1 How great are your purposes and how difficult to explain! People who have not learned about them have gone astray.
2 While the godless thought they had the holy nation in their power, they themselves were prisoners, captives of a long night, shut in under their own roofs, banished from eternal providence.
3 Although they counted on their sins remaining hidden under the veil of forget ful ness, they were scattered and at the same time dismayed and terrified by vi sions. 4 The dark places where they sheltered could not protect them from fear, they heard horrific noises and were confronted with ghastly and mournful apparitions. 5 No fire could give them light, while the sparkling radiance of the stars dared not shine on that horrible night. 6 All that shone for them was an inextinguishable and terrifying fire and, in their terror, when this vision ended, they imagined their situation to be worse than it was.
7 Their magic arts failed and their pretence to intelligence was utterly confounded
9 Although there was nothing to cause this fear, they were terrified by the buzz of insects and the hiss of snakes
14 So all that night, a night issued from the powerless netherworld that took hold of them while they slept and made everyone power less, 15 they were either pursued by monstrous ghosts or paralyzed by a sudden, unexpected fear. 16 Whoever had fallen lay there, shut in a prison not made of iron.
17 Whether plowman or shepherd or someone working by himself, he had to submit to an inevitable fate
18 Everything held them paralyzed by fear: the sighing of the wind and the tuneful song of the birds in spreading bran ches, the continuous noise of rushing water 19 and the terrible crash of falling rocks, the swift, invisible bounding of animals and the terrifying roar of wild beasts, the echo rebounding from the mountains all was a cause of fear.
20 The whole world shone in brilliant light and continued its work without hindrance