1 I turned myself to other things, and I saw the false accusations which are carried out under the sun, and the tears of the innocent, and that there was no one to console them; and that they were not able to withstand their violence, being destitute of all help.
2 And so, I praised the dead more than the living.
3 And happier than both of these, I judged him to be, who has not yet been born, and who has not yet seen the evils which are done under the sun.
4 Again, I was contemplating all the labors of men. And I took notice that their endeavors are open to the envy of their neighbor. And so, in this, too, there is emptiness and superfluous anxiety.
5 The foolish man folds his hands together, and he consumes his own flesh, saying:
6 A handful with rest is better than both hands filled with labors and with affliction of the soul.
7 While considering this, I also discovered another vanity under the sun.
8 He is one, and he does not have a second: no son, no brother. And yet he does not cease to labor, nor are his eyes satisfied with wealth, nor does he reflect, saying: “For whom do I labor and cheat my soul of good things?” In this, too, is emptiness and a most burdensome affliction.
9 Therefore, it is better for two to be together, than for one to be alone. For they have the advantage of their companionship.
10 If one falls, he shall be supported by the other. Woe to one who is alone. For when he falls, he has no one to lift him up.
11 And if two are sleeping, they warm one another. How can one person alone be warmed?
12 And if a man can prevail against one, two may withstand him, and a threefold cord is broken with difficulty.
13 Better is a boy, poor and wise, than a king, old and foolish, who does not know to look ahead for the sake of posterity.
14 For sometimes, one goes forth from prison and chains, to a kingdom, while another, born to kingly power, is consumed by need.
15 I saw all the living who are walking under the sun, and I saw the next generation, who shall rise up in their places.
16 The number of people, out of all who existed before these, is boundless. And those who will exist afterwards shall not rejoice in them. But this, too, is emptiness and an affliction of the spirit.
17 Guard your foot, when you step into the house of God, and draw near, so that you may listen. For obedience is much better than the sacrifices of the foolish, who do not know the evil that they are doing.
1 You should not speak anything rashly, nor should your heart be hasty to present a word before God. For God is in heaven, and you are on earth. For this reason, let your words be few.
2 Dreams follow many worries, and in many words foolishness will be found.
3 If you have vowed anything to God, you should not delay to repay it. And whatever you have vowed, render it. But an unfaithful and foolish promise displeases him.
4 And it is much better not to make a vow, than, after a vow, not to fulfill what was promised.
5 You should not use your mouth so as to cause your flesh to sin. And you should not say, in the sight of an Angel, “There is no Providence.” For God, being angry at your words, may scatter all the works of your hands.
6 Where there are many dreams, there are many vanities and innumerable words. Yet truly, you must fear God.
7 If you see false accusations against the indigent, and violent judgments, and subverted justice in the government, do not be surprised over this situation. For those in high places have others who are higher, and there are still others, more eminent, over these.
8 But finally, there is the King who rules over the entire earth, which is subject to him.
9 A greedy man will not be satisfied by money. And whoever loves wealth will reap no fruit from it. Therefore, this, too, is emptiness.
10 Where there are many riches, there will also be many to consume these things. And how does it benefit the one who possesses, except that he discerns the wealth with his own eyes?
11 Sleep is sweet to one who works, whether he consumes little or much. But the satiation of a wealthy man will not permit him to sleep.
12 There is even another most burdensome infirmity, which I have seen under the sun: wealth kept to the harm of the owner.
13 For they are lost in a most grievous affliction. He has produced a son, who will be in the utmost destitution.
14 Just as he went forth naked from his mother’s womb, so shall he return, and he shall take nothing with him from his labors.
15 It is an utterly miserable infirmity that, in the same manner as he has arrived, so shall he return. How then does it benefit him, since he has labored for the wind?
16 All the days of his life he consumes: in darkness, and with many worries, and in distress as well as sadness.
17 And so, this has seemed good to me: that a person should eat and drink, and should enjoy the fruits of his labor, in which he has toiled under the sun, for the number of the days of his life that God has given him. For this is his portion.
18 And this is a gift from God: that every man to whom God has given wealth and resources, and to whom he has granted the ability to consume these, may enjoy his portion, and may find joy in his labors.
19 And then he will not fully remember the days of his life, because God occupies his heart with delights.
1 There is also another evil, which I have seen under the sun, and, indeed, it is frequent among men.
2 It is a man to whom God has given wealth, and resources, and honor; and out of all that he desires, nothing is lacking to his life; yet God does not grant him the ability to consume these things, but instead a man who is a stranger will devour them. This is emptiness and a great misfortune.
3 If a man were to produce one hundred children, and to live for many years, and to attain to an age of many days, and if his soul were to make no use of the goods of his resources, and if he were lacking even a burial: concerning such a man, I declare that a miscarried child is better than he.
