The fate of the children of the ungodly (Wis 4:3-4:6)

“But the prolific brood of the ungodly

Will be of no use.

None of their illegitimate seedlings

Will strike a deep root.

They will not take a firm hold.

Even if they put forth boughs for a while,

Standing insecurely,

They will be shaken

By the wind.

They will be uprooted

By the violence of the winds.

Their branches will be broken off

Before they come to maturity.

Their fruit will be useless.

It will not be ripe enough to eat.

It is good for nothing.

Children born of unlawful unions

Are witnesses of evil

Against their parents,

When God examines them.”

This author makes a comparison between the children of the ungodly (ἀσεβῶν) from unlawful unions and a tree. Even if they have a lot of children, they will be of no use. These children will not have deep roots so that they will not last. The strong winds will uproot them. The branches of these trees, if they survive, will break off before they reach maturity. They will have useless fruit that will not be ripe enough to eat. The children of these unlawful unions (ἀνόμων ὕπνων τέκνα) are witnesses to the evil (μάρτυρές εἰσι πονηρίας) of their parents. God will examine them. Just as in the preceding chapter, this is a very strong rebuke of the so-called bastard children of these ungodly unlawful unions.

The children of adulterers (Wis 3:16-3:19)

“But the children of adulterers

Will not come to maturity.

The offspring of an unlawful union

Will perish.

Even if they live long,

They will be held of no account.

Finally their old age

Will be without honor.

If they die young,

They will have no hope.

They will have no consolation

On the judgment day.

The end of an unrighteous generation

Is grievous.”

The children of adulterers (τέκνα δὲ μοιχῶν) will not have a good ending. They may not even come to maturity, since they may die at a young age. Even if they live long, it will not be a very rewarding life. If they get to old age, there will be no honor. If they die young, there will be no hope or consolation on the judgment day (ἡμέρᾳ διαγνώσεως). This unrighteous or unjust generation (γενεᾶς γὰρ ἀδίκου) will not end well. This was a very strong rebuke of the so-called bastard children of adulterers.