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Revelation
 

Baruch 6

 
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ἀντίγραφον ἐπιστολῆς ἧς ἀπέστειλεν Ιερεμιας πρὸς τοὺς ἀχθησομένους αἰχμαλώτους εἰς Βαβυλῶνα ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως τῶν Βαβυλωνίων ἀναγγεῖλαι αὐτοῖς καθότι ἐπετάγη αὐτῷ ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ !--LATIN=32bar006000b-->
1 διὰ τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἃς ἡμαρτήκατε ἐναντίον τοῦ θεοῦ ἀχθήσεσθε εἰς Βαβυλῶνα αἰχμάλωτοι ὑπὸ Ναβουχοδονοσορ βασιλέως τῶν Βαβυλωνίων 2 εἰσελθόντες οὖν εἰς Βαβυλῶνα ἔσεσθε ἐκεῖ ἔτη πλείονα καὶ χρόνον μακρὸν ἕως γενεῶν ἑπτά μετὰ τοῦτο δὲ ἐξάξω ὑμᾶς ἐκεῖθεν με{T'} εἰρήνης 3 νυνὶ δὲ ὄψεσθε ἐν Βαβυλῶνι θεοὺς ἀργυροῦς καὶ χρυσοῦς καὶ ξυλίνους ἐ{P'} ὤμοις αἰρομένους δεικνύντας φόβον τοῖς ἔθνεσιν 4 εὐλαβήθητε οὖν μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀφομοιωθέντες τοῖς ἀλλοφύλοις ἀφομοιωθῆτε καὶ φόβος ὑμᾶς λάβῃ ἐ{P'} αὐτοῖς 5 ἰδόντας ὄχλον ἔμπροσθεν καὶ ὄπισθεν αὐτῶν προσκυνοῦντας αὐτά εἴπατε δὲ τῇ διανοίᾳ σοὶ δεῖ προσκυνεῖν δέσποτα 6 ὁ γὰρ ἄγγελός μου με{Q'} ὑμῶν ἐστιν αὐτός τε ἐκζητῶν τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν 1 Here follows a copy of the letter Jeremias sent to the prisoners whom the king of Babylon was carrying off to his own country, with the warnings God bade him give them.

In atonement for the sins by which you have offended God, you shall now be carried off to Babylon, by Nabuchodonosor that is king of it. 2 Babylon once reached, you shall have a long exile there, years a many, till seven generations[1] have passed; then I will grant you a safe return. 3 And you must know that you will see, in that country, gods of gold and silver, gods of stone and wood, that are carried about on men’s shoulders; to the heathen, things of great dread. 4 Look well to it that you do not fall in with these alien customs, by the same fear overmastered. 5 What though a great throng of worshippers attends them, before and behind? Let your hearts whisper in adoration, To thee, Lord, all worship belongs! 6 My angel is at your side, and your lives shall be held to account for it.[2]
1 Propter peccata quæ peccastis ante Deum, abducemini in Babyloniam captivi a Nabuchodonosor rege Babylonis. 2 Ingressi itaque in Babylonem, eritis ibi annis plurimis, et temporibus longis, usque ad generationes septem: post hoc autem educam vos inde cum pace. 3 Nunc autem videbitis in Babylonia deos aureos et argenteos, et lapideos et ligneos, in humeris portari, ostentantes metum gentibus. 4 Videte ergo ne et vos similes efficiamini factis alienis, et metuatis, et metus vos capiat in ipsis. 5 Visa itaque turba de retro et ab ante, adorantes dicite in cordibus vestris: Te oportet adorari, Domine. 6 Angelus enim meus vobiscum est: ipse autem exquiram animas vestras.
