XXI. And when Jesus was become old and
well-stricken in years, God said to him: Behold, thou waxest old and well-stricken in days, and the land is become very great, and there is none to divide it (or take it by lot), and it shall be after thy departure this people will mingle with the inhabitants of the land and go astray after other gods, and I shall forsake them as I testified in my word unto Moses; but do thou testify unto them before thou diest. 2. And Jesus said: Thou knowest more than all, O Lord, what moveth the heart of the sea before it rageth, and thou hast tracked out the constellations and numbered the
stars, and ordered the rain. Thou knowest the mind of all generations before they be born. And now, Lord, give unto thy people an heart of wisdom and a mind of prudence, and it shall be when thou givest these ordinances unto thine heritage, they shall not sin before thee and thou shall not be wroth with them. 3. Are not these the words which I spake before thee, Lord, when Achar stole of the curse, and the people were delivered up before thee, and I prayed in thy sight and said: Were it not better for us, O Lord, if we had died in the Red Sea, wherein thou drownedst our enemies? or if we had died in the wilderness, like our fathers, than to be delivered into the hand of the Amorites that we should be blotted out for ever? 4. Yet if thy word be about us, no evil shall befall us: for even though our end be removed unto death, thou livest which art before the world and after the world; and whereas a man cannot devise 1 how to put one generation before another, he saith "God hath destroyed his people whom he chose": and behold, we shall be in Hell: yet thou wilt make thy word alive. And now let the fulness of thy mercies have patience with thy people, and choose for thine heritage a man which shall rule over thy people, he and his generation. 5. Was it not for this that our father Jacob spake, saying: A prince shall not
depart from Juda, nor a leader from his loins. And now confirm the words spoken aforetime, that the nations of the earth and tribes of the world may learn that thou art everlasting. 6. And he said furthermore: O Lord, behold the days shall come
and the house of Israel shall be like unto a brooding dove which setteth her young in the nest and will not forsake them nor forget her place. So, also, these shall turn from their deeds and fight against the salvation that shall be born unto them.
7. And Jesus went down from Galgala and
built an altar of very great stones, and brought no iron upon them, as Moses had commanded, and set up great stones on mount Gebal, and whitened them and wrote on them the words of the law very plainly: and gathered all the people together and read in their ears all the words of the law. 8. And he came down with them and offered upon the altar peace-offerings, and they sang many praises, and lifted up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the tabernacle with timbrels and dances and lutes and harps and psalteries and all instruments of sweet sound. 9. And the priests and Levites were going up before the ark and rejoicing with psalms, and they set the ark before the altar, and lifted up on it yet again peace-offerings very many, and the whole house of Israel sang together with a loud voice saying: Behold, our Lord hath fulfilled that which he spake with our fathers saying: To your, seed will I give a land wherein to dwell, a land flowing with milk and honey. And lo, he hath brought us. into the land of our enemies and hath delivered them broken in heart before us, and he is the God which sent to our fathers in the secret places of souls, saying: Behold, the Lord hath done all that he spake unto us. And now know we of a truth that God hath confirmed all the words of the law which he spake to us in Oreb; and if our heart keep his ways it will be well with us, and with our sons after us. 10. And Jesus blessed them and said: The Lord grant
your heart to continue therein (or in him) all the days, and if ye depart not from his name, the covenant of the Lord shall endure with you. And he grant that it be not corrupted, but that the dwelling-place of God be builded among you, as he spake when he sent you into his inheritance with mirth and gladness.
136:1 XXI. 4. And whereas a man cannot devise, etc. There is an antithesis between the short sight of man and the eternal knowledge of God: but either the text is unsound or I fail to understand it, for it seems to me inconsequent as it stands.
Next: Chapter XXII