1they who said among themselves, thinking not aright: “Brief and troublous is our lifetime; o Jb 14, 1; 7, 9 . neither is there any remedy for man's dying, nor is anyone known to have come back from the nether world. 2For haphazard were we born, and hereafter we shall be as though we had not been; Because the breath in our nostrils is a smoke and reason is a spark at the beating of our hearts, 3And when this is quenched, our body will be ashes and our spirit will be poured abroad like unresisting air. p Jb 7, 9; Jas 4, 14 . 4Even our name will be forgotten in time, and no one will recall our deeds. So our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud, and will be dispersed like a mist pursued by the sun's rays and overpowered by its heat. 5For our lifetime is the passing of a shadow; and our dying cannot be deferred because it is fixed with a seal; and no one returns. q Ps 144, 4 . 6Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are real, and use the freshness of creation avidly. r Is 22, 13; 1 Cor 15, 32 . 7Let us have our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no springtime blossom pass us by; 8let us crown ourselves with rosebuds ere they wither. 9Let no meadow be free from our wantonness;* everywhere let us leave tokens of our rejoicing, for this our portion is, and this our lot. s Jer 13, 25 . 10Let us oppress the needy just man; let us neither spare the widow nor revere the old man for his hair grown white with time. t Ex 22, 22ff; Lv 19, 32 . 11But let our strength be our norm of justice; for weakness proves itself useless. 12 *Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law* and charges us with violations of our training. u Hos 8, 1 . 13He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD. v Mt 27, 43; Jn 8, 55; 10, 36–39 . 14To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, w Mt 9, 4 . 15Because his life is not like other men's, and different are his ways. 16He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father. x Jer 6, 30 . 17Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. y Gn 37, 20 . 18For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. z Ps 22, 9; Is 42, 1; Mt 27, 43; Jn 5, 18 . 19With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. 20Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.” a Jas 5, 6 . 21These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them, b Rom 1, 21 . 22And they knew not the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense of holiness nor discern the innocent souls’ reward. c Ps 18, 24f; Prv 11, 18; Mt 11, 25 . 23For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. d Gn 1, 26f; Is 54, 16 LXX. 24But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it. e Gn 3, 1–24; Rom 5, 12 .