1 Surely all men who are ignorant of Elohim, are worthless by nature,
And could not know Him from the good which is seen;
Neither by considering the works did they acknowledge the Craftsman;
2 But supposed either fire, or wind, or the swift air,
Or the circle of the stars, or the raging water,
Or the lights of the shamayim to be the mighty ones which govern the world.
3 If they, being delighted with their loveliness, took them to be mighty ones;
Let them know how much better their Aḏon is;
For the first Author of loveliness has created them.
4 But if they were astonished at their power and excellence,
Let them understand by them, how much mightier He is that made them.
5 For the greatness and loveliness of the creation is seen in proportion to the maker of them.
6 But yet for this they are the less to be blamed:
For perhaps they stray, seeking Elohim,
And desire to find Him.
7 For being accompanied with His works they search Him diligently, and believe their sight;
Because that which is seen is lovely.
8 However neither are they to be pardoned.
9 For if they were able to know so much, that they could examine the world;
How did they not sooner find out the Aḏon of such?
10 But they are miserable, and their expectancy is in dead objects,
Who call them mighty ones, which are the works of men’s hands,
Gold and silver fashioned with skill and likeness of beasts,
Or a stone good for naught – the work of an aged hand.
11 Now a carpenter that cuts timber, after he has hewed down a tree suited for the purpose,
And taken off all the bark round about with skill,
And has fashioned it elegantly, and made a vessel from it fit for the service of man’s life;
12 And after using the remains of his work to prepare his food, has filled himself;
13 And taking the very waste among that which served no use,
Being a crooked piece of wood, and full of knots,
Has carved it diligently, when he had none else to do,
And formed it by the skill of his knowledge,
And fashioned it into the image of a man;
14 Or made it like some lowly beast,
Laying it over with scarlet, and with paint colouring it red,
And covering every blemish with it;
15 And when he has made a suitable space for it,
Positioned it on a wall, and fastened it with iron –
16 For he prepared for it that it might not fall,
Knowing that it was unable to help itself;
For it is an image, and has need of help –
17 Then he makes a prayer for his possessions, for his wife and children,
And is not ashamed to speak to that which has no life.
18 For health he calls upon that which is weak;
For life he prays to that which is dead;
For help he humbly pleads that which has the least means to help;
And for a good journey he asks of that which cannot put a foot forward;
19 And for gaining and getting, and for good success of his hands,
Asks ability to do from that which is most unable to do any deed.