1In the thirtieth year after the ruin of the city, I Salathiel (the same is Esdras) was in Babylon, and lay troubled upon my bed, and my thoughts came up over my heart: 2for I saw the desolation of Sion, and the wealth of them that dwelt at Babylon. 3And my spirit was sore moved, so that I began to speak words full of fear to the Most High, and said, 4O Lord that bearest rule, didst thou not not speak at the beginning, when thou didst fashion the earth, and that thyself alone, and commandest the dust. 5and it gave thee Adam, a body without a soul? yet it was the workmanship of thine hands, and thou didst breathe into him the breath of life, and he was made living before thee. 6And thou leddest him into paradise, which thy right hand did plant, before ever the earth came forward. 7And unto him thou gavest thy one commandment: which he transgressed, and immediately thou appointedst death for him and in his generations; and there were born of him nations and tribes, peoples and kindreds, out of number. 8And every nation walked after their own will, and did ungodly things before thee, and despised thy commandments, and thou didst not forbid them. 9Nevertheless again in process of time thou broughtest the flood upon those that dwelt in the world, and destroyedst them. 10And it came to pass that the same hap befell them; like as death was to Adam, so was the flood to these. 11Nevertheless one of them thou leftest, Noah with his household, even all the righteous men that came of him. 12And it came to pass, that when they that dwelt upon the earth began to multiply, they multiplied also children, and peoples, and many nations, and began again to be more ungodly than the first. 13And it came to pass, when they did wickedly before thee, thou didst choose thee one from among them, whose name was Abraham; 14and him thou lovedst, and unto him only thou shewedst the end of the times secretly by night: 15and madest an everlasting covenant with him, promising him that thou wouldest never forsake his seed. 16And unto him thou gavest Isaac, and unto Isaac thou gavest Jacob and Esau. And thou didst set apart Jacob for thyself, but didst put by Esau: and Jacob became a great multitude. 17And it came to pass, that when thou leddest his seed out of Egypt, thou broughtest them up to the mount Sinai. 18Thou bowedst the heavens also, and didst shake the earth, and movedst the whole world, and madest the depths to tremble, and troubledst the course of that age. 19And thy glory went through four gates, of fire, and of earthquake, and of wind, and of cold; that thou mightest give the law unto the seed of Jacob, and the commandment unto the generation of Israel. 20And yet tookest thou not away from them their wicked heart, that thy law might bring forth fruit in them. 21For the first Adam bearing a wicked heart transgressed, and was overcome; and not he only, but all they also that are born of him. 22Thus disease was made permanent; and the law was in the heart of the people along with the wickedness of the root; so the good departed away, and that which was wicked abode still. 23So the times passed away, and the years were brought to an end: then didst thou raise thee up a servant, called David, 24whom thou commandedest to build a city unto thy name, and to offer oblations unto thee therein of thine own. 25When this was done many years, then they that inhabited the city did evil, 26in all things doing even as Adam and all his generations had done: for they also bare a wicked heart: 27and so thou gavest thy city over into the hands of thine enemies. 28And I said then in mine heart, are their deeds any better that inhabit Babylon? and hath she therefore dominion over Sion? 29For it came to pass when I came hither, that I saw also impieties without number, and my soul saw many evil-doers in this thirtieth year, so that my heart failed me. 30For I have seen how thou sufferest them sinning, and hast spared the ungodly doers, and hast destroyed thy people, and hast preserved thine enemies; and thou hast not signified 31unto any how thy way may be comprehended. Are the deeds of Babylon better than those of Sion? 32Or is there any other nation that knoweth thee beside Israel? or what tribes have so believed thy covenants as these tribes of Jacob? 33And yet their reward appeareth not, and their labour hath no fruit: for I have gone hither and thither through the nations, and I see that they abound in wealth, and think not upon thy commandments. 34Weigh thou therefore our iniquities now in the balance, and theirs also that dwell in the world; and so shall it be found which way the scale inclineth. 35Or when was it that they which dwell upon the earth have not sinned in thy sight? or what nation hath so kept thy commandments? 36Thou shalt find that men who may be reckoned by name have kept thy precepts; but nations thou shalt not find.