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Wisdom 2

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 1 For the ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not correctly, "Our life is short and tedious, and in the death of a man there is no remedy; neither has there been any man known to have returned from the grave.

 2 For we are born of nothing; and we shall be hereafter as though we had never been for the breath in our nostrils is as smoke, and a little spark in the moving of our heart;

 3 Which being put out, our body shall be ashes, and our spirit shall be poured abroad as soft air, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist, which is driven away by the beams of the sun, and dissolved with the heat of it.

 4 And our name in time shall be forgotten, and no one shall have any remembrance of our works.

 5 For our time is as the passing of a shadow, and there is no avoiding our end for it is fast sealed, and no one returns.

 6 Come on therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present; and let us speedily use the creatures as in our youth [wasteful manner].

 7 Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments, and let no flower of the spring pass by us.

 8 Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they are withered.

 9 Let none of us go without a part in sensual pleasures; let us everywhere leave tokens of joy, for this is our portion, and this our lot.

 10 Let us oppress the poor righteous man, let us not spare the widow, nor reverence the ancient gray hairs of the aged.

 11 But let our strength be the law of justice for what is feeble is found to be worth nothing.

 12 Let us therefore lie in wait for the righteous person because he is not for our turn; he is contrary to our doings, upbraids us with transgressions of the law, and divulges against us the sins of our way of life."

 13 He boasts that he has the knowledge of God, and calls himself the son of God.

 14 He has become a reprover of our thoughts.

 15 He is grievous to us even to behold for his life is not like other men's, and his ways are very different.

 16 We are esteemed by him as triflers, and he abstains from our ways as from filthiness, and he prefers the latter end of the just and glories that he has God for his father.

 17  Let us see then if his words are true, and let us prove what shall happen to him, and we shall know what his end shall be.

 18 For if he is the true son of God, God will defend him and will deliver him from the hands of his enemies.

 19  Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience.

 20 Let us condemn him with a shameful death for by his own saying he shall be respected."1

 21 Such things they did imagine, and were deceived for their own wickedness has blinded them.

 22 And they knew not the secrets of God, nor hoped for the wages of justice, nor esteemed the honor of holy souls.

 23 For God created man to be immortal, and to the image of God’s own likeness did God make them.

 24 But by the envy of the devil, death came into the world.

 25 And they follow him that are of his side." [Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves to obey, you are the slaves of whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness? Rom 1:16, Then Jesus answered them, "Truly, Truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. John 8:24.]


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1 Verses 13-20 is a remarkable prophecy of how Christ was to be despised, rejected, tortured, and killed by the Jews. George Fox quoted from these verses to prove that the Jesus was the Messiah and was shamefully put to death, just as predicted in the Jews' own scriptures:

Again [like Mat 23:37] , in 4 Esdras 1:30. ‘the Lord gathered you, as a hen gathers her chicken under her wings: but now what shall I do for you? I will cast you out of my sight.’ Would not the Messiah have gathered you when he came, but you would not hear? So your house has become a desolation [temple destroyed], and you were cast forth [scattered in exile].

And in Solomon's Book of Wisdom* Chapter 2: ‘He upbraids us for offending against the law (2:12); he makes his boast to have the knowledge of God and calls himself the Son of God (2:13); he is made to reprove our thoughts (2:14); it grieves us also to look upon him; for his life is not like other men's, his ways are of another fashion (2:15); let us examine him with rebukes and torments, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience(2:19); let us condemn him to a shameful death (2:20).’ And did not you Jews fulfill all this? Are not these sayings verified by you concerning the Messiah?

And you sons of Adam, who are called Jews, what do you think of the saying in 4 Esdras? Chapter 7, ‘The bride shall appear, and he shall come forth and be seen, that now is under the earth: for my Son Jesus shall appear with those that be with him, and those who remain shall rejoice within four hundred years; and after these same years shall my Son Christ die.’ So do you think he spoke truth? What Jesus was this, the anointed, that was prophesied of should die after the four hundred years?

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