Chapter 4 15 The floods of the sea also in like manner took counsel, and said, Come, let us go up and subdue the woods of the plain, that there also we may make us another country.16 The thought of the wood was in vain, for the fire came and consumed it.17 The thought of the floods of the sea came likewise to nought, for the sand stood up and stopped them.18 If thou wert judge now betwixt these two, whom wouldest thou begin to justify? or whom wouldest thou condemn?19 I answered and said, Verily it is a foolish thought that they both have devised, for the ground is given unto the wood, and the sea also hath his place to bear his floods.20 Then answered he me, and said, Thou hast given a right judgment, but why judgest thou not thyself also?21 For like as the ground is given unto the wood, and the sea to his floods: even so they that dwell upon the earth may understand nothing but that which is upon the earth: and he that dwelleth above the heavens may only understand the things that are above the height of the heavens.22 Then answered I and said, I beseech thee, O Lord, let me have understanding:23 For it was not my mind to be curious of the high things, but of such as pass by us daily, namely, wherefore Israel is given up as a reproach to the heathen, and for what cause the people whom thou hast loved is given over unto ungodly nations, and why the law of our forefathers is brought to nought, and the written covenants come to none effect,24 And we pass away out of the world as grasshoppers, and our life is astonishment and fear, and we are not worthy to obtain mercy.25 What will he then do unto his name whereby we are called? of these things have I asked.26 Then answered he me, and said, The more thou searchest, the more thou shalt marvel; for the world hasteth fast to pass away,27 And cannot comprehend the things that are promised to the righteous in time to come: for this world is full of unrighteousness and infirmities.28 But as concerning the things whereof thou askest me, I will tell thee; for the evil is sown, but the destruction thereof is not yet come.29 If therefore that which is sown be not turned upside down, and if the place where the evil is sown pass not away, then cannot it come that is sown with good.30 For the grain of evil seed hath been sown in the heart of Adam from the beginning, and how much ungodliness hath it brought up unto this time? and how much shall it yet bring forth until the time of threshing come?31 Ponder now by thyself, how great fruit of wickedness the grain of evil seed hath brought forth.32 And when the ears shall be cut down, which are without number, how great a floor shall they fill?33 Then I answered and said, How, and when shall these things come to pass? wherefore are our years few and evil?34 And he answered me, saying, Do not thou hasten above the most Highest: for thy haste is in vain to be above him, for thou hast much exceeded.35 Did not the souls also of the righteous ask question of these things in their chambers, saying, How long shall I hope on this fashion? when cometh the fruit of the floor of our reward?36 And unto these things Uriel the archangel gave them answer, and said, Even when the number of seeds is filled in you: for he hath weighed the world in the balance.37 By measure hath he measured the times; and by number hath he numbered the times; and he doth not move nor stir them, until the said measure be fulfilled.