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 Letter of Jeremiah EpJr : 1Revised Standard Version

Ἀντίγραφον ἐπιστολῆς, ἧς ἀπέστειλεν Ιερεμιας πρὸς τοὺς ἀχθησομένους αἰχμαλώτους εἰς Βαβυλῶνα ὑπὸ τοῦ βασι λέως τῶν Βαβυλωνίων ἀναγγεῖλαι αὐτοῖς καθότι ἐπετάγη αὐτῷ ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ. Introduction. EpJr (v.Bar).6.1A copy of a letter which Jeremiah sent to those who were to be taken to Babylon as captives by the king of the Babylonians, to give them the message which God had commanded him.
1 Διὰ τὰς ἁμαρτίας, ἃς ἡμαρτήκατε ἐναντίον τοῦ θεοῦ, ἀχθήσεσθε εἰς Βαβυλῶνα αἰχμάλωτοι ὑπὸ Ναβουχοδονοσορ βασιλέως τῶν Βαβυλωνίων. The People face a Long Captivity. EpJr (v.Bar).6.2-7Because of the sins which you have committed before God, you will be taken to Babylon as captives by Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Babylonians.
2 εἰσελθόντες οὖν εἰς Βαβυλῶνα ἔσεσθε ἐκεῖ ἔτη πλείονα καὶ χρόνον μακρὸν ἕως γενεῶν ἑπτά, μετὰ τοῦτο δὲ ἐξάξω ὑμᾶς ἐκεῖθεν μετ' εἰρήνης.  Therefore when you have come to Babylon you will remain there for many years, for a long time, up to seven generations; after that I will bring you away from there in peace.
3 νυνὶ δὲ ὄψεσθε ἐν Βαβυλῶνι θεοὺς ἀργυροῦς καὶ χρυσοῦς καὶ ξυλίνους ἐπ' ὤμοις αἰρομένους δεικνύντας φόβον τοῖς ἔθνεσιν.  Now in Babylon you will see gods made of silver and gold and wood, which are carried on men's shoulders and inspire fear in the heathen.
4 εὐλαβήθητε οὖν μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀφομοιωθέντες τοῖς ἀλλοφύλοις ἀφομοιωθῆτε καὶ φόβος ὑμᾶς λάβῃ ἐπ' αὐτοῖς  So take care not to become at all like the foreigners or to let fear for these gods possess you, when you see the multitude before and behind them worshipping them.
5 ἰδόντας ὄχλον ἔμπροσθεν καὶ ὄπισθεν αὐτῶν προσκυνοῦντας αὐτά, εἴπατε δὲ τῇ διανοίᾳ Σοὶ δεῖ προσκυνεῖν, δέσποτα.  But say in your heart, "It is thou, O Lord, whom we must worship."
6 ὁ γὰρ ἄγγελός μου μεθ' ὑμῶν ἐστιν, αὐτός τε ἐκζητῶν τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν.  For my angel is with you, and he is watching your lives.
7 Γλῶσσα γὰρ αὐτῶν ἐστιν κατεξυσμένη ὑπὸ τέκτονος, αὐτά τε περίχρυσα καὶ περιάργυρα, ψευδῆ δ' ἐστὶν καὶ οὐ δύνανται λαλεῖν. The Helplessness of Idols. EpJr (v.Bar).6.8-40Their tongues are smoothed by the craftsman, and they themselves are overlaid with gold and silver; but they are false and cannot speak.
8 καὶ ὥσπερ παρθένῳ φιλοκόσμῳ λαμβάνοντες χρυσίον κατασκευάζουσιν στεφάνους ἐπὶ τὰς κεφαλὰς τῶν θεῶν αὐτῶν·  People take gold and make crowns for the heads of their gods, as they would for a girl wholoves ornaments;
9 ἔστι δὲ καὶ ὅτε ὑφαιρούμενοι οἱ ἱερεῖς ἀπὸ τῶν θεῶν αὐτῶν χρυσίον καὶ ἀργύριον εἰς ἑαυτοὺς καταναλώσουσιν, δώσουσιν δὲ ἀπ' αὐτῶν καὶ ταῖς ἐπὶ τοῦ τέγους πόρναις.  and sometimes the priests secretly take gold and silver from their gods and spend it upon themselves,
10 κοσμοῦσί τε αὐτοὺς ὡς ἀνθρώπους τοῖς ἐνδύμασιν, θεοὺς ἀργυροῦς καὶ χρυσοῦς καὶ ξυλίνους· οὗτοι δὲ οὐ διασῴζονται ἀπὸ ἰοῦ καὶ βρωμάτων.  and even give some of it to the harlots in the brothel. They deck their gods out with garments like men - these gods of silver and gold and wood,
11 περιβεβλημένων αὐτῶν ἱματισμὸν πορφυροῦν, ἐκμάσσονται τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν διὰ τὸν ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας κονιορτόν, ὅς ἐστιν πλείων ἐπ' αὐτοῖς.  which cannot save themselves from rust and corrosion. When they have been dressed in purple robes,
12 καὶ σκῆπτρον ἔχει ὡς ἄνθρωπος κριτὴς χώρας, ὃς τὸν εἰς αὐτὸν ἁμαρτάνοντα οὐκ ἀνελεῖ.  their faces are wiped because of the dust from the temple, which is thick upon them.
