1 Do not long for a brood of worthless children, and do not take pleasure in godless sons.
2 However many you have, take no pleasure in them, unless the fear of the Lord lives among them.
3 Do not count on their having long life, do not put too much faith in their number; for better have one than a thousand, better die childless than have children who are godless.
4 One person of sense can populate a city, but a race of lawless people will be destroyed.
5 My eyes have seen many such things, my ears have heard things even more impressive.
6 Fire is kindled in a sinful society, Retribution blazes in a rebellious nation.
7 God did not pardon the giants of old who, confident in their strength, had rebelled.
8 He did not spare the people with whom Lot lived; he abhorred them, rather, for their pride.
9 He was pitiless to the nation of perdition -- those people who gloried in their sins-
10 as also to the six hundred thousand men on the march, who had banded together in their obstinacy.
11 And had there been only one man stubborn, it would have been amazing had he escaped unpunished, since mercy and wrath alike belong to the Lord who is mighty to forgive and to pour out wrath.
12 As great as his mercy, so is his severity; he judges each person as his deeds deserve:
13 the sinner will not escape with his ill-gotten gains nor the patience of the devout go for nothing.
14 He takes note of every charitable action, and everyone is treated as he deserves.
17 Do not say, 'I shall hide from the Lord; who is going to remember me up there? I shall not be noticed among so many people; what am I in the immensity of creation?'
18 For see, the sky and the heavens above the sky, the abyss and the earth shake at his visitation.
19 The mountains and earth's foundations alike quail and tremble when he looks at them.
20 But to all this no one gives thought. Who keeps his movements in mind?
21 The storm wind itself is invisible, and most of what he does goes undetected.
22 'Who will report whether justice has been done? Who will be watching? The covenant is remote!'
23 Such are the thoughts of the person of little sense, stupid, misguided, cherishing his folly.
24 Listen to me, my child, and learn knowledge, and give your whole mind to my words.
25 I shall expound discipline methodically and proclaim knowledge with precision.
26 When God created his works in the beginning, he assigned them their places as soon as they were made.
27 He determined his works for all time, from their origins to their distant generations. They know neither hunger nor weariness, and they never desert their duties.
28 Not one has ever got in the way of another, and they will never disobey his word.
29 And afterwards the Lord looked at the earth, and filled it with his good things.
30 He covered its surface with every kind of animal, and to it they will return.