- In the thirtieth year after the ruin of the city I was in Babylon, and lay troubled upon my bed, and my thoughts came up over my heart:
- For I saw the desolation of Sion, and the wealth of them that dwelt at Babylon.
- And my spirit was sore moved, so that I began to speak words full of fear to the most High, and said,
- O Lord, who bearest rule, thou spakest at the beginning, when thou didst plant the earth, and that thyself alone, and commandedst the people,
- And gavest a body unto Adam without soul, which was the workmanship of thine hands, and didst breathe into him the breath of life, and he was made living before thee.
- And thou leadest him into paradise, which thy right hand had planted, before ever the earth came forward.
- And unto him thou gavest commandment to love thy way: which he transgressed, and immediately thou appointedst death in him and in his generations, of whom came nations, tribes, people, and kindreds, out of number.
- And every people walked after their own will, and did wonderful things before thee, and despised thy commandments.
- And again in process of time thou broughtest the flood upon those that dwelt in the world, and destroyedst them.
- And it came to pass in every of them, that as death was to Adam, so was the flood to these.
- Nevertheless one of them thou leftest, namely, Noah with his household, of whom came all righteous men.
- And it happened, that when they that dwelt upon the earth began to multiply, and had gotten them many children, and were a great people, they began again to be more ungodly than the first.
- Now when they lived so wickedly before thee, thou didst choose thee a man from among them, whose name was Abraham.
- Him thou lovedst, and unto him only thou shewedst thy will:
- And madest an everlasting covenant with him, promising him that thou wouldest never forsake his seed.
- And unto him thou gavest Isaac, and unto Isaac also thou gavest Jacob and Esau.
As for Jacob, thou didst choose him to thee, and put by Esau: and so Jacob became a great multitude.
- And it came to pass, that when thou leadest his seed out of Egypt, thou broughtest them up to the mount Sinai.
- And bowing the heavens, thou didst set fast the earth, movedst the whole world, and madest the depths to tremble, and troubledst the men of that age.
- And thy glory went through four gates, of fire, and of earthquake, and of wind, and of cold;
that thou mightest give the law unto the seed of Jacob, and diligence unto the generation of Israel.
- And yet tookest thou not away from them a wicked heart, that thy law might bring forth fruit in them.
- For the first Adam bearing a wicked heart transgressed, and was overcome;
and so be all they that are born of him.
- Thus infirmity was made permanent;
and the law (also) in the heart of the people with the malignity of the root;
so that the good departed away, and the evil abode still.
- So the times passed away, and the years were brought to an end: then didst thou raise thee up a servant, called David:
- Whom thou commandedst to build a city unto thy name, and to offer incense and oblations unto thee therein.
- When this was done many years, then they that inhabited the city forsook thee,
- And in all things did even as Adam and all his generations had done: for they also had a wicked heart:
- And so thou gavest thy city over into the hands of thine enemies.
- Are their deeds then any better that inhabit Babylon, that they should therefore have the dominion over Sion?
- For when I came thither, and had seen impieties without number, then my soul saw many evildoers in this thirtieth year, so that my heart failed me.
- For I have seen how thou sufferest them sinning, and hast spared wicked doers: and hast destroyed thy people, and hast preserved thine enemies, and hast not signified it.
- I do not remember how this way may be left: Are they then of Babylon better than they of Sion?
- Or is there any other people that knoweth thee beside Israel?
or what generation hath so believed thy covenants as Jacob?
- And yet their reward appeareth not, and their labour hath no fruit: for I have gone here and there through the heathen, and I see that they flow in wealth, and think not upon thy commandments.
- Weigh thou therefore our wickedness now in the balance, and their's also that dwell the world;
and so shall thy name no where be found but in Israel.
- Or when was it that they which dwell upon the earth have not sinned in thy sight?
or what people have so kept thy commandments?
- Thou shalt find that Israel by name hath kept thy precepts;
but not the heathen.