14:2. For this the desire of gain devised, and the workman built it by his skill.
14:3. But thy providence, O Father, governeth it: for thou hast made a way even in the sea, and a most sure path among the waves,
14:4. Shewing that thou art able to save out of all things, yea, though a man went to sea without art.
14:5. But that the works of thy wisdom might not be idle: therefore men also trust their lives even to a little wood, and passing over the sea by ship, are saved.
14:6. And from the beginning also, when the proud giants perished, the hope of the world fleeing to a vessel, which was governed by thy hand, left to the world seed of generation.
14:7. For blessed is the wood, by which justice cometh
14:8. But the idol that is made by hands, is cursed, as well it, as he that made it: he because he made it; and it because being frail it is called a god.
14:9. But to God the wicked and his wickedness are hateful alike.
14:10. For that which is made, together with him that made it, shall suffer torments.
14:11. Therefore there shall be no respect had even to the idols of the Gentiles: because the creatures of God are turned to an abomination, and a temptation to the souls of men, and a snare to the feet of the unwise.
14:12. For the beginning of fornication is the devising of idols: and the invention of them is the corruption of life.
14:13. For neither were they from the beginning, neither shall they be for ever.
14:14. For by the vanity of men they came into the world: and therefore they shall be found to come shortly to an end.
14:15. For a father being afflicted with bitter grief, made to himself the image of his son, who was quickly taken away: and him who then had died as a man, he began now to worship as a god, and appointed him rites and sacrifices among his servants.
14:16. Then, in process of time, wicked custom prevailing, this error was kept as a law, and statues were worshipped by the commandment of tyrants.
14:17. And those whom men could not honour in presence, because they dwelt far off, they brought their resemblance from afar, and made an express image of the king, whom they had a mind to honour: that by this their diligence, they might honour as present, him that was absent.
14:18. And to the worshipping of these, the singular diligence also of the artificer helped to set forward the ignorant.
14:19. For he being willing to please him that employed him, laboured with all his art to make the resemblance in the best manner.
14:20. And the multitude of men, carried away by the beauty of the work, took him now for a god, that little before was but honoured as a man.
14:21. And this was the occasion of deceiving human life: for men serving either their affection, or their kings, gave the incommunicable name to stones and wood.
14:22. And it was not enough for them to err about the knowledge of God, but whereas they lived in a great war of ignorance, they call so many and so great evils peace.
14:23. For either they sacrifice their own children, or use hidden sacrifices, or keep watches full of madness,
14:24. So that now they neither keep life, nor marriage undefiled, but one killeth another through envy, or grieveth him by adultery:
14:25. And all things are mingled together, blood, murder, theft, and dissimulation, corruption and unfaithfulness, tumults and perjury, disquieting of the good,
14:26. Forgetfulness of God, defiling of souls, changing of nature, disorder in marriage, and the irregularity of adultery and uncleanness.
14:27. For the worship of abominable idols is the cause, and the beginning and end of all evil.
14:28. For either they are mad when they are merry: or they prophesy lies, or they live unjustly, or easily forswear themselves.
14:29. For whilst they trust in idols, which are without life, though they swear amiss, they look not to be hurt.
14:30. But for both these things they shall be justly punished, because they have thought not well of God, giving heed to idols, and have sworn unjustly, in guile despising justice.
14:31. For it is not the power of them, by whom they swear, but the just vengeance of sinners always punisheth the transgression of the unjust.
Wisdom Chapter 15
The servants of God praise him who hath delivered them from idolatry; condemning both the makers and the worshippers of idols.
15:1. But thou, our God, art gracious and true, patient, and ordering all things in mercy.
15:2. For if we sin, we are thine, knowing thy greatness: and if we sin not, we know that we are counted with thee.
15:3. For to know thee is perfect justice: and to know thy justice, and thy power, is the root of immortality.
15:4. For the invention of mischievous men hath not deceived us, nor the shadow of a picture, a fruitless labour, a graven figure with divers colours,
15:5. The sight whereof enticeth the fool to lust after it, and he loveth the lifeless figure of a dead image.
15:6. The lovers of evil things deserve to have no better things to trust in, both they that make them, and they that love them, and they that worship them.
15:7. The potter also tempering soft earth, with labour fashioneth every vessel for our service, and of the same clay he maketh both vessels that are for clean uses, and likewise such as serve to the contrary: but what is the use of these vessels, the potter is the judge.
15:8. And of the same clay by a vain labour he maketh a god: he who a little before was made of earth himself, and a little after returneth to the same out of which he was taken, when his life, which was lent him, shall be called for again.
15:9. But his care is, not that he shall labour, nor that his life is short, but he striveth with the goldsmiths and silversmiths: and he endeavoureth to do like the workers in brass, and counteth it a glory to make vain things.
15:10. For his heart is ashes, and his hope vain earth and his life more base than clay:
15:11. Forasmuch as he knew not his maker, and him that inspired into him the soul that worketh, and that breathed into him a living spirit.
15:12. Yea, and they have counted our life a pastime and the business of life to be gain, and that we must be getting every way, even out of evil.
15:13. For that man knoweth that he offendeth above all others, who of earthly matter maketh brittle vessels, and graven gods.
15:14. But all the enemies of thy people that hold them in subjection, are foolish, and unhappy, and proud beyond measure:
15:15. For they have esteemed all the idols of the heathens for gods, which neither have the use of eyes to see, nor noses to draw breath, nor ears to hear, nor fingers of hands to handle, and as for their feet, they are slow to walk.
15:16. For man made them: and he that borroweth his own breath, fashioned them. For no man can make a god like to himself.
15:17. For being mortal himself, he formeth a dead thing with his wicked hands. For he is better than they whom he worshippeth, because he indeed hath lived, though he were mortal, but they never.
15:18. Moreover, they worship also the vilest creatures: but things without sense, compared to these, are worse than they.