The power of natural forces (Wis 17:18-17:21)

“There came a whistling wind.

There was a melodious sound of birds

In wide-spreading branches.

There was the rhythm of the violently rushing water.

There was the harsh crash of rocks hurled down.

There was the unseen running of leaping animals.

There was the sound of the most savage roaring beasts.

There was an echo thrown back from a hollow of the mountains.

These things paralyzed them with terror.

The whole world was illumined with brilliant light.


They went about its work unhindered.

While over those men alone,

Heavy night was spread.

An image of the darkness was destined to receive them.

But still heavier than darkness

Were they to themselves.”

Here we have the natural forces that hit the Egyptians, expanding on the Exodus story. There was a whistling wind, but yet the melodious sounds of birds. There was the rushing water, the crashing rocks, the leaping animals, and the roaring beasts. All these things paralyzed them with terror. The rest of the world (ὁ κόσμος) was fine in brilliant light (φωτὶ), but those Egyptians were in darkness (σκότους). They brought the darkness on themselves.