7 γλῶσσα γὰρ αὐτῶν ἐστιν κατεξυσμένη ὑπὸ τέκτονος αὐτά τε περίχρυσα καὶ περιάργυρα ψευδῆ {D'} ἐστὶν καὶ οὐ δύνανται λαλεῖν 8 καὶ ὥσπερ παρθένῳ φιλοκόσμῳ λαμβάνοντες χρυσίον κατασκευάζουσιν στεφάνους ἐπὶ τὰς κεφαλὰς τῶν θεῶν αὐτῶν 9 ἔστι δὲ καὶ ὅτε ὑφαιρούμενοι οἱ ἱερεῖς ἀπὸ τῶν θεῶν αὐτῶν χρυσίον καὶ ἀργύριον εἰς ἑαυτοὺς καταναλώσουσιν δώσουσιν δὲ ἀ{P'} αὐτῶν καὶ ταῖς ἐπὶ τοῦ τέγους πόρναις 10 κοσμοῦσί τε αὐτοὺς ὡς ἀνθρώπους τοῖς ἐνδύμασιν θεοὺς ἀργυροῦς καὶ χρυσοῦς καὶ ξυλίνους οὗτοι δὲ οὐ διασῴζονται ἀπὸ ἰοῦ καὶ βρωμάτων 11 περιβεβλημένων αὐτῶν ἱματισμὸν πορφυροῦν ἐκμάσσονται τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν διὰ τὸν ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας κονιορτόν ὅς ἐστιν πλείων ἐ{P'} αὐτοῖς 12 καὶ σκῆπτρον ἔχει ὡς ἄνθρωπος κριτὴς χώρας ὃς τὸν εἰς αὐτὸν ἁμαρτάνοντα οὐκ ἀνελεῖ 13 ἔχει δὲ ἐγχειρίδιον ἐν δεξιᾷ καὶ πέλεκυν ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἐκ πολέμου καὶ λῃστῶν οὐκ ἐξελεῖται 14 ὅθεν γνώριμοί εἰσιν οὐκ ὄντες θεοί μὴ οὖν φοβηθῆτε αὐτούς 15 ὥσπερ γὰρ σκεῦος ἀνθρώπου συντριβὲν ἀχρεῖον γίνεται τοιοῦτοι ὑπάρχουσιν οἱ θεοὶ αὐτῶν καθιδρυμένων αὐτῶν ἐν τοῖς οἴκοις 7 Puppets of gold and silver, speak they cannot, for all the craftsman has given them tongues to speak with. 8 Ay, gold must go to their fashioning, never was maid so bravely tricked out; 9 gods they are, and must wear golden crowns. And of this gold and silver the priests will steal some part for their own uses, 10 and spend it on their minions; what the gods wore, harlots wear, what harlots wore, the gods.[3] 11 From rust they cannot protect themselves, nor from the moth; 12 alas for the purple robes that deck them! And the temple dust lies thick upon them, so that their faces must be wiped clean. 13 Here is an idol bearing a sceptre, human-fashion, as though it ruled the country-side, yet has it no power to kill the blasphemer; 14 another carries sword or axe, yet from alarm of war or of robbers cannot defend itself; be sure, then, gods they are not. 15 Never fear them; broken jar a man throws away as useless can be matched with such gods as these. 7 Nam lingua ipsorum polita a fabro; ipsa etiam inaurata et inargentata: falsa sunt, et non possunt loqui. 8 Et sicut virgini amanti ornamenta, ita accepto auro fabricati sunt. 9 Coronas certe aureas habent super capita sua dii illorum: unde subtrahunt sacerdotes ab eis aurum et argentum, et erogant illud in semetipsos. 10 Dant autem et ex ipso prostitutis, et meretrices ornant: et iterum cum receperint illud a meretricibus, ornant deos suos. 11 Hi autem non liberantur ab ærugine et tinea. 12 Opertis autem illis veste purpurea, extergunt faciem ipsorum propter pulverem domus qui est plurimus inter eos. 13 Sceptrum autem habet ut homo, sicut judex regionis, qui in se peccantem non interficit. 14 Habet etiam in manu gladium et securim, se autem de bello et a latronibus non liberat. Unde vobis notum sit quia non sunt dii: 15 non ergo timueritis eos. Sicut enim vas hominis confractum inutile efficitur, tales sunt et dii illorum.
