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Chapter 10[a]

Wisdom Preserves Her Followers

She preserved the first-formed father[b] of the world(A)
    when he alone had been created;(B)
And she raised him up from his fall,
    and gave him power to rule all things.(C)
But when an unrighteous man[c] withdrew from her in his anger,
    he perished through his fratricidal wrath.(D)
When on his account the earth was flooded, Wisdom again saved it,
    piloting the righteous man[d] on frailest wood.(E)

She, when the nations were sunk in universal wickedness,
    knew the righteous man,[e] kept him blameless before God,
    and preserved him resolute against pity for his child.(F)

She rescued a righteous man[f] from among the wicked who were being destroyed,(G)
    when he fled as fire descended upon the Pentapolis—
Where as a testimony to its wickedness,
    even yet there remain a smoking desert,
Plants bearing fruit that never ripens,
    and the tomb of a disbelieving soul,[g] a standing pillar of salt.(H)
For those who forsook Wisdom
    not only were deprived of knowledge of the good,
But also left the world a memorial of their folly,
    so that they could not even be hidden in their fall.
But Wisdom rescued from tribulations those who served her.(I)

10 She, when a righteous man[h] fled from his brother’s anger,(J)
    guided him in right ways,
Showed him the kingdom of God
    and gave him knowledge of holy things;
She prospered him in his labors
    and made abundant the fruit of his works,
11 Stood by him against the greed of his defrauders,
    and enriched him;(K)
12 She preserved him from foes,
    and secured him against ambush,
And she gave him the prize for his hard struggle
    that he might know that devotion to God[i] is mightier than all else.(L)

13 She did not abandon a righteous man[j] when he was sold,(M)
    but rescued him from sin.(N)
14 She went down with him into the dungeon,
    and did not desert him in his bonds,
Until she brought him the scepter of royalty
    and authority over his oppressors,
Proved false those who had defamed him,
    and gave him eternal glory.

15 The holy people and their blameless descendants—it was she
    who rescued them from the nation that oppressed them.(O)
16 She entered the soul of the Lord’s servant,[k]
    and withstood fearsome kings with signs and wonders;(P)
17     she gave the holy ones the reward of their labors,(Q)
Conducted them by a wondrous road,
    became a shelter for them by day
    a starry flame by night.
18 She took them across the Red Sea
    and brought them through the deep waters.
19 Their enemies she overwhelmed,
    and churned them up[l] from the bottom of the depths.
20 Therefore the righteous despoiled the wicked;
    and they sang of your holy name, Lord,
    and praised in unison your conquering hand,(R)
21 Because Wisdom opened the mouths of the mute,
    and gave ready speech to infants.(S)


  1. 10:1–21 This chapter prepares for the following section (Wis 11:2–19:22) on the history of Israel in the exodus, by reviewing the dealings of Wisdom with the patriarchs. It has a parallel in Sir 44–50; cf. also Wis 18:9.
  2. 10:1–2 Adam.
  3. 10:3 Cain.
  4. 10:4 Noah.
  5. 10:5 Abraham.
  6. 10:6 Lot. Pentapolis: the five cities, including Sodom; cf. Gn 14:2.
  7. 10:7 Disbelieving soul: Lot’s wife; cf. Gn 19:26.
  8. 10:10–12 Jacob.
  9. 10:12 Devotion to God: in the Greek this signifies “piety” or “religion,” and is the equivalent of the Hebrew “fear of the Lord”; cf. Prv 1:7.
  10. 10:13–14 Joseph.
  11. 10:16 Moses.
  12. 10:19 Churned them up: casting their bodies on the shore.