Wisdom of Solomon 12:20


18 Although you are sovereign in strength, you judge with mildness, and with great forbearance you govern us; for you have power to act whenever you choose. 19 Through such works you have taught your people that the righteous must be kind, and you have filled your children with good hope, because you give repentance for sins. 20 For if you punished with such great care and indulgence the enemies of your servants and those deserving of death, granting them time and opportunity to give up their wickedness, 21 with what strictness you have judged your children, to whose ancestors you gave oaths and covenants full of good promises! 22 So while chastening us you scourge our enemies ten thousand times more, so that, when we judge, we may meditate upon your goodness, and when we are judged, we may expect mercy.

2 Peter 3:9

New Testament

7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, by being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 8 Now, dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice, that a single day is like a thousand years with the Lord and a thousand years are like a single day. 9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare. 11 Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must you be, conducting your lives in holiness and godliness,

 Notes and References

"... Although it is certainly not overt, Wisdom of Solomon 12:20-22 may hint at the notion that the sage considers the Israelites to be the beneficiaries of collective reward ... Israel’s enemies receive God’s justice, although he spreads out his punishment so as to provide them with the possibility of saving themselves through repentance and reform. This delay in punishment to Israel’s enemies is a form of mercy, although the sinful nature of these people cannot prevent the inevitable fate of an unrepentant sinner. Likewise, the sage views the punishment experienced by Israel as a form of mercy even greater than the mercy shown to her enemies. God judges his people strictly (verse 21), yet the sage asserts that Israel can expect mercy (verse 22). The only intervening observation between the claim that God judges Israel strictly, which would normally seem to preclude mercy, and the claim that Israel can expect mercy is the recollection of promises made to Israel’s ancestors (verse 21). The divine remembrance of these promises as an act of intergenerational reward is not explicit, but it is reminiscent of the discussion of David and Solomon in Ben Sira’s Praise of the Ancestors ..."

Kapfer, Hilary Claire Collective Accountability among the Sages of Ancient Israel (pp. 179-180) Harvard University, 2013

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.