13 ἔχει δὲ ἐγχειρίδιον ἐν δεξιᾷ καὶ πέλεκυν, ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἐκ πολέμου καὶ λῃστῶν οὐκ ἐξελεῖται.  Like a local ruler the god holds a scepter, though unable to destroy any one who offends it.
14 ὅθεν γνώριμοί εἰσιν οὐκ ὄντες θεοί· μὴ οὖν φοβηθῆτε αὐτούς.  It has a dagger in its right hand, and has an axe; but it cannot save itself from war and robbers.
15 Ὥσπερ γὰρ σκεῦος ἀνθρώπου συντριβὲν ἀχρεῖον γίνεται, τοιοῦτοι ὑπάρχουσιν οἱ θεοὶ αὐτῶν, καθιδρυμένων αὐτῶν ἐν τοῖς οἴκοις.  Therefore they evidently are not gods; so do not fear them.
16 οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ αὐτῶν πλήρεις εἰσὶν κονιορτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν τῶν εἰσπορευομένων.  For just as one's dish is useless when it is broken, so are the gods of the heathen, when they have been set up in the temples. Their eyes are full of the dust raised by the feet of those who enter.
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.  And just as the gates are shut on every side upon a man who has offended a king, as though he were sentenced to death, so the priests make their temples secure with doors and locks and bars, in order that they may not be plundered by robbers.
18 λύχνους καίουσιν καὶ πλείους ἢ ἑαυτοῖς, ὧν οὐδένα δύνανται ἰδεῖν.  They light lamps, even more than they light for themselves, though their gods can see none of them.
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.  They are just like a beam of the temple, but men say their hearts have melted, when worms from the earth devour them and their robes. They do not notice
20 μεμελανωμένοι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν ἀπὸ τοῦ καπνοῦ τοῦ ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας.  when their faces have been blackened by the smoke of the temple.
21 ἐπὶ τὸ σῶμα αὐτῶν καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν ἐφίπτανται νυκτερίδες, χελιδόνες καὶ τὰ ὄρνεα, ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ οἱ αἴλουροι.  Bats, swallows, and birds light on their bodies and heads; and so do cats.
22 ὅθεν γνώσεσθε ὅτι οὔκ εἰσιν θεοί· μὴ οὖν φοβεῖσθε αὐτά.  From this you will know that they are not gods; so do not fear them.
23 Τὸ γὰρ χρυσίον, ὃ περίκεινται εἰς κάλλος, ἐὰν μή τις ἐκμάξῃ τὸν ἰόν, οὐ μὴ στίλψωσιν· οὐδὲ γάρ, ὅτε ἐχωνεύοντο, ᾐσθάνοντο.  As for the gold which they wear for beauty - they will not shine unless some one wipes off therust; for even when they were being cast, they had no feeling.
24 ἐκ πάσης τιμῆς ἠγορασμένα ἐστίν, ἐν οἷς οὐκ ἔστιν πνεῦμα.  They are bought at any cost, but there is no breath in them.
25 ἄνευ ποδῶν ἐπ' ὤμοις φέρονται ἐνδεικνύμενοι τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἀτιμίαν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, αἰσχύνονταί τε καὶ οἱ θεραπεύοντες αὐτὰ διὰ τό, μήποτε ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν πέσῃ, δι' αὐτῶν ἀνίστασθαι·  Having no feet, they are carried on men's shoulders, revealing to mankind their worthlessness.
26 μήτε ἐάν τις αὐτὸ ὀρθὸν στήσῃ, δι' ἑαυτοῦ κινηθήσεται, μήτε ἐὰν κλιθῇ, οὐ μὴ ὀρθωθῇ, ἀλλ' ὥσπερ νεκροῖς τὰ δῶρα αὐτοῖς παρατίθεται.  And those who serve them are ashamed because through them these gods are made to stand, lest they fall to the ground. If any one sets one of them upright, it cannot move itself; and if it is tipped over, it cannot straighten itself; but gifts are placed before them just as before the dead.
