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The decreasing Years and increasing Corruption of Mankind (xxiii. 9-17).

9. For the days of the forefathers, of their life, were nineteen jubilees; and after the Flood they began to grow less than nineteen jubilees, and to decrease in jubilees, and to grow old quickly, and to be full of their days by reason of manifold tribulation and the wickedness of their ways, with the exception of Abraham. 2 10. For Abraham was perfect in all his deeds with the Lord, and well-pleasing in righteousness all the days of his life; and behold, he did not complete four jubilees in his life, when he had grown old by reason of the wickedness 3 and was full of his days. 11. And all the generations which will arise from this time until the day of the great judgment will grow old quickly, before they complete two jubilees, and their knowledge will forsake them by reason of their old age [and all their knowledge will vanish away]. 4 12. And in those days, if a man live a jubilee and a half of years, they will say regarding him: "He hath lived long, and the greater part of his days are pain and sorrow and

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tribulation, 1 and there is no peace: 13. For calamity followeth on calamity, and wound on wound, and tribulation on tribulation, and evil tidings on evil tidings, and illness on illness, and all evil judgments such as these, one with another, illness and overthrow, and snow and frost and ice, and fever, and chills, and torpor, and famine, and death, and sword, and captivity, and all kinds of calamities and pains." 2 14. And all these will come on an evil generation, which transgresseth on the earth: their works are uncleanness and fornication, and pollution and abominations. 3 15. Then they will say: "The days of the forefathers were many (even), unto a thousand years, and were good; but, behold, the days of our life, if a man hath lived many, are three score years and ten, and, if he is strong, four score years, and those evil 4 and there is no peace in the days of this evil generation." 16. And in that generation the sons will convict their fathers and their elders of sin and unrighteousness, 5 and of the words of their mouth and the great wickednesses which they perpetrate, and concerning their forsaking the covenant 6 which the Lord made between them and Him, that they should observe and do all His commandments and His ordinances and all His laws, without departing either to the right hand or to the left. 7 17. For all have done evil, 8 and every mouth speaketh iniquity 9 and all their works are an uncleanness and an abomination, and all their ways are pollution, uncleanness and destruction.


128:2 ? Man's years grow less as mankind grows more corrupt; cf. for a similar idea 4 Ezra v. 50-55.

128:3 Even Abraham grew prematurely old owing to the universal wickedness.

128:4 Bracketed words a dittograph.

129:1 Cf. Ps. xc. 10.

129:2 ? a picture of contemporary misfortunes (200 B.C. and following years).

129:3 Cf. vii. 21, xx. 5, xxii. 16.

129:4 Cf. Ps. xc. 10.

129:5 ? the protest of the Hasidim ("the pious") against the Hellenizers; cf. 1 Macc. ii. 42 ff.

129:6 Cf. 1 Macc. i. 15.

129:7 Cf. 1 Macc. ii. 21 f. (Deut. v. 31-32, xxviii. 14).

129:8 Cf. 1 Macc. i. 52-53.

129:9 Cf. 1 Macc. ii, 6.

Next: The Messianic Woes (xxiii. 18-25)