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Wisdom 16:15-17:1Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Disastrous Storms Strike Egypt

15 To escape from thy hand is impossible;
16 for the ungodly, refusing to know thee,
were scourged by the strength of thy arm,
pursued by unusual rains and hail and relentless storms,
and utterly consumed by fire.
17 For—most incredible of all—in the water, which quenches all things,
the fire had still greater effect,
for the universe defends the righteous.
18 At one time the flame was restrained,
so that it might not consume the creatures sent against the ungodly,
but that seeing this they might know
that they were being pursued by the judgment of God;
19 and at another time even in the midst of water it burned more intensely than fire,
to destroy the crops of the unrighteous land.

The Israelites Receive Manna

20 Instead of these things thou didst give thy people food of angels,
and without their toil thou didst supply them from heaven with bread ready to eat,
providing every pleasure and suited to every taste.
21 For thy sustenance manifested thy sweetness toward thy children;
and the bread, ministering[a] to the desire of the one who took it,
was changed to suit every one’s liking.
22 Snow and ice withstood fire without melting,
so that they might know that the crops of their enemies
were being destroyed by the fire that blazed in the hail
and flashed in the showers of rain;
23 whereas the fire,[b] in order that the righteous might be fed,
even forgot its native power.

24 For creation, serving thee who hast made it,
exerts itself to punish the unrighteous,
and in kindness relaxes on behalf of those who trust in thee.
25 Therefore at that time also, changed into all forms,
it served thy all-nourishing bounty,
according to the desire of those who had need,[c]
26 so that thy sons, whom thou didst love, O Lord, might learn
that it is not the production of crops that feeds man,
but that thy word preserves those who trust in thee.
27 For what was not destroyed by fire
was melted when simply warmed by a fleeting ray of the sun,
28 to make it known that one must rise before the sun to give thee thanks,
and must pray to thee at the dawning of the light;
29 for the hope of an ungrateful man will melt like wintry frost,
and flow away like waste water.

Terror Strikes the Egyptians at Night

17 Great are thy judgments and hard to describe;
therefore uninstructed souls have gone astray.


  1. Wisdom 16:21 Gk and it, ministering
  2. Wisdom 16:23 Gk this
  3. Wisdom 16:25 Or who made supplication
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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