1 But all men are vain, who are not under the knowledge of God, and who, from these good things that are seen, were not able to understand he who is, nor, by paying attention to the works, did they acknowledge he who was the artisan.
2 Instead, they had considered either the fire, or the air, or the atmosphere, or the circle of stars, or the great sea, or the sun and moon, to be the gods that rule the world.
3 If they, being delighted by such sights, supposed them to be gods, let them know how great the Lord of them is in splendor. For he who created all things is the author of beauty.
4 Or, if they wondered at their power and their effects, let them understand by these things, that he who created them is mightier than they are.
5 For, by the greatness of the creation and its beauty, the creator of these will be able to be seen discernibly.
6 Yet, up to this point, the complaint about this is lesser. For perhaps they made a mistake in this, while desiring and seeking to find God.
7 And, indeed, having some familiarity with him through his works, they search, and they are persuaded, because the things that they are seeing are good.
8 But, then again, neither can their debt be ignored.
9 For, if they were able to know enough so that they could value the universe, how is it they did not easily discover the Lord of it?
10 Yet they are unhappy, and their hope is among the dead, for they have called ‘gods’ the works of the hands of men, gold and silver, the inventions of skill, and the likeness of animals, or a useless stone, the work of an ancient hand.
11 Or, it is as if a craftsman, a workman of the forest, had cut straight wood, and, with his expertise, shaved off all of its bark, and, with his skill, diligently fashioned a vessel, practical for use in life,
12 and even the remains of his work were exhausted in the preparation of food;
13 and, from the remainder of this, which has become useful for nothing, a curved piece of wood and full of knots, he diligently carves it in his spare time, and, through the knowledge of his art, forms it and makes it in the image of a man,
14 or something comparable to an animal, thoroughly rubbing it with red ochre, to make it red with the color of the pigment, and to cover every imperfection which is in it;
15 and it is as if he made a fitting resting place for it, even setting it in a wall and fastening it with iron,
16 providing for it, lest it should fall, knowing that it is unable to help itself, for it is an image and it is in need of help.
17 And then, making an offering, he inquires about his wealth, and about his sons, and about marriage. And he is not ashamed to talk to that which has no soul.
18 And for health, indeed, something unhealthy is being prayed to, and for life, he petitions what is dead, and for help, he calls upon something helpless,
19 and for a good journey, he entreats that which is unable to walk, and for acquiring, and for working, and for success in all things, he entreats that which is useless in all things.
1 Again, another, thinking to sail, and beginning to make his voyage through the raging waves, calls upon a piece of wood more fragile than the wood that carries him.
2 For this is what desire has contrived to be acquired, and the craftsman has formed its understanding.
3 But your providence, O Father, governs, because you have provided for both a way in the sea and a very reliable path among the waves,
4 revealing that you are able to save out of all things, even if someone were to go to sea without skill.
5 But, so that the works of your wisdom might not be empty, therefore, men trust their souls even to a little piece of wood, and, crossing over the sea by raft, they are set free.
6 But, from the beginning, when the proud giants were perishing, the hope of the world, fleeing by boat, gave back to future ages a seed of birth, which was governed by your hand.
7 For blessed is the wood through which justice is made.
8 But, through the hand that makes the idol, both it, and he who made it, is accursed: he, indeed, because it has been served by him, and it, because, though it is fragile, it is called ‘god.’
9 But the impious and his impiety are similarly offensive to God.
10 For that which is made, together with him who made it, will suffer torments.
11 Because of this, and according to the idolatries of the nations, there will be no refuge, for the things created by God have been made into hatred, and into a temptation to the souls of men, and into a snare for the feet of the foolish.
12 For the beginning of fornication is the search for idols, and from their invention comes corruption of life.
13 For they neither existed from the beginning, nor will they exist forever.
14 For by the great emptiness of men they came into the world, and therefore their end is soon discovered.
15 For a father, embittered with the suffering of grief, made an image of his son, who had been suddenly taken away from him, and then, he who had died as a man, now begins to be worshiped as if a god, and so rites and sacrifices are established among his servants.
