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Wisdom 7

 
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1 εἰμὶ μὲν κἀγὼ θνητὸς ἄνθρωπος ἴσος ἅπασιν καὶ γηγενοῦς ἀπόγονος πρωτοπλάστου καὶ ἐν κοιλίᾳ μητρὸς ἐγλύφην σὰρξ 2 δεκαμηνιαίῳ χρόνῳ παγεὶς ἐν αἵματι ἐκ σπέρματος ἀνδρὸς καὶ ἡδονῆς ὕπνῳ συνελθούσης 3 καὶ ἐγὼ δὲ γενόμενος ἔσπασα τὸν κοινὸν ἀέρα καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν ὁμοιοπαθῆ κατέπεσον γῆν πρώτην φωνὴν τὴν ὁμοίαν πᾶσιν ἴσα κλαίων 4 ἐν σπαργάνοις ἀνετράφην καὶ φροντίσιν 5 οὐδεὶς γὰρ βασιλέων ἑτέραν ἔσχεν γενέσεως ἀρχήν 6 μία δὲ πάντων εἴσοδος εἰς τὸν βίον ἔξοδός τε ἴση 1 What of myself? Was not Solomon a mortal man like the rest of you, come down from that first man that was a thing of clay?[1] I, too, was flesh and blood; ten months I lay a-fashioning in my mother’s womb; 2 of woman’s body my stuff came, and of man’s procreation; midnight joys went to the making of me. 3 Born was I, and born drew in the common air; dust amid the dust I fell, and, baby-fashion, my first utterance was a cry; 4 swaddled I must be, and cared for, like the rest. 5 Tell me, was ever king had other manner of coming to be? 6 By one gate all enter life, by one gate all leave it. 1

Sum quidem et ego mortalis homo, similis omnibus,
et ex genere terreni illius qui prior factus est:
et in ventre matris figuratus sum caro;
2
decem mensium tempore coagulatus sum in sanguine:
ex semine hominis, et delectamento somni conveniente.
3
Et ego natus accepi communem aërem,
et in similiter factam decidi terram,
et primam vocem similem omnibus emisi plorans.
4
In involumentis nutritus sum, et curis magnis:
5
nemo enim ex regibus aliud habuit nativitatis initium.
6
Unus ergo introitus est omnibus ad vitam,
et similis exitus.
7 διὰ τοῦτο εὐξάμην καὶ φρόνησις ἐδόθη μοι ἐπεκαλεσάμην καὶ ἦλθέν μοι πνεῦμα σοφίας 8 προέκρινα αὐτὴν σκήπτρων καὶ θρόνων καὶ πλοῦτον οὐδὲν ἡγησάμην ἐν συγκρίσει αὐτῆς 9 οὐδὲ ὡμοίωσα αὐτῇ λίθον ἀτίμητον ὅτι ὁ πᾶς χρυσὸς ἐν ὄψει αὐτῆς ψάμμος ὀλίγη καὶ ὡς πηλὸς λογισθήσεται ἄργυρος ἐναντίον αὐτῆς 10 ὑπὲρ ὑγίειαν καὶ εὐμορφίαν ἠγάπησα αὐτὴν καὶ προειλόμην αὐτὴν ἀντὶ φωτὸς ἔχειν ὅτι ἀκοίμητον τὸ ἐκ ταύτης φέγγος 11 ἦλθεν δέ μοι τὰ ἀγαθὰ ὁμοῦ πάντα με{T'} αὐτῆς καὶ ἀναρίθμητος πλοῦτος ἐν χερσὶν αὐτῆς 12 εὐφράνθην δὲ ἐπὶ πᾶσιν ὅτι αὐτῶν ἡγεῖται σοφία ἠγνόουν δὲ αὐτὴν γενέτιν εἶναι τούτων 13 ἀδόλως τε ἔμαθον ἀφθόνως τε μεταδίδωμι τὸν πλοῦτον αὐτῆς οὐκ ἀποκρύπτομαι 14 ἀνεκλιπὴς γὰρ θησαυρός ἐστιν ἀνθρώποις ὃν οἱ κτησάμενοι πρὸς θεὸν ἐστείλαντο φιλίαν διὰ τὰς ἐκ παιδείας δωρεὰς συσταθέντες 7 Whence, then, did the prudence spring that endowed me? Prayer brought it; to God I prayed, and the spirit of wisdom came upon me.[2] 8 This I valued more than kingdom or throne; I thought nothing of my riches in comparison. 9 There was no jewel I could match with it; all my treasures of gold were a handful of dust beside it, my silver seemed but base clay in presence of it. 10 I treasured wisdom more than health or beauty, preferred her to the light of day; hers is a flame which never dies down. 11 Together with her all blessings came to me; boundless prosperity was her gift. 12 All this I enjoyed, with wisdom to prepare my way for me, never guessing that it all sprang from her. 13 The lessons she taught me are riches honestly won, shared without stint, openly proclaimed; 14 a treasure men will find incorruptible. Those who enjoy it are honoured with God’s friendship, so high a value he sets on her instruction. 7
Propter hoc optavi, et datus est mihi sensus;
et invocavi, et venit in me spiritus sapientiæ:
8
et præposui illam regnis et sedibus,
et divitias nihil esse duxi in comparatione illius.
