Wis 161 Because of this, and by means of things similar to these, they were allowed to endure fitting torments, and they were exterminated by a multitude of beasts. 2 Instead of these torments, you administered your people kindly, giving them a desire for a new taste from your delights, and preparing quails for their food, 3 so that, even those desiring food, because of those things which were sent and revealed to them, were now turned away from a necessary desire. Yet these, after a brief time, having become weak, tasted a new food. 4 For it was necessary, though they are without excuse, for them to unexpectedly come upon the ruin of exercising tyranny, yet this was as if to show them how their enemies were being exterminated. 5 And so, when fierce beasts overcame them in anger, they were exterminated by the bites of perverse snakes. 6 But your anger did not continue forever, though they were troubled for a short time for their correction, they have a sign of salvation as a remembrance of the commandment of your law. 7 For he who turned to it was not healed by what he saw, but by you, the Savior of all. 8 Yet in this you revealed to our enemies that you are he who delivers from all evil. 9 For they were killed by the biting of locusts and flies, and there was found no remedy for their life, because they deserved to be destroyed by such things. 10 But not even the teeth of venomous serpents conquered your sons, for your mercy came to them and healed them. 11 For, in remembrance of your words, they were examined and were quickly saved, for forgetfulness is not engraved into your altar so that they would be unable to obtain your help. 12 And, indeed, neither an herb, nor a poultice, healed them, but your word, O Lord, which heals all. 13 For it is you, O Lord, who holds the power of life and death; you both lead to the threshold of death and you restore. 14 Yet man, indeed, kills his own soul through malice, and when his spirit goes forth, it will not be returned, nor will he call back his soul when it has been received. 15 But it is impossible to escape your hand. 16 For the impious, having refused to know you, have been scourged by the strength of your arm, enduring persecution by unusual waters, and by hailstorms, and by rain storms, and being consumed by fire. 17 For there was something extraordinary in water, which extinguishes all things; it has prevailed more than fire; for the world is the defender of the just. 18 Indeed, at a certain time, the fire was subdued, so as not to burn away the animals, which were sent against the impious; and so that, in seeing this, they might know that they are suffering persecution by the judgment of God. 19 And, at another time, fire burned, beyond its own power, in the midst of water, and it flared up from all around, so as to destroy the nations of an unjust land. 20 Instead of these things, you nourished your people with the food of angels, and, having prepared bread from heaven, you served them without labor that which holds within itself every delight and the sweetness of every flavor. 21 For your nature showed your sweetness, which you hold within your sons, and serving the will of each one, it was converted to what each one preferred. 22 But snow and ice held back the strength of fire, and did not melt, so that they might know that fire, burning in the hail and flashing in the rain, destroyed the fruits of the enemies. 23 Yet it was also the case, so that the just might be nourished, that fire had even been deprived of its own power. 24 For the creature serving you, the Creator, grows red hot in the midst of the conflict against the unjust, and yet it subsides for the benefit of those who trust in you. 25 Because of this, and at that time, having been transfigured in all things, your grace was diligently serving as the nursemaid of all things, according to the will of those who long for you, 26 so that your sons, whom you loved, O Lord, might know that it is not the fruits of nature which feed men, but your word, which preserves those who believe in you. 27 For that which could not be destroyed by fire, was immediately melted when warmed by a few rays of the sun, 28 so that it might be clear to all that it is right to come before the sun to bless you, and to adore you at the dawning of the light. 29 For the hope of the ungrateful will melt away like the winter’s ice and will disperse like overflowing water.
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