Virtue (Wis 4:1-4:2)

“Childlessness is better

With virtue.

In the memory of virtue

Is immortality.

Because it is known

By God.

It is known

By mortals.

When it is present,

People imitate it.

They long for it

When it has gone.

Throughout all time

It marches

Crowned in triumph.

It is the victor in the contest for prizes

That are undefiled.”

Once again, we return to the concept of childless people who are virtuous. The memory of their virtues (ἀρετῆς) will live on in immortality (ἀθανασία) before God (παρὰ Θεῷ) and among humans (παρὰ ἀνθρώποις). People will imitate virtue because they long for it. In fact, when it is gone, it still marches with a crown, just like in the Greek Olympic Games. They would wear this crown of virtue, since they were undefiled.

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