Wisdom of Solomon, 16
1. That is why this people received the punishment they deserved through similar animals and hordes of tormenting insects.
2. But in contrast to this punishment it was kindness you showed to your people by providing quails - a delicious food - for them.
3. As for the Egyptians, in spite of their fierce hunger, they were restrained by disgust from eating because of the repulsive sight of the creatures sent against them. But the Israelites after being deprived for a time were then given the finest food.
4. It was necessary for their oppressors to suffer severe want, but enough for your people to know how the enemy was punished.
5. Indeed when they experienced the fury of wild animals and the bites of writhing snakes, your anger did not endure.
6. Their temporary affliction served as a warning; then they were given a sign of salvation to remind them of the prescriptions of your law.
7. For whoever turned towards it was saved, not by the image he saw, but by you, Lord, the Savior of all.
8. In that way you taught our enemies that it is you who deliver us from every evil.
9. They were, in fact, killed by the sting of insects and flies for which there was no cure since they deserved punishment from these creatures.
10. Your children instead were not overcome, even by the fangs of venomous serpents, for your mercy intervened and healed them.
11. Bites quickly healed reminded them of your commands, lest they fall into deep oblivion and forget your kindness.
12. No herb, no ointment healed them but your word, Lord, that heals all.
13. You are Lord of life and death; you bring down to the gate of the netherworld and bring back again.
14. Man in his wickedness is able to kill but he cannot bring back the departed spirit or rescue the snatched soul.
15. It is impossible to escape your hand.
16. The godless, refusing to acknowledge you, were scourged by the strength of your arm, lashed by relentless downpours, hail, and pitiless storms, and consumed by fire.
17. But this was the most astounding: water, powerful to quench, made fire burn more fiercely. For the elements fight on the side of the righteous.
18. At times the flame abated to spare the insects thrust against the wicked, that they might know they were pursued by God's sentence.
19. At other times, in the midst of water the flame rose more fiercely than fire to destroy the harvest of an unholy land.
20. But to your people you gave the food of angels and from heaven sent bread already prepared and suiting all tastes, having every flavor.
21. In this way you revealed your loving kindness to your children.
22. Satisfying all needs, this bread provided what each one wanted. That food, having the appearance of snow and ice, resisted fire and did not melt; thus they understood how their enemy's harvest was destroyed by fire in the midst of hail, while lightning flashed in the falling rain.
23. This same fire seemed to forget its own nature in order to spare the food of the righteous.
24. Your creation is at your service for you are its Author. It works to punish the wicked and withdraws for the benefit of those who put their trust in you.
25. In the service of your bounty which attends to everything, creation made itself manifold and adjusted to the wish of everyone.
26. Then the children you love learned that it is not crops of whatever kind which nourish mankind, but your word that sustains those who trust you.
27. That food which resisted fire, simply melted in the warmth of a fleeting sunbeam,
28. teaching us that we must rise before the sun to give thanks and pray to you at dawn.
29. The hope of the ungrateful will melt like winter frost and flow away like water that is not being used.