16 οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ αὐτῶν πλήρεις εἰσὶν κονιορτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν τῶν εἰσπορευομένων 17 καὶ ὥσπερ τινὶ ἠδικηκότι βασιλέα περιπεφραγμέναι εἰσὶν αἱ αὐλαὶ ὡς ἐπὶ θανάτῳ ἀπηγμένῳ τοὺς οἴκους αὐτῶν ὀχυροῦσιν οἱ ἱερεῖς θυρώμασίν τε καὶ κλείθροις καὶ μοχλοῖς ὅπως ὑπὸ τῶν λῃστῶν μὴ συληθῶσι 18 λύχνους καίουσιν καὶ πλείους ἢ ἑαυτοῖς ὧν οὐδένα δύνανται ἰδεῖν 19 ἔστιν μὲν ὥσπερ δοκὸς τῶν ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας τὰς δὲ καρδίας αὐτῶν φασιν ἐκλείχεσθαι τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς ἑρπετῶν κατεσθόντων αὐτούς τε καὶ τὸν ἱματισμὸν αὐτῶν οὐκ αἰσθάνονται 20 μεμελανωμένοι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν ἀπὸ τοῦ καπνοῦ τοῦ ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας 21 ἐπὶ τὸ σῶμα αὐτῶν καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν ἐφίπτανται νυκτερίδες χελιδόνες καὶ τὰ ὄρνεα ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ οἱ αἴλουροι 22 ὅθεν γνώσεσθε ὅτι οὔκ εἰσιν θεοί μὴ οὖν φοβεῖσθε αὐτά 16 There they sit in their temples, with eyes full of dust from the feet of passers-by, 17 mewed up by their priests with bolt and bar for fear of robbery, like king’s enemy in his dungeon, dead man in his tomb; 18 of all the lights that burn before them, they see none; roof-beam is not more senseless. 19 Yet men will have it that serpents creep out of the earth and drink in the secrets of their hearts! Worms, more like, that eat the idol up, clothes and all, and it none the wiser.[4] 20 Smoke of the temple blackens their faces; 21 about their bodies and heads fly owl and swallow; birds hover and cats prowl. 22 Be sure they are no gods; never fear them. 16 Constitutis illis in domo, oculi eorum pleni sunt pulvere a pedibus introëuntium. 17 Et sicut alicui qui regem offendit circumseptæ sunt januæ, aut sicut ad sepulchrum adductum mortuum: ita tutantur sacerdotes ostia clausuris et seris, ne a latronibus expolientur. 18 Lucernas accendunt illis, et quidem multas, ex quibus nullam videre possunt: sunt autem sicut trabes in domo. 19 Corda vero eorum dicunt elingere serpentes qui de terra sunt, dum comedunt eos, et vestimentum ipsorum, et non sentiunt. 20 Nigræ fiunt facies eorum a fumo qui in domo fit. 21 Supra corpus eorum et supra caput eorum volant noctuæ, et hirundines, et aves etiam, similiter et cattæ. 22 Unde sciatis quia non sunt dii: ne ergo timueritis eos.
23 τὸ γὰρ χρυσίον ὃ περίκεινται εἰς κάλλος ἐὰν μή τις ἐκμάξῃ τὸν ἰόν οὐ μὴ στίλψωσιν οὐδὲ γάρ ὅτε ἐχωνεύοντο ᾐσθάνοντο 24 ἐκ πάσης τιμῆς ἠγορασμένα ἐστίν ἐν οἷς οὐκ ἔστιν πνεῦμα 25 ἄνευ ποδῶν ἐ{P'} ὤμοις φέρονται ἐνδεικνύμενοι τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἀτιμίαν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις αἰσχύνονταί τε καὶ οἱ θεραπεύοντες αὐτὰ διὰ τό μήποτε ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν πέσῃ δ{I'} αὐτῶν ἀνίστασθαι 26 μήτε ἐάν τις αὐτὸ ὀρθὸν στήσῃ δ{I'} ἑαυτοῦ κινηθήσεται μήτε ἐὰν κλιθῇ οὐ μὴ ὀρθωθῇ ἀλ{L'} ὥσπερ νεκροῖς τὰ δῶρα αὐτοῖς παρατίθεται 27 τὰς δὲ θυσίας αὐτῶν ἀποδόμενοι οἱ ἱερεῖς αὐτῶν καταχρῶνται ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες αὐτῶν ἀ{P'} αὐτῶν ταριχεύουσαι οὔτε πτωχῷ οὔτε ἀδυνάτῳ μεταδιδόασιν τῶν θυσιῶν αὐτῶν ἀποκαθημένη καὶ λεχὼ ἅπτονται 28 γνόντες οὖν ἀπὸ τούτων ὅτι οὔκ εἰσιν θεοί μὴ φοβηθῆτε αὐτούς 29 πόθεν γὰρ κληθείησαν θεοί ὅτι γυναῖκες παρατιθέασιν θεοῖς ἀργυροῖς καὶ χρυσοῖς καὶ ξυλίνοις 23 Fair, golden faces! Yet will they not shine on the worshipper, till he rub off the stains on them; cast once for all in a mould, without feeling.[5] 24 Cost what they will, there is never a breath of life in them; 25 never a pace they walk, but must still be carried on men’s shoulders, putting their own worshippers to shame by the betrayal of their impotence. 26 Fall they to earth, they cannot rise from it, and though they be set up again, it is in no power of their own that they stand. As well bring gifts to dead men as to these; 27 the victim thou offerest yonder priest will sell, or put to his own use, nor ever a slice his wife cuts shall find its way to the sick and the needy. 