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Wisdom 16

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 1 For these things, and by the like things to these, they were worthily punished, and were destroyed by a multitude of beasts.

 2  Instead of which punishment, dealing well with your people, you gave them their desire of delicious food, of a new taste, preparing for them quails for their meat, [Omitted: When the people complained and wept, wishing for the variety of meats in Egypt instead of the boring manna, God sent them quails in great numbers; and those who had lusted and compained died as they meat was in their mouths.]

 3 to the end that they indeed desiring food, by means of those things that were shown and sent among them, might loathe even that which was necessary to satisfy their desire. But these, after suffering want for a short time, tasted a new meat. [This is an exact description of Hell: a man gets his heart's desires, but so much that he loathes whatever he desired. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices. Pro 1:31]

 4 For it was requisite that inevitable destruction should come upon those who exercised tyranny, but to these it should only be shown how their enemies were destroyed.

 5 For when the fierce rage of beasts came upon these, they were destroyed with the bites of crooked serpents.

 6 But your wrath endures not forever, but they were troubled for a short time for their correction, having a sign of salvation to put them in remembrance of the commandment of your law.

 7 For the one that turned to it, was not healed by that which was seen, but by you the Savior of all.

 8 And in this you showed to our enemies, that you are the one who delivers from all evil.

 9 For the bites of locusts, and of flies killed them, and there was found no remedy for their life, because they were worthy to be destroyed by such things.

 10 But not even the teeth of venomous serpents overcame your children for your mercy came and healed them.

 11 For they were examined for the remembrance of your words, and were quickly healed, lest falling into deep forgetfulness, they might not be able to use your help.

 12 For it was neither herb, nor mollifying plaster that healed them, but your word, O Lord, which heals all things.

 13 For it is you, O Lord, that has power of life and death, and leads down to the gates of death, and brings back again.

 14 One indeed kills through malice, and when the spirit is gone forth, it shall not return, neither shall the one call back the soul that is received.

 15 But it is impossible to escape your hand.

 16 For the wicked that denied to know you, were scourged by the strength of your arm, being persecuted by strange waters, and hail, and rain, and consumed by fire.

 17 And which was wonderful, in water, which extinguishes all things, the fire had more force for the world fights for the just.

 18 For at one time, the fire was mitigated, that the beasts which were sent against the wicked might not be burned, but that they might see and perceive that they were persecuted by the judgment of God.

 19 And at another time the fire, above its own power, burned in the midst of water, to destroy the fruits of a wicked land.

 20 Instead of which things you fed your people with the food of angels, and gave them bread from heaven prepared without labor, having in it all that is delicious, and the sweetness of every taste.1

 21 For your sustenance showed your sweetness to your children, and serving everyone's will, it was turned to what everyone liked.

 22 But snow and ice endured the force of fire, and melted not, that they might know that fire burning in the hail and flashing in the rain destroyed the fruits of the enemies.

 23 But this same again, that the righteous might be nourished, did even forget its own strength.

 24 For the creature serving you the Creator, is made fierce against the unjust for their punishment; and abates its strength for the benefit of those who trust in you.

 25 Therefore even then it was transformed into all things, and was obedient to your grace that nourishes all, according to the will of those who desired it of you.

 26 That your children, O Lord, whom you love, might know that it is not the growing of fruits that nourishes us, but your word preserves those who believe in you.

 27 For that which could not be destroyed by fire, being warmed with a little sunbeam presently melted away.2 [The sun melted the manna from heaven, so it had to be collected early, before the sun arose.]

 28 That it might be known to all, that we ought to prevent the sun [rising early enough to prevent the sun from melting the manna] so to bless you, and adore you at the dawning of the light.

 29 For the hope of the unthankful shall melt away as the winter's ice, and shall run off as unprofitable water.

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1 all that is delicious, and the sweetness of every taste. The children of Israel were not so happy with the light fare of the manna, which supposedly has the taste of cilantro. This is what they said:

And the people spoke against God, and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loathes this light [unsubstantial, without much taste, usatisfying] bread [manna]. Num 21:5

2 For that which could not be destroyed by fire, being warmed with a little sunbeam presently melted away. The sun melted the manna from heaven, so it had to be collected early, before the sun arose. This is analagous to a seeker of God rising early, laboring to hear the voice of the Lord, (the word of God in our hearts), who is the bread that comes down from heaven.

Those who seek me early and diligently shall find me. Pro 8:17


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