4 For he arrives without a purpose and he continues on into darkness, and his name shall be wiped away, into oblivion.
5 He has not seen the sun, nor recognized the difference between good and evil.
6 Even if he were to live for two thousand years, and yet not thoroughly enjoy what is good, does not each one hurry on to the same place?
7 Every labor of man is for his mouth, but his soul will not be filled.
8 What do the wise have which is more than the foolish? And what does the pauper have, except to continue on to that place, where there is life?
9 It is better to see what you desire, than to desire what you cannot know. But this, too, is emptiness and a presumption of spirit.
10 Whoever shall be in the future, his name has already been called. And it is known that he is a man and that he is not able to contend in judgment against one who is stronger than himself.
11 There are many words, and many of these, in disputes, hold much emptiness.
73 And now, how will you be able to withstand the horsemen, and so great an army in the plains, where there is no stone, or rock, or place to flee?”
74 But when Jonathan heard the words of Apollonius, he was moved in his soul. And he chose ten thousand men, and he departed from Jerusalem, and Simon, his brother, met him to help him.
75 And they positioned their tents near Joppa, but they excluded him from the city, because a garrison from Apollonius was in Joppa. And so, he attacked it.
76 And those who were in the city, being terrified, opened to him. And so Jonathan obtained Joppa.
77 And Apollonius heard of it, and he moved three thousand horsemen, and a great army.
78 And he went toward Azotus, like one making a journey, but he suddenly departed into the plains, because he had a great number of horsemen, and he trusted in them. And Jonathan followed after him to Azotus, and they joined together in battle.
79 And Apollonius secretly left behind them in the camp a thousand horsemen.
80 And Jonathan realized that there was an ambush behind him, and they surrounded his camp, and they cast darts at the people from morning until evening.
81 But the people stood firm, just as Jonathan had instructed them, and their horses suffered hardships.
82 Then Simon drew forth his army, and he sent them against the legion. For the horsemen were wearied. And they were crushed by him, and they fled.
83 And those who were scattered throughout the plains fled to Azotus, and they entered into Bethdagon, so that, by their idol in that place, they might save themselves.
84 But Jonathan set fire to Azotus and to the cities that were all around it, and he captured their spoils and the temple of Dagon. And he burned with fire all those who had fled into it.
85 And so it was that those who fell by the sword, with those who were burned, were nearly eight thousand men.
86 And Jonathan, removed his encampment from there, and he took up a position against Askalon. And they went out of the city to meet him with great glory.
87 And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem with his own, having many spoils.
88 And it happened that, when king Alexander heard these words, he added still more glory to Jonathan.
89 And he sent him a clasp of gold, as is customary to be given to those who are of royal lineage. And he gave him Ekron, and all its borders, as a possession.
1 When the lord brought back the captivity of Sion, we became like men comforted.
2 Then was our mouth filled with gladness; and our tongue with joy. Then shall they say among the Gentiles: The Lord hath done great things for them.
3 The Lord hath done great things for us: we are become joyful.
4 Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as a stream in the south.
5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6 Going they went and wept, casting their seeds.
7 But coming they shall come with joyfulness, carrying their sheaves.
1 Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not apparent.
2 For this reason, the ancients were given testimony.
3 By faith, we understand the world to be fashioned by the Word of God, so that the visible might be made by the invisible.
4 By faith, Abel offered to God a much better sacrifice than that of Cain, through which he obtained testimony that he was just, in that God offered testimony to his gifts. And through that sacrifice, he still speaks to us, though he is dead.
5 By faith, Enoch was transferred, so that he would not see death, and he was not found because God had transferred him. For before he was transferred, he had testimony that he pleased God.
6 But without faith, it is impossible to please God. For whoever approaches God must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who seek him.
7 By faith, Noah, having accepted an answer about those things which were not yet seen, being afraid, fashioned an ark for the salvation of his house. Through the ark, he condemned the world, and was established as the heir of the justice that occurs through faith.
8 By faith, the one called Abraham obeyed, going out to the place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
9 By faith, he stayed in the Land of the Promise as if in a foreign land, dwelling in cottages, with Isaac and Jacob, co-heirs of the same promise.
10 For he was awaiting a city having firm foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
11 By faith also, Sarah herself, being barren, received the ability to conceive offspring, even though she was past that age in life. For she believed him to be faithful, who had promised.
12 Because of this, there were also born, from one who himself was as if dead, a mulititude like the stars of heaven, who are, like the sand of the seashore, innumerable.
13 All of these passed away, adhering to faith, not having received the promises, yet beholding them from afar and saluting them, and confessing themselves to be sojourners and guests upon the earth.