16 Then, in the course of time, iniquity gains strength within this erroneous custom, so that this error has been observed as if it were a law, and this figment has been worshiped at the command of tyrants.
17 And those, whom men could not openly honor because they were far off, a likeness of them was carried from far off, and from it they made a similar image of the king that they wanted to honor, so that, by their solicitude, they might worship he who was absent, just as if he were present.
18 Yet, it passes into their care, and those whom they did not know, they love because of the excellence of the artist.
19 For he, wishing to please the one who hired him, embellished his art, so as to fashion a better likeness.
20 But the multitude of men, brought together by the beauty of the work, now considered him to be a god, whom they had formerly honored as a man.
21 And this was the deception of human life: that men, serving either their own inclination or their kings, assigned the unutterable name to stones and wood.
22 And it was not enough for them to go astray concerning the knowledge of God, but also, while living in a great war of ignorance, they call so many and such great evils ‘peace.’
23 For either they sacrifice their own sons, or they make dark sacrifices, or they hold vigils full of madness,
24 so that now they neither protect life, nor preserve a clean marriage, but one kills another through envy, or grieves him by adultery.
25 And all things are mixed together: blood, murder, theft and fraud, corruption and infidelity, disturbances and perjury, disorder within good things,
26 forgetfulness of God, pollution of souls, alteration of procreation, inconstancy of marriage, unnatural adultery and homosexuality.
27 For the worship of unspeakable idols is the cause, and the beginning and the end, of all evil.
28 For they either act with madness while happy, or they insistently speak wild lies, or they live unjustly, or they are quick to commit perjury.
29 For, while they trust in idols, which are without a soul, vowing evil, they hope not to be harmed themselves.
30 Therefore, from both sides it will fittingly happen, because they have thought evil of God, paying attention to idols, and because they have sworn unjustly, in guile despising justice.
31 For swearing is not virtue, but sinning always comes around to a punishment according to the transgression of the unjust.
25 But when the people of Rome had heard these words, they said: “With what deeds of thanksgiving shall we repay Simon and his sons?
26 For he has vindicated his brothers, and he has fought off the enemies of Israel from them.” And so, they decreed him free, and they registered it on tablets of brass and placed it in an inscription on mount Zion.
27 And this is a copy of the writing: “On the eighteenth day of the month Elul, in the one hundred and seventy-second year, the third year under Simon, the great priest at Asaramel,
28 in a great convocation of the priests, and the people, and the leaders of the nation, and the elders of the country, these things were noted: ‘Now there have often been battles in our country.
29 And Simon, the son of Mattathias, of the sons of Jarib, and his brothers, have put themselves in danger, and have withstood the enemies of their nation, so as to establish their holy places and the law. And they have glorified their people with great glory.
30 And Jonathan gathered together his nation, and he was made their great priest, and he was laid to rest among his people.
31 And their enemies wanted to trample and lay waste to their country, and to extend their hands against their holy places.
32 Then Simon resisted, and he fought for his nation, and he requested much money, and he armed the valiant men of his nation and gave them wages.
33 And he fortified the cities of Judea and Bethzur, which are along the borders of Judea, where the weaponry of the enemies was before. And he placed a garrison of Jewish men there.
34 And he fortified Joppa, which is by the sea, and Gazara, which is on the border of Azotus, where the enemies stayed before, and he placed Jews there. And he positioned with them whatever was fitting for their preparations.
35 And the people saw the acts of Simon, and the glory that he intended to bring to his nation, and they made him their commander and first priest, because he had done all these things, and because of the justice and faith that he maintained for his nation, and because he sought to exalt his people by all means.
36 And in his days, there was prosperity by his hands, so that the Gentiles were taken away from their country, and also those who were in the city of David, in Jerusalem, in the stronghold, from which they went out and contaminated all the places that were around the sanctuary, and from which they brought a great scourging against chastity.
37 And he placed in it Jewish men, as a means of protection for the region and the city, and he raised the walls of Jerusalem.
