Wisdom Chapter 1

Seek life; know God

1 Love justice, you who rule over the world. Think rightly of God, seek him with simplicity of heart,

2 for he reveals himself to those who do not challenge him and is found by those who do not distrust him.

3 Crooked thinking distances you from God, and his Omnipotence, put to the test, confounds the foolish.

4 Wisdom does not enter the wick ed nor remain in a body that is en slaved to sin.

5 The Holy Spirit who instructs us shuns deceit; it keeps aloof from foolishness and is ill at ease when injustice is done.

6 Wisdom is a spirit, a friend to man, and will not leave the blasphemous unpunished, be cause God knows his inner most feelings, truly sees his thoughts and hears what he says.

7 For God¡¯s spirit has filled the whole world and he who holds together all things, knows each word that is spoken.

8 So whoever speaks unjustly will not escape; the irrefu table sentence will reach him.

9 The intentions of the unholy will be examined; what he has said will reach the Lord and his wickedness will be confounded.

10 Remember that a jealous ear hears everything; even whispers are recorded.

11 Beware then, of empty com plaints and keep your tongue from faultfinding, since your most secret word will have consequences; a lying tongue brings death to the soul.

12 Do not bring about your own death by your wrong way of living. And do not let the work of your hands destroy you.

13 God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.

14 Since he has created everything, all creatures of the universe are for our good; there is no deadly poison in them and the netherworld has no dominion over the earth,

15 because immortal is not submitted to death.


The godless say there is no other life

16 It is the godless that consider death a friend and call for it in every way. They have made a pact with it and they shall justly belong to it.

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Comments Wisdom, Chapter 1

• 1.1 God is more present to us than we are to our-selves. We need not look very far for authentic wisdom: it appears as spirit coming from God that becomes present to us interiorly but is only revealed to the just.

How can we express the nearness of the in-accessible and holy God? Here the author speaks of Providence, Wisdom, Justice, the Spirit of God. He speaks of them as if they were persons sent by God to look after us. In fact, it is a way of presenting God himself who, though he preserves his mystery, is close to people and to events.

God did not make death nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. His creation is good and at the service of humankind. Death does not come from God as is explained in 2:23, but rather from the envy of the devil. So, we are asked to look confidently to the Lord: to think well of him is to deny all these false questions: Why does God allow evil, death, earthquakes and tra-gedies? God wants only life.

• 16. By chance we were born. The ¡°impious,¡± meaning those who have freed themselves from the law of God and their conscience, are friends of death since they do not know true life. For them wisdom consists in profiting from life: let us enjoy the good things now.

Let us see the truth of what he says. Because the godless are the friends of death, they necessarily come to persecute and even kill the good. For them it is like a game to prove to what extent the righteous can remain firm, since they themselves believe in nothing. They need to destroy others to convince themselves that they alone benefit from life.

If the righteous is a son of God, God will defend him. The words in 2:16-20reveal the situation of Jesus on the cross. Matthew, in par-ticular, will recall them in 27:43.

This is also verified in the lives of real believers, a scandal to a materialist who enjoys in-flicting suffering on those who make sacrifices for others. We have seen comfortable ¡°Chris-tians¡± rejoicing over the death of those who speak of justice and who, by their in-volvement, disturb the conscience of the satisfied.

The mentality of the godless who do not believe in the hereafter is, in some way, very much like that of the society in which we live. Let us set a trap for the righteous for he opposes our way of life. Secretly we all admire an up-right person, but in any institution, her presence disturbs us ¨C in the unions just as in the factories ¨C be-cause we cannot buy her conscience.

He does not live like others and behaves strangely. When this was written the Jews were not well-thought-of by pagans because of all the things in their lives that were different from the pagan customs. The same is true now, as well; even though believers try not to be distinct, their integrity and enthusiasm make them ¡°strange.¡±

Those who stand with death experience death. Those who do evil begin to experience death. There is a physical wearing down caused by vice (alcoholism, licentiousness), but there is an even greater deterioration of enthusiasm, generosity and trust. ¡°The person who sows for the benefit of his own flesh shall reap corruption and death from the flesh¡± (Gal 6:8). See also Romans 6:21.

The text considers what Jesus will do; that behind a mass of evils that tear humanity, and behind our disbelief there is a presence of ¡°the Enemy¡± (see Mt 13:39; Heb 2:14-15).