27 τὰς δὲ θυσίας αὐτῶν ἀποδόμενοι οἱ ἱερεῖς αὐτῶν καταχρῶνται· ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες αὐτῶν ἀπ' αὐτῶν ταριχεύουσαι οὔτε πτωχῷ οὔτε ἀδυνάτῳ μεταδιδόασιν· τῶν θυσιῶν αὐτῶν ἀποκαθημένη καὶ λεχὼ ἅπτονται.  The priests sell the sacrifices that are offered to these gods and use the money; and likewise their wives preserve some with salt, but give none to the poor or helpless.
28 γνόντες οὖν ἀπὸ τούτων ὅτι οὔκ εἰσιν θεοί, μὴ φοβηθῆτε αὐτούς.  Sacrifices to them may be touched by women in menstruation or at childbirth. Since you know by these things that they are not gods, do not fear them.
29 Πόθεν γὰρ κληθείησαν θεοί; ὅτι γυναῖκες παρατιθέασιν θεοῖς ἀργυροῖς καὶ χρυσοῖς καὶ ξυλίνοις·  For why should they be called gods? Women serve meals for gods of silver and gold and wood;
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,  and in their temples the priests sit with their clothes rent, their heads and beards shaved, and their heads uncovered.
31 ὠρύονται δὲ βοῶντες ἐναντίον τῶν θεῶν αὐτῶν ὥσπερ τινὲς ἐν περιδείπνῳ νεκροῦ.  They howl and shout before their gods as some do at a funeral feast for a man who has died.
32 ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱματισμοῦ αὐτῶν ἀφελόμενοι οἱ ἱερεῖς ἐνδύουσιν τὰς γυναῖκας αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ παιδία.  The priests take some of the clothing of their gods to clothe their wives and children.
33 οὔτε ἐὰν κακὸν πάθωσιν ὑπό τινος οὔτε ἐὰν ἀγαθόν, δυνήσονται ἀνταποδοῦναι· οὔτε καταστῆσαι βασιλέα δύνανται οὔτε ἀφελέσθαι.  Whether one does evil to them or good, they will not be able to repay it. They cannot set up a king or depose one.
34 ὡσαύτως οὔτε πλοῦτον οὔτε χαλκὸν οὐ μὴ δύνωνται διδόναι· ἐάν τις αὐτοῖς εὐχὴν εὐξάμενος μὴ ἀποδῷ, οὐ μὴ ἐπιζητήσωσιν.  Likewise they are not able to give either wealth or money; if one makes a vow to them and does not keep it, they will not require it.
35 ἐκ θανάτου ἄνθρωπον οὐ μὴ ῥύσωνται οὔτε ἥττονα ἀπὸ ἰσχυροῦ οὐ μὴ ἐξέλωνται.  They cannot save a man from death or rescue the weak from the strong.
36 ἄνθρωπον τυφλὸν εἰς ὅρασιν οὐ μὴ περιστήσωσιν, ἐν ἀνάγκῃ ἄνθρωπον ὄντα οὐ μὴ ἐξέλωνται.  They cannot restore sight to a blind man; they cannot rescue a man who is in distress.
37 χήραν οὐ μὴ ἐλεήσωσιν οὔτε ὀρφανὸν εὖ ποιήσουσιν.  They cannot take pity on a widow or do good to an orphan.
38 τοῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους λίθοις ὡμοιωμένοι εἰσὶν τὰ ξύλινα καὶ τὰ περίχρυσα καὶ τὰ περιάργυρα, οἱ δὲ θεραπεύοντες αὐτὰ καταισχυνθήσονται.  These things that are made of wood and overlaid with gold and silver are like stones from the mountain, and those who serve them will be put to shame.
39 πῶς οὖν νομιστέον ἢ κλητέον αὐτοὺς ὑπάρχειν θεούς; The foolishness of Worshipping Idols. EpJr (v.Bar).6.40-73Why then must any one think that they are gods, or call them gods?

Besides, even the Chaldeans themselves dishonor them;

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,  for when they see a dumb man, who cannot speak, they bring him and pray Bel that the man may speak, as though Bel were able to understand.
41 καὶ οὐ δύνανται αὐτοὶ νοήσαντες καταλιπεῖν αὐτά, αἴσθησιν γὰρ οὐκ ἔχουσιν.  Yet they themselves cannot perceive this and abandon them, for they have no sense.