9
Nec comparavi illi lapidem pretiosum,
quoniam omne aurum in comparatione illius arena est exigua,
et tamquam lutum æstimabitur argentum in conspectu illius.
10
Super salutem et speciem dilexi illam,
et proposui pro luce habere illam,
quoniam inextinguibile est lumen illius.
11
Venerunt autem mihi omnia bona pariter cum illa,
et innumerabilis honestas per manus illius;
12
et lætatus sum in omnibus,
quoniam antecedebat me ista sapientia,
et ignorabam quoniam horum omnium mater est.
13
Quam sine fictione didici,
et sine invidia communico,
et honestatem illius non abscondo.
14
Infinitus enim thesaurus est hominibus;
quo qui usi sunt, participes facti sunt amicitiæ Dei,
propter disciplinæ dona commendati.
15 ἐμοὶ δὲ δῴη ὁ θεὸς εἰπεῖν κατὰ γνώμην καὶ ἐνθυμηθῆναι ἀξίως τῶν δεδομένων ὅτι αὐτὸς καὶ τῆς σοφίας ὁδηγός ἐστιν καὶ τῶν σοφῶν διορθωτής 16 ἐν γὰρ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἡμεῖς καὶ οἱ λόγοι ἡμῶν πᾶσά τε φρόνησις καὶ ἐργατειῶν ἐπιστήμη 17 αὐτὸς γάρ μοι ἔδωκεν τῶν ὄντων γνῶσιν ἀψευδῆ εἰδέναι σύστασιν κόσμου καὶ ἐνέργειαν στοιχείων 18 ἀρχὴν καὶ τέλος καὶ μεσότητα χρόνων τροπῶν ἀλλαγὰς καὶ μεταβολὰς καιρῶν 19 ἐνιαυτοῦ κύκλους καὶ ἄστρων θέσεις 20 φύσεις ζῴων καὶ θυμοὺς θηρίων πνευμάτων βίας καὶ διαλογισμοὺς ἀνθρώπων διαφορὰς φυτῶν καὶ δυνάμεις ῥιζῶν 21 ὅσα τέ ἐστιν κρυπτὰ καὶ ἐμφανῆ ἔγνων ἡ γὰρ πάντων τεχνῖτις ἐδίδαξέν με σοφία 15 God’s gift it is, if speech answers to thought of mine, and thought of mine to the message I am entrusted with. Who else can shew wise men the true path, check them when they stray? 16 We are in his hands, we and every word of ours; our prudence in act, our skill in craftsmanship. 17 Sure knowledge he has imparted to me of all that is; how the world is ordered, what influence have the elements, 18 how the months[3] have their beginning, their middle, and their ending, how the sun’s course alters and the seasons revolve, 19 how the years have their cycles, the stars their places. 20 To every living thing its own breed, to every beast its own moods; the winds[4] rage, and men think deep thoughts; the plants keep their several kinds, and each root has its own virtue; 21 all the mysteries and all the surprises of nature were made known to me; wisdom herself taught me, that is the designer of them all. 15
Mihi autem dedit Deus dicere ex sententia,
et præsumere digna horum quæ mihi dantur:
quoniam ipse sapientiæ dux est,
et sapientium emendator.
16
In manu enim illius et nos et sermones nostri,
et omnis sapientia, et operum scientia, et disciplina.
17
Ipse enim dedit mihi horum quæ sunt scientiam veram,
ut sciam dispositionem orbis terrarum, et virtutes elementorum,
18
initium, et consummationem, et medietatem temporum,
vicissitudinum permutationes, et commutationes temporum,
19
anni cursus, et stellarum dispositiones,
20
naturas animalium, et iras bestiarum,
vim ventorum, et cogitationes hominum,
differentias virgultorum, et virtutes radicum.
21
Et quæcumque sunt absconsa et improvisa didici:
omnium enim artifex docuit me sapientia.