28 Those offerings every woman may touch if she will, child-birth and monthly times notwithstanding. And are these gods? Are these to be feared? 29 Things of silver and gold and wood, that have women for their ministers, shall the divine name be theirs? 23 Aurum etiam quod habent ad speciem est: nisi aliquis exterserit æruginem, non fulgebunt: neque enim dum conflarentur, sentiebant. 24 Ex omni pretio empta sunt, in quibus spiritus non inest ipsis. 25 Sine pedibus, in humeris portantur, ostentantes ignobilitatem suam hominibus: confundantur etiam qui colunt ea. 26 Propterea si ceciderint in terram, a semetipsis non consurgunt: neque si quis eum statuerit rectum, per semetipsum stabit: sed sicut mortuis munera eorum illis apponentur. 27 Hostias illorum vendunt sacerdotes ipsorum, et abutuntur: similiter et mulieres eorum decerpentes, neque infirmo, neque mendicanti, aliquid impertiunt. 28 De sacrificiis eorum fœtæ et menstruatæ contingunt. Sciens itaque ex his quia non sunt dii, ne timeatis eos. 29 Unde enim vocantur dii? quia mulieres apponunt diis argenteis, et aureis, et ligneis:
30 καὶ ἐν τοῖς οἴκοις αὐτῶν οἱ ἱερεῖς διφρεύουσιν ἔχοντες τοὺς χιτῶνας διερρωγότας καὶ τὰς κεφαλὰς καὶ τοὺς πώγωνας ἐξυρημένους ὧν αἱ κεφαλαὶ ἀκάλυπτοί εἰσιν 31 ὠρύονται δὲ βοῶντες ἐναντίον τῶν θεῶν αὐτῶν ὥσπερ τινὲς ἐν περιδείπνῳ νεκροῦ 32 ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱματισμοῦ αὐτῶν ἀφελόμενοι οἱ ἱερεῖς ἐνδύουσιν τὰς γυναῖκας αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ παιδία 33 οὔτε ἐὰν κακὸν πάθωσιν ὑπό τινος οὔτε ἐὰν ἀγαθόν δυνήσονται ἀνταποδοῦναι οὔτε καταστῆσαι βασιλέα δύνανται οὔτε ἀφελέσθαι 34 ὡσαύτως οὔτε πλοῦτον οὔτε χαλκὸν οὐ μὴ δύνωνται διδόναι ἐάν τις αὐτοῖς εὐχὴν εὐξάμενος μὴ ἀποδῷ οὐ μὴ ἐπιζητήσωσιν 35 ἐκ θανάτου ἄνθρωπον οὐ μὴ ῥύσωνται οὔτε ἥττονα ἀπὸ ἰσχυροῦ οὐ μὴ ἐξέλωνται 36 ἄνθρωπον τυφλὸν εἰς ὅρασιν οὐ μὴ περιστήσωσιν ἐν ἀνάγκῃ ἄνθρωπον ὄντα οὐ μὴ ἐξέλωνται 37 χήραν οὐ μὴ ἐλεήσωσιν οὔτε ὀρφανὸν εὖ ποιήσουσιν 38 τοῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους λίθοις ὡμοιωμένοι εἰσὶν τὰ ξύλινα καὶ τὰ περίχρυσα καὶ τὰ περιάργυρα οἱ δὲ θεραπεύοντες αὐτὰ καταισχυνθήσονται 39 πῶς οὖν νομιστέον ἢ κλητέον αὐτοὺς ὑπάρχειν θεούς 30 In their temples you shall find priests sitting by with clothes rent, shaven and shorn, heads uncovered, 31 raising lament over their gods as at a dead man’s dirge. 32 Vestments their idols wore they will carry away, to dress their wives and children; 33 so powerless are these gods to requite injury or reward service done. Not theirs to make kings or unmake them, 34 grant riches, or wreak vengeance; the unpaid vow they cannot exact, 35 nor deliver men from death, and the tyrant’s oppression, 36 give sight to the blind, succour in time of peril, 37 shew mercy to the widow, or cheer the orphan’s lot. 38 Things of wood and stone, gold and silver, no more than rock on the mountain-side can they speed their worshippers; 39 gods do we reckon them, gods do we call them? 30 et in domibus eorum sacerdotes sedent habentes tunicas scissas, et capita et barbam rasam, quorum capita nuda sunt. 31 Rugiunt autem clamantes contra deos suos sicut in cœna mortui. 32 Vestimenta eorum auferunt sacerdotes, et vestiunt uxores suas et filios suos. 33 Neque si quid mali patiuntur ab aliquo, neque si quid boni, poterunt retribuere: neque regem constituere possunt, neque auferre. 34 Similiter neque dare divitias possunt, neque malum retribuere. Si quis illis votum voverit et non reddiderit, neque hoc requirunt. 35 Hominem a morte non liberant, neque infirmum a potentiori eripiunt. 36 Hominem cæcum ad visum non restituunt; de necessitate hominem non liberabunt. 37 Viduæ non miserebuntur, neque orphanis benefacient. 38 Lapidibus de monte similes sunt dii illorum, lignei, et lapidei, et aurei, et argentei: qui autem colunt ea, confundentur. 39 Quomodo ergo æstimandum est aut dicendum illos esse deos?
