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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 11

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1Wisdom, working through a holy prophet, gave them success in all they did. 2They made their way across an unpeopled desert and pitched camp in untrodden wastes; 3they stood firm against their enemies, and fought off hostile assaults. 4When they were thirsty they cried to you, and water to slake their thirst was given them out of the hard stone of a rocky cliff. 5The selfsame means by which their oppressors had been punished were used to help them in their hour of need: 6those others found their river no unfailing stream of water, but putrid and befouled with blood, 7a punishment for their order that all the infants should be killed; to these, however, when they had lost hope, you gave abundant water. 8So, from the thirst they then endured, they learnt how you had punished their enemies; 9when they themselves were put to the test, though chastisement was tempered with mercy, they understood the tortures of the godless who were sentenced in anger. 10Your own people you subjected to an ordeal, disciplining them like a father, but those others you put to the torture like a stern king passing sentence. 11Whether at home or abroad, they were equally in distress, 12for double misery had come upon them, and they groaned as they recalled the past. 13When they heard that the means of their own punishment had been used to benefit your people, they saw your hand in it, Lord. 14The man who long ago had been abandoned and exposed, whom they had rejected with contumely, became in the event the object of their wonder and admiration; their thirst was such as the godly never knew.

15In return for the foolish imagination of those wicked people, which deluded them into worshipping reptiles incapable of reason, and mere vermin, you sent upon them in your vengeance mindless swarms 16to teach them that the instruments of someone's sin are the instruments of his punishment. 17For your almighty hand, which created the world out of formless matter, was not without other resource: it could have let loose on those wicked people a horde of bears or ravening lions 18or unknown ferocious monsters newly created, breathing out blasts of fire, or roaring and belching smoke, or flashing terrible sparks like lightning from their eyes, 19beasts with power not only to exterminate them by the wounds they inflicted, but by their mere appearance to kill them with fright. 20Even without these, a single breath would have sufficed to lay them low, with justice in pursuit and the breath of your power to blow them away; but you have set all things in order by measure and number and weight.

21Great strength is yours to exert at any moment, and the power of your arm no one can resist, 22for in your sight the whole world is like a grain that just tips the scale or like a drop of dew alighting on the ground at dawn. 23But you are merciful to all because you can do all things; you overlook people's sins in order to bring them to repentance; 24for all existing things are dear to you and you hate nothing that you have created — why else would you have made it? 25How could anything have continued in existence, had it not been your will? How could it have endured unless called into being by you? 26You spare all things because they are yours,

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