Then shall the just one with great assurance confront his oppressors who set at nought his labors.
Seeing this, they shall be shaken with dreadful fear, and amazed at the unlooked-for salvation.
They shall say among themselves, rueful and groaning through anguish of spirit: «This is he whom once we held as a laughingstock and as a type for mockery,
fools that we were! His life we accounted madness, and his death dishonored.
See how he is accounted among the sons of God; how his lot is with the saints!
We, then, have strayed from the way of truth, and the light of justice did not shine for us, and the sun did not rise for us.
We had our fill of the ways of mischief and of ruin; we journeyed through impassable deserts, but the way of the LORD we knew not.
What did our pride avail us? What have wealth and its boastfulness afforded us?
All of them passed like a shadow and like a fleeting rumor;
Like a ship traversing the heaving water, of which, when it has passed, no trace can be found, no path of its keel in the waves.
Or like a bird flying through the air; no evidence of its course is to be found – But the fluid air, lashed by the beat of pinions, and cleft by the rushing force Of speeding wings, is traversed: and afterward no mark of passage can be found in it.
Or as, when an arrow has been shot at a mark, the parted air straightway flows together again so that none discerns the way it went through –
Even so we, once born, abruptly came to nought and held no sign of virtue to display, but were consumed in our wickedness.»
Yes, the hope of the wicked is like thistledown borne on the wind, and like fine, tempest-driven foam; Like smoke scattered by the wind, and like the passing memory of the nomad camping for a single day.
But the just live forever, and in the LORD is their recompense, and the thought of them is with the Most High.
Therefore shall they receive the splendid crown, the beauteous diadem, from the hand of the LORD – For he shall shelter them with his right hand, and protect them with his arm.
He shall take his zeal for armor and he shall arm creation to requite the enemy;
He shall don justice for a breastplate and shall wear sure judgment for a helmet;
He shall take invincible rectitude as a shield
and whet his sudden anger for a sword, And the universe shall war with him against the foolhardy.
Well-aimed shafts of lightnings shall go forth and from the clouds as from a well-drawn bow shall leap to the mark;
and as from his sling, wrathful hailstones shall be hurled. The water of the sea shall be enraged against them and the streams shall abruptly overflow;
A mighty wind shall confront them and a tempest winnow them out; Thus lawlessness shall lay the whole earth waste and evildoing overturn the thrones of potentates.