1But for your holy ones there was great light;
And the Egyptians, hearing their voice but seeing not their form,
Counted it a happy thing that they too had suffered,
2Yet for that they do not hurt them now, though wronged by them before, they are thankful;
And because they had been at variance with them, they made supplication to them.
3Whereas you did provide for your people a burning pillar of fire,
To be a guide for their unknown journey,
And withal a #Gr. unharmful. kindly sun for their #Or, aspiring proud exile.
4For well did #Gr. they. the Egyptians deserve to be deprived of light and imprisoned by darkness,
They who had kept in close ward your sons,
Through whom the incorruptible light of the law was to be given to #Or, future time Gr. the age. the race of men.
5After they had taken counsel to kill the babes of the holy ones,
And when a single child had been cast forth and saved #Or, to be to them a rebuke to convict them of their sin,
You took away from them their multitude of children,
And destroyed all their host together in a mighty flood.
6Of that night were our fathers made aware beforehand,
That, having sure knowledge, they might be cheered by the oaths which they had trusted:
7 So by your people was expected salvation of the righteous and destruction of the enemies;
8For as you did take vengeance on the adversaries,
# Gr. By this. By the same means, calling us to yourself, you did glorify us.
9For holy children #Or, of blessing Gr. of good men, or, of good things. of good men offered sacrifice in secret,
And with one consent they took upon themselves the covenant of the #Gr. law of divineness. divine law,
That #Some authorities read the saints would partake...perils; already leading the fathers’ songs of praise. they would partake alike in the same good things and the same perils;
The fathers already leading the sacred songs of praise.
10But there sounded back in discord the cry of the enemies,
# Some authorities read And was piteously borne abroad in lamentation for children. And a piteous voice of lamentation for children was borne abroad.
11And servant along with master punished with a like just doom,
And commoner suffering the same as king,
12Yes, all the people together, under one form of death,
Had with them corpses without number;
For the living were not sufficient even to bury them,
Since at a single #Gr. turn of the scale. stroke their #Or, more cherished nobler offspring was consumed.
13For while they were disbelieving all things by reason of the enchantments,
Upon the destruction of the firstborn they confessed the people to be God’s son.
14For while peaceful silence enwrapped all things,
And night in her own swiftness was in mid course,
15Your all-powerful word leaped from heaven out of #Or, your the royal #Gr. thrones. throne,
A stern warrior, into the midst of the #Or, destroying doomed land,
16Bearing as a sharp sword your unfeigned commandment;
And standing it filled all things with death;
And while it touched the heaven it trode upon the earth.
17Then forthwith apparitions in dreams terribly troubled them,
And fears came upon them unlooked for.
18And each, one thrown here half dead, another there,
Made manifest wherefore he was dying:
19For the dreams, perturbing them, did foreshew this,
That they might not perish without knowing why they were afflicted.
20But it #Gr. touched. befell the righteous also to make trial of death,
And a multitude were stricken in the wilderness:
Howbeit the wrath endured not for long.
21For a blameless man hasted to be their champion:
Bringing the weapon of his own ministry,
Even prayer and the propitiation of incense,
He withstood the indignation, and set an end to the calamity,
Shewing that he was your servant.
22And he overcame the #The word rendered anger differs only by the transposition of two letters from the reading of the Greek text, which here yields no sense. anger,
Not by strength of body, not by efficacy of weapons;
But #Or, to a word did he subject by word did he subdue #Gr. him who was punishing. the minister of punishment,
By bringing to remembrance oaths and covenants made with the fathers.
23For when the dead were already fallen in heaps one upon another,
Standing between he stopped the advancing wrath,
And #Gr. cleft asunder. cut off the way to the living.
24For upon his long high-priestly robe was the whole world,
And the glories of the fathers were upon the graving of the four rows of #Gr. stone. precious stones,
And your majesty was upon the diadem of his head.
25To these the destroyer gave place, and these #Some authorities read he feared. the people feared;
For it was enough only to make trial of the wrath.