The great fear (Wis 17:15-17:17)

“Now they were driven by monstrous specters.

Now they were paralyzed

By their souls’ surrender.

Sudden fear overwhelmed them.

Unexpected fear overwhelmed them.

Whoever was there fell down.

They were kept shut up in a prison not made of iron.

Whether they were farmers,

Or shepherds,

Or workers who toiled in the wilderness,

They were seized.

They endured the inescapable fate.

With one chain of darkness

They all were bound.”

Everyone was struck with fear (φόβος). They were overwhelmed with this sudden unexpected fear. They all fell down as if they were in an invisible prison. It did not matter whether they were farmers, shepherds, or ordinary workers. They all suffered the same fate. It was if they were all chained together in darkness. This fear and darkness was worse than the actual problems they were facing.