1 For the ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright, Our life is short and tedious, and in the death of a man there is no remedy: neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave.
2 For we are born at all adventure: and we shall be hereafter as though we had never been: for the breath in our nostrils is as smoke, and a little spark in the moving of our heart:
3 Which being extinguished, our body shall be turned into ashes, and our spirit shall vanish as the soft air,
4 And our name shall be forgotten in time, and no man shall have our works in remembrance, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist, that is driven away with the beams of the sun, and overcome with the heat thereof.
5 For our time is a very shadow that passeth away; and after our end there is no returning: for it is fast sealed, so that no man cometh again.
6 Come on therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present: and let us speedily use the creatures like as in youth.
7 Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments: and let no flower of the spring pass by us:
8 Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they be withered:
9 Let none of us go without his part of our voluptuousness: let us leave tokens of our joyfulness in every place: for this is our portion, and our lot is this.
10 Let us oppress the poor righteous man, let us not spare the widow, nor reverence the ancient gray hairs of the aged.
11 Let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth.
12 Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraideth us with our offending the law, and objecteth to our infamy the transgressings of our education.
13 He professeth to have the knowledge of God: and he calleth himself the child of the Lord.
14 He was made to reprove our thoughts.
15 He is grievous unto us even to behold: for his life is not like other men’s, his ways are of another fashion.
16 We are esteemed of him as counterfeits: he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness: he pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh his boast that God is his father.
17 Let us see if his words be true: and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him.
18 For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies.
19 Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience.
20 Let us condemn him with a shameful death: for by his own saying he shall be respected.
21 Such things they did imagine, and were deceived: for their own wickedness hath blinded them.
22 As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not: neither hoped they for the wages of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for blameless souls.
23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.
24 Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.