1 Don’t desire a multitude of unprofitable children,
neither delight in ungodly sons.
2 If they multiply, don’t delight in them
unless the fear of the Lord is in them.
3 Don’t trust in their life.
Don’t rely on their numbers;
for one can be better than a thousand,
and to die childless than to have ungodly children.
4 For from one who has understanding, a city will be populated,
but a race of wicked men will be made desolate.
5 I have seen many such things with my eyes.
My ear has heard mightier things than these.
6 In a congregation of sinners, a fire will be kindled.
In a disobedient nation, wrath is kindled.
7 He was not pacified toward the giants of old time,
who revolted in their strength.
8 He didn’t spare Lot’s neighbors,
whom he abhorred for their pride.
9 He didn’t pity the people of perdition
who were taken away in their sins,
10 or in like manner, the six hundred thousand footmen
who were gathered together in the hardness of their hearts.
11 Even if there is one stiff-necked person,
it is a marvel if he will be unpunished;
for mercy and wrath are both with him who is mighty to forgive,
and he pours out wrath.
12 As his mercy is great, so is his correction also.
He judges a man according to his works.
13 The sinner will not escape with plunder.
The perseverance of the godly will not be frustrated.
14 He will make room for every work of mercy.
Each man will receive according to his works. 15-16 * Verses 15 and 16 are omitted by the best authorities.
17 Don’t say, “I will be hidden from the Lord,”
and “Who will remember me from on high?”
I will not be known among so many people,
for what is my soul in a boundless creation?
18 Behold, the heaven, the heaven of heavens,
the deep, and the earth, will be moved when he visits.
19 The mountains and the foundations of the earth together
are shaken with trembling when he looks at them.
20 No heart will think about these things.
Who could comprehend his ways?
21 Like a tempest which no man can see,
so, the majority of his works are† Gr. among hidden things. hidden.
22 Who will declare his works of righteousness?
Who will wait for them?
For his covenant is afar off.‡ The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.
23 He who is lacking in§ Gr. heart. understanding thinks about these things.
An unwise and erring man thinks foolishly.
24 My son, listen to me, learn knowledge,
and heed my words with your heart.
25 I will impart instruction with precision,
and declare knowledge exactly.
26 In the judgment of the Lord are his works from the beginning.
From the making of them he determined their boundaries.
27 He arranged his works for all time,
and their beginnings to their generations.
They aren’t hungry or weary,
and they don’t cease from their works.
28 No one pushes aside his neighbor.
They will never disobey his word.
29 After this also the Lord looked at the earth
and filled it with his blessings.
30 All manner of living things covered its surface,
and they return into it.
*16:15-16 Verses 15 and 16 are omitted by the best authorities.
†16:21 Gr. among hidden things.
‡16:22 The remainder of this verse is omitted by the best authorities.
§16:23 Gr. heart.