Scripture Readings

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Composite 5 - Wisdom of Solomon 4, 6, 7, 2 (Vespers, 2nd reading)

1
When the righteous is praised, the people rejoice: For his memory is immortality, since it is known both by the Lord and by men, for his soul was pleasing to the Lord. Therefore love wisdom, O men, and live. Desire her and be instructed: For her beginning is love and the keeping of her laws. Honor wisdom that you may reign forever.
2
I will tell you and not hide the mysteries of God from you. For He is the Guide of wisdom, the Corrector of the wise and the Artisan of all thoughts and deeds. Wisdom will teach with all understanding: For in her is a Spirit, intelligent and holy, the Radiance of the Everlasting Light and the Image of the Grace of God.
3
She fashions friends of God and prophets. For she is more beautiful than the sun and above all the order of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be first. She delivered from infirmities those pleasing her and guided them on the paths of righteousness. She gave to them understanding to be holy and to preserve them from those who would ensnare them, and she granted them strength in struggles, so that all might understand that the most powerful of all is piety, and that evil might not prevail against wisdom, nor judgment pass away without convicting the wicked.
4
Having reasoned unrighteously, they said to themselves, “Let us oppress the righteous man and not spare his venerableness, nor let us be ashamed of the gray hairs of the old man of many years. But let our might be our law and let us seize the righteous, because he is inconvenient to us and is opposed to our deeds; he reproaches us for apostasy against the law and divulges the sins of our training.
5
“He declares to us to have knowledge of God and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his life is unlike that of others, and his ways are very different. We are considered by him to be an insult, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the end of the righteous blessed.
6
“Let us see if his words are true; let us test him to see what will happen to him. Let us torment him with revilement and tortures, that we may understand his meekness and test his guilelessness. Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to his own words, he shall be respected.”
7
Thus they reasoned, but were deceived, for their wickedness blinded them. They did not know the mysteries of God, nor did they discern that Thou alone art God, having the power of life and death: Who savest in times of affliction and delivereth from every evil; Who art compassionate and merciful, granting Grace to His venerable ones, and opposing the proud with His arm.