1Again, one preparing to sail, and about to journey over raging waves, calls upon a piece of wood more fragile than the vessel that carries him.
2For the hunger for profit planned it, and wisdom was the craftsman who built it.
3Your providence, O Father, guides it along, because even in the sea you gave a way, and in the waves a sure path,
4showing that you can save out of every danger, that even a man without skill may put to sea.
5It is your will that the works of your wisdom should not be ineffective. Therefore men also entrust their lives to a little piece of wood, and passing through the surge on a raft come safely to land.
6For in the old time also, when proud giants were perishing, the hope of the world, taking refuge on a raft, your hand guided the seed of generations of the race of men.
7For blessed is wood through which comes righteousness;
8but the idol made with hands is accursed, itself and he that made it; because his was the working, and the corruptible thing was called a god.
9For both the ungodly and his ungodliness are alike hateful to God;
10for truly the deed will be punished together with him who committed it.
11Therefore also there will be a visitation among the idols of the nation, because, though formed of things which God created, they were made an abomination, stumbling blocks to the souls of men, and a snare to the feet of the foolish.
12For the devising of idols was the beginning of fornication, and the invention of them the corruption of life.
13For they didn’t exist from the beginning, and they won’t exist forever.
14For by the boastfulness of men they entered into the world, and therefore a speedy end was planned for them.
15For a father worn with untimely grief, making an image of the child quickly taken away, now honored him as a god which was then a dead human being, and delivered to those that were under him mysteries and solemn rites.
16Afterward the ungodly custom, in process of time grown strong, was kept as a law, and the engraved images received worship by the commandments of princes.
17And when men could not honor them in presence because they lived far off, imagining the likeness from afar, they made a visible image of the king whom they honored, that by their zeal they might flatter the absent as if present.
18But worship was raised to a yet higher pitch, even by those who didn’t know him, urged forward by the ambition of the architect;
19for he, wishing perhaps to please his ruler, used his art to force the likeness toward a greater beauty.
20So the multitude, allured by reason of the grace of his handiwork, now consider an object of devotion him that a little before was honored as a man.
21And this became an ambush, because men, in bondage either to calamity or to tyranny, invested stones and stocks with the Name that shouldn’t be shared.
22Afterward it was not enough for them to go astray concerning the knowledge of God, but also, while they live in a great war of ignorance, they call a multitude of evils peace.
23For either slaughtering children in solemn rites, or celebrating secret mysteries, or holding frenzied revels of strange customs,
24no longer do they guard either life or purity of marriage, but one brings upon another either death by treachery, or anguish by adultery.
25And all things confusedly are filled with blood and murder, theft and deceit, corruption, faithlessness, tumult, perjury,
26confusion about what is good, forgetfulness of favors, ingratitude for benefits, defiling of souls, confusion of sex, disorder in marriage, adultery and wantonness.
27For the worship of idols that may not be named is a beginning and cause and end of every evil.
28For their worshipers either make merry to madness, or prophesy lies, or live unrighteously, or lightly commit perjury.
29For putting their trust in lifeless idols, when they have sworn a wicked oath, they expect not to suffer harm.
30But on both counts, the just doom will pursue them, because they had evil thoughts of God by giving heed to idols, and swore unrighteously in deceit through contempt for holiness.
31For it is not the power of things by which men swear, but it is the just penalty for those who sin that always visits the transgression of the unrighteous.