Who is the punisher in the Book of Wisdom?


It seems that there was a punisher in the times of the Israelites in Egypt.

Wisdom 18:22 He overcame Hostility, not by physical strength, nor by force of arms;but by word he prevailed over the Punisher, by recalling the oaths made to the Fathers, and the covenants.



Probably a reference to the plague (Numbers 16:46; Numbers 17:11 in NABRE) that the Lord sent on the Israelites when they complained against Moses and Aaron concerning the Israelites who died earlier in Korah’s rebellion. (Numbers 16:31-35)


On the serious level, I don’t know, but I just had to chime in because calling this entity “the Punisher” keeps making me think of Frank Castle :stuck_out_tongue:


Have a read here:




…if you read through the whole passage you will find that there’s a retelling going on… recalling the Hebrews suffering at the hands of the Egyptians, the various plagues and the “Pass Over” as the Hebrews Obeyed the Command to make a sign in blood–the ‘Destroyer’ or ‘Punisher’ would be Death (as in the book of Apocalypse [Revelation]).

Maran atha!



Maybe there is more to Frank Castle than we ever thought we knew… :eek:

Seriously, though, after reading it, and the surrounding text, I would guess it is talking about death, and prophesying Christ as Him who stops the “punisher”. The Book of Wisdom is one that I cannot understand in the least why non-Catholics do not relish it for its prophesy to Christ. One of the most beautiful books of the Scriptures, in my opinion.



…well there was once an innovator who coined: ‘hell no we wont go.’ So the theology of the cool hell or the just scare-straight tactics or alternative to Heaven where the worst possible scenario is existing outside of God’s presence took off–now folk wisdom dictates that hell is right here and now… what a glorious and rosy afterlife!

I think that the same happens with non-Catholic rejection of the Canon; an innovator determined that he was inspired by the Holy Spirit and 1500 years of Church Doctrine went out the window; they steadfastly hold to man’s tradition while rejecting the Septuagint, the version of the Sacred Scriptures that Jesus and the Apostles quoted from.

Maran atha!



God is the ultimate “Punisher”. But He sends His “angel of death” to bring the punishment about.

We can confirm this by the words elsewhere in Scripture:

Exodus 3:20 For I will stretch forth my hand and will strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst of them: after these he will let you go.

Exodus 12:12 And I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and will kill every firstborn in the land of Egypt both man and beast: and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord…23 For the Lord will pass through striking the Egyptians: and when he shall see the blood on the transom, and on both the posts, he will pass over the door of the house, and not suffer the destroyer to come into your houses and to hurt you.


I hope that helps.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.