1 But you, our God, are gracious and true, patient, and in mercy ordering all things.
2 And, indeed, if we sin, we are yours, knowing your greatness; and, if we do not sin, we know that we are counted with you.
3 For to have known you is perfect justice, and to know justice and your virtue is the root of immortality.
4 For the skillful planning of evil men has not led us into error, nor the shadow of a picture, a fruitless labor, an image having been sculpted through the use of diverse colors,
5 the sight of which gives desire to the foolish, and he loves the likeness of a lifeless image without a soul.
6 Deserving are the lovers of evil, those who hope in such things, and those who make them, and those who love them, and those who promote them.
7 But even the potter, pressing laboriously, molds the soft earth into vessels, each one for our use. And from the same clay he molds vessels, those which are for clean use, and similarly, those which are for the opposite. But, as to what is the use of a vessel, the potter is the judge.
8 And with effort he molds an empty god of the same clay, he who a little before had been made from the earth, and, after brief time, he himself returns from whence he came, to be claimed by he who holds the debt of his soul.
9 Yet his concern is, not what his work will be, nor that his life is short, but that he is being contested by those who work with gold and silver, yet he also does the same to those who work with copper, and he glories that he makes worthless things.
10 For his heart is ashes, and his hope is worthless dirt, and his life is more common than clay,
11 because he ignores the One who molded him, and who instilled in him a working soul, and who breathed into him a living spirit.
12 Yet they even considered our life to be a plaything, and the usefulness of life to be the accumulation of wealth, and that we must be acquiring things in every possible way, even from evil.
13 For, above all else, he knows himself to be lacking, who, from fragile material of the earth forms vessels and graven images.
14 For all the foolish and unhappy, in charge of the way of the arrogant soul, are enemies of your people and rule over them,
15 because they have esteemed all the idols of the nations as gods, which neither have the use of eyes to see, nor noses to draw breath, nor ears to hear, nor the fingers of hands to grasp, and even their feet are slow to walk.
16 For man made them, and he who borrowed his own breath, formed them. For no man will be able to form God in the likeness of himself.
17 For, being mortal, he forms a dead thing with his unjust hands. Yet, he is better than those things that he worships, because he indeed has lived, though he is mortal, but they never have.
18 Moreover, they worship the most miserable animals, for, to make a foolish comparison, these others are worse.
19 But not even from their appearance can anyone discern anything good in these animals. Yet they have fled from the praise of God, and from his blessing.
1 Because of this, and by means of things similar to these, they were allowed to endure fitting torments, and they were exterminated by a multitude of beasts.
2 Instead of these torments, you administered your people kindly, giving them a desire for a new taste from your delights, and preparing quails for their food,
3 so that, even those desiring food, because of those things which were sent and revealed to them, were now turned away from a necessary desire. Yet these, after a brief time, having become weak, tasted a new food.
4 For it was necessary, though they are without excuse, for them to unexpectedly come upon the ruin of exercising tyranny, yet this was as if to show them how their enemies were being exterminated.
5 And so, when fierce beasts overcame them in anger, they were exterminated by the bites of perverse snakes.
6 But your anger did not continue forever, though they were troubled for a short time for their correction, they have a sign of salvation as a remembrance of the commandment of your law.
7 For he who turned to it was not healed by what he saw, but by you, the Savior of all.
8 Yet in this you revealed to our enemies that you are he who delivers from all evil.
9 For they were killed by the biting of locusts and flies, and there was found no remedy for their life, because they deserved to be destroyed by such things.
10 But not even the teeth of venomous serpents conquered your sons, for your mercy came to them and healed them.
11 For, in remembrance of your words, they were examined and were quickly saved, for forgetfulness is not engraved into your altar so that they would be unable to obtain your help.
12 And, indeed, neither an herb, nor a poultice, healed them, but your word, O Lord, which heals all.
13 For it is you, O Lord, who holds the power of life and death; you both lead to the threshold of death and you restore.
14 Yet man, indeed, kills his own soul through malice, and when his spirit goes forth, it will not be returned, nor will he call back his soul when it has been received.
15 But it is impossible to escape your hand.
16 For the impious, having refused to know you, have been scourged by the strength of your arm, enduring persecution by unusual waters, and by hailstorms, and by rain storms, and being consumed by fire.
17 For there was something extraordinary in water, which extinguishes all things; it has prevailed more than fire; for the world is the defender of the just.
18 Indeed, at a certain time, the fire was subdued, so as not to burn away the animals, which were sent against the impious; and so that, in seeing this, they might know that they are suffering persecution by the judgment of God.
19 And, at another time, fire burned, beyond its own power, in the midst of water, and it flared up from all around, so as to destroy the nations of an unjust land.
20 Instead of these things, you nourished your people with the food of angels, and, having prepared bread from heaven, you served them without labor that which holds within itself every delight and the sweetness of every flavor.
21 For your nature showed your sweetness, which you hold within your sons, and serving the will of each one, it was converted to what each one preferred.
22 But snow and ice held back the strength of fire, and did not melt, so that they might know that fire, burning in the hail and flashing in the rain, destroyed the fruits of the enemies.
23 Yet it was also the case, so that the just might be nourished, that fire had even been deprived of its own power.
24 For the creature serving you, the Creator, grows red hot in the midst of the conflict against the unjust, and yet it subsides for the benefit of those who trust in you.
