Chapter 5 32 And said unto me, Hear me, and I will instruct thee; hearken to the thing that I say, and I shall tell thee more.33 And I said, Speak on, my Lord. Then said he unto me, Thou art sore troubled in mind for Israel's sake: lovest thou that people better than he that made them?34 And I said, No, Lord: but of very grief have I spoken: for my reins pain me every hour, while I labour to comprehend the way of the most High, and to seek out part of his judgment.35 And he said unto me, Thou canst not. And I said, Wherefore, Lord? whereunto was I born then? or why was not my mother's womb then my grave, that I might not have seen the travail of Jacob, and the wearisome toil of the stock of Israel?36 And he said unto me, Number me the things that are not yet come, gather me together the dross that are scattered abroad, make me the flowers green again that are withered,37 Open me the places that are closed, and bring me forth the winds that in them are shut up, shew me the image of a voice: and then I will declare to thee the thing that thou labourest to know.38 And I said, O Lord that bearest rule, who may know these things, but he that hath not his dwelling with men?39 As for me, I am unwise: how may I then speak of these things whereof thou askest me?40 Then said he unto me, Like as thou canst do none of these things that I have spoken of, even so canst thou not find out my judgment, or in the end the love that I have promised unto my people.41 And I said, Behold, O Lord, yet art thou nigh unto them that be reserved till the end: and what shall they do that have been before me, or we that be now, or they that shall come after us?42 And he said unto me, I will liken my judgment unto a ring: like as there is no slackness of the last, even so there is no swiftness of the first.43 So I answered and said, Couldest thou not make those that have been made, and be now, and that are for to come, at once; that thou mightest shew thy judgment the sooner?44 Then answered he me, and said, The creature may not haste above the maker; neither may the world hold them at once that shall be created therein.45 And I said, As thou hast said unto thy servant, that thou, which givest life to all, hast given life at once to the creature that thou hast created, and the creature bare it: even so it might now also bear them that now be present at once.46 And he said unto me, Ask the womb of a woman, and say unto her, If thou bringest forth children, why dost thou it not together, but one after another? pray her therefore to bring forth ten children at once.47 And I said, She cannot: but must do it by distance of time.48 Then said he unto me, Even so have I given the womb of the earth to those that be sown in it in their times.49 For like as a young child may not bring forth the things that belong to the aged, even so have I disposed the world which I created.50 And I asked, and said, Seeing thou hast now given me the way, I will proceed to speak before thee: for our mother, of whom thou hast told me that she is young, draweth now nigh unto age.51 He answered me, and said, Ask a woman that beareth children, and she shall tell thee.52 Say unto her, Wherefore are unto they whom thou hast now brought forth like those that were before, but less of stature?53 And she shall answer thee, They that be born in the the strength of youth are of one fashion, and they that are born in the time of age, when the womb faileth, are otherwise.54 Consider thou therefore also, how that ye are less of stature than those that were before you.