40 ἔτι δὲ καὶ αὐτῶν τῶν Χαλδαίων ἀτιμαζόντων αὐτά οἵ ὅταν ἴδωσιν ἐνεὸν οὐ δυνάμενον λαλῆσαι προσενεγκάμενοι τὸν Βῆλον ἀξιοῦσιν φωνῆσαι ὡς δυνατοῦ ὄντος αὐτοῦ αἰσθέσθαι 41 καὶ οὐ δύνανται αὐτοὶ νοήσαντες καταλιπεῖν αὐτά αἴσθησιν γὰρ οὐκ ἔχουσιν 42 αἱ δὲ γυναῖκες περιθέμεναι σχοινία ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς ἐγκάθηνται θυμιῶσαι τὰ πίτυρα 43 ὅταν δέ τις αὐτῶν ἐφελκυσθεῖσα ὑπό τινος τῶν παραπορευομένων κοιμηθῇ τὴν πλησίον ὀνειδίζει ὅτι οὐκ ἠξίωται ὥσπερ καὶ αὐτὴ οὔτε τὸ σχοινίον αὐτῆς διερράγη 44 πάντα τὰ γινόμενα αὐτοῖς ἐστιν ψευδῆ πῶς οὖν νομιστέον ἢ κλητέον ὥστε θεοὺς αὐτοὺς ὑπάρχειν 40 And indeed the Chaldaeans themselves have but scant reverence for these idols of theirs; hear they of a dumb child that can utter no word, Bel’s image must be brought to it and petitioned for the gift of speech; 41 as if the senseless thing which cannot move could yet hear them! Sense neither god nor worshipper has, else god should find no worship.[6] 42 See where their women sit in the streets, with ropes about them, each before a fire of olive-stones,[7] 43 each waiting till some passer-by drags her away and beds her, then taunting her less coveted neighbours, that have ropes about them still! 44 All lies, the worship of them, and shall they claim the title of gods? 40 Adhuc enim ipsis Chaldæis non honorantibus ea: qui cum audierint mutum non posse loqui, offerunt illud ad Bel, postulantes ab eo loqui: 41 quasi possint sentire qui non habent motum! Et ipsi, cum intellexerint, relinquent ea: sensum enim non habent ipsi dii illorum. 42 Mulieres autem circumdatæ funibus in viis sedent, succendentes ossa olivarum: 43 cum autem aliqua ex ipsis, attracta ab aliquo transeunte, dormierit cum eo, proximæ suæ exprobrat quod ea non sit digna habita, sicut ipsa, neque funis ejus diruptus sit. 44 Omnia autem quæ illi fiunt, falsa sunt: quomodo æstimandum aut dicendum est illos esse deos?
