1 In fact your immortal spirit is inall.
2 And so by degrees you correct those who sin, you admonish them, reminding them how they have strayed so that turning away from evil they may trust in you, Lord.
3 So it happened with those who once lived in your holy land. 4 You hated them because of their detestable practices, their sorcery and unholy worship. 5 They were used to the pitiless slaughter of children at the feasts in which they ate human flesh and blood and even bowels, while they fulfilled secret rituals.
6 Because these parents murdered their defenseless children, you wished our ancestors to destroy them, 7 and the land dearest to you became the home of God’s children who were worthy of it.
8 But you even showed mercy to these sinners because they were human beings. You sent hornets ahead of your army to gradually destroy them.
9 You could have given the wicked over to the righteous in battle, or de stroyed them in one blow by means of savage beasts or with a harsh command; 10 but in punishng them gradually you gave them time to repent. Nevertheless you were aware of their evil nature, their innate malice and how fixed they were in their ways, 11 for it was a cursed race from the beginning.
11 In any case, it was not through fear of anyone that you left their sins unpunished. 12 For who dares say to you, “What have you done?” Who would dare to re ject your sentence? Who could re proach you for destroying the nations you formed? Who would dare rise against you in defense of the guilty?
13 For there is no other god besides you, one who cares for everyone, who could ask you to justify your judg ments; 14 there is no other king or sovereign who could confront you and support those you punish.
15 You are just and you rule all with justice; had you condemned those who should not be punished, you would have misused your power.
16 Your strength is the source of your justice and because you are the Lord of all, you can be merciful to everyone.
17 To those who doubt your sovereign power you show your strength and you confound the insolence of those who ignore it. 18 But you, the Lord of strength, judge with prudence and govern us with great patience, because you are able to do anything at the time you want.
19 In this way you have taught your people that a righteous person must love his human fellows; you have also given your people cause for hope by prompting them to repent of their sin.
20 For if you have been careful and patient in punishing the enemies of your people when they deserved to die, and have given them a time and a place to turn from their wickedness, 21 with what strict attention have you not judged your peo ple, you who bound yourself to our ancestors with oaths and covenants full of magnificent promises.
22 Yes, you punish us, but you punish our enemies far more severely to teach us when we judge others to remember your kindness, and when we are judged to count on your mercy.
23 Those who lived foolishly and wickedly, you tormented with their own abominations. 24 For they had strayed into error to the point of choosing vile and disgusting animals as gods, allowing themselves to be deceived like infants.
25 And, as to children with no sense, you sent them a punishment to mock them; 26 but if they took no warning from these corrections, they were soon to receive a punishment worthy of God. 27 In their suffering they became indignant at those animals they had taken as gods and who were now used to punish them. Then they saw clearly, and acknowledged as God, him whom before they had refused to know. That is why they suffered the supreme punishment.