38 And king Demetrius confirmed him in the high priesthood.
39 According to these things, he made him his friend, and he glorified him with great glory.
40 For he heard that the Romans had called the Jews their friends, and associates, and brothers, and that they received the ambassadors of Simon with glory,
41 and that the Jews and their priests had consented that he should be their governor and high priest unceasingly, until there should arise a faithful prophet,
42 and that he should be the commander over them, and that he should take care of the sanctuary, and that he should appoint foremen over their works, and over the country, and over the weapons, and over the strongholds,
43 and that he should take care of the holy places, and that he should be obeyed by all, and that all the records in the country should be recorded in his name, and that he should be clothed in purple and gold,
44 and that it should not be lawful for any of the people or the priests to make void any of these things, nor to contradict things that are said by him, nor to call together an assembly in the country without him, nor to be clothed in purple, nor to use a clasp of gold.
45 And whoever will do otherwise, or who will make void any of these things, shall be guilty.
46 And it pleased all the people to appoint Simon, and to act according to these words.
47 And Simon accepted it, and he was pleased to perform the office of the high priesthood, and to be the commander and leader of the people of the Jews, and of the priests, and to be foremost over them all.
48 And they asked that this writing be placed on tablets of brass, and be placed within the precinct of the sanctuary in a celebrated place,
49 and that a copy of these be placed in the treasury, so that Simon and his sons may have it.’ “
8 He slew the firstborn of Egypt from man even unto beast.
9 He sent forth signs and wonders in the midst of thee, O Egypt: upon Pharao, and upon all his servants.
10 He smote many nations, and slew mighty kings:
11 Sehon king of the Amorrhites, and Og king of Basan, and all the kingdoms of Chanaan.
12 And gave their land for an inheritance, for an inheritance to his people Israel.
13 Thy name, O Lord, is for ever: thy memorial, O Lord, unto all generations.
14 For the Lord will judge his people, and will be entreated in favour of his servants.
1 Therefore, set aside all malice and all deceitfulness, as well as falseness and envy and every detraction.
2 Like newborn infants, desire the milk of reasonableness without guile, so that by this you may increase unto salvation,
3 if it is true that you have tasted that the Lord is sweet.
4 And approaching him as if he were a living stone, rejected by men, certainly, but elect and honored by God,
5 be also yourselves like living stones, built upon him, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, so as to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 Because of this, Scripture asserts: “Behold, I am setting in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious. And whoever will have believed in him will not be confounded.”
7 Therefore, to you who believe, he is honor. But to those who do not believe, the stone which the builders have rejected, the same has been made into the head of the corner,
8 and a stone of offense, and a rock of scandal, to those who are offended by the Word; neither do they believe, though they also have been built upon him.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, an acquired people, so that you may announce the virtues of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
10 Though in past times you were not a people, yet now you are the people of God. Though you had not obtained mercy, yet now you have obtained mercy.
11 Most beloved, I beg you, as new arrivals and sojourners, to abstain from carnal desires, which battle against the soul.
12 Keep your behavior among the Gentiles to what is good, so that, when they slander you as if you were evildoers, they may, by the good works that are seen in you, glorify God on the day of visitation.
13 Therefore, be subject to every human creature because of God, whether it is to the king as preeminent,
14 or to leaders as having been sent from him for vindication over evildoers, it is truly for the praise of what is good.
15 For such is the will of God, that by doing good you may bring about the silence of imprudent and ignorant men,
16 in an open manner, and not as if cloaking malice with liberty, but like servants of God.
17 Honor everyone. Love brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and meek, but also to the unruly.
19 For this is grace: when, because of God, a man willingly endures sorrows, suffering injustice.
20 For what glory is there, if you sin and then suffer a beating? But if you do well and suffer patiently, this is grace with God.
21 For you have been called to this because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example, so that you would follow in his footsteps.
22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.
23 And when evil was spoken against him, he did not speak evil. When he suffered, he did not threaten. Then he handed himself over to him who judged him unjustly.
24 He himself bore our sins in his body upon the tree, so that we, having died to sin, would live for justice. By his wounds, you have been healed.
25 For you were like wandering sheep. But now you have been turned back toward the Pastor and the Bishop of your souls.