45 ὑπὸ τεκτόνων καὶ χρυσοχόων κατεσκευασμένα εἰσίν οὐθὲν ἄλλο μὴ γένωνται ἢ ὃ βούλονται οἱ τεχνῖται αὐτὰ γενέσθαι 46 αὐτοί τε οἱ κατασκευάζοντες αὐτὰ οὐ μὴ γένωνται πολυχρόνιοι πῶς τε δὴ μέλλει τὰ ὑ{P'} αὐτῶν κατασκευασθέντα εἶναι θεοί 47 κατέλιπον γὰρ ψεύδη καὶ ὄνειδος τοῖς ἐπιγινομένοις 48 ὅταν γὰρ ἐπέλθῃ ἐ{P'} αὐτὰ πόλεμος καὶ κακά βουλεύονται πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς οἱ ἱερεῖς ποῦ συναποκρυβῶσι με{T'} αὐτῶν 49 πῶς οὖν οὐκ ἔστιν αἰσθέσθαι ὅτι οὔκ εἰσιν θεοί οἳ οὔτε σῴζουσιν ἑαυτοὺς ἐκ πολέμου οὔτε ἐκ κακῶν 50 ὑπάρχοντα γὰρ ξύλινα καὶ περίχρυσα καὶ περιάργυρα γνωσθήσεται μετὰ ταῦτα ὅτι ἐστὶν ψευδῆ τοῖς ἔθνεσι πᾶσι τοῖς τε βασιλεῦσι φανερὸν ἔσται ὅτι οὔκ εἰσι θεοὶ ἀλλὰ ἔργα χειρῶν ἀνθρώπων καὶ οὐδὲν θεοῦ ἔργον ἐν αὐτοῖς ἐστιν 51 τίνι οὖν γνωστέον ἐστὶν ὅτι οὔκ εἰσιν θεοί 52 βασιλέα γὰρ χώρας οὐ μὴ ἀναστήσωσιν οὔτε ὑετὸν ἀνθρώποις οὐ μὴ δῶσιν 53 κρίσιν τε οὐ μὴ διακρίνωσιν αὐτῶν οὐδὲ μὴ ῥύσωνται ἀδικούμενον ἀδύνατοι ὄντες ὥσπερ γὰρ κορῶναι ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς γῆς 54 καὶ γὰρ ὅταν ἐμπέσῃ εἰς οἰκίαν θεῶν ξυλίνων ἢ περιχρύσων ἢ περιαργύρων πῦρ οἱ μὲν ἱερεῖς αὐτῶν φεύξονται καὶ διασωθήσονται αὐτοὶ δὲ ὥσπερ δοκοὶ μέσοι κατακαυθήσονται 55 βασιλεῖ δὲ καὶ πολεμίοις οὐ μὴ ἀντιστῶσιν 45 Carpenters made them and goldsmiths, only at the priests’ whim; 46 and shall the handicraft of mortal craftsmen be divine? 47 One day, their descendants will reproach them with a legacy of imposture. 48 Come war, come peril, the priest thinks only of hiding himself and his gods both; 49 gods who shall think them, that from war and peril their own selves cannot deliver? 50 Recognize it at last they will, kings and peoples everywhere, that gods of wood, gold and silver are false gods, creatures of man, not creators. 51 Man’s handiwork, with nothing in them of the divine, who can doubt it? 52 Not through them comes king to throne, comes rain to country folk; 53 redress wrong they may not, nor rid a people of tyranny; dead crow hung between heaven and earth is not more powerless. 54 Does a temple catch fire? You shall see priests taking refuge in flight, and the wooden gods, for all the silver and gold on them, burning among the woodwork. 55 Against the king’s power, against the enemy’s attack, they can make no head; who shall reckon them or name them divine? 45 A fabris autem et ab aurificibus facta sunt: nihil aliud erunt, nisi id quod volunt esse sacerdotes. 46 Artifices etiam ipsi, qui ea faciunt, non sunt multi temporis: numquid ergo possunt ea, quæ fabricata sunt ab ipsis, esse dii? 47 Reliquerunt autem falsa et opprobrium postea futuris. 48 Nam cum supervenerit illis prælium et mala, cogitant sacerdotes apud se ubi se abscondant cum illis. 49 Quomodo ergo sentiri debeant quoniam dii sunt, qui nec de bello se liberant, neque de malis se eripiunt? 50 Nam cum sint lignea, inaurata et inargentata, scietur postea quia falsa sunt ab universis gentibus et regibus: quæ manifesta sunt quia non sunt dii, sed opera manuum hominum, et nullum Dei opus cum illis. 51 Unde ergo notum est quia non sunt dii, sed opera manuum hominum, et nullum Dei opus in ipsis est. 52 Regem regioni non suscitant, neque pluviam hominibus dabunt. 53 Judicium quoque non discernent, neque regiones liberabunt ab injuria, quia nihil possunt, sicut corniculæ inter medium cæli et terræ. 54 Etenim cum inciderit ignis in domum deorum ligneorum, argenteorum et aureorum, sacerdotes quidem ipsorum fugient, et liberabuntur: ipsi vero sicut trabes in medio comburentur. 55 Regi autem et bello non resistent. Quomodo ergo æstimandum est aut recipiendum quia dii sunt?
