The folly of the Egyptian idols (Wis 15:14-15:17)

“But most foolish,

More miserable than an infant,

Are all the enemies

Who oppressed your people.

They thought

That all their heathen idols were gods.

These have

Neither the use of their eyes to see with,

Nor nostrils with which to draw breath,

Nor ears with which to hear,

Nor fingers to feel with.

Their feet are of no use for walking.

A human being made them.

One whose spirit is borrowed

Formed them.

None can form gods

That are like themselves.

People are mortal.

What they make with lawless hands is dead.

They are better than the objects they worship.

Since they have life,

But the idols never had.”

Next this author turns to the historic oppressors of the Israelites, the Egyptians, without naming them. He points out the ineptitude of their idol gods (θεούς). These idols could not see, breathe, hear, feel, or walk, as they lacked the five basic senses. Humans (ἄθρωπος) made them. Any spirit (τὸ πνεῦμα) they might have, was borrowed from humans. People do not make gods (Θεόν) of themselves because they are mortal. Thus they can only make dead images. In fact, these idol makers were better than the dead objects (νεκρὸν) that they made, since they had life, while their images did not.

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