25 Because of this, and at that time, having been transfigured in all things, your grace was diligently serving as the nursemaid of all things, according to the will of those who long for you,
26 so that your sons, whom you loved, O Lord, might know that it is not the fruits of nature which feed men, but your word, which preserves those who believe in you.
27 For that which could not be destroyed by fire, was immediately melted when warmed by a few rays of the sun,
28 so that it might be clear to all that it is right to come before the sun to bless you, and to adore you at the dawning of the light.
29 For the hope of the ungrateful will melt away like the winter’s ice and will disperse like overflowing water.
1 And king Antiochus, the son of Demetrius, sent letters from the islands of the sea to Simon, the priest and leader of the nation of the Jews, and to all the people.
2 And these continued in this way: “King Antiochus to Simon, the great priest, and to the people of the Jews: greetings.
3 Since certain pestilent persons have obtained the kingdom of our fathers, it is my will, then, to vindicate the kingdom and to restore it, just as it was before. And so, I have chosen a great army, and I have built ships of war.
4 Furthermore, I intend to pass through the region, so that I may take revenge on those who have corrupted our country and who have desolated many cities in my kingdom.
5 Now, therefore, I confirm to you all the oblations that all the kings before me have remitted to you, and whatever other gifts they remitted to you.
6 And I permit you to make a striking of your own coins for your country.
7 Moreover, let Jerusalem be holy and free. And all the weapons that have been made, and the fortresses that you have constructed, or that you hold, let them remain with you.
8 And all that is owed to the king, and what should belong to the king in the future, from this time and for all time, is remitted to you.
9 Yet, when we have obtained our kingdom, we will glorify you, and your nation, and the temple with great glory, so much so that your glory shall be made manifest in all the earth.”
10 In the one hundred and seventy-fourth year, Antiochus went into the land of his fathers, and all the armies came over to him, so that few were left with Trypho.
11 And king Antiochus followed him as he fled along the sea coast and came to Dora.
12 For he knew that evils had gathered together upon him, and that his troops had forsaken him.
13 And Antiochus took up a position above Dora, with one hundred and twenty thousand men of warfare and eight thousand horsemen.
14 And he encircled the city, and the ships drew near by sea. And they assailed the city by land and by sea, and they permitted no one to go in or out.
15 But Numenius, and those who had been with him, came from the city of Rome, having letters written to the kings and the regions, in which was contained these things:
15 The idols of the Gentiles are silver and gold, the works of men’s hands.
16 They have a mouth, but they speak not: they have eyes, but they see not.
17 They have ears, but they hear not: neither is there any breath in their mouths.
18 Let them that make them be like to them: and every one that trusteth in them.
19 Bless the Lord, O house of Israel: bless the Lord, O house of Aaron.
20 Bless the Lord, O house of Levi: you that fear the Lord, bless the Lord.
21 Blessed be the Lord out of Sion, who dwelleth in Jerusalem.
1 Similarly also, wives should be subject to their husbands, so that, even if some do not believe the Word, they may benefit without the Word, through the behavior of these wives,
2 as they consider with fear your chaste behavior.
3 For you, there should be no unnecessary adornment of the hair, or surrounding with gold, or the wearing of ornate clothing.
4 Instead, you should be a hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptibility of a quiet and a meek spirit, rich in the sight of God.
5 For in this way, in past times also, holy women adorned themselves, hoping in God, being subject to their own husbands.
6 For so Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You are her daughters, well-behaved and unafraid of any disturbance.
7 Similarly, you husbands should live with them in accord with knowledge, bestowing honor on the female as the weaker vessel and as co-heirs of the life of grace, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
8 And finally, may you all be of one mind: compassionate, loving brotherhood, merciful, meek, humble,
9 not repaying evil with evil, nor slander with slander, but, to the contrary, repaying with blessings. For to this you have been called, so that you may possess the inheritance of a blessing.
10 For whoever wants to love life and to see good days should restrain his tongue from evil, and his lips, so that they utter no deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil, and do good. Let him seek peace, and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and his ears are with their prayers, but the countenance of the Lord is upon those who do evil.
13 And who is it who can harm you, if you are zealous in what is good?
14 And yet, even when you suffer something for the sake of justice, you are blessed. So then, do not be afraid with their fear, and do not be disturbed.
15 But sanctify Christ the Lord in your hearts, being always ready to give an explanation to all who ask you the reason for that hope which is in you.
16 But do so with meekness and fear, having a good conscience, so that, in whatever matter they may slander you, they shall be confounded, since they falsely accuse your good behavior in Christ.
17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if it is the will of God, than for doing evil.
18 For Christ also died once for our sins, the Just One on behalf of the unjust, so that he might offer us to God, having died, certainly, in the flesh, but having been enlivened by the Spirit.
19 And in the Spirit, he preached to those who were in prison, going to those souls
20 who had been unbelieving in past times, while they waited for the patience of God, as in the days of Noah, when the ark was being built. In that ark, a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water.
21 And now you also are saved, in a similar manner, by baptism, not by the testimony of sordid flesh, but by the examination of a good conscience in God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
22 He is at the right hand of God, devouring death, so that we may be made heirs to eternal life. And since he has journeyed to heaven, the Angels and powers and virtues are subject to him.