56 πῶς οὖν ἐκδεκτέον ἢ νομιστέον ὅτι εἰσὶν θεοί 57 οὔτε ἀπὸ κλεπτῶν οὔτε ἀπὸ λῃστῶν οὐ μὴ διασωθῶσιν θεοὶ ξύλινοι καὶ περιάργυροι καὶ περίχρυσοι ὧν οἱ ἰσχύοντες περιελοῦνται τὸ χρυσίον καὶ τὸ ἀργύριον καὶ τὸν ἱματισμὸν τὸν περικείμενον αὐτοῖς ἀπελεύσονται ἔχοντες οὔτε ἑαυτοῖς οὐ μὴ βοηθήσωσιν 58 ὥστε κρεῖσσον εἶναι βασιλέα ἐπιδεικνύμενον τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἀνδρείαν ἢ σκεῦος ἐν οἰκίᾳ χρήσιμον ἐ{F'} ᾧ χρήσεται ὁ κεκτημένος ἢ οἱ ψευδεῖς θεοί ἢ καὶ θύρα ἐν οἰκίᾳ διασῴζουσα τὰ ἐν αὐτῇ ὄντα ἢ οἱ ψευδεῖς θεοί καὶ ξύλινος στῦλος ἐν βασιλείοις ἢ οἱ ψευδεῖς θεοί 59 ἥλιος μὲν γὰρ καὶ σελήνη καὶ ἄστρα ὄντα λαμπρὰ καὶ ἀποστελλόμενα ἐπὶ χρείας εὐήκοά εἰσιν 60 ὡσαύτως καὶ ἀστραπή ὅταν ἐπιφανῇ εὔοπτός ἐστιν τὸ {D'} αὐτὸ καὶ πνεῦμα ἐν πάσῃ χώρᾳ πνεῖ 61 καὶ νεφέλαις ὅταν ἐπιταγῇ ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπιπορεύεσθαι ἐ{F'} ὅλην τὴν οἰκουμένην συντελοῦσι τὸ ταχθέν τό τε πῦρ ἐξαποσταλὲν ἄνωθεν ἐξαναλῶσαι ὄρη καὶ δρυμοὺς ποιεῖ τὸ συνταχθέν 62 ταῦτα δὲ οὔτε ταῖς ἰδέαις οὔτε ταῖς δυνάμεσιν αὐτῶν ἀφωμοιωμένα ἐστίν 63 ὅθεν οὔτε νομιστέον οὔτε κλητέον ὑπάρχειν αὐτοὺς θεούς οὐ δυνατῶν ὄντων αὐτῶν οὔτε κρίσιν κρῖναι οὔτε εὖ ποιεῖν ἀνθρώποις 64 γνόντες οὖν ὅτι οὔκ εἰσιν θεοί μὴ φοβηθῆτε αὐτούς 65 οὔτε γὰρ βασιλεῦσιν οὐ μὴ καταράσωνται οὔτε μὴ εὐλογήσωσι 66 σημεῖά τε ἐν ἔθνεσιν ἐν οὐρανῷ οὐ μὴ δείξωσιν οὐδὲ ὡς ὁ ἥλιος λάμψουσιν οὐδὲ φωτίσουσιν ὡς σελήνη 67 τὰ θηρία ἐστὶν κρείττω αὐτῶν ἃ δύνανται ἐκφυγόντα εἰς σκέπην ἑαυτὰ ὠφελῆσαι 56 Wood and stone, gold and silver, how to protect themselves against the superior strength of house-breaker and robber, 57 that will carry off sheathes of silver and gold, carry off the clothes from their backs, and leave them powerless? 58 Better some golden emblem of royal prowess, cup of silver meant for use, not only for display, door of wood that keeps safe the treasures of a house, than these deceiving idols![8] 59 How fair to look upon are sun and moon and stars! Yet theirs is loyal and useful service; 60 and so it is with yonder lightning, that dazzles the view. Everywhere winds blowing, 61 clouds drifting across the earth as God bade them, fulfil an appointed task; 62 an appointed task, too, has the heaven-lit fire that burns mountain-side and forest. What beauty have the idols, or what power, that they should be compared with any of these? 63 Gods never think them, gods never call them, that have no power to execute judgement, to do men good or ill. 64 And, since gods they are not, need is none to fear them; 65 can they pronounce a curse or a blessing on kings? 66 Can they startle the world with portents, shine like the sun, light up darkness like the moon? 67 Why, the very beasts are their betters, that know at least how to take shelter for their own safety! 56 Non a furibus, neque a latronibus se liberabunt dii lignei, et lapidei, et inaurati, et inargentati: quibus hi qui fortiores sunt, 57 aurum et argentum, et vestimentum quo operti sunt, auferent illis, et abibunt, nec sibi auxilium ferent. 