42 αἱ δὲ γυναῖκες περιθέμεναι σχοινία ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς ἐγκάθηνται θυμιῶσαι τὰ πίτυρα·  And the women, with cords about them, sit along the passageways, burning bran for incense; and when one of them is led off by one of the passers-by and is lain with, she derides the woman next to her, because she was not as attractive as herself and her cord was not broken.
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.  Whatever is done for them is false. Why then must any one think that they are gods, or call them gods?
44 πάντα τὰ γινόμενα αὐτοῖς ἐστιν ψευδῆ· πῶς οὖν νομιστέον ἢ κλητέον ὥστε θεοὺς αὐτοὺς ὑπάρχειν;  They are made by carpenters and goldsmiths; they can be nothing but what the craftsmen wish them to be.
45 Ὑπὸ τεκτόνων καὶ χρυσοχόων κατεσκευασμένα εἰσίν· οὐθὲν ἄλλο μὴ γένωνται ἢ ὃ βούλονται οἱ τεχνῖται αὐτὰ γενέσθαι.  The men that make them will certainly not live very long themselves; how then can the things that are made by them be gods?
46 αὐτοί τε οἱ κατασκευάζοντες αὐτὰ οὐ μὴ γένωνται πολυχρόνιοι· πῶς τε δὴ μέλλει τὰ ὑπ' αὐτῶν κατασκευασθέντα εἶναι θεοί;  They have left only lies and reproach for those who come after.
47 κατέλιπον γὰρ ψεύδη καὶ ὄνειδος τοῖς ἐπιγινομένοις.  For when war or calamity comes upon them, the priests consult together as to where they can hide themselves and their gods.
48 ὅταν γὰρ ἐπέλθῃ ἐπ' αὐτὰ πόλεμος καὶ κακά, βουλεύονται πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς οἱ ἱερεῖς ποῦ συναποκρυβῶσι μετ' αὐτῶν.  How then can one fail to see that these are not gods, for they cannot save themselves from war or calamity?
49 πῶς οὖν οὐκ ἔστιν αἰσθέσθαι ὅτι οὔκ εἰσιν θεοί, οἳ οὔτε σῴζουσιν ἑαυτοὺς ἐκ πολέμου οὔτε ἐκ κακῶν;  Since they are made of wood and overlaid with gold and silver, it will afterward be known that they are false.
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.  It will be manifest to all the nations and kings that they are not gods but the work of men's hands, and that there is no work of God in them.
51 τίνι οὖν γνωστέον ἐστὶν ὅτι οὔκ εἰσιν θεοί;  Who then can fail to know that they are not gods?
52 Βασιλέα γὰρ χώρας οὐ μὴ ἀναστήσωσιν οὔτε ὑετὸν ἀνθρώποις οὐ μὴ δῶσιν  For they cannot set up a king over a country or give rain to men.
53 κρίσιν τε οὐ μὴ διακρίνωσιν αὐτῶν οὐδὲ μὴ ῥύσωνται ἀδικούμενον ἀδύνατοι ὄντες· ὥσπερ γὰρ κορῶναι ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς γῆς.  They cannot judge their own cause or deliver one who is wronged, for they have no power; they are like crows between heaven and earth.
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.  When fire breaks out in a temple of wooden gods overlaid with gold or silver, their priests will flee and escape, but the gods will be burnt in two like beams.
55 βασιλεῖ δὲ καὶ πολεμίοις οὐ μὴ ἀντιστῶσιν.  Besides, they can offer no resistance to a king or any enemies. Why then must any one admit or think that they are gods?
56 πῶς οὖν ἐκδεκτέον ἢ νομιστέον ὅτι εἰσὶν θεοί;  Gods made of wood and overlaid with silver and gold are not able to save themselves fromthieves and robbers.
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·  Strong men will strip them of their gold and silver and of the robes they wear, and go off with his booty, and they will not be able to help themselves.
58 ὥστε κρεῖσσον εἶναι βασιλέα ἐπιδεικνύμενον τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἀνδρείαν ἢ σκεῦος ἐν οἰκίᾳ χρήσιμον, ἐφ' 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.  So it is better to be a king who shows his courage, or a household utensil that serves its owner's need, than to be these false gods; better even the door of a house that protects its contents, than these false gods; better also a wooden pillar in a palace, than these false gods.
59 ἥλιος μὲν γὰρ καὶ σελήνη καὶ ἄστρα ὄντα λαμπρὰ καὶ ἀποστελλόμενα ἐπὶ χρείας εὐήκοά εἰσιν·  For sun and moon and stars, shining and sent forth for service, are obedient.
