of the marriage bed; she shall bear fruit at the visitation of souls.* 14So also the eunuch whose hand wrought no misdeed, who held no wicked thoughts against the LORD— For he shall be given fidelity's choice reward* and a more gratifying heritage in the LORD's temple. p Is 56, 2–5 . 15For the fruit of noble struggles is a glorious one; and unfailing is the root of understanding. q Sir 1, 18 . 16But the children of adulterers will remain without issue, and the progeny of an unlawful bed will disappear. r 2 Sm 12, 14 . 17For should they attain long life, they will be held in no esteem, and dishonored will their old age be at last; 18While should they die abruptly, they have no hope nor comfort in the day of scrutiny; 19for dire is the end of the wicked generation. s Ps 34, 22 .