58 Itaque melius est esse regem ostentantem virtutem suam, aut vas in domo utile, in quo gloriabitur qui possidet illud, vel ostium in domo, quod custodit quæ in ipsa sunt, quam falsi dii. 59 Sol quidem et luna ac sidera, cum sint splendida et emissa ad utilitates, obaudiunt: 60 similiter et fulgur cum apparuerit, perspicuum est: idipsum autem et spiritus in omni regione spirat: 61 et nubes, quibus cum imperatum fuerit a Deo perambulare universum orbem, perficiunt quod imperatum est eis: 62 ignis etiam missus desuper, ut consumat montes et silvas, facit quod præceptum est ei: hæc autem neque speciebus, neque virtutibus, uni eorum similia sunt. 63 Unde neque existimandum est, neque dicendum illos esse deos, quando non possunt neque judicium judicare, neque quidquam facere hominibus. 64 Scientes itaque quia non sunt dii, ne ergo timueritis eos. 65 Neque enim regibus maledicent, neque benedicent. 66 Signa etiam in cælo gentibus non ostendunt: neque ut sol lucebunt, neque illuminabunt ut luna. 67 Bestiæ meliores sunt illis, quæ possunt fugere sub tectum ac prodesse sibi.
68 κα{T'} οὐδένα οὖν τρόπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν φανερὸν ὅτι εἰσὶν θεοί διὸ μὴ φοβηθῆτε αὐτούς 69 ὥσπερ γὰρ ἐν σικυηράτῳ προβασκάνιον οὐδὲν φυλάσσον οὕτως οἱ θεοὶ αὐτῶν εἰσιν ξύλινοι καὶ περίχρυσοι καὶ περιάργυροι 70 τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον καὶ τῇ ἐν κήπῳ ῥάμνῳ ἐ{F'} ἧς πᾶν ὄρνεον ἐπικάθηται ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ νεκρῷ ἐρριμμένῳ ἐν σκότει ἀφωμοίωνται οἱ θεοὶ αὐτῶν ξύλινοι καὶ περίχρυσοι καὶ περιάργυροι 71 ἀπό τε τῆς πορφύρας καὶ τῆς μαρμάρου τῆς ἐ{P'} αὐτοῖς σηπομένης γνώσεσθε ὅτι οὔκ εἰσιν θεοί αὐτά τε ἐξ ὑστέρου βρωθήσονται καὶ ἔσται ὄνειδος ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ 68 Fear we never the gods that ungod themselves so plainly! 69 Wood and silver and gold, that watch over the world as a scare-crow over a herb-garden; 70 wood and silver and gold, patient of the birds that perch on them as bush of white-thorn, or corpse left to lie in a dark alley! 71 From the purple robes that rot on them, you may learn they are no gods; they, too, shall be eaten away when their time comes, and be a disgrace to the country-side. 68 Nullo itaque modo nobis est manifestum quia sunt dii: propter quod ne timeatis eos. 69 Nam sicut in cucumerario formido nihil custodit, ita sunt dii illorum lignei, et argentei, et inaurati. 70 Eodem modo et in horto spina alba, supra quam omnis avis sedet, similiter et mortuo projecto in tenebris, similes sunt dii illorum lignei, et inaurati, et inargentati. 71 A purpura quoque et murice, quæ supra illos tineant, scietis itaque quia non sunt dii: ipsi etiam postremo comeduntur, et erunt opprobrium in regione.
72 κρείσσων οὖν ἄνθρωπος δίκαιος οὐκ ἔχων εἴδωλα ἔσται γὰρ μακρὰν ἀπὸ ὀνειδισμοῦ 72 Well it is for God’s loyal servants, that eschew idolatry, and live from all censure far removed. 72 Melior est homo justus qui non habet simulacra, nam erit longe ab opprobriis.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.