60 ὡσαύτως καὶ ἀστραπή, ὅταν ἐπιφανῇ, εὔοπτός ἐστιν· τὸ δ' αὐτὸ καὶ πνεῦμα ἐν πάσῃ χώρᾳ πνεῖ·  So also the lightning, when it flashes, is widely seen; and the wind likewise blows in every land.
61 καὶ νεφέλαις ὅταν ἐπιταγῇ ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπιπορεύεσθαι ἐφ' ὅλην τὴν οἰκουμένην, συντελοῦσι τὸ ταχθέν· τό τε πῦρ ἐξαποσταλὲν ἄνωθεν ἐξαναλῶσαι ὄρη καὶ δρυμοὺς ποιεῖ τὸ συνταχθέν.  When God commands the clouds to go over the whole world, they carry out his command.
62 ταῦτα δὲ οὔτε ταῖς ἰδέαις οὔτε ταῖς δυνάμεσιν αὐτῶν ἀφωμοιωμένα ἐστίν.  And the fire sent from above to consume mountains and woods does what it is ordered. But these idols are not to be compared with them in appearance or power.
63 ὅθεν οὔτε νομιστέον οὔτε κλητέον ὑπάρχειν αὐτοὺς θεούς, οὐ δυνατῶν ὄντων αὐτῶν οὔτε κρίσιν κρῖναι οὔτε εὖ ποιεῖν ἀνθρώποις.  Therefore one must not think that they are gods nor call them gods, for they are not able either to decide a case or to do good to men.
64 γνόντες οὖν ὅτι οὔκ εἰσιν θεοί, μὴ φοβηθῆτε αὐτούς.  Since you know then that they are not gods, do not fear them.
65 Οὔτε γὰρ βασιλεῦσιν οὐ μὴ καταράσωνται οὔτε μὴ εὐλογήσωσι.  For they can neither curse nor bless kings;
66 σημεῖά τε ἐν ἔθνεσιν ἐν οὐρανῷ οὐ μὴ δείξωσιν οὐδὲ ὡς ὁ ἥλιος λάμψουσιν οὐδὲ φωτίσουσιν ὡς σελήνη.  they cannot show signs in the heavens and among the nations, or shine like the sun or give light like the moon.
67 τὰ θηρία ἐστὶν κρείττω αὐτῶν, ἃ δύνανται ἐκφυγόντα εἰς σκέπην ἑαυτὰ ὠφελῆσαι.  The wild beasts are better than they are, for they can flee to cover and help themselves.
68 κατ' οὐδένα οὖν τρόπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν φανερὸν ὅτι εἰσὶν θεοί· διὸ μὴ φοβηθῆτε αὐτούς.  So we have no evidence whatever that they are gods; therefore do not fear them.
69 Ὥσπερ γὰρ ἐν σικυηράτῳ προβασκάνιον οὐδὲν φυλάσσον, οὕτως οἱ θεοὶ αὐτῶν εἰσιν ξύλινοι καὶ περίχρυσοι καὶ περιάργυροι.  Like a scarecrow in a cucumber bed, that guards nothing, so are their gods of wood, overlaid with gold and silver.
70 τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον καὶ τῇ ἐν κήπῳ ῥάμνῳ, ἐφ' ἧς πᾶν ὄρνεον ἐπικάθηται, ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ νεκρῷ ἐρριμμένῳ ἐν σκότει ἀφωμοίωνται οἱ θεοὶ αὐτῶν ξύλινοι καὶ περίχρυσοι καὶ περιάργυροι.  In the same way, their gods of wood, overlaid with gold and silver, and like a thorn bush in a garden, on which every bird sits; or like a dead body cast out in the darkness.
71 ἀπό τε τῆς πορφύρας καὶ τῆς μαρμάρου τῆς ἐπ' αὐτοῖς σηπομένης γνώσεσθε ὅτι οὔκ εἰσιν θεοί· αὐτά τε ἐξ ὑστέρου βρωθήσονται, καὶ ἔσται ὄνειδος ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ.  By the purple and linen that rot upon them you will know that they are not gods; and they will finally themselves be consumed, and be a reproach in the land.
72 κρείσσων οὖν ἄνθρωπος δίκαιος οὐκ ἔχων εἴδωλα, ἔσται γὰρ μακρὰν ἀπὸ ὀνειδισμοῦ.  Better therefore is a just man who has no idols, for he will be far from reproach.
    | EpJr: 1 |  

Notes: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971], Apocrypha, copyright 1957; The Third and Fourth Books of the Maccabees and Psalm 151, copyright 1977, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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