The Destiny of the Righteous
1But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
2In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,
and their departure was thought to be an affliction,
3and their going from us to be their destruction;
but they are at peace.
4For though in the sight of men they were punished,
their hope is full of immortality.
5Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good,
because God tested them and found them worthy of himself;
6like gold in the furnace he tried them,
and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.
7In the time of their visitation they will shine forth,
and will run like sparks through the stubble.
8They will govern nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord will reign over them for ever.
9Those who trust in him will understand truth,
and the faithful will abide with him in love,
because grace and mercy are upon his elect,
and he watches over his holy ones.a
The Destiny of the Ungodly
10But the ungodly will be punished as their reasoning deserves,
who disregarded the righteous manb and rebelled against the Lord;
11for whoever despises wisdom and instruction is miserable.
Their hope is vain, their labors are unprofitable,
and their works are useless.
12Their wives are foolish, and their children evil;
13their offspring are accursed.
For blessed is the barren woman who is undefiled,
who has not entered into a sinful union;
she will have fruit when God examines souls.
14Blessed also is the eunuch whose hands have done no lawless deed,
and who has not devised wicked things against the Lord;
for special favor will be shown him for his faithfulness,
and a place of great delight in the temple of the Lord.
15For the fruit of good labors is renowned,
and the root of understanding does not fail.
16But children of adulterers will not come to maturity,
and the offspring of an unlawful union will perish.
17Even if they live long they will be held of no account,
and finally their old age will be without honor.
18If they die young, they will have no hope
and no consolation in the day of decision.
19For the end of an unrighteous generation is grievous.