1Better than this is childishness with virtue;

For in the memory of virtue is immortality:

Because it is recognised both before God and before men.

2When it is present, men imitate it;

And they long after it when it is departed:

And throughout all time it marcheth crowned in triumph,

Victorious in the strife for the prizes that are undefiled.

3But the multiplying brood of the ungodly shall be of no profit,

And with bastard slips they shall not strike deep root,

Nor shall they establish a sure hold.

4For even if these put forth boughs and flourish for a season,

Yet, standing unsure, they shall be shaken by the wind,

And by the violence of winds they shall be rooted out.

5Their branches shall be broken off before they come to maturity,

and their fruit shall be useless,

Never ripe to eat, and fit for nothing.

6For children unlawfully begotten are witnesses of wickedness

Against parents when God searcheth them out.

7But a righteous man, though he die before his time, shall be at rest.

8(For honourable old age is not that which standeth in length of time,

Nor is its measure given by number of years:

9But understanding is gray hairs unto men,

And an unspotted life is ripe old age.)

10Being found well-pleasing unto God he was beloved of him,

And while living among sinners he was translated:

11He was caught away, lest wickedness should change his understanding,

Or guile deceive his soul.

12(For the bewitching of naughtiness bedimmeth the things which are good,

And the giddy whirl of desire perverteth an innocent mind.)

13Being made perfect in a little while, he fulfilled long years;

14For his soul was pleasing unto the Lord:

Therefore hasted he out of the midst of wickedness.

15But as for the peoples, seeing and understanding not,

Neither laying this to heart,

That grace and mercy are with his chosen,

And that he visiteth his holy ones:-

16But a righteous man that is dead shall condemn the ungodly that are living,

And youth that is quickly perfected the many years of an unrighteous man’s old age;

17For the ungodly shall see a wise man’s end,

And shall not understand what the Lord purposed concerning him,

And for what he safely kept him:-

18They shall see, and they shall despise;

But them the Lord shall laugh to scorn.

And after this they shall become a dishonoured carcase,

And a reproach among the dead for ever:

19Because he shall dash them speechless to the ground,

And shall shake them from the foundations,

And they shall lie utterly waste, and they shall be in anguish,

And their memory shall perish.

20They shall come, when their sins are reckoned up, with coward fear;

And their lawless deeds shall convict them to their face.