22 ἔστιν γὰρ ἐν αὐτῇ πνεῦμα νοερόν ἅγιον μονογενές πολυμερές λεπτόν εὐκίνητον τρανόν ἀμόλυντον σαφές ἀπήμαντον φιλάγαθον ὀξύ 23 ἀκώλυτον εὐεργετικόν φιλάνθρωπον βέβαιον ἀσφαλές ἀμέριμνον παντοδύναμον πανεπίσκοπον καὶ διὰ πάντων χωροῦν πνευμάτων νοερῶν καθαρῶν λεπτοτάτων 24 πάσης γὰρ κινήσεως κινητικώτερον σοφία διήκει δὲ καὶ χωρεῖ διὰ πάντων διὰ τὴν καθαρότητα 25 ἀτμὶς γάρ ἐστιν τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ δυνάμεως καὶ ἀπόρροια τῆς τοῦ παντοκράτορος δόξης εἰλικρινής διὰ τοῦτο οὐδὲν μεμιαμμένον εἰς αὐτὴν παρεμπίπτει 26 ἀπαύγασμα γάρ ἐστιν φωτὸς ἀϊδίου καὶ ἔσοπτρον ἀκηλίδωτον τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ ἐνεργείας καὶ εἰκὼν τῆς ἀγαθότητος αὐτοῦ 27 μία δὲ οὖσα πάντα δύναται καὶ μένουσα ἐν αὑτῇ τὰ πάντα καινίζει καὶ κατὰ γενεὰς εἰς ψυχὰς ὁσίας μεταβαίνουσα φίλους θεοῦ καὶ προφήτας κατασκευάζει 28 οὐθὲν γὰρ ἀγαπᾷ ὁ θεὸς εἰ μὴ τὸν σοφίᾳ συνοικοῦντα 29 ἔστιν γὰρ αὕτη εὐπρεπεστέρα ἡλίου καὶ ὑπὲρ πᾶσαν ἄστρων θέσιν φωτὶ συγκρινομένη εὑρίσκεται προτέρα 30 τοῦτο μὲν γὰρ διαδέχεται νύξ σοφίας δὲ οὐ κατισχύει κακία 22 Mind-enlightening is the influence that dwells in her; set high apart; one in its source, yet manifold in its operation; subtle, yet easily understood. An influence quick in movement, inviolable, persuasive, gentle, right-thinking, keen-edged, irresistible, beneficent, 23 kindly, gracious, steadfast, proof against all error and all solicitude. Nothing is beyond its power, nothing hidden from its view, and such capacity has it that it can pervade the minds of all living men; so pure and subtle an essence is thought. 24 Nothing so agile that it can match wisdom for agility; nothing can penetrate this way and that, etherial as she. 25 Steam that ascends from the fervour of divine activity, pure effluence of his glory who is God all-powerful, she feels no passing taint; 26 she, the glow that radiates from eternal light, she, the untarnished mirror of God’s majesty, she, the faithful image of his goodness. 27 Alone, with none to aid her, she is all-powerful; herself ever unchanged, she makes all things new; age after age she finds her way into holy men’s hearts, turning them into friends and spokesmen of God. 28 Her familiars it is, and none other, that God loves. 29 Brightness is hers beyond the brightness of the sun, and all the starry host; match her with light itself, and she outvies it; 30 light must still alternate with darkness, but where is the conspiracy can pull down wisdom from her throne? 22

Est enim in illa spiritus intelligentiæ,
sanctus, unicus, multiplex, subtilis,
disertus, mobilis, incoinquinatus, certus,
suavis, amans bonum, acutus,
quem nihil vetat, benefaciens,
23
humanus, benignus, stabilis, certus, securus,
omnem habens virtutem, omnia prospiciens,
et qui capiat omnes spiritus,
intelligibilis, mundus, subtilis.
24
Omnibus enim mobilibus mobilior est sapientia:
attingit autem ubique propter suam munditiam.
25
Vapor est enim virtutis Dei,
et emanatio quædam est claritatis omnipotentis Dei sincera,
et ideo nihil inquinatum in eam incurrit:
26
candor est enim lucis æternæ,
et speculum sine macula Dei majestatis,
et imago bonitatis illius.
27
Et cum sit una, omnia potest;
et in se permanens omnia innovat:
et per nationes in animas sanctas se transfert;
amicos Dei et prophetas constituit.
28
Neminem enim diligit Deus,
nisi eum qui cum sapientia inhabitat.
29
Est enim hæc speciosior sole,
et super omnem dispositionem stellarum:
luci comparata, invenitur prior.
30
Illi enim succedit nox;
sapientiam autem non vincit malitia.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.